Will Democrats ever learn how to negotiate?

The Senate Judiciary Committee has advanced a so-called comprehensive immigration plan. And, as usual, Democrats conceded to Republican demands in the name of compromise. Over the last five days, the Judiciary Committee members considered over 200 proposed amendments to the plan, and approved several of the most egregious changes to the legislation.

According to one amendment, 100 percent of the Mexican border must be under surveillance, and 90 percent of illegal border crossings must be prevented, before undocumented immigrants can even apply for U.S. Citizenship. And, immigrants will also have to spend 10 years in a provisional status, pay thousands in fines, and meet stringent work requirements. An amendment submitted by Senator Orrin Hatch, and approved by the Committee, will allow tech companies to utilize thousands of new H1B Visas, and remove the requirement that companies must try to find American workers to fill the jobs. Other provisions include authorizing the use of drones along the border, increasing the number of Customs agents, and deploying the National Guard to build a fence along our Southern border.

Yet, despite Republicans getting their way on all those provisions, and more, Senator Patrick Leahy was forced to withdraw his amendment, which would have recognized same-sex couples for the purposes of immigration. So, the GOP got their unattainable benchmarks, their militarization of our border, and a new supply of cheap labor, and Democrats had to give up on LGBT equality. It's no wonder that three Republicans in the Judiciary Committee crossed the isle to support this plan, or that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell pledged to allow a vote on it.

Democrats should not abandon their principles, just to get Republicans to negotiate – especially when the GOP's idea of negotiating is getting everything that they want. This is not compromise, it's hostage taking. The plan will be debated by the full Senate next month, so we still have a chance to stop some of these awful provisions. Call your Senators and tell them to remove the immigration benchmarks, stand up for American workers, and stop the militarization of our border.

Comments

mblockhart's picture
mblockhart 9 years 12 weeks ago
#1

This is what we knew they would do-immigration reform in name only. Doubt it will pass the House because Reps know this is not the real deal. It's not real, compassionate reform at all. For example, fence is a non starter. It wouldn't be needed if there was a proper guest worker program whereby foreign nationals could come here legally and work, protected from abuse by their employers. They won't cross illegally if there is a legal alternative. Solution is NOT to prosecute employers, though, Thom. Solution is a guest worker program. Also, with stiff fines, those of modest means can't afford to come out of shadows. Finally, time delay- are we proposing that someone whose been here working, paying taxes, contributing to our economy for 20 years has to wait another 10 years to become citizens? Nonsense.

mblockhart's picture
mblockhart 9 years 12 weeks ago
#2

In consideration of immigration reform, start with these truths: Immigration is NOT a burden, it is an asset for Americans individually and collectively. They are a benefit to our economy and, like middle class Americans, they are job creators, not job takers. They improve our society. If there is anything "exceptional" about the USA it is that we are made up of people from all over the world. Then, approach immigration reform from that standpoint to enable guest workers, immigrant guests, resident aliens, pathways to citizenship and enhance the human rights of the people. The problem with current talk of reform is that it buys into the lie that immigration is a problem to solve. It accepts the lies of the xenophobes. It's not based on the facts. Policy that is not based on objective facts generally is wrong.

For example, ask why we should NOT allow non citizens to participate in Social Security? If they did with valid SS numbers it would only strengthen SS, not weaken it. It would add contributing workers. Citizenship should be irrelevant.

dianhow 9 years 12 weeks ago
#3

Whatever flaws Obama has I am still happy he is our Presidedent since I have nothing but contempt for this Obama hating -Greedy GOP aka McConnell Cantor & Boehner, Fox ,Hannity , Rush & ditto heads , Bachman ,Trump far right nutcases who want to kill off the middle class and defeat / block anything thats good for the country.and US economy. Watching news and listening to talk radio news drives my BP up and I feel so helpless. However I worked in Obama's 2008 / 2012 campaigns I made calls, donated, voted- wrote my reps often to speak out as we ALL must www.congress.gov       www.whitehouse.gov    www.senate.gov  I am burned out. . How did this country - our schools, our economy wind up in such toxic mess ? One huge cause was Being under wealth favoring - anti middle class policies of Reaganomics trickle down- deregulation of Wall St Banks, airlines, trucking and more Reagan dropped the EFFECTIVE top tax rate for corps to lowest point in 50 yrs Bush did it again. Then we had 2 long Unfunded wars based on lies, fear tactics and massive war profiteering.. Trillions was wasted People died and were maimed. for nothing but GREED !

bendigger0 9 years 12 weeks ago
#4

i can't see that Democrats have any particular principles; they're for sale, just like everybody else.

Koolnightes's picture
Koolnightes 9 years 12 weeks ago
#5

Where are the FDR's, Kennedy's, Johnson's,...or even the Clinton's??????? This President talks a good talk... but his walk is more like a slither.

Reid??? Who stole our back bones?

We should go beg Anthony Weiner to come back into out ranks....at least he had one bone....(little humor) We need him and Sanders and Dennis Kucinich...Oh and we do have to have Elizabeth Warren.

Will Hillary have bigger balls than Obama??

We need someone that not only has a big growl.... but has some fangs too!!

DRichards's picture
DRichards 9 years 12 weeks ago
#6

Are the Democrats really spinless? If so, can you blame people for wanting " real men" representing them in their government?

I saw Lincoln last night. I admired the character Tommy Lee Jones was playing when he laid into his opponent (who was against black people being equal before the law), saying that even though his opponent was clearly inferior in intelligence, ect. he still believed that he should be equal before the law.
If only a Democrat had such courage and conviction…

Koolnightes's picture
Koolnightes 9 years 12 weeks ago
#7

I agree with you totally and you left out a few names in the RSP (Republicans Screw People) list, but then as soon as you think of another... 10 more names pop up...Republicans died off with Eisenhower... what we have now is nothing more than a windup war chanting puppets.

BUT... don't get burned out..... it is ok and even good to take a break..... but don't quit. if you have some fight in you and you would like to spread the truth to the people that need it most..... and don't mind being called bad names by the radicals... come over to the ConservativeByte Blog.. http://conservativebyte.com/

natanode's picture
natanode 9 years 12 weeks ago
#8

What? Harry Reid has a irrigami spine? gee wiz what a surprise. I wonder who has made it possible for the last 10 years for the "conservatives" (can you name one thing they conserve?) to get everything they've wanted. This is like that star wars movie where they discover that the guy giving all the secrets to the dark side is actually one of the "good guys" in a high ranking position, and his name in this case is Harry Reid. As long as he is in his position, the republicans will get what ever they want. I've said it on the air several times. It's not the dems it's Harry Reid that is the problem. He will continue to make sure that this country won't make any turn to the left even if it destroys the country from within. There is no price too high for these people who hoard not only money and wealth, but peoples livelyhoods. The 1% have an extreme hording disorder and they need help.

Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 12 weeks ago
#9

Or you do what every other country in the world does and deport them. for the last five years one in five Americans has been out of a job yet you want people who broke your laws by entering your country illegally to get a free pass in and take your jobs away. don't you see they are driving your wages down to nothing. I don't get it.

ptg0's picture
ptg0 9 years 12 weeks ago
#10

Both of the parties are the same. Anyone that thinks we have a two party system is an idiot. This is all orchestrated. We need to throw every one of the @ssholes out of Washington. In fact, we need to burn the whole place down and start all over with a Constitution that cannot be trampled on by corrupt politicians.

Its time to get out the tar and feathers and give everyone of them a taste.

Two party system, my @ss.

ptg0's picture
ptg0 9 years 12 weeks ago
#11

They are all dead. Killed by the corupt @ssholes that run the show today. Everyone that voted for Obama was duped. Thats why he was up against MORONS. It is all theatre and we are all idiots that pay admission (taxes) to watch this theater of the bizzare.

Its all just a show and we are all chumps that support the most corrupt government on the planet. After all, what else would you call a country that has been at war for all but 8 YEARS SINCE 1776?

ptg0's picture
ptg0 9 years 12 weeks ago
#12

Yes, and all you did was succeed in electing the puppet. Obama is raygun on steriods. By the way, raygun invented obamacare, obama just made it a law.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 12 weeks ago
#13
Quote Kend:Or you do what every other country in the world does and deport them. for the last five years one in five Americans has been out of a job yet you want people who broke your laws by entering your country illegally to get a free pass in and take your jobs away. don't you see they are driving your wages down to nothing. I don't get it.

I never thought I would see the day. Congratulation Kend, buddy. For the first time since I've joined the blog you make more sense than anyone here--including Thom. I don't get it either. Are they putting stupid pills in the water?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 12 weeks ago
#14

Kend ~ Another shocker, the Republinuts in Congress make more sense than any of the Democrats; except the few that acquiesces to their demands. This makes no sense at all. The Republicans standing up for American workers? This is a first in my lifetime. Something is really wrong! Is this a sign of the Apocalypse?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 12 weeks ago
#15

This is a ridiculous proposal. Making illegals legal, or immigration easier at a time of vast unemployment would be a disaster. We should not be discussing such proposals till our economic woes are cured. This is an organized attempt by the powers that be to plunge our victimized American labor force further into abject poverty and despair. Nothing else explains the logic of this strategy. I hope and pray this proposed legislation dies in the house; where, otherwise all other good legislation goes to die.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 12 weeks ago
#16

Democratic concession to Teapublican demands is just part of battered political party syndrome, symptomatic of learned helplessness. The billionaire backed Teapublicans have prostituted the corp. media into beating the holy crap out of the mild mannered Democrats. By the way, prostituted: one who sells one's abilities for an unworthy purpose.

Anyway, I still think the employers involved in this immigrant slave labor market, those cashing in on human desperation need to be prosecuted first. Without their immoral conduct, the problem would be much more controllable.

Speaking of mild mannered Democrats, they sure aren't exactly screaming about the Tea Party groups who have committed tax fraud by claiming they operate primarily for the pupose of bringing civic betterments and social improvements. This lie on their applications is why the IRS granted all of them the exempt status to begin with. I'm sorry but that's clearly tax fraud.

These Tea Party groups instead operate exclusively for the purpose of civic and social demolition in order to singularly further the enrichment of billionaires.

Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 12 weeks ago
#17

Mblockhart is right on here. in Canada we offer short term work visas. you can only work for the person who sponsored you and then you go home. No different then my friends who go all over world to work in the oil business. That way we don't flood the work place with low wage employees. My son works on a paving crew and makes over $70,000 a year only working 6 or 7 months because there is no one else to do it any cheaper.

Dannemarc holy crap. I never thought I would see day. I am sorry but I have been in 27 different countries and none of them would even consider this madness. A presidents number one job is to secure the borders and protect the citizens inside them. Isn't it?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 12 weeks ago
#18
Quote Kend:A presidents number one job is to secure the borders and protect the citizens inside them. Isn't it?

Not exactly Kend. Before taking office the President of the United States takes this oath:

Quote The Oath of Office of the President of The United States of America: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Protection of the Constitution of The United States is his number one job. Of course President Obama, a "Constitutional Scholar" can't seem to manage this one simple task to save his life. It isn't hard to believe that he would fall short of every other inherent Presidential responsibility that befalls him if he can't manage the most important task at hand--to protect our inherited American traditions. However, I may be very premature. This bill has not yet passed Congress and been signed by the President. We don't even know what type of bill may be presented to him. I hesitate to comment on how I would feel about the President signing a bill that dooms the American Worker to a third world status until he actually signs it into law. Let's be open minded and fair.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 12 weeks ago
#19

Kend ~ Congress on the other hand is quite the Bizarro World. I don't understand what is going through their minds at all. They don't seem to even care about the vast unemployment problem facing this country. This should be their main focus. Illegal immigrants have done nothing but worsen the main problem facing this nation. There is absolutely no reason to shed sympathy for this group of people. They have broken the law and robbed legal citizens of their jobs. Now we want to help them? Why not offer welfare to Al Qaeda. Makes the same sense to me.

Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 12 weeks ago
#20

As always it isn't black and white ( no racial pun intended). Although I agree with kend that we can't let people who are here illegally in, especially at a time of high unemployment, nor can we ignore the fact that there are many children here and even adult children here that were born to illegal parents. As we talked a few weeks ago about school lunches, it isn't the fault of the child when the parent is irresponsible. I'm uncertain what the answer is but I do believe there needs to be a clause that addresses this issue.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 12 weeks ago
#21
Quote Kend:As always it isn't black and white ( no racial pun intended). Although I agree with kend that we can't let people who are here illegally in, especially at a time of high unemployment, nor can we ignore the fact that there are many children here and even adult children here that were born to illegal parents.

"Although I agree with kend..." What? Now this is what I call the Bizarro World. Something is seriously wrong with this blog if Kend is agreeing with Kend. Are you schizophrenic or are you someone else?

Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 12 weeks ago
#22

For the record my wife wrote #21. She is pretty smart I still don't know why she married me. I am sure most of you agree with that.

DAnnemarc. Sorry I stand corrected. But how can you defend the constitution with your borders invaded.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 12 weeks ago
#23

Kend ~ If you wife wants to contribute you should let her have her own identity. Less confusing.

As far as your question about defending the Constitution is concerned it has nothing to do with immigration. That is my point. If we can't defend the Constitution with a Constitutional Scholar in the White House the Constitution is toilet paper. As such, all other matters are immaterial. Without the Constitution we are all serfs subject to the whims of whatever plutocracy holds the reigns of power and/or influence.

Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 12 weeks ago
#24

my wife thought she did Her own. I had no idea she even read this. Trust me if she gets on here the liberals are not going to like it.

With all do respect there is way too much money in American politics. Just google how much they are all worth. Hillary Clinton is worth over 20 million. Her daughter is worth over 10 million. Hillary made it working for the government. Doesn't that scare you guys.

Here they don't leave wealthy but they do get a big fat pension.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 12 weeks ago
#25
Quote Representative Alan Grayson:This week, House Republicans are putting forward a bill called the "Northern Route Approval Act." This bill overrides the President's authority to make decisions on the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Whatever you think about the Keystone Pipeline, this bill is blatantly unconstitutional. The Constitution provides for a legislative branch, which createslegislation -- laws of general application. It also provides for an executive branch, which executes the laws. This is known as the separation of powers. The bill that the Republicans are putting forward is a clear violation of this principle.

The bill does one more thing: it bestows special favors on a foreign oil company, TransCanada. It lets the corporation build the Keystone XL pipeline without going through normal government approval processes, and even gives TransCanada a free right-of-way worth millions of dollars. House Republicans have said they want to get rid of Congressional earmarks. Yet here they are, bestowing an earmark anyway.

I just received this email from Representative Alan Grayson. Seems like a much more worthy topic of discussion than Immigration Reform, don't you all think. What quote does Thom continuously repeat concerning the Keystone Pipeline? "If the Keystone Pipeline is completed, it is game over for humanity."

What does our friend(s), Kend, think about that one?

Can anyone say, "Smoke Screen!"

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 12 weeks ago
#26

Sorry if I caught anyone off guard! I'm going to bed now where I will dream of Illegal Immigrants with tea bags full of oil; and sugar plum fairies full of bold promises and little sweetness. Good night all! Pleasant dreams!

fatfax's picture
fatfax 9 years 12 weeks ago
#27

3 WORDS Campaign Finance Reform

akelous's picture
akelous 9 years 12 weeks ago
#28

Let's hold a national teach in on negotiation. Not even slant it to what could or could not be done but just "Democrats Learning to Negotiate". There must be ten thousand self help programs on how to negotiate. We could get some political celebrity like Howard Dean to lead it just to add to the general democratic knowledge base (we won't talk about shaming incumbents).

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 9 years 12 weeks ago
#29

I'm surprised you didn't get in on yesterdays discussion that Global and I started. Check it out.

sandlewould's picture
sandlewould 9 years 11 weeks ago
#30

The real question is, will progressives ever wake up and realize that Dems don't want to negotiate? We must stop trying to get Dems to be progressive...a huge waste of time and resources. Run-off elections and taking back our media...that's one place to start. Progressive Democrat; an oxymoron for sure!

sandlewould's picture
sandlewould 9 years 11 weeks ago
#31

Sadly, when it comes to "legislation" like this, congress suddenly loses the dysfunction, or perhaps, epitomizes it.

sandlewould's picture
sandlewould 9 years 11 weeks ago
#32

With the revolvolving doors offerring politicians huge saleries as lobbyists, not anytime soon and not without the media.

sandlewould's picture
sandlewould 9 years 11 weeks ago
#33

I guess if signing legislation into law that is blatantly unconstitutional (like some of NDAA, for example, much of patriot act, CISPA...the only legislation congress seems to pass is something unconstitutional) he's doing a bang-up job of "defending" the constitution. Hell, if Repugs want to impeach him, they could do so based on violation of oath of office regarding defending the constitution...oh but I forgot, they agree on this point.

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