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Play Taps For Immigration Reform

Well, I'm ready to call the Senate's second go at immigration reform a failure. Two reasons for this. First, the polls. If senators are watching the polls, as indeed they must be, a new Rasmussen Reports poll finds the bill musters an infinitesimal 22 percent level of support from American voters. "That's down a point from a couple of weeks ago and down from 26 percent when the debate in the Senate began," Rasmussen says. "Fifty percent oppose the Senate bill while 28 percent are not sure."

The bill, by the way, "would tighten borders, require workplace verification, and create a guest-worker program. It also would lay out a way by which the estimated 12 million people illegally in the U.S. could gain legal status and work toward citizenship."

Therein lies the rub. It's becoming increasingly clear most Americans don't want amnesty for some 12 million illegal immigrants (some estimates range as high as 20 million people who either entered illegally or overstayed visas and are thus in the United States illegally). In fact, a new Gallup Poll attributes Congress's low standings in the polls in large part to its inability to pass meaningful immigration reform or to do a better job of controlling the borders.

Second reason: When you start hearing a lot of the "this bill isn't perfect but it's the best we can do now" type of rhetoric, it's not usually a good sign. Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi recently told his home state paper, the Clarion Ledger: " 'Some want the Senate to do nothing because this bill is not perfect.' But he asks: 'When will perfect circumstances come--when there are 20 or 30 million more illegals here?' "

Play taps. This bill is dead.

By Bonnie Erbe