The New York Times promoted the "DREAM Act" on Saturday with a Julia Preston article that never located a single lobbyist for stricter immigration enforcement. Instead, Preston assisted in publicizing a major administration push: "Five cabinet secretaries have made calls, held news conferences or blogged on the issue." It didn't matter how ridiculous it sounded to border enforcers:
On a call organized by the White House on Friday, David Aguilar, the deputy commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, said that strict eligibility requirements in the bill for young immigrants who are here would dissuade others outside the country from trying coming to the country illegally. Addressing concerns from lawmakers who say they want more border security before voting for the legislation, Mr. Aguilar said, “At no point in history has the border been as secure as it is today.”
Dan Stein of FAIR or Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies (among other activists) were less than mysteriously missing from Preston's Rolodex. But the National Council of La Raza didn't get overlooked:
“This will be a watershed vote that Latinos will not forget,” Janet Murguía, president of the National Council of La Raza, one of the largest national Hispanic organizations, said on a conference call with reporters Friday. “There will be members who choose to stand for innocent children and members who do not,” she said, using some of the stark terms Latino leaders have adopted in the debate.
Liberals can only speak in "stark terms," and not be "harsh" or "mean-spirited." After 12 paragraphs straight of amnesty supporters, Preston's story wrapped up with brief snippets of press statements from Republican Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Scott Brown that they would oppose the DREAM Act, but only after opponents were tarred as un-Christian, un-American racists:
In this round of the fight, the supporters, led by illegal immigrant students, most of them Latinos, have been more visible than opponents. This week immigrant students, including many without legal status, lobbied in Senate offices in Washington. Univision and other Latino television networks have actively advocated for the student measure. Catholic, Jewish and evangelical Christian clergy members gathered on Capitol Hill this week to pray for passage of the bill.
Latino evangelical pastors, who are politically conservative on social issues, joined the campaign to pressure Republicans.
“Republican conservatives have a chance to demonstrate they truly embrace the party of Lincoln,” the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, said on a conference call Thursday. “To continue to punish these children is nothing less than anti-Christian, anti-Hispanic and anti-American.”
Rodriguez also has asserted that Elizabeth Edwards was "Christ-like", so his political positions aren't solidly Republican.
Several Republicans face strong opposition from Republican voters in their states to measures that could be seen as rewarding immigrants who broke the law to remain in this country.
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Republican of Texas, was one target of the advocates’ campaign, with student protesters holding a month-long hunger strike at one of her Texas offices. Senator Hutchison said on Friday that she would not vote for the bill.
“While she is sympathetic with their situation, she will not support the Dream Act legislation brought before the Senate because it expands the scope of the bill beyond the intended individuals who were brought here as children and grew up and were educated in the United States,” a statement from her office said.
Senator Scott P. Brown of Massachusetts, another Republican who has been on call lists of Latino and immigrant groups, said this week that he would not vote for the bill, calling it a “backdoor amnesty.” Senator George LeMieux of Florida also said he would vote against the bill.
It's always interesting to see when a newspaper reporter writes that "supporters have been more visible than opponents" -- apparently without the self-awareness that they are aggressively making the supporters more visible than the opponents.