In a Washington Times op-ed, Linda Chavez calls the defeat of the immigration bill a "Pyrrhic victory" for conservatives:
Our borders will be less secure, not more. Employers who want to do the right thing and only hire legal workers won't have the tools to do so. The 12 million illegal aliens here now will continue to live in the shadows, making them less likely to cooperate with law enforcement to report crimes and less likely to pay their full share of taxes. In other words, the mess we created by an outdated and ill-conceived immigration policy 20 years ago will just get worse.Chavez, whose heresies on the immigration issue have helped draw out some of the vicious racism of the Republican base, warns that Democrats will be planning to revisit the issue in 2009, with what could be expanded control over both the legislative and executive branches. And she thinks they'll be right to do so, given the myriad contradictions and failures of current immigration policy.
But you won't hear this if you tune in to talk radio over the next few days or read conservative blogs. There will be lots of gloating over having killed "amnesty." There will be claims that senators finally "listened to the people." And, no doubt, some conservatives will be emboldened to consider the next step in their war against illegal immigration, namely to deport those now here illegally.