The centrist excuse for doing nothing comes from The New York Times‘ Ross Douthat, who points out that immigration remains a low priority for voters, even Latino voters. Providing any form of legalization that allows some of those 11 million to work is essentially “amnesty,” which would be bad for wages and the job market. Even worse — it would divide the GOP and “hand President Obama a policy victory at a time when he looks like a lame duck, and demoralize the right along the way.”
The more bald-faced and craven argument comes from Ann Coulter. Her argument boils down to: Why should people who won’t vote for us be given rights?
And it’s echoed by right-wing firebrands like TownHall’s Kurt Schlichter, who calls reform a “suicide pact.”
Coulter cites statistics that show Latino and Asian voters tend to favor “big government” policies and will help create a permanent Democratic majority. The subtext of this argument is: Because Republicans know we cannot win over voters with our policies, millions of people should live third-class lives.
Both of these arguments are concerned only with the well-being of the Republican Party — which is ironic given that the one piece of advice the party gave itself after Mitt Romney’s loss was to get immigration reform out of the way.
If the GOP is looking for the right time to implement immigration reform, it was 2007 — or last summer. But in both instances the party was being held captive by the same base that pushed for the government shutdown and has no interest in the kinds of policies that actually win national elections.
Here are five reasons the GOP should admit the border is more secure than it has been in decades and act now on immigration reform. Or it can pin its hopes on voter suppression and other tactics that will hasten its long-term demise.
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