Back in late May, the
Axis of Amnesty seemed like an unstoppable coalition
of the Great and the Good. It linked the
Republican White House and the
Democratic leaders of Congress, business, media,
religion, and the ethnic lobbies.
Why did the Axis of Amnesty turn
out to be a
immigration reform patriots had a
large majority of
American voters on our side. But only the naïve
assume that the
majority rules in modern America. While we entered
the battle with both numbers and morale, the Axis of
Amnesty held the commanding heights of the institutions
and had almost all the hired guns.
So what happened?
Napoleon said: "In war, moral factors account for
three quarters of the whole; relative material strength
accounts for only one quarter."
What the Axis didn`t have was any
below the elites who actually cared enough about the
amnesty bill to write their Senators.
Let`s review each component of this
mile-wide-but-inch deep coalition of special interests
to see why its overall strength was so vastly overrated.
The MainStream Media
The good news for the Axis of
Amnesty was that the MainStream Media
consistently demonize patriotic immigration
reformers. But that was about all the good news they
enjoyed. Just about the only steadfast partisans were
obviously self-interested or delusional fringe interests
immigration lawyers, La Raza, and
huge illegal alien demonstrations in the spring of
2006, with their vast sea of
Mexican flags, just made
actual voters more adamant in saying "No mas"
to illegal immigration. But they intimidated and
motivated the Establishment.
But where were the marchers this
The dismal failure of
illegal immigrants to turn out in the streets was
the most striking change from 2006 to 2007. According to
Los Angeles Times, [15
Police Officers Injured in Clash With Demonstrators in
LA, By Teresa Watanabe and Francisco Vara-Orta,
May 2, 2007] the May Day march of the illegals dropped
from 650,000 in 2006 to 35,000 in 2007. Similar
declines were seen nationally.
Then, after the collapse of the
Bush-Kennedy bill in mid-May … practically nada.
The single most important reason
for this unexpected collapse: probably the fact that the
old House bill
threatening to make
being an illegal immigrant a felony was not on the
table this year. Only "a path to citizenship" was
being debated. Illegal aliens
don`t want to be deported, but, in contrast to the
sentimental propaganda about them, they don`t care much
about citizenship (or America either, for that matter).
They are, in the most part,
patriotic Mexican nationals here
merely for the money.
Illegal aliens also, evidently,
don`t long to be
"brought out of the shadows".
They don`t see all that much in it for them. That`s
because they have a better understanding of economics
than do many of their elite supporters. They realize
that their wages are determined not by their "legal
status," but by
supply and demand.
The majority of legal immigrants
who have become citizens and can now vote are not
Mexican or Central American.[PDF]
So why did anyone
expect them to care about Latin American illegal
immigrants who jumped ahead of their
loved ones in line?
small number of Hispanics who make a
living out of their ethnicity were fired up over
this chance to import more co-ethnics for them to claim
to represent, the typical Latino-American was
ambivalent—alternating between feelings of
ethnocentrism and the hard-headed realization that
even more people from Mexico sure wasn`t going to
make his life any better.
…were unenthused. Utterly.
White liberals/ “progressives”
As Randall Burns has documented on
VDARE.com, white liberals who are ordinary citizens
showed negligible zeal for amnesty. The "progressive
netroots" who hang out on Daily Kos and
the like have turned themselves into a formidable
political force, but they were yet another dog that
didn`t bark for amnesty. On the rare occasions when the
Senate legislation came up on liberal blogs, the
tended toward hostility.
Just about the only pro-amnesty
talking point that white liberals could rally around was
that passing the bill would make white conservatives—who
are, by definition, evil racists,
morally far inferior to
That kind of status-striving
certainly motivated a lot of the
biased pro-amnesty press coverage in the MSM. But it
didn`t seem to drive much positive political activism
among the netroots.
The truth is that white liberals
are bored by Mexican illegal immigrants, who lack
glamour of the 1960s black civil rights protestors.
At the 2006 march for illegal aliens that I witnessed, I
didn`t see a single white American. Everyone marching
down Van Nuys Blvd.
appeared to be
mestizo or full-blooded Indian. (Indeed, judging
from how short the marchers were on average, there
weren`t many American-born Latinos in attendance
Roman Catholic hierarchy`s most
prominent pro-amnesty spokesman was Los Angeles
Cardinal Roger Mahony. But he was simultaneously
negotiating a legal settlement of the child molestation
charges against the LA Archdiocese that would keep him
from having to testify in court about why he had kept
shuffling the criminal priests from one parish to
cost of $660 million out of the contributions of the
faithful (including me).
Not surprisingly, Mahony`s calls
for amnesty were widely ignored.
The AFL-CIO had been a strong voice
for immigration restriction going back to
Samuel Gompers in the early 20th Century. But in
2000, the union`s bosses switched sides and
backed amnesty. In 2007, however, the rank-and-file
was so opposed that the bigshots apparently felt they
had to go along and condemn the bill.
finally realized that their current employees hated
amnesty, so they toned down their support.
This doesn`t mean the Axis won`t
try again. They will, probably by trying to smuggle
But they have sustained an epochal
defeat. And it has exposed their weaknesses as never