Amnesty is bad. Everyone agrees on that. Even the senators who support amnesty claim not to support it. Instead they support “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” with “A Path to Citizenship”. They support a comprehensive solution that will be compassionate and work as an immigration policy for the 21st century.
But they don’t support amnesty. Except that they do.
No one uses the term “amnesty” anymore except opponents of amnesty for illegal aliens and their more vociferous advocates. This makes for some confusing speeches and press conferences.
Rubio is also against amnesty. He repeatedly emphasizes that his plan is not amnesty. Except it is. It’s just amnesty renamed as a path to citizenship and with a lot of talk about border security. That’s the same old amnesty.
Rand Paul’s amnesty plan has more of a border verification mechanism than Rubio’s, but no employment verification. Rubio’s amnesty plan has employment verification but weak border security verification. It’s two flavors of amnesty, both bad.
The sales pitches all depend on assuming that conservatives are dumb. Rubio and Paul both repeat that there is a de facto state of amnesty. Somewhere some Republican consultant came up for that and he no doubt de facto earned his de facto money. For about a week, some conservative figures appeared to be impressed by the irrational de facto argument which is akin to arguing that if we don’t arrest a criminal, then we have de facto found him not guilty of the charges and set him free.
There’s a lot of talk about back of the line and front of the line and none of it really matters. If the Senate is stupid enough to give Obama a law, then he will implement it however he pleases. Considering that Obama has unilaterally passed his own DREAM Act, you can only imagine how quickly those 12 million illegals will be citizens or the state of the border.
Even if there is a political argument to be made for amnesty, doing it under Obama nullifies those arguments because Obama will win most of the political Latino benefits from amnesty while the Republicans will get the crumbs. But the Republicans getting out in front of the amnesty bids, like Rubio and Rand Paul are prospective presidential candidates. They’re not doing this for Republicans, they’re doing this for themselves.
The big sales pitch for 2012 was overall electability. The sales pitch for 2016 is Latino electability. The GOP only wants someone who has a shot with the Latino vote. And Marco Rubio and Rand Paul are busy polishing their Latino vote credentials. It’s a stupid way to run a political movement, but a great way to get ahead.
Even if amnesty is good for Rubio or Paul, it’s not good for the Republican Party, for America or for Latino immigrants for that matter, who are entitled to a legal system of entry, rather than being told that their best route into the country is by bribing a coyote and trying to make it across the border.
And during an economic downturn, championing mass immigration is insensitive to the majority of American workers. The GOP failed to properly make its case to them in two elections. Now it’s giving them a big middle finger while chasing after the Mexican-American vote, even though far from all Mexican-Americans support amnesty.
And worst of all they’re doing it dishonestly.
Marco Rubio and Rand Paul are pushing amnesty. They should admit it. We shouldn’t have to get the information that Rand Paul supports a path to citizenship from one of his flunkies or from follow-up interviews. He should have openly put it in his speech. Did he really think that no one would ask?
Similarly the back of the line nonsense has to stop. No one is buying it and it’s destroying the credibility of supposed conservatives who use it.
If McCain, Rubio, Paul etc want to sell us on amnesty, then they should be honest about it. Honesty will win them more points than all the euphemisms and word games.