Immigration amnesty: A bad idea for America and the GOP

Amnesty isn't the solution for America's illegal immigration problem, or for the GOP's political staleness. Photo: Amnesty is a bad idea

FLORIDA, January 29, 2013 — After several years on the back burner, talk about comprehensive immigration reform has finally returned.

In the U.S. Senate, it seems that a bipartisan consensus is forming on the matter. Unfortunately, this is centered around a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens. Whether or not amnesty will prove popular with the Republican-led U.S. House remains to be seen. Such a thing appears doubtful, though.

Of course, kicking the can down the road will no longer work insofar as illegal immigration is concerned. The problem has grown too large and far too expensive. The time for legislative action is now, but it must be asked if said action will help or harm the situation.

The idea of rounding up and deporting illegal aliens en masse is not only terrible, but also unrealistic. The social consequences of this would surpass imagination, and there simply aren’t enough law enforcement officers to do the job. However, making citizens out of illegal aliens is a plan for abject failure. Not only would unlawful immigration be encouraged, but competition would soar for even the most menial of employment opportunities.

If one thinks it is difficult to build a good career in Great Recession-era America, just wait and see how hard it will be to make ends meet in post-amnesty America.

All too many illegal aliens have minimal interest in assimilating to our country’s cultural norms and earn a substantial salary through public assistance. Amnesty is not going to bring the average American any fortune whatsoever. Mitt Romney was onto something when he spoke about self-deportation. 

Scores of Democrats support amnesty for the purpose of building a permanent political majority. No small number of Republicans want a first-class seat on the gravy train as well. They would be wise to remember a recent Gallup survey which revealed that a “majority (56%) of Hispanic registered voters in the U.S. believe the government should do more to solve our country’s problems. This is more than the 37% of all American registered voters who say the same. Hispanic voters born outside the U.S. are even more likely to favor government intervention than those born in the U.S.”

Keeping this in mind, even if the GOP should fully support amnesty, it ought to remember that economics — not postured appeals to emotional concerns — drive American politics. If its leadership believes that Latin American votes can be earned through such a transparent move, then the Republican Party really is the Stupid Party.

I believe this to be truer and truer with each passing day. After all, how intelligent can a partisan organization be when it has Senate nominees along the lines of Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, and Christine O’Donnell? 

It would not surprise me if most Republican politicians and activists alike are too busy with their usual nonsense about abortion rights and gay marriage to focus on things that truly matter. If congressional Democrats drew up a resolution which offered some kind words for the antiabortion movement and traditional marriage, but included a rider enacting blanket amnesty, I would expect more than a few GOPers to eagerly go along.

Let’s hope that common sense makes a comeback sometime in the very near future. Preventing amnesty-gone-wild rests on reason alone. 

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Joseph Cotto

Joseph F. Cotto is a social journalist by trade and student of history by lifestyle choice. He hails from central Florida, writing about political, economic, and social issues of the day. In the past, he was a contributor to Blogcritics Magazine, among other publications. He is currently at work on a book about American society.

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