The GOP Amnesty Opportunity

The easiest way to understand the effect of what the Obama Democrats are doing with respect to immigration is to think of it as an updated version of the strategy Castro's mercenaries used to destabilize Angola, Somalia, and a host of other African countries during the 1970s and 80s. Some people think this is an intentional effort to implement "God Damn America", others that social disaster is simply the usual consequence of well-meaning liberal policy -- but either way, our job is to stop it.

The Obama Democrats claim, and a lot of Democratic voters probably believe, that the immigration and amnesty policies they're selling America are fair and compassionate -- but, in reality they're net negative for the country, for individual Americans, and for the illegals:

  1. Equality under the law and public respect for the law are among the fundamentals of the American Republic. The most fundamental fact about illegal immigration is that it's illegal -- and when the Obama Democrats tell us fairness requires us to reward the lawbreakers or that it's selfish, exploitative, or just impossible to deport them, what they're really doing is selling the country down the slippery slope toward their own casual disregard for law.
  2. Amnesty without deportations and the harsh re-establishment of immigration law invites millions more in by making the next amnesty inevitable too -- and that further hardens opposition to illegals, further reduces employment opportunities and wages for everybody; increases social pressures on illegals to self-ghettoize; and further reduces the positive differences between their lives in the United States and those the same effort would have earned for them at home.
  3. More subtly, but worse, the Obama approach to amnesty creates an easily manipulated, but ever increasing and thus increasingly dangerous, underclass by placing applicants into a new category of the quasi--legal whose lives, property rights, and freedoms depend almost entirely on the continued goodwill and access to power of those now standing between them and the normal application of established law.

Stopping what the Obama Democrats are doing with illegal immigrants starts with the recognition that blusterbuss solutions like deporting them all make for good TV sound bites but are simply impractical: the country has neither the will nor the means to dump an estimated 12 to 14 million illegals across the Mexican border and then keep them from coming back.

Knowing what to do instead starts with understanding the problem -- here's Bobby Jindal tiptoeing through the minefield of right-wing sensibility to explain it during a recent Breitbart interview:

"One of the things that America is so proud of is, and rightfully so, we have been this melting pot for so long. The Left doesn't want that anymore. They want to call us a salad bowl. They think it is culturally arrogant, or xenophobic, to insist that people that want to come to America to assimilate, and that's nonsense," said Jindal. "The reality is, we don't make anybody come here. Millions of people all over the world want to come here, and folks that don't want to be Americans shouldn't come. And the reality is, they shouldn't come and use our freedoms to undermine freedoms for other people.

"Let's be really honest about this: Immigration without assimilation is not immigration; it's an invasion," he said. "When you look at what's happening in Europe, you've got second and third generation immigrants that don't consider themselves parts of those societies, those cultures, those values. We mustn't let that happen here."

He's right: immigration without assimilation is invasion -- the Muslim, Mexican, Somalian, and now Syrian immigrant ghettos Obama is setting up around the country aren't chock full of people wanting to become Americans, they're the social equivalent of cancer cells introduced into the body politic to destroy it.

So how does the GOP grab hold of this tar baby, fix the problem, and come out wearing a shiny clean halo? Here's an idea: do for real what the democrats promise to do, but have no intention of doing: re-establish the rule of law; deport the invaders; and help those who want to be immigrants be immigrants.

Imagine that the GOP majorities in the House and Senate force through a bill doing all of the following:

  1. It unequivocally requires the executive branch to make immigration law enforcement, including border closures through whatever means necessary, a priority for every federally controlled or funded agency in the country.
  2. It expresses the sense of the house that the 14th Amendment does not mean that anyone born in the United States is automatically a citizen of the United States; requires the judiciary to act as if this position is correct; and requires the House Judiciary Committee to begin the constitutional process to clarify the 14th Amendment accordingly.
  3. It creates and empowers a short term national immigration commission reporting frequently to Congress whose job is to distinguish immigrants from invaders -- quickly and efficiently deporting the latter while providing a clean path to legal status and eventual citizenship for immigrants and their direct dependents.
  4. It provides for a process, including a mandatory judicial review of the prior deportation order, through which deportees who believe themselves treated unfairly can reapply for immigration through the American embassy in their home country.

This achieves, in reality, what the Democrats promise to do, but won't -- and catches the Obama Democrats between rocks and hard places in politically interesting ways.

At the grossest level there are only two possible Obama Democrats responses: accept it, or fight it.

Acceptance is both unlikely in the short term and inevitable in the long term because deporting the invaders while enforcing immigration law would very obviously contradict many of the policies and values most of their voters and media supporters think they believe in.

There are, again at the grossest level, only two ways they can fight this: by having the Senate uphold a veto or by impeding and redirecting implementation.

Having the Democrats in the Senate support an Obama veto would place the Democratic Party firmly on the wrong side of the amnesty issue; force Spanish language media to turn themselves into pretzels rationalizing progressive opposition to the interests of their audience; and add credibility to any GOP candidate pointing to their utter disregard for law.

If, on the other hand, the Obama Democrats allow the bill to become law but try to impede or divert implementation, they'll be inviting every serious GOP candidate to swear to go all out on implementing the thing starting day one, taking this issue off the table for the GOP primaries; uniting the GOP; and, turning the one national issue on which they have any credibility left into a major long term winner for Republicans and an equally major loser for Democrats.

Right now hardly anyone remembers that both the Clean Air Act and the Civil Rights Act were largely initiated and passed by Republicans, but in those days the internet didn't exist and people like Dan Rather seemed credible to most Americans. That media monopoly is gone: get this done, be brutally public about the deportations and re-establishment of existing immigration law, and chances are that generations of new Americans can be reminded that Republicans, not democrats, gave them what they came for: the opportunity to make a better life for themselves and their children in an America they want to be part of.