Thursday, November 6, 2014

Seize the Initiative on Illegal Immigration

Republicans need to seize the initiative on illegal immigration and propose a plan before Obama takes executive action this December.  It won't stop the President from making yet another extra-consitutional move, but it would serve to highlight his unwillingness to to abide by the law and work with the Congress.  The GOP needs to deal with the issue because it will hurt them in the long run.  I am under no illusion that somehow dealing with the issue will make them suddenly popular with Hispanics.  I am also certain there are no votes to be gained if current illegals are granted citizenship.  However, the issue still hurts the party.
  • As more illegals continue to cross the border, they eventually spawn Democratic votes.  They either vote illegally, or eventually their children cast votes for Democrats.  This isn't to say that Republicans can't make inroads among descendants of illegal immigrants, its just not the way to bet.
  • The failure to solve the problem continues to eat away at the respect for the rule of law.  It sets an environment that makes it harder for Republicans to win elections.
  • Its bad for the country.  A country with a larger proportion in the middle class will vote more conservatively.
Unfortunately, the Republicans have no coherent policy to propose, because they did not campaign on this issue.  You could argue that that position served them well, but it makes it harder to govern.  What they shouldn't do is over react to the problem.  Massive deportation would be a horrible idea both in the short and long run.  Do we want the DHS to get in good practice with identifying and rounding up millions of undesirables?  Think of that power in another Democratic President's hands in the mold of Obama.  

Here is what should be proposed and why:
  • Secure the border with more technology, fences and the like.  But also make expedited deportation far easier.  You can have great border security, but once an alien born child sets foot on U.S. soil, he or she now has due process rights that adds time to the deportation process.  In the meantime, the illegal is released, often never to be seen again.
  • From a previous post: To keep the DHS accountable, if illegal crossings weren't reduced each year, the Congress should cut the budget for the immediate staff of the Secretary of DHS, and impose a hiring freeze on all portions of the DHS budget except border control.  Such ruthless tactics work; I know, because I work for the government.  But the Congress is never willing to hold agencies accountable. And frankly, part of the problem is that government is so huge.  Obviously its size needs to shrink.
  • From Newt Gingrich in 2012: "We must reconcile the goal of legality with the reality that there are millions of immigrants currently here outside the law, some with a long set of family and community ties, and some with no ties. A system has to be established that establishes legality but no citizenship for those with deep ties, repatriates those with no family or community ties in a dignified way, and quickly sends home those who have committed criminal and other destructive acts."  But the practical difficulties of such a program are immense.  I would prefer to the let those without criminal records come forward and legislation that aggressively deports those with felony convictions.
  • A guest worker program, but maybe later.  The supply side of this equation is changing rapidly.  New statistics will soon be released that show that Mexico is no longer accountable for most of the illegal immigration. Mexico's fertility rate has continued to fall to just barely above replacement at 2.2 births per woman.  Having skilled workers is good with good education is helpful to the economy.  The unskilled? Not so much.  

Mexican fertility rate from 1960 to 2012.

That downward trend has continued.  In some ways, I think that the problem of illegal immigration may solve itself, but not soon enough to prevent more damage from working into the body politic.  Republicans have an opportunity to upstage Obama on this issue.  As Krauthammer points out, his narcissism always gets the better of him, so why not use it to help the country and further disadvantage his party?

What You Should Be Reading
  • Left Coast Rebel has a nice score card of worthy candidates for whom he urged donations.  Well done.
  • KTCat excoriates DeMaio for his relentless negative campaign.  I still have a Carl DeMaio yard sign out front, but admit to feeling queasy about his attack ads that made Carl sound like a Democrat, complete with Mediscare tactics.  If DeMaio was a tea party favorite, why did he end up turning off so many of that persuasion?  KTCat wasn't the only one of my conservative or libertarian friends who abandoned DeMaio.

No comments:

Post a Comment