One of the biggest concerns S.744’s opponents have is that the Senators who will soon be voting on the bill haven’t read it. Recently, CAPS launched a campaign in Washington D.C. which distributed eyeglass to the Senators with a memorandum urging them to read the 1,077 page legislation that's full of waivers, exceptions and vague, conflicting language before they vote on the bill.
Two weeks ago, New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte, a Republican who campaigned against amnesty in 2010, announced her support for S. 744. Ayotte’s approval ratings are in free fall since her vote earlier this year against background checks for firearm purchases. Since Ayotte announced she plans to go back on her pro-enforcement platform of three years ago, her ratings will plunge further.
When Public Policy Polling previously surveyed New Hampshire residents, Ayotte had a 48-35 approval rating. She has now tumbled underwater, with 46 percent disapproving and 44 percent approving. The 11-point disapproval surge threatens Ayotte's 2016 reelection when her likely opponent will be popular Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan. Ayotte won her 2010 race by 23 points, but in a hypothetical matchup against Hassan trails 46-44.
In New Hampshire, S. 744 is unpopular. Locals want immigration enforcement before granting amnesty. Ayotte’s surprising endorsement of the Gang of 8 is bad enough. But based on Ayotte’s newsletter in defense of her pro-amnesty position, she not only hasn’t read the bill, she’s staggeringly ignorant of it’s provisions.
In her newsletter, Ayotte included a Frequently Asked Question section wherein she wrongly stated the following about S. 744:
- that the bill does not immediately grant status to those already illegally here. Ayotte is apparently unaware that Gang chief Marco Rubio told a Univision reporter two weeks ago that S. 744 confers immediate legal status.
- that S. 744 mandates E-Verify when it makes no mention of it and suggests that another new electronic immigration status check should be developed.
- that aliens will be obligated to pay back taxes and learn English when only illegal immigrants who have previous tax claims against them may have to pay. Aliens only have to show proof of enrollment in English classes and do not have to evidence any language skills.
Ayotte’s blind ignorance of S. 744’s most basic content is indefensible. She can’t expect to offer to her constituents, as she did in her recent editorial, tired platitudes like “our immigration system is broken” and pretend to want to fix it when she completely uninformed.
When the Senate’s final votes are tallied, Ayotte’s could mean the difference between pass and fail. All Americans, not just New Hampshirites, deserve a thoughtful analysis from their Senators, something Ayotte has not done.