Conservative House members and movement leaders are thanking the grassroots activists nationwide for their role in helping win the major immigration battle last week in the House that flayed the Democrats on the hotly contested issue for the first time since the 2012 re-election of President Barack Obama.
“Passing a much stronger border bill in the House wouldn’t have happened without the American people melting the phone lines and making Congress listen,” Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), a fiery conservative who worked alongside Rep. Steve King (R-IA) and others to get the job done, told Breitbart News.
“This was a tremendous victory for the rule of law and a true testament to the power of the grassroots,” Bachmann said. “Now that the House has acted to address the border crisis, Harry Reid and the Senate should return from their vacation and work with us to solve the problem.”
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) added that it’s grassroots pressure that helped deliver the conservative victory that strengthened the GOP’s bill, causing a panic on the Democratic Party side of the House.
“All mail, emails and calls are documented in my office and most offices,” Gosar told Breitbart News. “We scan Facebook comments. Never underestimate how powerful your voice can be. And how necessary it is to counter the elite voices from DC.”
Last Thursday, House GOP leadership had scheduled a vote on an immigration bill conservative critics argued would have weakened current law. After lawmakers like King, Bachmann, Gosar and others held the line in the House, GOP leadership relented, adding language into the bill that offered stronger restrictions on asylum petitions, and an an effort to prohibit President Obama’s executive amnesty via the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and programs like it.
Those conservatives had plenty of help from the outside, too, from groups like NumbersUSA and Tea Party Patriots–both of which, as did others, helped flood Congress with phone calls.
“For the first time since 2005, the U.S. House on Friday night passed legislation that reflects the majority of Americans’ desires for immigration laws to be enforced,” Roy Beck, the president of NumbersUSA, told Breitbart News. Even two days before, it looked like the national political consultants were once again going to succeed in persuading House GOP leaders to sidestep the glaring issue of Presidents refusing to enforce immigration laws that are designed to protect American workers and taxpayers. The surge of constituent contacts through the week changed all of that and produced the historic outcome.”
Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots added in an emailed statement that what happened last week is by far “the biggest victory against the Democrats’ liberal agenda in the 113th Congress.”
“I think the scale of the victory is best reflected by the response of House Democrats,” Martin said. “Nancy Pelosi became absolutely unhinged on the floor of the House after learning that grassroots conservatives succeeded in preventing President Obama from unilaterally granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. That shows you how bad the original legislation was and we stopped it dead in its tracks because tens of thousands of Tea Party Patriots and other conservatives were fed-up, called Congress, melted the phone lines and demanded congressional Republicans and the Obama administration abide by the rule of law.”
The conservative victory–which seems to have unified, rather than split, the GOP as a whole–could not have come at a better time for the Republican Party, under 100 days out from the general election in November. But more importantly, Beck from NumbersUSA said that he believes part of the Democratic Party’s meltdown last week–which included the Sergeant-At-Arms of the House removing Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi from the floor after she accosted Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA), Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) accusing almost everyone he could in the GOP of racism and Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) addressing “all the white people” in a House Rules Committee hearing, among other breakdowns–is attributable to the fact that rank-and-file Republicans are now waking up and opposing amnesty.
“Many of the Representatives who are devoted to illegal immigrants and to the employers who hire them displayed panic on the floor apparently because of the possibility that the Republican Party might be separated from the cheap-labor corporate lobbyists who have played a central role over the decades in protecting the flow of illegal immigration,” Beck said. “The big question now is whether Republican candidates (and the handful of Democrats who voted for enforcement Friday night) will use their novel bold action for the American worker as a point of pride, or shrink back into embarrassed defensiveness.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama have attacked the House’s bills, saying they aren’t going anywhere. Reid’s Senate left Washington without passing any bill. But Beck thinks the House bills are the beginning of a larger movement against Obama’s planned executive amnesty.
“Since 2011, President Obama has repeatedly sent signals around the world that illegal immigration will be tolerated (even rewarded) in the United States,” Beck said. “Those policies have contributed to the surge in illegal immigration at the border today. The House vote, by contrast, sends a powerful message that an illegal journey to this country may not pay off. That could help save lives. The House vote may have been a symbolic step (because the Senate had already left town for a month) but it shows that the Representatives of the American people may be ready to be the champions of the American workers who stand to lose the most if the President follows through with his promise to issue work permits to millions more unlawfully present foreign citizens.”