Illegal immigrants crossing into the United States
That policy ought to begin with serious steps towards border security and the completion of the fence that has been first delayed, then proposed in an unworkable “virtual” form, and now at approximately 650 miles of 2,000 along the southern border. Until the border is secured and the visa program made enforceable, the issue of what to do about the millions of illegal aliens in the country cannot be resolved because of the continued migration of hundreds of thousands each year across a porous border. 80 to 90% of the country agrees on the basics of immigration policy, but the consequences of the paralysis engendered by the extremes is first and foremost a national security threat that gets worse every month.
I don’t know about the completion of a border fence as a cornerstone of a revised immigration policy but certainly enhanced employer sanctions and enforcement are areas where quick change can be facilitated.
What might happen to the GOP, if illegal immigration is ignored? Well, look what happened in the Southwest where massive number of illegal aliens have been tolerated and/or encouraged for decades vis a vis elections.
A look at the electoral map shows that, outside selected parts of the Southwest, few Republican candidates this year paid a price for adopting a hard-line immigration stance.
The reason is that most of the historic wave that swept Democrats from office last week was in Midwestern or Rust Belt states, where Latinos make up only a fragment of the voting population. For example, Democrats lost five House seats, a Senate seat and the governorship in Pennsylvania, where only 3% of eligible voters are Latino.
Jennifer Duffy, a senior editor at the Cook report who tracks congressional races, has a message to activists who contend immigration is the Democrats’ salvation: Don’t hold your breath.
“You’ve got to have states where [immigration] matters, where that Latino vote is enough to tip races,” Duffy said. “Those states are in the West.”
Although Latinos have been moving to more remote parts of the country in recent years, many may be too young to vote or may lack citizenship status. That makes it even tougher to replicate the Western experience in places such as Pennsylvania, she said.”Not only do they not have the Latino vote to help, they have an illegal immigrant problem,” Duffy said of Democrats. “It’s a double whammy.”
But, although Midwestern and Southern states GOP do NOT now have an electoral problem. They will, if the issue is ignored. Look at the balkinization of the recent US Senate race in California.
Illegal immigration has been ignored in California for decades. While many immigrants from Mexico, Central and South American were encouraged to illegal cross into the United States to work as cheap labor in agriculture, meat packing, domestic/service industries and construction, their numerous children were born here and became American citizens who can vote – and who vote 2 or 3 to 1 for Democratic candidates. Much like the African-American voters who vote almost 4 or 5 to 1 Democratic, the Latino/Hispanic voting block has started to influence elections in the Western United States – to the detriment of the GOP.
So, obviously, it is to the benefit of the GOP to stop the in-flow of illegal immigrants who will squeeze them in elections in the decades to come.
The GOP House in January should immediately hold hearings and attach border securing riders to major appropriations bills. Forget about the “Anchor Baby” nonsense and pass tough employer sanctions on illegal alien supporting industries, including California agriculture. When agri-business starts to scream because their supply of cheap labor dries up, then a “Guest Worker” program can be passed with the provision and emphasis on “Guest.”
The Congress can force the building of more walls and other hard asset border securing methods. They can fund grants to states for additional law enforcement efforts along the border since Obama will probably never order more National Guard or Army to protect the Mexican border.
Once the Mexican border is secure and tough enforcement of immigration laws occurs, then and only then should the Congress deal with the issue of illegal immigrants who remain. I bet most will self-deport themselves, in any case, since there will be few jobs available for them.
The illegal immigration problem can no longer be ignored and should be a priority for the GOP when the new Congress convenes in January.