Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Video: Lamar Alexander: 'I Voted Against Amnesty,' recorded at Lamar's Nashville bus tour rally.

From Britbart News:

During his bus tour through Tennessee, Sen. Lamar Alexander was approached by
someone asking him why he voted to support amnesty.

“I voted against amnesty,” Alexander replied.
The video was provided to Breitbart News by the “Beat Lamar” effort by the Real Conservatives National Committee Super PAC opposing Alexander’s re-election.
Alexander’s answer is consistent with his claim that by voting for the Senate "Gang of Eight" immigration reform bill, he voted to end amnesty.(Read more and watch the video)
My Comment: The video is hardly worth watching because, "I voted against amnesty" is all Alexander is caught on camera saying in the poor quality video probably recorded with someone's cell phone yesterday.

How can Lamar claim he voted against amnesty?  Doesn't everyone know he voted for amnesty?  Some of his opponents are even taking to calling Alexander, "Amnesty Alexander." That Alexander supports amnesty is the major campaign theme of Joe Carr's campaign. The anti-Lamar counter protest yesterday was advertised as an anti-illegal immigration rally.

Lamar's reasoning for saying he voted against amnesty is this: In supporting the "gang of eight" bi-partisan comprehensive immigration reform bill he was voting to end the de facto amnesty that now exist which allows 11 to 20 million illegal immigrants to stay in this country without penalty. According to this line of reasoning, that is amnesty.

 The comprehensive immigration bill Alexander supported provided greater funding for border security, doubling the number of border agents and building 350 more miles of fence on the southern border.

After the border was deemed secure, then it would have allowed those illegally here prior to 2012, to apply for provisional legal status and then, if they met the provisions of the bill, they could become citizens after 13 years. Citizenship would not have been automatic.  The alien would have had to learn English and pass the citizenship test just like all other applicants. Each alien would have had to pay a $1,000 "penalty" and $2,000 in fees for the temporary Z visa, pass a background check, and submit proof of employment and fingerprints. Then after getting the initial Z visa, in four years the applicant would have had to pay another fee for an extension of the visa. For a family of four, the total cost would have been about $15,000 and they would have had to pay any back taxes owed.

That, to me does not sound like amnesty.  After the end of the Vietnam war, Jimmy Carter let US citizens who fled to Canada in order to dodge the draft come back home. They did not have to serve time or do community service are pay a fee.  That was amnesty.

So, is Lamar correct in saying his vote for comprehensive immigration reform was a vote against amnesty? I don't think so. I understand his logic but de facto amnesty is not the same as wiping the slate clean as if the offence had never occurred. "De facto amnesty" is the current status quo and that is not amnesty.  Letting people ignore the law is not amnesty, because they are always under the threat that the law could be enforced.

Was it a vote for amnesty, as Carr and his supporters claim?  I don't think so. Waiting 13 years and paying $15,000 for a family of four is not amnesty. The logic of many conservatives is that any thing that does not round them all up and deport them is amnesty. If they had to pay $30,000 or $60,000 and wait 25 years, they would still call that "amnesty."

Alexander saying his vote for comprehensive immigration reform was a vote against amnesty is just as inaccurate as Joe Carr's claim that Alexander's vote for comprehensive immigration reform was a vote for amnesty. Both are using twisted logic and exaggeration to make their claim.

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1 comment:

  1. There's an awful lot of voting (or is that a lot of AWFUL voting?) by Lamar that he doesn't talk about. Check out his actual record of voting from Red State: