John Hawkins- Republicans who support amnesty are like global warming alarmists. They can’t answer the most basic questions about what they believe. Since the Republican Party is now once again considering going to war with itself over amnesty instead of trying to move the ball forward for conservatism, it seems like a good time to ask some of the crucial questions that always seem to be conspicuously ignored because the pro-amnesty side has no answers.
1) How many net votes would the GOP lose if illegal immigrants become citizens? Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney 73% to 27% with Hispanic voters. Given that illegals are poorer, less educated and less law abiding than Hispanic Americans, we’d be VERY lucky to get more than 20% of their votes. So, if there are 12 million illegals, that means Democrats would have 9.6 million new potential voters while the GOP could add 2.4 million, leaving a 7.2 million vote gain for the Democrats. When Mitt Romney lost to Barack Obama by a little less than 5 million votes, how can allowing the Democrats to pad their totals by another 7.2 million potential votes help the GOP?
2) Why don’t Hispanic voters already support the Republican Party since Reagan backed an amnesty in 1986? The only way the GOP could be helped politically by backing amnesty would be if our numbers with Hispanic Americans went through the roof as a result of the policy. Well, guess what? This concept has been tested in the real world. In 1984, Ronald Reagan received 37% of the Hispanic vote. Then, in 1986, he backed a “one-time” amnesty for illegal aliens. The result? In 1988, George Bush received 30% of the Hispanic vote. If the exact same thing happened again with 12 million illegal immigrants, it would be like the crack of doom for the conservative movement.
3) Doesn’t the GOP’s experience with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 suggest Democrats would get all the credit for an amnesty? The Republican Party has ALWAYS been the party of Civil Rights while the Democrats were the party of slavery, the KKK, poll taxes and Jim Crow laws. However, diehard racist Lyndon Johnson backed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for political reasons. Percentage wise, more Republicans in Congress voted for it than Democrats. Yet, who got all the credit? The Democrats. This time around, we also have a Democrat President while percentage wise, Democrats would support amnesty wholeheartedly while the majority of Republicans would oppose it. Why wouldn’t Hispanic Americans rightfully give Democrats credit for the amnesty instead of Republicans?
4) Why do Democrats want to make illegal aliens citizens if it will help Republicans? We’ve often heard that Hispanic Americans are “natural” Republican voters — and maybe they are. It would be nice if someone, make that ANYONE in the Republican Party would abandon gimmicks like amnesty and actually do real, sustained outreach to Hispanic voters to convince them to vote for us. That being said, since 1980, Republican candidates for President have captured somewhere between 21% and 40% of the Hispanic vote. In other words, whether immigration was a hot issue or not, whether the GOP backed amnesty or not, or whether the candidate was Ronald Reagan or Mitt Romney, the Democrats have taken at least 60% of the Hispanic vote. That means what we’re really debating is how many more people we’re going to add to a demographic group that the Democrats are practically guaranteed to win. It only makes sense politically for Democrats to back that policy. Republicans? Now that’s a lot harder to explain.
5) Is making 12 million illegals American citizens good for the country? That may be a quaint, seldom asked question in Washington D.C. these days, but the voters still seem to care about whether policies help or hurt the country. While immigration is certainly good for America, it’s worth asking: Why would we want 12 million illegal manual laborers as American citizens as opposed to legally bringing in more scientists, engineers and computer programmers? At a time when 47% of Americans aren’t paying income taxes, what percentage of these illegals would be contributing more to the tax base than they’d take out in services and welfare programs if they were allowed to become American citizens? Very, very few — after all, don’t the proponents of illegal immigration claim that they’re doing crummy jobs for low pay that Americans just won’t do (Yes, that’s a phony argument, but still…). Furthermore, given how poor the job market is today, does it really make sense to give 12 million foreigners free reign to compete for jobs with American citizens who are desperate for work? Whatever happened to American politicians putting America first? Moreover, if we have a second “one time” amnesty, why wouldn’t we have a third, a fourth, or a fifth? Obviously, the Democrats will want as many amnesties as possible for political purposes and the corrupt businesses that make a killing on illegal immigrant labor while passing on the costs to everyone else will keep pushing their stooges in the GOP to bring in more illegals. All that is aside from the fact that the moment you make 12 million illegals American citizens, both parties will have to pay attention to them. Naturally, the first thing they’re going to want is to legally or illegally bring as many of their fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, cousins and friends as they can to the United States. The first amnesty covered 2 million illegals. This one would be 12 million. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the next one is 20-30 million.
6) Is it worth having a terrible 2014? Typically, incumbents face a “sixth year curse” that’s phenomenal for the opposition. “In nine of the ten sixth-year Congressional elections since 1910, the president’s party has lost seats in the Senate and in the House. The average loss in the Senate has been 8.6 seats and in the House it was 30 seats.” Is it worth putting all that in jeopardy by starting the same sort of interparty war that helped drive George W. Bush’s approval rating down in the twenties? Do you want ugly, amnesty-driven primary challenges all across the country with millions of conservatives staying home because they’re disgusted about being sold out by the Republican Party yet again? No matter how many things the Republican Party does right over the next two years, it’s entirely possible that pursuing amnesty could put the Senate out of reach in 2014. Is it really worth it to give the Democrats their extra 7.2 million votes?
7) Politically, doesn’t it make a lot more sense to take a security first position and do outreach? There’s a reason that even John McCain started claiming he had a security first position on illegal immigration: It’s because it makes perfect sense politically. We have almost universal agreement that the border should be secured. So, why not build the fence, get e-verify or the equivalent working and secure the border first? If the border (and our VISA system) is secure, then we don’t have to worry about more amnesties. If the illegals that are here are locked out of employment, they’ll start to go home. Although it’s highly unlikely that we’d have any sort of real labor shortage driven by illegals, if we do, we could always pass a guest worker program. The end result of all of this would be that the venom would be taken out of the issue. No one would have to worry about whether politicians are telling the truth about securing the border because it would be done. Many of the illegals that are here would self-deport without work and the less illegals that are here, the easier it would be to come to a compromise over giving them some kind of legal status. There’s a world of difference between dealing with 2 million people here illegally as Reagan did and 12 million, like we have today. In the interim, the GOP could start doing something it should have been doing all along, which is Hispanic outreach. Waiting for Hispanic voters to come to the Republican Party hasn’t ever worked and probably never will. It’s time for the GOP to go to the mountain instead of waiting for the mountain to come to us.