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Press conference
C-SPAN 2 coverage of Secure Borders Coalition
Don Feder, Alan Keyes, Howard Phillips, Phyllis Schlafly, Richard Viguerie, et al
June 28, 2006

DON FEDER: . . . the Senate bill S2611, the Pence Bill or any other such proposals. The Heritage Foundation estimates the Senate bill will bring in at least 60 million foreigners during the next twenty years.

If the demographics of a so-called temporary workers are similar to those of illegal aliens already here, more than half will be high school drop outs. They will work low paying jobs that require payment of little or no income tax. They will be 50% more likely to receive government benefits than those in non-immigrant households. And 42% of their children will be born out of wedlock, but all their children born in the United States will automatically become American citizens.

The cost of Senate amnesty for illegal immigrants alone would be $50 billion a year for entitlements, including Medicaid, Social Security, supplementary security income, earned income tax credit, cash handouts as much as $4,400 a year to low wage households, the WIC program, food stamps, public housing, temporary assistance to needy families, and the federally funded legal representation. Any amnesty would move America toward a future like France, which is staggering under the burden of "guest workers who never went home."

The Senate proposal has three main features which together will cause the illegal immigration problem to reach critical mass.

  1. Amnesty. The proposal grants legalization to 85% of the nation's current illegal aliens. The Senate bill repeats the mistakes Simpson/ Mazzoli amnesty bill of 1986. It also provides an amnesty for employers who have hired illegal immigrants.

  2. Permanent "temporary workers." The proposal sets up a so-called (again in quotation marks) "temporary guest worker plan for individuals who will be here neither temporarily nor as guests." The so-called guest workers will be given new H2C visas that they can convert to legal permanent status with green cards. After five years, they will be eligible to become U.S. citizens. In the first year this scheme is in effect, the United States will import 200,000 new foreigners on H2C visas.

  3. Family chain migration. The number of immigrants will accelerate as family chain migration allows more new residents to bring in more and more relatives. The H2Cers can immediately bring in their family members on H4 visas without any health requirements, and they will also get permanent legal residence and citizenship. After the so-called temporary workers and their spouses become citizens, they can bring in their parents as permanent residents on the path to citizenship. Although the parents have never paid into Social Security, they will be eligible for Medicaid and supplemental security income benefits. Siblings and adult children and their families will be given preference in future admissions. In addition, the Senate bill gives so-called temporary workers preferences that American citizens do not enjoy. They can't be fired from their jobs, except for cause. They will be paid the prevailing wage. They can't be arrested for other civil offenses if they are stopped for traffic violations. Also, these illegal aliens are forgiven two years in back taxes, something the IRS would never do for an American citizen. The Senate bill grants in state college tuition, something that is denied to U.S. citizens in 49 other states, plus certain types college financial assistance to illegal immigrants. As minorities, they may even get affirmative action, preferences in jobs, government contracts, and college admissions.

Even more outrageous, the Senate bill cedes American sovereignty by requiring the United States to consult with the Mexican government before building a border fence. The so-called compromise proposed by Rep. Mike Pence would place no limit whatsoever on the number of foreign workers who could be imported by U.S. employers from any country, anywhere in the world.

By flooding this country with so immigrants, legal and illegal, controlling immigration will become impossible, and by dumping that burden on to an already overburdened system of government benefits, these proposals are a threat to the future of the United States. They must be defeated. Therefore, passing no bill is better than passing any new amnesty legalization, guest worker, or foreign worker program of any kind.

We call for enforcement now. We favor a policy of attrition of illegal population through strong enforcement of our nation's immigration laws, which includes, first and foremost, the securing of our borders. We call on both houses of congress to heed the American people and reject the Senate bill, the Pence bill, or any other bill that provides legalization of illegal aliens or substantial increases in legal immigration.

We call on the House leadership to refuse to appoint members to a conference committee for the Senate bill. If any such bill is enacted, including the Senate bill, or the Pence plan, we pledge to withholding political support from any member of Congress who votes for it.

Finally, we dedicate ourselves to defeating any 2008 presidential candidate, who supports the Senate bill, the Pence bill, or any other bill that provides legalization of illegal aliens or substantially increases legal immigration. We pledge to do so regardless of political party in both the primaries and the general election.

And I'm not going to bother reading the signers. They're all here. You can pick up a copies of the Declaration, if you don't have them.

I'll ask you to please hold your questions until everyone has spoken. I'm going to begin by introducing Alan Keyes of the Declaration Foundation to give a brief overview of the immigration problem.

Alan . . .

KEYES: I think as we consider the present situation, especially as regards the Senate bill and other congressional action, we have to remember that we didn't get into this by accident.

All of this legislation is aimed at addressing a mess that our politicians have, in fact, contributed to and created, either by their incompetence or by their willful neglect of the need to secure America's borders and enforce the immigration laws that are already on the books. Looking the other way has resulted in a population of millions of illegal immigrants--so many, in fact, that nobody quite knows how many. The estimates are all over the map. And you know you have a problem that's out of control when you don't even know how far out of control it is.

Now, what some of these politicians would like is that the American people should obsess about solving the mess they've created, rather than ask themselves the simple question why we are in this mess in the first place. That question has to be asked and answered and dealt with, because at the root of the problem is, I think, a willful neglect by our political leaders.

So, what is the common sense of the American people? The understanding that you don't really have a nation if you can't define it's borders. That you don't understand where the authority of the country extends, if you cannot define its territory, and that no such definition holds water unless you are in control of your borders.

When the President of the United States looks the American people in the eye, as he did in his speech on this subject, and declares that we are not in control of our borders, he is confessing a degree of incompetence that amounts to dereliction of duty--to the neglect of his oath and his responsibility as the leader of the federal government to deal with what no one--conservative, liberal, this party, that party--nobody denies that it is federal government's responsibility to secure our borders and to ensure their integrity.

That means . . . and this, I think, reflects the overwhelming consensus that's out there in the surveys and everything else people do amongst the American people . . . it means that the first order of business is to secure the borders, to remedy this dereliction, to get back in control of the situation.

I think most of our people understand simple consequence of rationality and common sense. If you can't enforce your laws, then you don't have laws. And you can't enforce immigration laws, if you cannot control who is coming into this country.

The Senate, the House of Representatives can write any terms they want into law, can create any new visas they like. Nothing matters that's put on a piece of paper, if the terms required by our law cannot be enforced and we allow people to continue coming across casually on their own terms.

And that's why I think the American people are clear in resoundingly believing that we must put border security first, that we must get back control before anything else can be dealt with or discussed, because nothing else has any meaning, unless that control has been established.

Now, there are some politicians who would like us to accept the notion that, well, let's do it all at once. It seems to be the President's approach. But that neglects the fact that the present crisis is not just a crisis of immigration as they'd like us to believe. It's not even just a crisis of border security. It's a crisis of confidence in the national leadership of this country. They have gotten us into this situation. They have failed to do their job. They have failed to do their job. They have failed to enforce the law. They have failed to protect the national security of this country by leaving our border open to the south almost completely in the midst of a time when we are told that we are threatened all about the world by terrorists bent on destroying our lives. We are told folks come with an aspiration to seek a better life, and we're supposed to neglect the fact that we live in an era when others will come to take our lives.

That kind of neglect means that we cannot trust these leaders. We cannot take their word that they're going to do in the future what they have not done up to now. And that means that for the American people to be reassured on this point, we must see the results. We must see established effective control of our borders before anything else is discussed or done.

And that is essentially what the folks who are signing on to this declaration hold in common. There are probably a range of views on what might be the ultimate way of approaching the immigrant population already in the United States, but I think everyone understands that without control that consists of the necessary physical and other resources on the border and a will to enforce the law in the interior of country that will be enforced at every level of government--without those two things--nothing else can be trusted and nothing else, in fact, represents anything but a phony and delusory, false promise to the American people.

So, I think that that emphasis is what's in the Declaration. It's what's clearly on the hearts of the American people, and it is what we believe is required by the national interest of our country.

One final point. I think you'll see in the list of signers are folks who represent--yes, there are conservative leaders, but it's not a partisan movement. There are people who are Republicans and others as well, and I think that that's because, at the end of the day, this is not about party. It is not about this or that ideology. It's actually about what we should understand it to be: the need to protect the national identity of our country and to stand together as Americans in order to establish that which is, in fact, the prerequisite of our unity and our survival as a people.

FEDER: Phyllis Schlafly of the Eagle Forum is going to present a brief critique of what's called the Pence Plan.

SCHLAFLY: Thank you, Don, and good morning.

I know that the American people are waking up to how bad the Kennedy / McCain Senate Bill is. We hear a great deal of talk about we have to have compromise. We have to have a comprehensive bill.

The American people are not willing to be cheated on this. We've been down that trail before with the Simpson / Mazzoli Bill in 1986. That was a comprehensive bill, and we got the amnesty, but we did not get the border security. And so the people who peddle a comprehensive or compromise bill are simply not credible today.

One of these bills that is presented is by Congressman Mike Pence, and when you look at it, it is as every bit as bad as the Kennedy / McCain Senate Bill and in some respects it is even worse! The Pence Bill would call for the setting up of what is called Ellis Island Centers anywhere in the world. What a cutesy name! And these centers would be run by private industry, and that's an appeal to the free market people. Obviously, the private industry would be more efficient in bringing in cheap labor for the rest of the world. It's really like putting the fox in charge of the chicken coop, because they have a self-interest in bringing in all the [...] they can. So, yes indeed, these centers might be more efficient than an government office. They can be anywhere in the world, but the important thing is that the Pence told the Wall Street Journal that there will be no cap on the number who can get these visas and come in. Now, that's even worse than the Kennedy / McCain Bill which tried to put some kind of a limit on it. No cap.

Do you know how many people there are in the world who would like to come to the United States? Maybe 5 billion? The [Pew] Research said that there were 47 million Mexicans who would like to come to the United States, and these Ellis Island Centers could be set up anywhere. For example, corporations could set up one in India and bring in the engineers and the computer techies to take jobs away from Americans. They could bring them in by the hundreds of thousands and completely bypass the so-called H1B limits that we have at the present time. They've been wanting to do that all the time.

Then, the Pence Bill has a provision for dealing with amnesty, and again he doesn't call it amnesty. We would call it amnesty-like. But he's trying to get away from that by saying that illegals who are in the country now can make a quick trip across the border, get a new W visa, and then be able to come right back, and they can all do it and all be processed within a week. Well, we'll believe that when we see it, but at any rate, it is certainly one form of amnesty.

Now, these guest workers who come in will be able to stay in this country for six years, and then the Pence plan says they must choose whether they want to be on the track for citizenship or whether they want to go home. Now, six years--that's plenty of time to have a baby or two or three and establish your family chain reaction. And what if they don't choose? What if they decide just to remain and not make either chose? Well, we're back to the same problem. Is Mr. Pence going to hire buses to deport them at that time?

The whole plan is unworkable. The whole idea of a guest worker plan is really immoral, because it's trying to build a subordinate class in our society, even if it worked. And that's not America. We want people to come to this country who want to be 100% Americans and rise and live the American dream. We don't want this class of cheap labor and anybody who talks about having a free market with the rest of world is really talking about making American workers compete with people who work for $.50 an hour.

The administration and people who are pushing these comprehensive bills have absolutely no credibility. They really want to pretend that they are going to give border security with pie-in-the-sky promises, but we want a fence, we want all the technology, and we want the employment verification.

We want to close the border before we talk about anything else.

FEDER: Thank you, Phyllis. Howard Phillips with the Conservative Caucus. Now, Howard is going to address the Senate bill.

PHILLIPS: Thank you, Don. If there's one person who deserves praise and appreciation in the debate, it's Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, who has produced a piece of legislation far superior to that of the Senate bill.

In critiquing the Senate bill, I can do no better than to refer to some of the observations make by Chairman Sensenbrenner.

He says:

  1. We need to secure the border to cut off the attraction of cheap jobs in the United States.

  2. The Simpson / Mazzoli bill failed because the employer sanctions were never enforced.

  3. It's always cheaper to hire an illegal immigrant than it is to hire a U.S. citizen or someone who is legally here with a green card.

  4. Amnesty is wrong, because amnesty rewards someone for illegal behavior. And, observes Chairman Sensenbrenner, the system that has been set up in the Senate will also result in gross document fraud, because if someone can prove they've been here legally for five years, then they can get the reward of citizenship by doing a few a things and paying some fines."

  5. Ronald Reagan was honest when he called the legalization procedure, under Simpson / Mazzoli, amnesty. What's going on now in calling it a pathway to citizenship or earned legalization is not honest, because it is amnesty.

  6. The mistake of Simpson / Mazzoli was that amnesty was offered and employer sanctions were never enforced, and because employer sanctions were never enforced, only a third of those eligible for amnesty bothered to sign up, because they feared they would lose their jobs by pricing themselves out of the market by legalizing themselves.

  7. The amnesty provisions in the Senate bill are almost a carbon copy of the Simpson / Mazzoli.

  8. We have employers who have been breaking the law by hiring illegal immigrants. Under the Senate bill, the Bush / Kennedy / McCain bill, they get amnesty. So we have amnesty for employers as well as for illegals, and the employers broke the law every much as have illegal aliens.

  9. More and more illegal immigrants are displacing American workers because in many cases the illegal immigrants are paid in cash. They work for less. In some cases, the social security and state and local taxes have not been taken out. This is another example of law breaking. So, an industry or company that is dependant upon illegal workers is lowering its labor costs by 30% to 40%. It's not true that there are certain jobs that Americans will not do. Americans will do and have done any job, as long as they are paid properly, but when they're in competition with people who are not recorded for social security taxes, who do not pay other taxes, whose employers don't pay those taxes and who work for less than Americans need to receive, then they are being priced out of the market by illegals.

Congressman Sensenbrenner points out that the Chamber of Commerce is adamantly opposed to checking out existing employees, but if we don't check out existing employees, then an illegal immigrant currently in the country can't change jobs. Because if they move jobs, they get checked out and they would get caught. That establishes a defacto program of slavery, indentured servitude for people who are illegally in the country in their existing jobs.

Now, here's an aspect of the Senate bill, which is particularly troubling to me, is one who for many years who has opposed the left-wing activism of legal services lawyers, who were as far back as the 1960's, were trying to get illegal aliens to vote in elections in California. Under the Senate bill, every illegal alien has access to a federally funded lawyer, and at the same time . . . and more money will be authorized to hire more of these federally funded activists.

It hasn't been widely reported but many of the demonstrations where Mexican flags were waved and where there were protests made against the United States of America were organized by groups, including some legal services groups, which are funded by the taxpayer. For instance, the National Council of La Raza, according to a Form 990, filed with the federal government in the year 2003, received some $4.5 million in government subsidies. So, one of the things that we need to do, and would not be helped by the Senate bill, is cut off the money going to these entities that are supporting the Aztlan movement, supporting all kinds of radical political activity against the best interest of the United States.

With border controls and the enforcement of employer sanctions, jobs for illegal immigrants will dry up. And if you can't get a job, because employer sanctions are enforced, a great many of the illegal immigrants will simply go back home voluntarily, because if they came here for the money, that money will not be there.

And let me also say, in conclusion, that this is not just an issue about amnesty or immigration, it's a drug enforcement and national security issue. There are figures indicating that 85% of the illegal drugs on the streets of Chicago that are sold by gangs come across the southwestern border. We've heard reports of people from a variety of countries, not just Mexico, coming across that open border.

So the key is to support the kinds of principles incorporated in the House bill and to oppose vehemently the tragic blunders that are incorporated in the Bush / Kennedy / McCain Senate bill.

FEDER: Thank you, Howard. Our next speaker is Richard Viguerie with, who will talk about the enforcement section of the Declaration, the teeth, if you will.

VIGUERIE: Good morning. This coalition of conservative leaders has been formed to help provide much needed leadership in an area where citizens feel that they have been abandoned by both the Republican and Democratic politicians who are driven primarily by seeking votes from Hispanics.

And we share with most Americans their frustration and anger at the Washington politicians who are anxious to please their wealthy and big business donors who want cheap labor.

The conservative leaders who have signed this Declaration pledge to the American people who feel abandoned by their elected officials that we will provide the leadership to protect our country from those who have violated their oath of office to uphold the Constitution and enforce our country's laws.

The people have tuned out the Washington political leaders. They no longer believe them nor trust them. So, when the politicians promise border security combined with amnesty for illegal aliens, the people, the voters correctly smell a trick.

After the 4th of July, we will begin the process of circulating and publicizing this Declaration to millions of grassroots activists through the internet, faxes, magazines, newsletters, talk radio, and cable television.

Most of the conservative leaders who have signed this Declaration have been associated with the Republican Party. However, from this day forward, we pledge and commit ourselves to withhold support from any member of, or candidate for Congress, Democrat or Republican, who supports the cause of amnesty for illegal immigrants through the Senate Bill or the Pence Plan.

Regardless of how much we agree with a candidate on any other issue, we cannot support them if the Senate Bill or the Pence Plan is enacted. If we continue to ignore border security, or grant amnesty to 10 million illegal aliens and gain 66 million new immigrants, we will lose the America we now know and all other issues of importance to us will disappear.

And finally, we dedicate ourselves to defeating any 2008 presidential candidate who supports the Senate Bill, the Pence Plan, or any other bill that provides legalization of illegal aliens or substantial increases in legal immigration. We pledge to do so regardless of political party, in both the primaries and the general election.

Woe to the politician, Republican or Democrat, who doesn't hear the people in the summer of 2006, because the bell will toll for them this November and in 2008.

Thank you.

FEDER: Well, thank you Richard. Before we take questions from the media--and the questions, by the way, will be limited to members of the media--I'd like signers of the Declaration or their representatives to come forward, so we can introduce them to you. Any signers in the audience? Signers or their representatives please come forward. And I'll ask you to introduce yourself just with your name and your organization, because we have to be out of here by 11:00.

Bill Hawkins with the U.S. Business and Industry Council
Jim Edwards, Consultant to Numbers U.S.A.
Joan [Hueter], American Council for Immigration Reform
Colin Hannah from Let Freedom Ring, which also sponsors the project We Need a
Marcus [...] from Key American Political Action Committee
George Taplin, representing Chris Simcox with the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps
Deborah Weiss for Bill Greene from Right
Jim [Bolay], English First
I'm Ken Snyder with the Liberty Committee

FEDER: Anyone else? Thank you ladies and gentlemen.

Let me make an observation. I promised myself I wouldn't speak today, but act as the moderator. But, as all of you know, the flag burning amendment failed in the Senate yesterday by one vote, and I think that was tragic. But I have to say that as much as I love Old Glory, what matters to me more is the fact that the Senate is trying to burn down America.

Well, questions. And again questions limited to members of the media. Please identify yourself, your organization. Your questions can be directed to a specific speaker this morning or just a general question that I'll direct to one of the speakers.

Yes, any questions? Sir.

GENTLEMAN 1: I'm Frank [...] with National Journal. I was hoping to get folks comments on the Utah election yesterday and what that means for the [...] of the immigration issue in the [..]

FEDER: Alan . . . Alan I think you'll have to come up here, so we can get you on sound for people at home.

KEYES: I think what was fascinating about the Utah election was that by the time it got down to the voting that, if you asked either of the folks who were the sort of major parties on the Republican side whether they favored amnesty, both of them would have said, "No." And if you had asked them whether they thought that we, first and foremost, have to get border security before anything else, both of them would have said, "Yes." And I think that that's the clearest indication of where even the politicians believe the people of this country are going, and you can see it in various ways all over the country.

So, I think what has been established is that whether folks are telling the truth or lying, especially in Republican ranks, everybody now knows that you must stand up and look like you're against amnesty and for border security, and that the real question is going to be, "Who's for real?" Whether we're going to accept phony amnesty programs dressed up as something else, whether we're really going to get border enforcement, or whether we're going to see more folks who will simply say what they think they have to say to win an election and do what they please thereafter, even if it destroys the country.

But I think that was the clear message that was in evidence by the time the Utah campaign was over, and it shows that this issue has come a long way, because I think Chris Cannon in his last advertisements was a long cry from standing up and saying, "Well, in Utah, we don't make a distinction between legal and illegal immigrants." I think he repented of that statement and did not repeat it before this most recent election. I doubt we'll hear it again before November.

PHILLIPS: This is Howard Phillips. One brief comment. The real election in Utah will occur in November, and there is a third party candidate for the Constitution Party, Jim Noorlander, who has been an outspoken leader against amnesty, against the guest worker program, and I'm sure he'll keep Mr. Cannon on his toes with respect to this issue.

FEDER: Thank you, Howard. Other questions? Uh, the gentleman in the back row. What is your . . . I'm . . . . yes, you sir. What is . . .

GENTLEMAN: I was involved [...] with the Cannon campaign. I'd just like to make a quick comment on that.

FEDER: Are you with the media:


FEDER: Then, no. I'm sorry we're limiting the questions to members of the media. Any other questions from members of the media? The gentleman in back.

GENTLEMAN 2: I'm [...]. As you look to the midterm elections, what would you say are your top priorities in terms of where you want a victory the most?

FEDER: Would anyone on the panel care to field the question? In the midterm elections, where are most interested in victories?

VIGUERIE: Well, I think it's premature . . .

FEDER: Richard, I think you'll have to come up to the podium, so that the microphones will pick you up.

VIGUERIE: [laughter] I feel that I've got the body of a 40 year old, but the right knee of a 90 year old.

Ah, I think it's premature right now. The Declaration talks in terms of we will withhold support, if the Senate Bill or the Pence Plan moves forward and is enacted. And our purpose here is to add our voice to the voices of millions of other Americans that we want only talk, only address border security now. Nothing else. And let's see how it plays out this summer in terms of: did our elected officials get the message? And then come Labor Day, we'll see where the political landscape lies, and make our decisions in terms of the election at that point. But it's premature at this point. And we just . . . hopefully, this coalition along with the voice of millions of other Americans will resonate with the politicians and they will do what the American people want, which is secure the borders.

And by the way, it would be nice to have some additional legislation, but it's not needed. The legislation is on the books to secure our borders, and we don't need new commissions or new plans or new studies or new legislation to enforce the borders.

FEDER: Thank you, Richard. Phyllis Schlafly.

SCHLAFLY: I'll just add to that. 88% of the Republicans in the House voted for the Sensenbrenner border security-only bill. And I think they'll do quite well. I'm optimistic about that, and we encourage them to stand firm and not go along with any so-called compromise.

In the Senate, 58% of the Republicans voted "no." Everyone, except one who is up for election this year, on the Republican side, voted "no." I think they're beginning to hear from the grassroots. And so, I am optimistic that if they stand firm on this bill and give us border security-only first before we talk about anything else, that they will do quite well in November.

FEDER: Let me add one thing, if I may. Look at the list of signers of the Declaration. We are the conservative movement. We're the ones who elect Republican candidates. We're the ones who go door to door. We're the ones to make the telephone calls. We're the ones who donate to Republican campaigns. We're the ones who bring out the vote.

Our message to those Republicans who are supporting the Senate Bill or the Pence Plan is "We're not going to support you." You support these atrocities, we will not support you. We don't care what your position is on any other issue, and we know many of you were champions of issues that we care about, but you support this. We won't support you for one simple reason--if we lose America, no other issue matters.

Other questions from the media? Yes, Sir. What organization are you with?

GENTLEMAN 3: I'm Jose [Carrena] with the Mexicans [...] and this is basically a policy question. I'm sorry. I was late, so if I may . . . Does this statement, this movement means do you break up with the Bush administration already? And what is your take, what is your interpretation of the results of the third district of Utah yesterday?

FEDER: Did you want to direct that question to a member . . . of anyone on the panel to answer it?

GENTLEMAN 3: [over talk] most adequate.

FEDER: Let me add one thing. Alan, do you . . . I sorry . . .

SCHLAFLY: We've already answered the Utah question.

FEDER: Okay, the Utah question was essentially answered. Although, let me add something that I think was overlooked. Mr. Cannon, who was identified as the pro-illegal immigration candidate, even though he has disavowed earlier statements, out-spent his opponent by 2 to 1. Also, you have the President cutting commercials for Mr. Cannon. The First Lady of the United States was calling Republican households in the district to bring out the vote. This is an extraordinary effort on the part of the administration to save a Republican congressman.

Yes, Alan. And I think the question Alan is going to address is, "Is this a break with the Bush administration?"

KEYES: I don't think, I don't think anybody who signed the Declaration would differ with me in answering the question as simply, "Yes." The President has pushed for a simultaneous, comprehensive approach. The Declaration states very clearly that border control must come first, and that without it, nothing else is actually anything more than a delusion. If you don't control the borders, you cannot enforce any policy. And so, it doesn't matter what you put on the books.

And so I think that that's clearly a difference, and a fundamental one, in the approach . . . with the approach that the administration is taking and that was taken in the Senate Bill.

And as far as Utah is concerned, I think you may not have been here when we did kind of address that. But a simple, short answer is that both of the major Republican candidates, by the time you got to election day, stated that they were for border security first, and it was clear about that, repeatedly in the commercials and elsewhere the last week and a half or so. And that they were against amnesty. I have to ask you, "Which of them is telling you the truth?" I mean, who knows? But I'll tell you something, as you approach the election in the fall, the fact that you had a primary in which 44 odd percent of the Republicans were strongly for immigration, of course, and it suggests that Chris Cannon is not going to be departing from his disavowal of his past laxity on this issue.

FEDER: By the way, in terms of which way the wind's blowing, I would add that of the 17 House Democrats who are in tight races in the Fall, 14 voted for the House Bill--for border security-only.

Other questions? Yes.

GENTLEMAN 3: Let me [...] I'm sorry. Maybe I didn't frame my question well. But a . . . does this gathering means a clean break up with the Bush administration, not only in the issue of immigration, but in other issues as well?

FEDER: Richard Viguerie will address that.

VIGUERIE: Well, from that question--it's a very good question--every conservative has to answer that themselves. But I don't think there's any question that there's a growing feeling that this president, his administration, and most of the congressional leadership on the Republican side have abandoned the conservatives. It's not that the conservatives have left this president or left the Republican congressional leaders.

I'm coming out with a book in a few weeks called "Conservatives Betrayed." And in this book, I talk about how we do feel betrayed. And what we're saying in here is the first time in my life--and I go back to early 1960's involvement in the national conservative movement--and I have never seen anytime where major conservative leaders have come together and so clearly distanced themselves from a Republican president and Republican congressional leaders. It's so much so that they're prepared to work to defeat them on election day. This is almost historic. We're really frustrated and disappointed--even angry--when this president nominated Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. But we didn't go so far as to say that we were going to oppose electorally those who take a different position.

Something is happening out there. And . . . all we're doing is reflecting the feeling of millions of people. As Don said, we are not an arm of the Republican Party. We are not an adjunct. The conservative cause, the conservative movement is the base of the party. And this president and the congressional leaders, for the most part, have abandoned their base, and they need to get right with their base as soon as they can, if they want to save the remaining years of his presidency.

SCHLAFLY: It's not only that we disagree with the President on this issue; it's that we don't believe him. He doesn't have any credibility. He's had five years to enforce the law--the Simpson / Mazzoli law. And he has let 5 million illegal aliens add to the numbers we already had during his presidency. So, we really have to come to the conclusion that he really doesn't want to close the borders. He hasn't done any of the things that he could have done to fulfill the laws that we have. And when he went to Waco last year and signed the Security and Prosperity Partnership with Canada and Mexico, which calls for free movement of goods, services, and people across the borders of those three countries, and when he went back to Cancun just this Spring and reaffirmed that, we can only believe that he doesn't want to close the borders. And that's why this group says, "We need to have the borders closed." Not just a bill passed. But the borders secure before we talk about dealing with other problems. If you have water in your basement, you need stop new water from coming in, before you start bucketing out what's already there.

FEDER: Coming from Mexico, I'm sure you can sympathize with citizens who don't trust their politicians. [laughter]

By the way, speaking for myself, I admire this president's stand on a number of issues, including his support for human life, his support federal marriage amendment, his stand on the war on terrorism, but for those of us who are here today and those of us who signed the Declaration, this is a deal breaker. Immigration is a deal breaker. That's a message we're sending to the Senate and to the administration.

Other questions? Please.

I think the gentleman in the front row from National Journal, if I'm not mistaken, had a follow-up question.

GENTLEMAN 1: I wanted to ask about the attrition policy, the idea that people will leave if the jobs are denied them. Won't that run into the problem that people already have established families here and have U.S. citizen children, and so they would be unlikely leave because of that?

FEDER: The so-called "anchor babies." Anyone who would like to address that issue? Phyllis Schlafly.

SCHLAFLY: Their babies are also Mexican citizens. They're quite free to take their babies with them.

FEDER: Uh, yes. Other questions? Well, hearing none. I'll thank all of you from the media and others, including the signers of the Declaration and their representatives for being here today. And I would add one thing. We're going to continue with this effort, obviously. This is only the first volley--like Concord at the North Bridge. This is the first volley. This will continue through the election, beyond the election into the 2008 campaign. The 36 names that are on the Declaration are only a beginning. We're raising a standard for the wise and the just to repair to.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming this morning.

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