Jim Rutenberg nabs a front-page byline in Friday's New York Times with his news analysis, “G.O.P. Draws Line in Border,” in which he pits “compassionate” conservatives like Bush who favor some form of amnesty for illegal immigrants against those “doctrinaire” meanies who actually want to enforce and strengthen America's border and immigration laws.
“The negotiations between the White House and Congress that will follow the Senate's passage on Thursday of an immigration bill could decide not just how the nation confronts illegal immigration but also what strain of conservatism the Republican Party carries into the midterm elections and beyond.
“Will it be the compassionate brand Mr. Bush considers crucial to the party's future, in this case by signaling support for a provision in the Senate bill that would give most illegal immigrants an opportunity to become legal? Or will it be the more doctrinaire variety embraced by much of Mr. Bush's party in the House, one that shuns anything that smacks of amnesty for illegal immigrants and seeks to criminalize them further?”
The Times again portrays the anti-illegal immigration side as conservative and quick to anger: “But as of now all indications are that once the negotiators move from the border security measures that both sides can support to guest worker and citizenship provisions that conservative House members oppose, they will hit a wall.
“And it is unclear how much Mr. Bush, with the lowest approval ratings of his presidency, will be able to prevail upon hard-liners who face tough campaigns this fall. Though Mr. Bush's allies argue that those most vocally opposed to anything beyond border security are in the minority of the party -- and indeed the country -- they matter especially in elections. And they are angry."
“The Senate easily passed legislation on Thursday that would give most illegal immigrants a chance to become American citizens. But the vote did little to soften opposition to the measure among House conservatives, and Republican leaders acknowledged that delivering a final bill to President Bush's desk would be enormously difficult.”
Swarns makes three other references to House conservatives in her article, but finds no liberals. Not even the left-wing Hispanic activist group National Council of La Raza, whose spokesman is quoted in the story, is called liberal but is given the glowing description “Latino civil rights group.”
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