Rovian Immigration Fallacy; There Is No Upside to Amnesty for Illegal Aliens

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), August 18, 2010 | Go to article overview

Rovian Immigration Fallacy; There Is No Upside to Amnesty for Illegal Aliens


Byline: Tom Garcia , SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Throughout his partnership with President George W. Bush, Karl Rove argued that a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens would be a political winner for the Republican Party. His argument, so it went, was that because the so-called Hispanic segment of the population was growing faster than other parts of the body politic, it would be foolish to block amnesty for illegal aliens that those voters wanted. Furthermore, so his logic contended, this growing minority would punish Republicans for not going along with the Democrats' amnesty proposals. In other words, the Republican Party should itself co-opt these proposals for amnesty and make them their own, thereby eroding the Democrats' share of this voting public.

But on what premise is this theory based?

First, it assumes that all U.S. citizens of Hispanic descent favor a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens, whether those aliens come from Malaysia, Ireland, Kosovo, Somalia or Russia. While it obviously is true that the leftist, top-down, unelected leadership of the ethnocentric advocacy organizations La Raza, the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund and the League of United Latin American Citizens, as well as their organized masses of illegal alien street marchers, are boisterous in their clamor for comprehensive immigration reform, it isn't equally clear how many ordinary, everyday U.S. citizens of Hispanic descent share those passions.

Illegal immigration impacts Hispanic-American communities first and foremost, because foreign nationals from south of the border naturally congregate in already-established enclaves. Those communities therefore sustain the brunt of crime; gang infestation; and competition for already scarce jobs, housing, education and social services. While it may be true that some Hispanic-Americans might nurture a solidarity with their more recently arrived ethnic cousins, is this where their own true interests lie? Are their real-world interests associated with the illegal arrival of millions of neighbors from their old countries or with their fellow American citizens, with the old world they left behind or the new society of which they are a part? Isn't the ethnic demagoguery associated with the so-called pathway to citizenship in effect a pathway to Balkanization?

Instead of descending into a competition with Nevada Sen. Harry Reid in a watered-down imitation of liberal Democrats' pandering for the votes of Amnesty-Hispanics, wouldn't it be more prudent as well as more respectful to Hispanic-Americans for the Republican Party to offer a clear alternative, to appeal to their American patriotism and their own real self-interests as U.S. citizens? Why lump the entire Hispanic-American community, with ancestors from a host of Latin American countries, with a diversity of histories, cultures, traditions, languages and interests, into one homogeneous group as if they all marched to the same drummer? How about offering this vibrant cross section of American citizens an option other than blind obedience to La Raza and the Democrats?

Second, Mr. Rove's theory rests on the assumption that newly amnestied voters will remember that the Republican Party helped pave their pathway to citizenship and reward the party with future support. But let's look at the facts. The overwhelming majority of illegal aliens have less than a high school education, and many are not even literate in their own languages. This doesn't mean they aren't good people, but it does mean they are natural recipients of the welfare state. Once they receive citizenship in the United States, will they be more likely to favor the big-government, wealth-transferring, multiculturalist nanny state promised and promoted by the Democrat Party or the smaller-government, self-reliant, lower-taxing, entrepreneurial, assimilative society championed by the Republican Party?

What's more, the tens of millions of newly amnestied citizens legally would be able to bring in their next of kin through chain migration, swelling the overall number to potentially more than 50 million within a decade of the amnesty - constituting a permanent Democratic majority. …

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