Before I launch into yet another tirade about how horribly unjust our present immigration system is, I read this post over at Ezra Klein’s shop about the possible (probable?) impact that the Republican’s war on illegal immigration will have on that Party’s future. Truth be told, I wish I knew. I’m not quite ready to relax over one mid-term mandate, and even as I like our chances in the next election, there are way too many spineless Democrats for my liking. (see the house vote on Domestic Spying)
That said, there are a number of things I feel somewhat safe in projecting. Whatever goodwill the GOP received from the Hispanic community, they have all but pissed it away. The Republicans love to trot out a handful of Mexican-Americans that claim to be incensed about “people cutting in line” by not going through the grueling process that they supposedly did. Could be that a significant number of legal immigrants feel this way, but I doubt it. First, most of those complaining were born here, or had employers go to bat for them, and had legal residence while they waited to become full-fledged citizens.
To paraphrase a bit, it’s the tone, stupid. By allowing only the most rabid members of the Party to be heard, there has been a steady barrage of, yes, hate speech, lies, and mis-information. Lets step back a second, and look at this practically, lest I be accused of employing a “emotional argument.” (BTW, it should be noted that no matter how often I point to mechanisms within our current legal framework that would “punish” those that went around our laws, or, similarly, when I offer well researched positions on the likely financial fallout from wholesale deportations, I seem to only get responses to those arguments that invoke some feeling. Shoot me.)
Anchor babies. Whoo-boy there are alot of us. And, we tend to multiply quickly, (probably due to the mixture of poverty and Catholicism) so in no time, we will be the majority. How do the Republicans think we are going to react to a Party that refers to our ancestors, or, more likely in the short run, our parents, as criminals? I gotta hand it to Republicans, they wage mad war, but fairly suck at the whole “hearts and minds thingy”.
Since I want to talk about a kid I know, I’ll post this from the comments, cause I think Weboy nails it:
“I’ve said before, and I’ll say again – there’s more to the dilemma on reforming immigration policy than simply our southern border and a growing Hispanic population. Until someone figures out how to address that, it will be hard to get a lot accomplished. Second, while the GOP is in full nervous breakdown over immigration, their spectacular flameout masks the fact that Democrats are by no means unified on this topic, that border state Democrats sound a lot like Republicans when it comes to enforcement and addressing folks already here, and that the Unions are by no means unified in their approach to this. Finally, while lefties speculate on all the triangulated reasons that conservatives act as they act on immigration, I’d urge folks to consider that they do what they do and say what they say because they believe it. There’s a reason they’re called “true believers,” and immigration tends to demonstrate just how much they feel that they have to defend what they believe, even in the face of it being a wildly unpopular position. I think liberals, for whom new ideas, new experiences and adaptive approaches are key, can lose sight of this. And I think the point is that the really good fix for immigration is still evolving. No one, I think, should consider themselves too locked into a position while facts on the ground, and options to deal with them, continue to develop. ” (notice I used brown font there, as Aunt B would say, ha, I tickle me)
Actually, since this post is so long, I’ll write about him tomorrow.