Yesterday House Republicans announced 21 new field hearings on immigration.
If you compare the list of locations to the list of states where there will be key elections on this Election Map 2006 (note the key symbols for both the Senate and the House)...
VOILA! They are the same states! Can it get any clearer than this? Republicans are having hearings in states where their seats are in jeopardy.
Why? Today National Public Radio announced the findings of a survey that suggests that Republicans might have a difficult time hanging on to their majority in Congress. These so-called public hearings on immigration reform are evidence that the party is nervous and needs to use the issue as a lightning rod issue to energize voters to their side.
House Majority Leader John Boehner of Ohio told the Associated Press that "We believe that these hearings will help strengthen our hand as we negotiate with our counterparts in the Senate and hopefully get a bill to the president some time this year."
("This year": meaning sometime before the November elections. Or at least look like they are trying to do something before then...)
Senator Ted Kennedy told AP that the hearings are 'gimmicks' to stall legislation for electoral gains. "These are campaign events driven by the right wing of the Republican Party, not true hearings," Kennedy said. "They think their 'enforcement only' plan will help them at the ballot box in November, but security experts agree that it can't fix our broken system."
ACTION STEP: Call or e-mail Majority Leader John Boehner (202.225.6205 or e-mail). Ask him to get his party to stop stalling and get back to the work of creating true immigration reform. Ask him and his party to stop making it a partisan tactic. Tell him to use the hearings to truly LISTEN to all Americans including NEW Americans, namely immigrant themselves. Tell him you do not support 'enforcement-first', 'enforcement-only' or more enforcement for that matter as the solution to our broken immigration system.