Endangered Pander? McCain supports legalization of illegal immigrants, loses 5 points over the month among Hispanic Republicans in California, according to SurveyUSA. Fred Thompson blasts the legalization bill from the right and his support among Hispanics quintuples, putting him ahead of McCain (and Giuliani) among Hispanics. ... P.S.: These are Hispanic Republicans, of course. But they are not insignificant, making up 17% of "likely Republican Primary voters" in Survey USA's model. ... P.P.S.: McCain's loss (and Thompson's gain) was actually greater among Hispanics than among GOP voters generally. ... P.P.P.S.: You don't even want to see what happened among black Republicans. ... 8:52 P.M.
A Poll Number WaPo Omitted: In that recent ABC-Wash Post poll, mentioned by Jonathan Weisman in this morning's Kyl-side--spinner, only 29 percent approved President Bush's handling of the immigration issue, a "career low." ... 64% disapproved. Many of those disapproving are obviously people who believe Bush's approach isn't permissive enough. Still, the fall seems significant, coming in the middle of a week of righteous Bush moralizing in defense of his position. When people pay attention, he seems to lose ground. ... Bush's support on the issue among Republicans plunged from 61% to 45% in a month. ... See Gary Langer's write-up. ...
P.S.: Arizona's Sen. Kyl made sure he'd be able to sense "momentum building" behind his bill by scheduling no public appearances back home during last week's recess, according to the Christian Science Monitor. ... 6:08 P.M.
McCain Inaugurates the New Civility: President Bush recently said opponents of his immigration bill "don't want to do what's right for America." McCain now takes it a step further, claiming those who disagree with him
would intentionally make our country's problems worse ...
[E.A.] ... 5:37 P.M.
I have an op-ed in the L.A. Times on the similarities between Bush's reckless Iraq gamble and his reckless immigration gamble. It's adapted and updated from arguments blogged here. ... 4:41 P.M.
The Fleecing of Sen. Kyl, cont.: National Review has more gruesome details of the Senate's "grand bargain" on immigration. It turns out that employers are specifically forbidden from requiring employees to pass the fancy new EEVS 'are-you-really-legal' check before going to work. Employers have to hire "blind" and then try to fire later, if they get a "nonconfirmation notice" from the government--after all appeals and "the period to timely file a petition for judicial review" has passed.
It's always harder to fire someone than it is to not hire them in the first place. Plus, it looks to me as if the system gives even new, post-2007 illegal immigrants a free shot to go to work. If there's a backlog in the agency checking the documents, they get to keep working. Then if, months down the road, their documents are rejected, they can just not show up for work one day and fade back into the 'shadows,' to try again later. Do you think the ICE is going to track them down? I don't.
That's a good deal, not for existing illegals--they don't have to worry about this at all, they'll be legalized!--but for future illegals, the ones still in Mexico and El Salvador, etc. who might want to come across the border in 2008 and thereafter. The bill's tough employer sanction system was supposed to deny them above-ground work opportunities, but it doesn't look like that will be the case.