Adhere to the Rule of Law on Immigration Policy
Byline: Rep. Lamar Smith, , SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
One of the most important conservative principles is the dedication to the rule of law - that ideal that a nation's laws are necessary for the protection and preservation of its citizens' freedoms. Perhaps nowhere is this conservative ideal more directly under attack than with regard to immigration policy in America.
The attack on the rule of law approaches from three fronts: by the Obama administration, which ignores its responsibility to enforce the nation's laws; by open-borders advocates who push for an all-out moratorium on the enforcement of the laws; and by both the administration and advocates who favor amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants through comprehensive immigration reform.
The great irony is that American freedoms and the rule of law are often the very reason that many illegal immigrants try to come here. They are literally running from nations historically characterized by an absence of the rule of law and toward the freedom that America offers. And while we can sympathize with their desire for freedom, we cannot allow them to break down the very institutions that make America free and a beacon to immigrants from around the world.
So how should conservatives deal with this three-headed monster? And how will our individual commitment to conservative values impact the broader future of conservatism in America?
First, we need to dispense with the false notion that enforcing immigration laws will somehow drive immigrant voters - including Hispanics - away from conservative candidates.
In fact, Hispanics, who make up the largest portion of legal immigrants to America, share many of our conservative values. According to a Pew/Kaiser poll, Hispanic voters are more conservative than non-Hispanics. More than whites, they disapprove of abortion, homosexuality and divorce. Hispanics - both native-born and legal immigrants - also share the fundamental values of patriotism, rule of law, freedom, family, support for small businesses and jobs, and education. …