The Immigration Debate: GOP Commits Suicide

By: Matthew A. Roberts

In elections one earns political capital. Once spent, c’est tout. Consumed capital cannot be replenished by a cauterized constituency, and today the Republican base boils. I recently spoke to someone who volunteered for Bush’s 2004 campaign. I asked whether he would work for the GOP in 2008, and he bemoaned “no.” I asked why, and he replied, “It’s a sad day when Democrats like Dianne Feinstein are tougher on immigration than Republicans like Sam Brownback.”

The avalanche of support that has followed Republicans since 1994 we now see slowly evaporating over the issue of a guest-worker program. Impassioned Republicans four years ago now stand out of steam, feeling betrayed by a party leadership that would support a bill so at odds with conservative principles.

This guest-worker proposal, after all, rewards illegal behavior. Instead of requiring illegal immigrants to return to Mexico (or wherever) to apply for a permit, it grants legal status on the spot, thus acting as a “magnet for continued illegal immigration.” And, as Rep. John Hostettler (R.-Ind.) recently said, any guest-worker plan “puts the interest of foreign, illegal workers above those of our own American citizens.”

Newt Gingrich summed up the matter most succinctly on the O’Reilly Factor (March 15, 2006). He has observed a growing divide between Washington GOP elites and the average voting Republican. Somehow, GOP elites have come to believe that a guest-worker program is necessary (although it is not). Your average GOP voter, however, while praising boosts to border security, deeply dislikes any guest-worker giveaway.

Why GOP leadership supports such a lemon remains unseen. In 1986 Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act. It granted green cards to three million illegal immigrants, consequently attracting yet another five million to cross the border to replace their decriminalized comrades. Furthermore, a recent poll taken in Mexico found that at least 46 percent of the population (50 million Mexicans) would cross the border if given the chance. Any guest-worker initiative advertises this avenue.

It is in future forecasts, however, that Republicans really blunder. Illegal immigrants, voting for socialist candidates in Mexico or South America, will become Democrats once gaining full citizenship. Superficial surveys taken in a couple cities show that 9 out of 10 illegal immigrants support Democrats over Republicans. This guest-worker program, on a silver platter, will hand over California, Florida, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico to Democrats.

Is the GOP abating its base and fallowing its future in one fell swoop?

Matthew A. Roberts is an independent columnist, whose recent articless appear at and He maintains a weblog at

1 Comment

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    [...] This article was first printed at Reality Check and The National Ledger. It has been reprinted at MichNews, The Post Chronicle, Daley Times-Post, Liberty Post, Free Republic, CAIR, Tymely Topics, Capitol Hill Coffee House, Land of the Free, US Politics Today, et al. [...]

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