Former frontrunning Grand Bargaineer John McCain, neck and neck in Iowa ... with Sam Brownback! At 6 percent. In fifth place. Behind Huckabee. ... 10:44 P.M.
We May Have a Winner! It won't make Harry Reid's list of 22 permissable amendments, but an alert reader has submitted what may be the best Killer Amendment I've heard so far. The amendment would say that:
Illegal immigrants who get "Z" visas can sue their employers for backpay for all the years they were not paid the minimum wage.
Or for the years they were not paid overtime, I'd add. ... The more you think about this amendment the better it gets. It screws up almost everyone's agenda but almost everyone will have a hard time voting against it. What would be their basis--sympathy for employers who (by definition) can be proven to have employed illegals to save money they should have been paying to their workers under the law at the time? Is Ted Kennedy going to be against this amendment? Sherrod Brown? Yet many big-contributing businesses--major corporations and individual entrepreneurs--might face large damages and years of lawsuits. Meanwhile, social conservatives who'd support it for bill-killing reasons would have no trouble justifying the vote to their constituents. ... Bonus coup de grace: Treble damages! ... 10:36 P.M.
The Fake Talk Express Rolls On: Remember Sen. John McCain's shock upon learning that the provision requiring illegal immigrants to pay "back taxes" had been dropped from the Senate bill? McCain professed surprise at this development, and introduced an amendment, which was adopted, that purported to stick the requirement back in. It now turns out that McCain's restore-back-taxes amendment was itself a fraud. Mark Krikorian reports:
Take look at Loophole 18 in Sen. Sessions' list ; it turns out that McCain's amendment only requires that those legalized illegals applying to trade up to regular, permanent immigrant status (a green card) show they've paid taxes on income earned after they were amnestied, i.e., while they had probabtionary status and then the Z visa. There's no back taxes requirement to get the Z visa and obviously none for the initial phase of the amnesty, which has to be granted by the end of the next business day after applying for it. In other words, there is no requirement that illegal aliens pay back taxes to receive amnesty. [E.A.]
Meanwhile, McCain has returned to telling voters that under the bill illegals would have to "pay back taxes." ** ... Again, the larger point is you can't rely on anything the Grand Bargainers say. They're in full fool-the-yahoos mode. Why shouldn't voters expect that they would carry out the difficult enforcement mandates in their bill, if it passes, in the same disingenuous spirit? You can't trust them! [You're writing as badly as Andrew Sullivan--ed I know! I'm excited!]
P.S.: Sessions' list of 20 loopholes is extremely useful. Negative ad-makers: may want to pay special attention to #7. ... In practical terms, #12 seems significant. Will there be a rush on the border from those who want to pretend they were here before the January 1 cutoff? ...
**--It's not clear, from Sessions' account, if execrable draftsmanship or intentional deception was involved--the amendment apparently refers to a statutory section that doesn't exist. At a minimum, those who drafted the back-taxes "fix" didn't care enough to get it right. It was just a "for show" provision anyway! Call it "reckless disregard." ... 3:29 P.M. link
Too Hot for Kabuki? Senators Chambliss and Isakson say they will vote against cloture on the immigration bill. ... This could reflect momentum against the "p.o.s.", or it could be that the noble, bipartisan all-powerful Grand Bargaineers told the two red-staters that they didn't need their votes to get to 60. ... 2:35 P.M.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007