GOP in Danger of Tipping Point on Immigration
Many of our politicians are suffering from an inability (or refusal) to call things by their proper names. They avoid using terms like "legal" and "illegal" and they avoid honestly discussing the nature of the illegal immigration problem and its costs to taxpayers. They avoid publicly reprimanding many of the leaders of this so-called "immigrant's movement" who claim American citizenship as a right, not to mention those that openly call for the reacquisition of much of the American south-west by Mexico.
Over the years, the political terminology of this debate has undergone a gradual but steady evolution. Those who came into the country illegally were once universally referred to as "illegal aliens". This then became "illegal immigrants", followed by "undocumented immigrants", then "undocumented workers". The latest proposed euphemism is "guest workers".
I'm sorry, but "guests" don't sneak into your home, live there, eat your food and otherwise cost you money without being invited. Much less show up and demand these benefits of you, and then call you a racist if you refuse. The rhetoric of the recent protests in our streets featuring Mexican flags underlines this point.
While it is most certainly true that America is home to millions of immigrants who truly want to become Americans, and subject themselves to our country's laws and customs, learn our language and make a contribution to society, it is also true that our country is the target of an invasion by those who wish to take rather than contribute.
They take jobs from unskilled and under-educated Americans by offering to work for less. They take from taxpayers by reaping government benefits at the invitation of our politicians. They take from our culture by refusing to assimilate and learn our language. And an unnerving but growing number of them aim to take over sections of our country by default through the sheer force of demographics alone.
In the face of this onslaught we have politicians that are working, not to enforce our laws and keep such invaders out, but rather to reward their lawlessness with amnesty and perhaps even US citizenship.
Grassroots opposition is fierce. From the Internet to your local grocery store, you find people that oppose anything that smacks of rewarding those come here in violation of our laws. On the other hand, they vigorously and overwhelmingly support measures to enforce our laws and protect our borders. Most are grassroots activists and workers, local political party officials and campaign contributors. To a great degree, they represent the very structure of the Republican Party.
I have personally listened as such people voiced strenuous and constant complaints about current attempts to pass a plan that would grant what amounts to amnesty to illegal aliens. Without prompting, they have named names of elected officials and warned of consequences, worried that it could split the GOP. But that is anecdotal. What do the polls say?
A recent IBD poll demonstrates that over 67% of Americans favor "enforcement only" style immigration reform that resembles what passed the House of Representatives this past November. In other words, a bill that focuses on enforcement of our laws, enhanced border security and increased punishment for businesses that hire illegals. 74% say the government should take legal action against such businesses. For Republicans, that number rises to 81%.
68% want politicians to focus on border control before any sort of guest-worker program. Among Republicans, it's 76%. Only 49% agree with the claim that these immigrants are needed to do jobs Americans won't do, while 64% think our lax border enforcement leaves us more vulnerable to terrorists. A recent Zogby poll shows likely voters favoring an "enforcement only" bill by over two to one. Among Republicans, over 80% favor such an approach.
Given the GOP's current status in public opinion polls, I don't think it is too much of a stretch to suggest that, if an amnesty type bill passes this year, the Democrats are sure to take control of one or both houses of Congress. What is so maddening is that the Republicans have the most unified base on this issue, but the most disunited leadership and one that is often outright hostile to the views of its constituency.
I think we are rapidly approaching a point of critical mass on this issue. A "tipping point" if you will. At some point, the issue will be out of reach of the current crop of elected officials. Positions and opinions will have hardened and voters, not being supplied with the product they desire from those in power, will opt for new suppliers. There is a proper name for that too; it's called supply and demand. Republicans beware.