Senator Marco Rubio was gracious enough to engage our conservative community with his thoughtful comments on his framework for immigration reform. I’d like to respond to some of the points made in his post.
- “and we have by some estimates as many as 11 million human beings living in the United States without the proper immigration documents in a state of de facto amnesty.”
The first step in proposing a solution is being honest about the problem. If someone feels that granting amnesty, or even more – full blown citizenship – to illegal immigrants is a prudent idea, then admit that is what you’re doing and be forthright about it. By consistently using the parlance of the left – “undocumented “ – as if it were some natural disaster, is disingenuous.
In the very first line describing the Gang of 8’s “four legislative pillars” it says their plan would “create a tough but fair path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants currently living in the United States…” That means amnesty. Those words—“path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants” mean amnesty. Again, you might feel it’s a prudent idea, but it is amnesty nonetheless.
- “On the political front, a growing number of voters of Asian and Hispanic descent have been convinced by the left that conservative opposition to immigration reform equates to being anti-immigrant. This is unfair, and it is untrue. But they have pulled it off and, as a result, our ability to convince these fast-growing communities that the principles of limited government and free enterprise are better for them than big government and collectivism has been impaired.”
I’d like to talk about sound policy, but if we are going to do this for political reasons, does Senator Rubio have any evidence to show that the new amnestied immigrants will not vote at least 80/20 Democrat? Is there any evidence that we will enjoy a net gain with the current Latino voting population? Remember, Democrats have signed onto this plan precisely because they believe it will create a permanent Democrat majority. Yes, we need to articulate our message for limited government to all people. But let’s not fool ourselves, it’s an uphill battle fighting through the allure of the dependency state. Let’s deal with those we already have, instead of granting voting rights to millions more low-skilled immigrants, who are strongly predispositioned to vote Democrat, irrespective of how enthusiastically we embrace a path to citizenship.
- “The economic ramifications, however, are even more serious. For example, our technology sector creates roughly 120,000 computer engineering jobs a year, but our universities only graduate about 40,000 students a year in that field. The long term answer, of course, is to get more American students to graduate in this field. But the immediate problem is that, in the absence of an immigration system where these workers can be brought here, these jobs are sent overseas to them.”
If this is truly a bipartisan concern, why don’t we fix that now? Why do the legal immigration reforms have to be held hostage for a “comprehensive” amnesty bill? Let’s first pass the things we all agree upon.