Twenty-four House Democrats were pressured to vote for ‘Kate’s Law,’ showing how President Donald Trump may break the Democratic Senators’ blockade of immigration-reform bills.
The key is intense public pressure on the roughly 10 vulnerable Democratic Senators facing the voters in 2018, according to a GOP source. Approval would be a tremendous win, and would pave the way for additional immigration reforms, said the source.
In the June 29 House vote, 166 Democrats voted against “Kate’s Law,” but 24 Democrats voted for the law, which raises potential jail sentences for repatriated illegals who sneak back into the United States. The bill is named after Kate Steinle, an attractive young woman who was murdered by an illegal alien in 2015 who had returned to the United States multiples times after being sent home.
Kate’s law is popular. “Fifty-six percent (56%) of Likely U.S. Voters favor a five-year mandatory prison sentence for illegal immigrants convicted of major felonies who return to America after being deported … just 27% oppose such legislation, while 18% are undecided,” said a 2015 poll by Rasmussen Reports.
Trump and the GOP Senate leaders need to win those Democratic votes because the GOP only holds 52 seats in the Senate. Democrats can block the legislation if they can stop the GOP from gathering 60 Senators’ votes to end debate and force a decisive up-or-down vote on the proposed law.
The potential targets for GOP political pressure include Angus King, Maine, Martin Heinrich, N.M., Amy Klobuchar, Minn., Debbie Stabenow, Mich. Chris Murphy Conn., Tom Carper, Del., Sheldon Whitehouse, R.I., Tim Kaine, Va., Maria Cantwell, Wash., and Tammy Baldwin, Wisc.
Immigration-reform advocates are also pushing Americans to pressure Democrats and Republicans. Bob Dane, the executive director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, urged voters to pressure Democrats and Republicans for pro-American immigration policies. “The most important thing [for voters] is to remind their lawmakers — and they need to do it now — that they support the president’s agenda … Call your lawmakers — and use honey, not vinegar — get involved in local [reform] groups, hold your lawmakers accountable for how much of the Trump agenda they have moved forward,” he told Breitbart.
But pro-diversity progressives are also trying to punish Democrats who vote for immigration enforcement.
If your Democratic Rep is on this list, you need to call them & tell them that racist, fearmongering attacks on immigrants are unacceptable. https://t.co/xfjRaaYCxN
— Leah Greenberg (@Leahgreenb) June 30, 2017
The 24 Democrats who backed Kate’s Law are mostly from moderate districts in blue and red states. Many are relative moderates, such as Rep. Jim Cooper in Tennessee and Rep. Henry Cuellar in Texas. Others are far-left, including California’s Rep. Jackie Speier. The list includes:
Matt Cartwright from Pennsylvania, Jim Cooper from Tennessee, Henry Cuellar from Texas, Val Demings, from Florida, Ron Kind from Wisconsin, Patrick Murphy Florida, Charlie Crist from Florida, Tom O’Halleran, Arizona, Krysten Sinema, Arizona, Joe Courtney from Conn., Peter DeFazio from Oregon, Elizabeth Esty, Conn., Josh Gottheimer, N.J. Brian Higgins, N.Y., Ann McLane Kuster, from N.H., James Langevin, R.I., John Larson, Conn., Dan Lipinski, Illinois, Bill Keating from Massachusetts, Steven Lynch, Massachusetts, Dutch Ruppersberger, Md., Collin Peterson, Minn., Jackie Speier, Ca., and Eric Swalwell, Ca.
Only three Democrats voted for the “No Sanctuary for Criminals Act,” which also passed Thursday. They were Cuellar, Peterson, and Cartwright. The sanctuary bill allows the federal government to withdraw several categories of funds from jurisdictions which hinder the enforcement of immigration law.
In contrast, only one Republican — Michigan’s Justin Amash — voted against Kate’s bill, highlighting the Republican solidarity behind the bill aimed at illegal immigration.
GOP leaders want to push the bill through the Senate, and then follow up with additional reforms, including the Davis-Oliver bill and a law requiring companies to identify and exclude illegal aliens when hiring people