By Joe Guzzardi
February 4, 2013
The bipartisan “Gang of Eight,” the Senate’s hardcore group of amnesty advocates, is improperly labeled. The eight aren’t bipartisan. In fact, four—Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Mike Bennet (D-CO), Richard Durbin (D-IL)—come from the Democratic party’s extreme left wing and have voted in favor of every bill that would increase immigration entitlements and decrease enforcement.
The four nominal, shameless Republicans—John McCain (AZ), Jeff Flake (AZ), Lindsey Graham (SC) and Marco Rubio (FL) all violated their election campaign promises to enforce immigration laws. They lied to their constituents and then promptly turned their backs on the people they represent.
In 2010, long time immigration champion McCain who had cosponsored amnesty bills in 2006 and 2007 faced a tough primary challenge from former House representative and enforcement advocate J.D. Hayward. Overnight, McCain became a believer. McCain hypocritically said that he supported Arizona’s S.B. 1070 and issued a ten-point border security plan. Naïve voters rewarded the duplicitous McCain with re-election.
McCain’s senate colleague Flake is another immigration turncoat. During his House tenure Flake collaborated with the notorious Luis Gutierrez on a companion House bill to introduce McCain’s. Yet when running for the Senate nomination in 2012, Flake had to defeat prominent businessman Wil Cardon whose platform included staunch anti-illegal immigration advertizing. Viola! Suddenly, Flake endorsed S.B. 1070 and confessed to the folly of his earlier days as an immigration cheerleader. Admitting that he had worked on behalf of what he called “broad” immigration reform, Flake said in a campaign statement that “I’ve been down that road and it’s a dead end.” Flake suggested that Washington’s “political realities” make an immigration agreement impossible. Instead, Flake urged tighter border security—obviously not his true sentiment given his camaraderie with the Gang of 8. Nevertheless, Flake cruised to an easy win and is now a freshman Senator.
Lindsey Graham may be the Senate’s biggest immigration flip-flopper. In 2006 and 2007, Graham voted for both Senate amnesties. Graham explained his actions by telling a La Raza audience that “We’re going to tell the bigots to shut up.” Unfortunately for Graham, his position didn’t go over well in South Carolina. When the 2008 campaign rolled around, suddenly Graham adopted a more sensible immigration platform. In a remarkable about face, Graham voted against the DREAM Act and introduced a bill with stiff penalties for those who engage in human trafficking.
As untrustworthy as McCain, Flake and Graham are, they pale in comparison to the Senate’s newest darling, Rubio. From all outward appearances, Rubio is already running hard for the 2016 presidential nomination. And he’s attached his star to what the gang touts as “comprehensive immigration reform.”
Rubio won his 2010 senate seat with strong conservative backing. What propelled Rubio onto the national scene was his scathing 2009 indictment of the Ronald Reagan amnesty, then promised as one time only legislation. Rubio told the Palm Beach Post that Reagan’s Immigration Reform and Control Act legalized 3 million illegal immigrants. But today, more than 11 million aliens have their fingers crossed that another amnesty will pass Congress this year. The culprit, said Rubio, was Reagan’s bill which sent the message that when aliens come and if they stay long enough, the United States will let them stay.
The brazen, two-faced dealings of McCain, Flake, Graham and Rubio may have set a new low for Beltway self-serving politics—quite an achievement when you look at the long, ugly history of Washington dishonesty.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986. Contact him at [email protected]