As we speak there is a debate raging on the website of the National Review–that bastion of Republican and Conservative thought. This debate is between the inward thinking, anti-immigrationists lead by Mark Krikorian and Rep. Lamar Smith and the forward thinking and pro-immigrant Richard Nadler. Nadler’s recent article rebutting what he calls the Big 5 Anti-immigratoinists and their immigration reform plan–mass deportation–is fantastic. He calmly and with a great deal of emperical evidence show that this ridiculous plan is a deal breaker for Republicans and Hispanics into future generations. I have been echoing this from the ground for some time, but Nadler takes it a step futher. He says that:
our candidates will lose Hispanic vote share — to the point where our performance among Hispanics mirrors that among African Americans. If conservative Republicans continue to advocate the mass removal of resident illegals, our business support will erode — not to levels typical of a congressional minority, but to levels reflecting a fundamental shift of interests favoring the Democrats.
What Nadler clearly understands is that “Americans” as a whole do not favor EITHER Mass Deportations OR an Amnesty. What “Americans” are looking for is a political solution to this political and societal problem that does not reward those directly who came here without permission, but which recognizes the contributions of these folks and the effect on U.S. citizen spouses and children from such a ridiculous policy.
While Blog comments continue to stream in which say things like: “What part of illegal don’t you understand”, “all ‘these’ people need to back to the hole they crawled out of,” and MUCH worse statements, the reality is that the Republican party is in great danger here. The Republican Party WAS the party of immigrants for a very long time. Ronald Reagan was extremely pro-immigrant (remember the whole “City on a Hill” speech) and signed into the law the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986-The last “Amensty.” As someone with lifelong ties to the GOP, I view this fight for the immigration soul of the Republican Party one very much worth having. We cannot allow Anti-Immigration Activitists and shallow politicians to drive away the future of the party. The GOP needs to stand for an effective, strong and merciful immigration law that CAN be enforced effectively, but which also answers the needs of the American Family, Business and Society. This solution is possible, but only if the GOP STOPS pandering the likes of Lou Dobbs, Mark Krikorian and Lamar Smith.