At least since the badly flawed 1965 Immigration “Reform” Act, the United States has had immigration policies that have gradually tilted the electorate to be more liberal and therefore more Democrat. The 1965 Act replaced a policy giving immigration preference to the immediate family of established immigrants to one giving that preference to extended family. This resulted in the phenomenon of chain-migration that escalated immigration levels from poor third world countries. Immigration associated welfare and social benefits costs began to escalate rapidly and eliminated any net economic benefit of immigration to the American people.
Following the 1986 Amnesty, immigration laws began to take a back seat to business demands for cheap labor and political demands to please or appease increasingly powerful ethnic voting blocs. As is true of all amnesties, respect for law declines and illegal immigration multiplies. Illegal immigration was out of control by 1990, and indiscriminate legal immigration was adding to the net economic and tax burden. Many politically powerful business interests benefited from cheaper and easy-to-find labor, but at the expense of American workers, taxpayers, and the economic future of the country.
The pressure to please or appease ethnic voting blocs increasingly hindered rational discussion of immigration policy.
Our immigration problems loomed large enough in 1990 for Congress to mandate a study commission on immigration. The Jordan Commission, known by the name of its chairperson, Representative Barbara Jordan (D, TX), gathered a distinguished body of respected experts and public figures in this study and conducted the most thorough examination of the impact of U.S. immigration policies to date. Its recommendations were completed in 1996 and presented to Congress and President Clinton in 1997. These recommendations included correcting the devastating chain-migration effect of the 1965 Act and limiting total annual immigration to 550,000. Its recommendations are still valid, workable, and desperately needed today. However, its recommendations were never followed or implemented. They were pushed aside and ignored by the same political power combinations of cheap labor and ethnic pandering that created the problems.
Republicans could have made implementing these reforms a winning national issue with much bipartisan support. Barbara Jordan was black, and blacks have suffered the most in lost jobs and eroding wages because of cheap labor from illegal immigration. But George W. Bush decided it was much more important to capture the votes of the fastest growing immigrant group—Hispanics—before the Democrats locked this group into its national strategy for Liberal Democratic domination. Most Republican candidates only got about one-third of the Hispanic vote. This supposedly smart political thinking was, however, based on some unfounded and disastrous assumptions.
Bush began early in 2001 by trying to give an amnesty to 3,000,000 Mexican illegals. This passed the U.S. House with Democrat and a fair number of naïve Republican votes in the West. Shortly thereafter, any thinking about such an amnesty was killed by Senate Republicans because of 9-11 security concerns. Except for Cubans and long-established Spanish families in the Southwest, Hispanic voters and especially illegal immigrants are poorer, less skilled and less educated than most Republican oriented voters. Those demographics do not make them natural Republicans! Several studies have shown that they vote Democrat because they have a very strong preference for their social welfare programs. According to an NBC poll, 74 percent of Hispanic voters support Obamacare. Giving an amnesty would have no more than a small, short-term effect if any. Many Hispanic Republicans do not want amnesties, and Democrats can always outbid Republicans on social welfare programs, since they have no conscience about the costs or consequences.
The idea that Mexicans are religious and social conservatives is more than two generations out of date. Bush did get a majority of evangelical Mexican voters but only a third of Catholics and even less of the fast growing number who are basically un-churched. Social statistics on abortions and unwed births indicate that most Hispanics are less conservative than non-Hispanic whites, especially Republicans.
In the first three years of the Bush Administration, worksite immigration enforcement arrests practically ceased, dropping an astonishing 97 percent. During the first six years of the Bush Administration the number of illegal immigrants in the country increased by 5.3 million or 79 percent. Bush and McCain, allied with Ted Kennedy, tried to push through two massive amnesties between 2004 and 2006 without even disclosing the possible costs involved.
Furthermore, Bush seemed to assume that no matter how uncomfortable conservatives were with Presidential pandering to get the Hispanic vote by amnesties, affirmative action, and ethnic preference programs, that the support of the conservative Republican base is static—they have nowhere else to go. This proved a disastrously wrong assumption in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. Conservative voters do not have to choose between two candidates who have either offended them or failed to convince them of their dedication to conservative principles. They can stay at home, and despite the radical liberalism of Obama, they did stay home in surprising numbers.
Why did Mitt Romney lose to Barack Obama, whose dismal economic record, stubborn devotion to unworkable Marxist economic principles, blatant anti-Christian social policies, and incompetent and perplexingly anti-American foreign policies should have demanded his removal from office? It is because uncontrolled immigration under Bush and Obama has built a new majority who want a big government welfare state free of traditional cultural restraints. The unpleasant surprise of 2012 is that a new electorate has reached a tipping point where recovering our country will be very difficult.
Those so-called conservatives, who believe we can get this new majority to vote Republican, if we just give some amnesties, open the immigration door wider, and ignore the suffering inflicted thereby on American workers and taxpayers are badly misinformed and exercising incredibly bad judgment. We are dealing with a constituency whose natural and traditional politics embraces a big government welfare environment supported by high taxes on producers. We cannot out-pander the Democrats, and by such surrender we would alienate our conservative base. Amnesty would gain few Hispanic votes and lose millions of conservative votes.
Our choices for correcting the nation-destroying damage done by foolish immigration policies are now growing fewer and more difficult. We should at least realize that we have been swindled by those who counseled irrational and cowardly surrender on important immigration issues in the past. Amnesty by any name would only hasten the death of our country and our principles.