YAKIMA, Wash., February 2, 2013 — The Republican Party has taken what will be one of several steps needed to attract Hispanic voters. At least, some Republican senators have taken a step.
Republican Senators McCain, Mark Rubio, and Jeff Flake have all reached across the proverbial aisle with fellow Democratic senators to craft a proposal for restarting the discussion on immigration.
The reason? President Obama received 71 percent of the Hispanic vote in the last presidential election. McCain realizes that something needs to be done to attract the Hispanic vote. He said his party needs to adapt on immigration if it is to “lure the Latino vote.”
Politics makes for strange bedfellows.
The Latino community will welcome a meaningful resolution to the immigration problem. But, again, Republican senators fail to see voting Latinos as smart and savvy. A lot will depend on the Republicans understanding the issues of the Latino community.
The proposal put out earlier this week by the “gang of eight” called for the following:
1. Illegal aliens would have to register;
2. all would have to have background checks;
3. illegal aliens would have to pay all back taxes due and pay a fine for sneaking into the country.
After doing all the above, they would be placed on probation. Is this realistic?
Will an alien who has lived and worked in the U.S. for ten years or more have enough money to pay the back income taxes due and a fine? Could they borrow the money? Maybe, but it sounds more like a boom for banks.
It also has to be assumed that aliens with criminal backgrounds will not register.
What about background checks? We can’t even maintain a computer registry of gun owners, and these senators want to run a registry for eleven million illegal aliens?
Maybe we can get the Chinese to loan us the money to do it. The effort will involve large numbers of investigators, new computer systems, a great deal of software development, and a new government bureaucracy, which Republicans are supposed to hate.
So let’s assume we get millions to register, get background checks, and pay the back taxes and fines. On to probation they must go, to learn English, civics and get further background checks.
Apparently the first background checks are not going to be acceptable, especially if the registered aliens are going to be doing farm labor, or janitorial services, or finishing their education. Why two background checks? Are they going to be sweeping out top-secret rooms at the Pentagon? Why not do just one background check, correctly?
Teaching civics makes sense, but we have to teach them English also? We didn’t teach the Chinese when they came over, or the Italians, or the Germans or any other nonspeaking-English group. They learned it on their own. And where does it say you have to speak English to live in America?
Here’s an interesting fact: Many illegal aliens already speak English. They learned it on their own, some just by watching television. How much do we have to handhold? Hispanic people are as smart, motivated and capable as the earlier waves of immigrants to our country. They have richly enhanced our culture in every possible way.
Here’s the proposal’s kicker: None of the registered aliens could become citizens until the border between the U.S. and Mexico is declared secure.
Have the Republicans really changed on immigration? The bipartisan group’s pathway to citizenship is littered with obstacles and potholes. How many are there at the insistence of Republicans, and how many Hispanic votes will that lead to?
Larry Momo writes for both The Washington Times Community Political Section and the San Pedro News Pilot.
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