The devil is in the details. At least that is what I keep hearing. The announcement from the Senate that the bi–partisan coalition reached a principled agreement on immigration reform sparked a reaction that I must admit, puzzled me.
Ann Coulter wrote a column in which she described the proposal as a “Path to Oblivion” for the GOP. Ann and others claim this proposal is nothing less than total amnesty and cautioned conservatives that we will be sealing our electoral fate. Her alternative is, in essence, to wait until the political pendulum “swings” back to the right.
Wow, that’s profound. I hope you caught on to my sarcasm because I laid it on thick. Even when, and I believe it will, the political sentiment moves back to the conservative movement – 11 million people or more are still here. What is the conservative proposal for this reality?
Ann is half right about one of her claims. The political pendulum is swinging indefinitely. Politico reported that in six months, the Hispanic population in California will equal the white population, and by early next year, should surpass the white population for the first time in the state’s history. California will join New Mexico, a previously reliable Republican state, as one of only two states predominantly Hispanic.
This is the state that gave the GOP their standard – bearer and we will never win it again at this point. Speaking of whom, opponents of the bill continuously reference, to make the case that this will not help the GOP garnish Latino votes. In 1986, President Reagan signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act but this did not result in Republicans as a whole wooing Hispanics in subsequent elections. Why? Because subsequent Republicans were not Ronald Reagan – that’s why.
Even President H.W. Bush’s white vote share decreased in 1988. This is an apple to oranges comparison. However, armed with his plan for “amnesty” and Lionel Sosa to head the Hispanic outreach program, in 1984 Reagan increased his Hispanic vote share to 40%. He famously rebutted Sosa’s claims that they would have to work hard to get to that number by saying, “Hispanics are already Republicans, they just don’t know it.” Sound familiar?
President George W. Bush, who took a similar position, and increased his Hispanic vote share to 44% in his 2004 re-election bid. Perhaps California is always going to be a heavy lift for the GOP, but Bush’s home state of Texas, should be sounding the alarm for the party to get it’s act together within the Hispanic community.
Last week, we reported on The Brenner Brief that Democrats are launching Project Promesa directed at using young Latino voters to help turn the state blue. Folks, if they are as successful in Texas as they have been in similar efforts in my state of Florida, it’s checkmate. I hold no delusions that supporting immigration reform will reverse the gains that Democrats have made within the Hispanic community. But stopping the knee jerk rejection of every proposal that is dear to their hearts is a good start.
I sympathize with the argument against amnesty for the some 11 million illegal immigrants that are already living inside our country. We are a nation of laws and many Hispanics’ first act upon entering our country was to break it, and this cannot be rewarded. If this proposal remains true to it’s principles and the border is secured first, then it will not. In fact, they will pay more money and wait more time than they would had if they followed the existing, albeit broken, law.
But “we”, the GOP, are also the party of our founding principles. Yes, they broke the law. However, as conservatives we believe in a higher law than flawed laws written by flawed politicians. The true law that states natural right is derived not from the government, but from God. We are obligated to consider any reasonable, and I mean reasonable, proposal that allows persons to enjoy their God given right to life, liberty, and property. How could we ask them to support the GOP because they share our faith, if we don’t appear to adhere to the principles of that faith?
Ann and others want you to believe that this will do nothing to help the GOP appeal to the Hispanic community. That observation, if you can call it one, is debunked if you read the argument above and use your God given reason. If immigration seems a bit personal to me, that’s because it is.
My wife, who did more to convince Hispanics in Florida to vote Romney than his campaign, is Hispanic. The solid majority of her family consider themselves Christian and Republican. Many of them voted for Barack Obama. My friend Dave and his mother, who more than once showed me the meaning of community, are both Hispanic. Despite the economic disgust they have for Barack Obama, he got their vote. And so on.
There is no data that you can cite to explain the reason for their decisions. Common sense presents the answer to this question. That is why, if Senator Rubio can ensure that the Democrats do not renege like they always do, I am willing to support him and the plan with minor tweaks. As they say, the devil is in the details. Ok, now I will take your hate mail.