CNS News is reporting on Sen. Jeff Session's news conference Monday and
his warnings that Sen. Chuck Hagelís provisions for more immigrants could be
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) claims that the program, sponsored in the Senate
by fellow Republicans Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Mel Martinez of Florida,
would inflate the U.S. population by 20 to 60 percent over the next 20
years, depending on whether the caps on certain visas were kept in check
over that time frame.
While the current number of people emigrating to the U.S. is about 1 million
per year, Sessions claims that the "guest worker" program would allow up to
217 million more people to flood the country by 2026. This number assumes
that an average of 1.2 family members would join every immigrant worker.
Sessions told a Capitol Hill news conference Monday that the Comprehensive
Immigration Reform Act of 2006 is "one of the most important debates this
country faces," but that "the Senate is not ready to pass legislation that
will so drastically change our immigration policy."
Congress, he said, "is blissfully ignorant of the impact of the legislation
Sessions also criticized the use of the term "guest worker," which he said
is a misnomer in this case. "They are not temporary or seasonal, but on
their way to permanent residency and then citizenship," he said.
Fristís take on Immigration
Here is part of Senate Majority Leader Bill Fristís latest e-mail:
In the Senate we have restarted the debate on the critical issues of border
security and immigration. Over the next ten days, 20 amendments will be
offered by Republicans. Many of these amendments if passed by the full
Senate would strengthen the border security and interior enforcement
provisions of the bill. We must secure our borders first.
One such amendment that will be introduced by Senator Jeff Sessions would
meet the demand for real fencing, constructing an additional 370 miles of
triple-layered fencing and 500 miles of vehicle barriers along the areas of
our border with Mexico that are most often used by smugglers and illegal
aliens. This fencing is to be constructed immediately and will be completed
within two years of the passage of this border security legislation. This
fencing mileage, combined with provisions in the bill on the Senate floor
that authorize other technologies asked for by the border patrol to keep our
borders fully surveyed so they can intercept those who cross the border as
quickly as possible, will go far to enhancing our border security and
keeping America safer.
I strongly support this amendment. If you do as well, I encourage you to
leave a comment on my blog by
Remember to keep visiting my blog over the next ten days for up to date
information on the amendments strengthening our border security
Bill Frist, M.D.
P.S. I've just completed the third edition of my weekly podcast, "Majority
Leader's Questions," in which I answer questions from my blog readers on
issues ranging from drilling in Alaska to out of control government
spending. To listen,
click here. To post a question of your own,
White House advisor Karl Rove was a featured speaker at the American
Enterprise Institute. Go here to review Roveís speech
I suspect the temptation for some policymakers is to forget that beyond the
economic statistics lie compelling human stories. That is a temptation we
must resist. We must remember economic growth creates work, which is a
source of human dignity.
In his 1981 encyclical, "On Human Work," Pope John Paul II wrote, "human
work is a key, probably the essential key, to the whole social question Ö
work is a fundamental dimension of manís existence on earth Ö Work is a good
thing for man Ė a good thing for his humanity because through work Ö he Ö
achieves fulfillment as a human being."
This is an important reminder that prosperity is not just an end in itself.
Prosperity is also a means to broader ends and greater purpose.
Another Press embarrassment?
With so many press blunders and black eyes, the public may be witnessing yet
another episode with the USA Today phone surveillance story. Again at the
heart of the USA today story are 'anonymous' sources. The
Associated Press reports on Bell Southís finding that USA got it wrong:
The regional Bell, which offers telecommunication services in nine
Southeastern states, said Monday it had conducted a "thorough review" and
established that it had not given the National Security Agency customer call
A report Thursday by USA Today identified BellSouth Corp., along with AT&T
Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc., as companies that had complied with an
NSA request for tens of millions of customer phone records after the 2001
terror attacks. Experts said the agency was likely seeking to detect calling
patterns in the mountain of data.
"Based on our review to date, we have confirmed no such contract exists and
we have not provided bulk customer calling records to the NSA," the company
said in a statement.
BellSouth spokesman Jeff Battcher said the company's investigation found "no
contract with the NSA and we are confident that we have turned over no phone
records." In a later telephone interview, Battcher added "we cannot find
anyone within BellSouth who has ever been approached by the NSA."
The USA Today report, which quoted anonymous sources with direct knowledge
of the program, followed earlier revelations of wiretapping on overseas
calls without a court order and sparked a renewed national debate over
government intrusion into Americans' civil liberties in the fight against
USA Today covered Bell Southís denial of their story. Here is a portion
of USA Todayís response to the story:
USA TODAY first contacted BellSouth five weeks ago in reporting the story on
the NSA's program. The night before the story was published, USA TODAY
described the story in detail to BellSouth, and the company did not
challenge the newspaper's account. The company did issue a statement,
"BellSouth does not provide any confidential customer information to the NSA
or any governmental agency without proper legal authority."
In an interview Monday, BellSouth spokesman Jeff Battcher said the company
was not asking for a correction from USA TODAY.
Asked to define "bulk customer calling records," Battcher said: "We are not
providing any information to the NSA, period." He said he did not know
whether BellSouth had a contract with the Department of Defense, which
oversees the NSA.
Washington Postís "The Fix" reports on the person behind the candidate,
Leonard Rodriguez, who hopes to engineer his candidate --
Governor George Pataki -- into the White House:
Rodriguez, who caught the eye of White House political guru Karl
Rove during the early days of George W. Bush's 2000 presidential
bid, is staking his quick rise through the Republican ranks on Pataki --
signing on as political director of the governor's
21st Century Freedom PAC.
"This guy has a lot to offer and has really not been given an opportunity
for the public at large to know his work and his story," Rodriguez said of
Rodriguez is one of a number of former Bush campaign aides who have already
signed on with a candidate for the upcoming 2008 nomination fight. Among the
most prominent are Bush media consultant Mark McKinnon and
2004 political director Terry Nelson, who have signed on
with Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) Former Republican National
Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie and vice presidential
adviser Mary Matalin are on board with Sen. George
Allen (Va.), and Anne Dickerson, who served as
deputy to 2004 Bush campaign finance chairman Mercer Reynolds, is now
affiliated with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's
Solutions America PAC.
Rodriguez brings two unique skills to the table when it comes to
presidential politics -- Iowa expertise and a deep knowledge of the Hispanic
During Bush's 2000 campaign, Rodriguez helped craft Spanish-language radio
and newspaper advertisements aimed a voters in the Iowa caucuses -- the
first time any presidential candidate had targeted that demographic -- a
small one in the Hawkeye state (according to the 2000 Census, only 2.8
percent of Iowa's population is Hispanic.) Bush won the Iowa caucuses with
41 percent of the vote, and Rodriguez moved into the national campaign's
Austin office to focus on organization and grassroots work.
Edwards in Iowa soon
Senator John Edwards will be in Sioux City on Thursday, May 25. Intimate
Pre-Reception Tickets are $50 each. That event begins at 5:45 p.m. Reception
tickets are $20 each in advance and $30 the day of the event. That event
begins at 6:30 p.m. Both events will be held at the Quality Inn.
Warner presence in New Hampshire
Former Governor Mark Warner's group, Forward Together, is inserting itself
in the New Hampshire Democrat Senate caucus. Warnerís group is providing
resources to hire Audra Tafoya to do research and communications. Tafoya has
been on the job for two weeks, according to Warner aides.
Prior to moving to New Hampshire, Tafoya worked in Virginia politics. She
served as deputy campaign manager for state Del. Steve Shannon, who won a
northern Virginia open-seat race in 2003 in a district that was carried by
President Bush in 2000.
Warner joins former Sen. John Edwards, Sen. John Kerry and Sen. Evan Bayh in
funding staff to the New Hampshire Democrats.
Democrats' new bag man
The National Democrat Party announced it has a new fund-raiser to try and
repair the poor fundraising by the party. If you want money, you need
someone who knows money, and the Democrats achieve that goal in appointing
Philip D. Murphy, a former executive at the Goldman Sachs Group. Murphy
served as a co-chief of Goldman's investment management unit until 2003. He
said his goal was to raise enough money to prepare for the fall elections
and support the goal of the party chairman, Howard Dean, to build up the
party's organization in states that have strongly supported Republicans in