Reid and Pelosi issued this statement
in response to the
the GOP is attempting on immigration. (Shorter Reid/Pelosi is Meteor Blades' brilliant spin
: "The Republicans invented this bill. And they voted for this bill before they voted against it.")
"Speaker Hastert and Leader Frist's statement on immigration this week is a clear reflection that Republicans now feel the heat from the American people on the mean-spirited approach of the House Republican immigration bill, H.R. 4437, authored by Congressman James Sensenbrenner.
"The statement serves to underline a key fact: that the Republican Leaders of both the House and Senate support the criminalization of an entire population of immigrants by expressing support of an amendment that would have authorized 6- month jail sentences.
"No amount of spin by the Republican leadership can change the fact that the Sensenbrenner bill -- including the felony provision -- was authored by Republicans and ultimately passed by Republicans.
"The fact is that Congressman Sensenbrenner's amendment, if adopted, would have still criminalized an entire population for the first time in our history, rather than charging presence violations as civil offenses as provided under current law. 11 million men, women, and children, with no exceptions, would still go to jail for up to six months under the revised Sensenbrenner amendment. That is why many Democrats voted against the Sensenbrenner amendment.
"As we consider immigration reform, Democrats believe that we must protect and defend the American people by protecting our borders. As we do so, we must also protect and defend our values as Americans with comprehensive, humane, and realistic immigration reform. It is imperative to our national security, and it is the right thing to do.
"In contrast to these goals, we regret that Speaker Hastert and Leader Frist's statement indicates that the Republican leadership and your Republican allies support authorizing 6-month jail sentences for an entire population and that turns 11 million men, women, and children-among the poorest and hardest working people in our country -- into criminals.
"We are a better country than that. We must work together for real, bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform that protects our borders, honors our values, and that we can all be proud of. The Sensenbrenner bill fails miserably and is antithetical to our basic values as a country. We will continue to vigorously oppose it."
You can help in the fight back. The GOP is pushing their lies through ads that will run in Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada next week on Univision and Lotus Communication Corp. radio stations. Those links lead to their contact pages. Let's have them hear from us about their willingness to broadcast Republican lies.
Additionally, contact the Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada Democratic state parties to see what you can do to help them respond.