The Senate immigration reform bill may appear to be on the back-burner for now, but when it creeps back up we owe the nation an honest discussion. The concerns surrounding the rule of law and border security are valid, but they are not honest, nor are they central.
Ironically, it is the Republican Party that has fractured on the issue of immigration, and the fracture is three-fold, not two. Senator Marco Rubio R-FL is at the head of the pro Gang of Eight Senate immigration reform bill. Senator Rand Paul R-KY authored an amendment that actually fixes the problem, and of course, there are conservatives who would never support immigration reform, at all.
But what is at the core of the opposition’s contention. This, too, is a three-fold argument. As Senator Rand Paul has noted, the Senate immigration reform bill will not actually fix the problem of illegal immigration or the issue of overstayed visas, whatsoever. If you are pro-solution, then you have to side with Senator Paul. As an extension of this argument, and it was addressed in the Paul amendment that the Senate junked, many constituencies in the Democratic Party are opposed to immigration reform, because it is simply not in their interests to allow millions of new workers to compete with them for jobs.
It is oft-ignored by the mainstream media that now-pro immigration Barack Obama tanked the effort under President Bush because he was in the pocket of the labor unions, who consequentially, are bankrupting his state as they did to Detroit. Chicago and many other major blue cities are next. The unions are joined with the Black Leadership Alliance and other black leaders who are not in favor of selling out their people, who have disproportionately been affected by the Obama economy. They were one of many groups who allied with the Tea Party to organize the DC March For Jobs demonstration that the mainstream media also ignored.
Then there are the Tea Party groups themselves, and they do in fact represent the mainstream opposition to the Senate immigration reform bill, or rather any bill that holds to the Senate’s agreed upon principles. As argued in the video below, CATO has positioned themselves with the Senate bill in principle, which even Miron admitted is flawed. Jeffrey A. Miron, a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Economics at Harvard University wrote:
Beyond these considerations, Tea Party opposition to a path has the distinct air of self-interest; these politicians fear that new immigrants-turned-citizens will vote for Democrats. That fear is reasonable (especially if the Republican Party continues to treat immigrants with disdain), and it is one reason liberals support a path. But political implications should be irrelevant to choosing the right policy.
But addressing the difficulties entailed with the pathway to citizenship misses the point, although it is true that the only realistic choice “is between the status quo and a path of some kind.”
Democrats cheat on Election Day, a lot. The biggest fear, which is held by a vast majority of Americans, is that we will instantly enfranchise millions more immigrants who do not accept the American identity. With now-president Barack Obama choosing which laws he wishes to enforce, and a potential soon-to-be president Hillary Clinton who is sure to have the same reckless disrespect for the rule of law, this is an unacceptable prospect. Of course, it will mean that naturalized citizens will vote for the party that has contempt for the country’s founding principles, the Democrats. Pew Hispanic Center found that 54% of all illegal immigrants – overwhelmingly Mexican – favor the Democratic Party, while just 19% identify with the Republican Party.
None of the aforementioned details surrounding the pathway to citizenship or border security truly matter to these considerations. And they have good grounds to be concerned. Only 46% of Hispanic immigrants eligible to naturalize (become citizens) have, compared with 71% percent of all immigrants who are not Hispanic and are eligible to naturalize. The naturalization rate is particularly low among the largest group of Hispanic immigrants – Mexicans – among whom just 36% have naturalized. Looking at these numbers, one is hard-pressed not to accept the argument they have not come to America to assimilate with the American identity, they come for personal gain. At a time when our nation is long on selfishness and short on virtue, and we drown in debt due to idleness and disparity, it would not be wise to walk this path.
The inconvenient, and frankly disturbing truth, is that most Hispanic adults – not even immigrants, but adults – have no interest in the American identity. A majority (51%) say they most often identify themselves by their family’s country of origin, while just 24% say they prefer a pan-ethnic label. As disturbing as these numbers are, it is actually worse than it appears.
The survey also finds Hispanics are divided about the degree to which they feel a common identity with other Americans. Some 47% say they think of themselves as “a typical American” while an identical share say they think of themselves as “very different” from a typical American. These responses vary sharply by immigrant status. Among foreign-born Hispanics, 34% think of themselves as a “typical American,” but among the native born, 66% do.
What exactly is a “typical American”? The mere fact that Pew Hispanic Center even words this question as such underscores a lack of understanding in America. We are all atypical, which makes us a “typical American,” but we share one characteristic – a national identity. That identity displays a strong distrust of government, self-sufficiency, personal responsibility, community-based civic duty and so on. There is, however, a great deal of evidence that Hispanics trend further from the Democratic Party and closer to the American identity as generations pass, which is why the Democrats will never keep their promise to secure the border.
Whether or not we will be subject to waves of anti-American immigration from leftist Latino countries is certainly a valid concern to have. I wrote an entire book about the very real collectivist attack on the American identity, which evolved from the Protestant ethic among other ideologies that were no longer welcome in despotic Europe. But we have to drop the false pretenses or we will pay for it. Jeffrey Miron wrote one sentence that we should all heed the warning:
The public is not stupid; voters understand the game that Tea Party politicians are playing, and voters will eventually punish these politicians at the ballot box. So the House Tea Partiers are buying only a temporary respite with their cynical tactics.
Furthermore, in their opposition, many “conservatives” have completely betrayed the principles they claim to believe in. E-Verify and border security measures will feed big government in an era when the NSA and IRS are running tyrannically across the nation. E-Verify will also indirectly increase crime, as rehabilitated drug offenders and criminals who have already paid their debt to society will find it impossible to obtain gainful employment. What do you suppose they will do to feed their families and keep the lights on? Would it not be more efficient to push for voter id laws in connection with any bill surrounding immigration reform?
Opposing the Senate immigration reform bill does not necessarily insinuate that we are anti-immigration reform or anti-Hispanic in the least, but we lose all our credibility when we substitute ideological principles for bogus arguments couched in phony concerns about the rule of law.
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