I have some bad news to report: the Arizona-style immigration law that was introduced in Wyoming has died in a House committee.
Rep. Pete Illoway’s bill did not even get a single vote in the “Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee” in the Wyoming House. Republicans constitute 7 out of 9 members of this committee.
The ACLU, Wyoming Contractor’s Association, and the Wyoming, Lodging, & Restaurant Association – the typical pro-amnesty coalition of big business and civil rights organizations – opposed the bill.
The Republican members of this committee seem to think that they could quietly kill this bill, appease their big business friends, and count on the rest of us not catching on and failing to remember when they come up for reelection.
We can’t let that happen.
There are a number of lessons to be learned from this defeat:
(1) Wyoming is a Western state like Idaho and Kansas. The Democratic Party is weak there. Liberals and moderates like to hide out behind the Republican label.
Restrictionist immigration reform has been blocked in Idaho and Kansas in the past by pro-business Republicans. I know of a restrictionist law that passed the Kansas state legislature but failed in reconciliation. These business groups are stronger out West than they are in the South.
(2) Let’s give credit to our enemies. They were on top of the ball on this one.
The pro-amnesty lobby was organized and several pro-business groups testified against this bill. We have public opinion on our side in Wyoming, but racialists and conservatives are not as properly organized, motivated, or financed in Wyoming as we should be.
The exact opposite was true in Mississippi.
(3) The problem is not public opinion.
The polls always show that White Americans support Arizona-style immigration reform. That is even true in Colorado which has much more unfavorable demographics than Wyoming.
(4) The constructive way to respond to this is to get better organized and prepared. We have to close the gap between public opinion and legislative results. This means countering the influence of special interest groups like the human rights and pro-business lobbies.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a blogger in every state of the Union that focused on restrictionist immigration laws in his or her own particular state?
Wouldn’t it be nice if we had people on the ground whose sole job was nothing but social networking and community organizing for restrictionist immigration reform?
We can be much more effective than we are today. It is not a question of man power. This is a question of will power. There are plenty of racialists and conservatives out there who are concerned about immigration, but they really don’t know what they can do to about the issue.
We can ramp up our activist and education efforts.
(5) I don’t like the taste of defeat.
It is inevitable that we are going to win some and lose some. A constructive way to respond to this defeat is to do our part to ensure this doesn’t happen again in other states.
Right now, there are similar bills in Texas, Indiana, Florida, South Dakota, and Utah that are being discussed in the media. You need to know that the same pro-amnesty coalition is working around the clock to defeat them.
You also need to know that there is a better than even chance that some type of restrictionist immigration law is under consideration in your state legislature.
Simply put, you need to be on top of this issue.
(6) As far as this website goes, I regret spending too much of my time fighting with the vanguard who do nothing to solve our problems, and not enough time raising awareness about immigration in the state legislatures this month.
I could have put up a specific post about the Arizona-style immigration law in Wyoming. I have mentioned it on this website in the past, but only in the context of a dozen or so other laws circulating at the state level.
This defeat has inspired me to get back on track.
(7) We have favorable demographics to work with in the Western states.
(8) I know that we have at least two readers from Wyoming who browse this website. You need to know who killed the Arizona-style immigration law in your state.
If you live in Wyoming, I urge you to contact your representatives and give them a piece of your mind:
“Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee”
Thomas Lockhart (R):
Home – (307) 472-4116
Fax – (307) 237-2441
James Byrd (D):
Mike Greear (R):
Work – (307) 347-9801
Cell – (307) 388-3399
Session – (307) 388-3399
Fax – (307) 347-2859
Norine Kasperik (R):
Home – (307) 257-7875
Cell – (307) 689-5939
Session – (307) 689-5939
Glenn Moniz (R):
Home – (307) 745-4711
Cell – (307) 760-1116
Jim Roscoe (D):
Home – (307) 733-5389
Tim Stubson (R):
Work – (307) 234-1000
Dan Zwonwitzer (R):
Cell – (307) 214-7826
David Zwonwitzer (R):
Cell – (307) 630-1955
There will inevitably be vanguardists who come on this website to argue in favor of “rejecting the system” following the defeat of this bill.
This juvenile response will accomplish nothing except ensuring that we lose the next battle in this long war. You don’t see our enemies quiting because they lost in Florida, Maine, Mississippi, and Kentucky. It is always a good idea to take their advice under consideration and respond in exactly the opposite way.
In Congress, Wyoming turned in a solid response to the DREAM Act. Senators Enzi and Barrasso voted against the bill. Rep. Lummis also voted against the DREAM Act in the House. There is nothing stopping us from turning the tables at the state level.
We have favorable conditions to work with.
Instead of taking the advice of losers, I recommend we start imitating winners. The winners in Wyoming (the pro-amnesty lobby) and Mississippi (restrictionists) succeeded by beating the other side in gaming the system.
Mark Potok of the SPLC has a new article at The Huffington Post called “Nativist Laws Wreak Havoc Across the Nation.” The Left and Mark Potok are against the spread of “nativist laws” like the Hazelton Ordinance and Arizona’s SB 1070.
That is the closest reading you can get to “true north” as to what direction we should be taking in the immigration wars.
We lost this round. We can win the next one.