Opinion: The GOP Needs to Evolve on Immigration - I Did

Friday, February 03, 2012 - 04:36 PM

One of the reasons that Florida’s former governor Jeb Bush has been so reluctant to endorse Mitt Romney, claims The New York Times, is Romney’s hard line on illegal immigration.

The Republican primaries have showcased the GOP’s tortured stance on this issue. From Newt Gingrich’s plan to set up countless local immigration boards to Romney’s claim that illegal immigrants might just “self-deport” and save us all the trouble, Republican candidates have found it hard to appeal to Latinos when their conservative base wants a Berlin Wall on the Mexican border and 10 million people deported.

I used to be one of those people. It used to bother me that some foreigners came here, never bothered to learn English or to assimilate and then proceeded to use our public services for free.

That still bothers me, to be honest.

But Republicans have to be practical. There’d be no support for deportation after one shot of grandma being hauled off a police car ran in The New York Times.

If we want to at least be competitive for the Latino vote, it makes more sense to highlight immigrants’ contributions. Countless small businesses are immigrant-owned. And millions of illegal immigrants have paid income tax according to the IRS. The GOP should talk more about that kind of entrepreneurship and acknowledge illegal immigrants who manage to hold down jobs and contribute to Uncle Sam.

We should also talk more about what we can learn from immigrants, both legal and not. In Europe, for instance, a lot of kids grow up speaking both English and their native languages. American kids, on the other hand, take language classes but are almost never bilingual. Our fixation on English has made our kids less competitive in the global market. That’s a failure of the Education Department – and a potential election issue.

In short, Republicans should stop attacking the “tired, poor, huddled masses” and focus on immigration reform.

I know someone who swam the Rio Grande naked at age 12 to make it to Texas, BTW. He went on to be a Fulbright scholar.


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Comments [5]



I hear you. You've met and developed relationships with illegals...and now it's personal. Well, I have taught for decades and have seen lots of teenagers drug into this country, with language barriers and needs that the educational system was forced to funnel available resources to their needs - instead of our citizens.

I lived on the border of South Texas, saw the amnesty in the 1980s that was supposed to solve our immigration problems - and have spent my adult life watching this group on entitlements, living a much easier life than I have. I had to borrow and finance my own education, while this group received special financial assistance. I now watch the same group - only new immigrants, with a new set of demands - that my children and grandchildren will support.

Enough is enough. Mexico has land, resources, and Mexicans shall revise their expectations as to what kind of life they will have in their country...with their citizenship. It's not something that I am willing to support any longer.

All emotions aside.

Feb. 22 2012 10:08 PM

In other words, if someone can make it into the country, they are in? We just need better ways to keep them from making it in.

Feb. 04 2012 07:14 PM

"There’d be no support for deportation after one shot of grandma being hauled off a police car ran in The New York Times."

WRONG, you Left-wing woosie...!!--I would NOT bat 1 eye-lash seeing an "ILLEGAL grandma" Hauled Off to the Deportation center cuz I live in Houston, TX, I see the wide-spread Infestation, the wide-spread Trashing of Our Public schools, the wide-spread FRAUD committed by ILLEGALS on our public services, the whole-sale FRAUD committed in our hospitals...the List IS Long. AND lucky me I Had MY Identity stolen by an ILLEGAL Skank who has racked up a $36k tab .... !!!--Therefore I will NOT cry even 1 tear for AnyOne caught STEALING from ME...nuff said!!!

Feb. 04 2012 02:04 PM

"...their conservative base wants a Berlin Wall on the Mexican border..".
Clearly the writer is buying into the mendacious narrative peddled by the media.
The Berlin Wall was created to keep people from escaping the statist government of East Germany in an artificially divided nation which is now united and defectors were quickly identified and documented by the West German government.

A secure US border is to keep human trafficking out from a foreign nation that is in violent turmoil at the moment made worse by Fast & Furious whose hearings this week have gone without comment for some reason.

Being opposed to illegal immigration is not anti-immigrant anymore than being opposed to illegal drunk driving is opposition to legal drinking or legal driving.

Feb. 04 2012 11:09 AM
Allen Bunch from Appalachia

"I know someone who swam the Rio Grande naked at age 12 to make it to Texas, BTW. He went on to be a Fulbright scholar."

I know someone who worked in a factory for 23 years and was replaced by an illegal alien. After about a year, he got another factory job and about six months later was again replaced by another illegal alien. If the unions and Democratic Party had not fought for and enacted 5 day weeks, 8 hour days, time and a half , or workers comp, he would still have a job. The exploitive employers only work illegals to circumvent US worker protection laws. There is no need to move your factory to a third world country as long as you can bring the cheap compliant labor to America. Why would a 'libertarian writer' harbor so much hatred for blue collar American workers?

Feb. 04 2012 05:44 AM

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