The GOP has been schizphrenic on immigration for as long as I can remember.
Which is understandable – because I think most of us Republicans, as individuals, are schizophrenic about it. Or, to pick a less loaded term, we believe things that seem, on their surface, to be contradictory; we support immigration – we just want people to follow the rules and come to this country legally.
So I’m going to try to state the case, contradictions and all.
- I think it was Fred Thompson who really stated the true conservative case; we support a high, impermeable fence, but a wide, well-lit gate.
- As to that “wide, well-lit gate” bit – when I was at Dan Severson’s campaign launch, I heard a Latino minister talk about one of the dynamics behind illegal immigration; it takes someone 10-15 years for a Mexican citizen to legally come to this country. Of course, there’s a chicken and egg dynamic here; we have plenty of Central American immigrants in this country – it’s just that many of them are here illegally. It’s time to revamp how we handle legal immigration. Indeed…
- ….we have to have a rational legal immigration policy. Immigration – the legal variety – has always been one of this nation’s big strengths. It’s more important than ever, as Europe’s demographics stagnate, China deals with the long term demographic fallout of the “one child policy”, and the developing world remains vastly younger than the Western world. The US has been lucky – both Europe’s and America’s populations are ageing, as birth rates drop. It’s immigration that’s prevented our society from ageing into obsolescence. We’ll need more of that.
- OK, now to the high wall – when not only immigrants seeking jobs, but every zeta and narcotraficante that wants to drive a Hummer full of firearms across the border can do it with relative impunity, then talk about “do we need a border fence”, or at least something that forces people to come to this country via the legal route, is simply ridiculous. This nation not only has a right to to protect its sovereignty – it is one of its few genuine obligations. If the government can’t secure our borders, there is truly no reason for it to exist.
- Perhaps the real high wall we need is to keep out liberals and the media (pardon the redundancy) out of the US. They both adopted a meme years ago – whenever conservatives refer to wanting to crack down on illegal immigration, painstakingly leave out the”illegal” bit. The media and left (ptr) have been enaged in a decades-long effort to misrepresent the mainstream right’s approach to immigration.
- That being said – misrepresentation aside, what is the conservative approach to immigration reform and curbing illegal immigration? Rounding ‘em up and sending ‘em back is certainly not practical, even if there were the political will to do it, which there is not. OK – so what is a realistic approach? You don’t want amnesty, fine – what is your answer?
For my purposes? High fence, wide gate, deport all illegals that run afoul other laws (ban the “sanctuary city” – that’s the prerogative of churches, not municipal government).
Cross-posted at Shot In The Dark - comments welcome.