Amnesty Isn’t the GOP Gift to Unlock the Hispanic Vote
With President Obama corralling a stunning 71% of the Hispanic vote in his successful 2012 re-election bid, “establishment Republicans” are running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to figure out how to get a piece of America’s fastest growing demographic. (I’ve opined about how the GOP has written off the black vote as unattainable. I guess when the Hispanic vote approaches 90% for Democrats, Republicans will reconsider ignoring blacks like the heels of their shoes.)
House Speaker John Boehner, Karl Rove, Reince Priebus, and shockingly even Sean Hannity are calling for AMNESTY or some variation thereof under the guise of “immigration reform.” This new amnesty gang concluded Romney lost the Hispanic vote because of his “self-deportation” blunder.
Predicting another presidential loss in 2016 unless the party reverses its wicked ways, this GOP pro amnesty gang believes granting citizenship to the estimated 11 to 20 million illegal aliens in this country will translate into Hispanic votes. Wrong! Amnesty isn’t the answer to winning the Hispanic vote or why Romney didn’t wow Hispanics.
Romney was inelegant in the way he talked about many topics but that doesn’t mean he was wrong, particularly about stopping illegal immigration. He should have explained that self-deportation meant. If the government enforced the laws, by securing our borders and cracking down on businesses who hire illegal aliens, these criminals who broke the law to come to America would voluntarily go back home.
Before the avalanche of illegal immigrants started pouring across or borders in the 1990s, American citizens worked jobs currently filled by illegal workers. Two exit polls, one conducted by CBS and another by Brietbart News/Judicial Watch both found more than 60% of Americans supported Arizona’s immigration laws. With unemployment at a record high for the past four years, illegal aliens in the workforce not only take jobs from the country’s 23 million unemployed Americans but is particularly harmful to Hispanic and black citizens who suffer higher unemployment rates. This is what Romney should have explained.
Americans want enforcement of immigration laws because they know illegal immigrants harm Americans by depressing wages, stealing jobs an increasing taxpayer costs for welfare, education, and social security programs. According to two studies conducted by the Heritage Foundation , the cost of amnesty would run $1trillion over 30 years, which works out to be about $90 billion a year. This is 70 times the minimum $13.5 billion yearly cost of proposed enforcement bills, as scored by the Congressional Budget Office.
Counter to the myth the mainstream media and some Republicans are pushing, polls found Hispanics supported Romney’s position on mandatory E-verify. According to an October Pulse Opinion poll 66% of Hispanics supported mandatory E-Verify to prevent companies from hiring illegal immigrants. Another NBC Latino/IBOPE Zogby poll conducted in October 2012 found only 5% of Hispanics felt immigration was a top concern to them.
According to NumbersUSA, Romney’s position on enforcement of immigration laws helped him get more Hispanic votes than pro-amnesty John McCain did in 2008 in 16 of the 20 states with the highest Hispanic population. If the current GOP posturing on amnesty is true, that it will increase the GOP share of the Hispanic vote in the future elections, why does history tell another tale? In 1986 Ronald Reagan signed the Simpson-Mazzoli immigration bill, granting amnesty to illegal aliens living in America and pledged to secure the borders. Enforcement never happened and two years later in 1988 “George H. W. Bush lost the Latino vote by 39 points.”
McCain’s pro amnesty stance didn’t help him win overwhelming support from Hispanics in 2008. Compared to Obama’s 67%, McCain only got 31% of the Hispanic vote.
In 1996, after implementing “Operation Gatekeeper,” aimed at securing the border along San Diego and Mexico, Clinton ran away with 72% of the Hispanic vote compared to Bob Dole’s paltry 21%.
While Obama used executive order to bypass Congress, granting amnesty to Hispanics age 31 and under , his administration deported over 1 million illegal immigrants during Obama’s first term in office.
Obama won 71% of the Hispanic vote in 2012 compared to Romney’s 29% not because of his “amnesty” giveaway, but because he took his message of “growing the entitlement state and Americans dependency upon government” to Hispanics. Mitt was right, Hispanics, blacks and women voted for the gifts Obama promised them. Maybe Mitt should have bothered offering these groups his gifts. I think the GOP should be taking a message of enforcement to all Americans, along with NumbersUSA five great solutions, which includes ending birthright citizenship.
The irony of all this pro-amnesty talk from “elites inside the GOP” is none of them mentions the first Hispanic elected US Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, is a pro-enforcement guy. Cruz campaigned on promising “to strengthen border security and help ensure that America remains a nation of laws” not lawlessness, which is what allowing illegal immigration is.
As a friend noted, minorities are choosing Democrats because Republicans are abandoning them. The same friend, a Los Angeles Police Department Detective in South Los Angeles, said “during this election cycle, there was NO one from the national or state GOP campaigning in our area.” LA we have a problem!
Responding to campaign advisor Lionel Sosa in 1984, who said it would be hard to win the Hispanic vote, Reagan replied: “Hispanics are already Republican. They just don’t know it.” Reagan took “his gifts,” the message of conservatism to Hispanics and won 40% of their vote. Amnesty isn’t the key to the GOP unlocking the Hispanic vote, it’s getting the messenger to take its blinders off.