Howard Fuller Has the Answer for Ferguson...
GOP’s Amnesty Suicide |
November 17, 2012
Republicans are on the verge of committing suicide. In the wake of President
Obama’s re-election, many conservatives are demanding the GOP embrace amnesty
for illegal aliens. The official term is “comprehensive immigration reform.”
Sean Hannity has now “evolved” on the issue. Others, such as Dick Morris and
Charles Krauthammer, are ringing the alarm bells: Get in front on amnesty before
the GOP is swamped by the surging Latino vote. House Speaker John A. Boehner
said last week that comprehensive immigration reform is “long overdue.”
Translation: Beltway Republicans are ready to wave the white flag of surrender.
The pro-amnesty crowd argues that the GOP lost the election because it failed to
court the Hispanic vote. The party’s supposed harsh rhetoric against illegal
aliens is said to have driven millions of Latinos into the Democratic camp. This
supposedly explains why Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney lost Nevada,
Ohio, Iowa and Florida. A more flexible GOP, one embracing immigration reform —
so the argument goes — is the key to a return to national power and electoral
viability. Plus, they stress that ignoring the 12 million to 20 million illegal
immigrants in the country is no longer feasible — this growing subpopulation
must be taken out of the shadows.
The very opposite, however, is true: Granting amnesty is not an option, either
practically or politically. Polls consistently show that a strong majority of
Americans reject providing illegal aliens with a path to citizenship. The reason
is simple: Such a policy would reward criminal behavior. It would eradicate
America’s national sovereignty, telling the world that our borders exist in name
only. Come and stay here long enough, and in big enough numbers, and amnesty is
Moreover, the rule of law would be undermined — shattered. Illegal immigrants
are not “undocumented workers.” They broke our laws to enter America. This is
why amnesty — no matter how it’s dressed up — would inevitably trigger a furious
public backlash. Granting amnesty threatens to further splinter our
Politically, it is disastrous for the GOP. Republicans have been down this
failed road before. In 1986, then-President Reagan passed amnesty for roughly 3
million illegal immigrants. The results? A border fence was never built. The
decision became a magnet, an incentive, for millions more to come. The electoral
benefits redounded not to the GOP but the Democrats. California — once Richard
Nixon and Ronald Reagan country — became solid blue. The Southwest turned
The Republicans are unwilling to confront the stark but sad reality that the
overwhelming majority of Hispanics vote for Democrats because they are the party
of big government. Many Latinos, especially lower-income, lower-skilled ones
rely on public housing, free education, Medicare, the earned income tax credit
and food stamps. Amnesty is not the primary reason most Latinos vote Democratic.
Rather, it is support for the welfare state.
Otherwise, the GOP would be making massive inroads into the Hispanic community.
Following Reagan’s amnesty, George H.W. Bush received fewer Hispanic votes than
the Gipper did. George W. Bush, who championed open borders and comprehensive
immigration reform, barely received 40 percent of the Latino vote. Sen. John
McCain, who spearheaded the push for amnesty in Congress, got just over 30
percent in 2008. Hence, the facts are clear — and damning: Pro-amnesty
Republicans have not and cannot attract massive chunks of the Hispanic
electorate. There is no potential Latino GOP majority — at least for the
foreseeable future. To think otherwise is fantasy masquerading as strategy.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, Mr. Romney did not lose because of his weakness
with Hispanics, blacks, feminists, unions, homosexuals or any other primarily
Democratic constituency. These blocs are part of the liberal coalition.
Mr. Romney lost because he was unable to galvanize the GOP base. He received
nearly 3 million fewer votes than Mr. McCain did in 2008. That difference proved
to be Mr. Obama’s margin of victory. Had Mr. Romney garnered the same popular
vote total as Mr. McCain, the former Massachusetts governor would be
president-elect today. No one would be talking about the Republicans’ supposed
Hispanic problem. Hence, it wasn’t Mr. Romney’s stance on immigration that cost
him the election. Instead, the party establishment put forth a GOP moderate, and
millions of conservatives stayed home.
Amnesty is a poisoned chalice. Republicans drink it at their peril. The issue
will split the GOP in half. Nationalists, such as myself, will leave and join a
third party. Many on the right will follow. Republicans be warned: Comprehensive
immigration reform is the path to oblivion.
Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at The Washington Times and host of “The Kuhner
Report” on AM-680 WRKO (www.wrko.com) in Boston.
Support RightBias with your advertising dollars