The GOP Won’t Pass Immigration Reform – and It Could Prove Disastrous

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Former Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., responds during the Des Moines Register Republican Presidential Debate in Johnston, Iowa, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Former Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., responds during the Des Moines Register Republican Presidential Debate in Johnston, Iowa, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Dog whistle politics have served Republicans well. But with shifting demographics, they may become an albatross around the party’s neck. No issue reflects that dynamic as clearly as immigration reform. Failure to address a broken system has alienated key constituencies since George W. Bush’s abortive attempt to pass the McCain-Kennedy bill back in 2005.

And it continues to do so today.

In January, Republican leaders in the House unveiled a long-anticipated set of principles for immigration reform, finely tailored to gain the support of a skeptical GOP caucus.

They require a major increase in both border security and interior immigration enforcement before any undocumented families could come out of the shadows. They offer a form of legalization, but not the much debated “path to citizenship.” Rather, unauthorized immigrants would eventually be able to apply for work permits if, as presented in the Republican outline, “they were willing to admit their culpability, pass rigorous background checks, pay significant fines and back taxes, develop proficiency in English and American civics, and be able to support themselves and their families (without access to public benefits).”

Despite the conservative tilt, as of Wednesday, Roll Call reports that only 19 House Republicans have openly expressed support for their leadership’s initiative, and only two others have even entertained the possibility. That, in a nutshell, reflects the greatest challenge of a party that faces strong headwinds in national contests going forward.

The party is between a rock and a hard place. Thousands of words have been written about the potential consequences that may follow if the GOP further alienates America’s fastest growing voting blocs. National campaign strategists worry that in a few election cycles, Republicans could be reduced to a rump Southern party.

But those worries aren’t necessarily embraced by the rank-and-file. A combination of fierce gerrymandering, natural migration patterns and ideological polarization have resulted in a huge number of Republicans representing districts that are increasingly homogenous, both ideologically and ethnically. House Republicans won’t pass immigration reform, even though their party must, because many of them have little incentive to do so.

As Nate Silver pointed out in The New York Times, between 1992 and 2012, the number of competitive “swing” districts in the United States dropped from 103 to 35. Meanwhile, “the number of landslide districts — those in which the presidential vote margin deviated by at least 20 percentage points from the national result — has roughly doubled. In 1992, there were 123 such districts (65 of them strongly Democratic and 58 strongly Republican). Today, there are 242 of them (of these, 117 favor Democrats and 125 Republicans).”

Lawmakers’ voting patterns have followed this trend. According to National Journal’s congressional rankings, over the past four years, no Senate Democrat has had a more conservative record than the most liberal Republican, and vice versa. In the House, there were only four members whose voting records fell within that overlapping center last year. That represents an enormous shift since 1982, when “58 senators and 344 House members had voting records that put them between the most liberal Republican and the most conservative Democrat.”

Racial polarization has also increased in House districts. Pollster Charlie Cook notes that between 2000 and 2010, the non-Hispanic white population fell from 69 to 64 percent, but after redistricting in 2010, the average white share of Republican districts actually increased from 73 to 75 percent. Even that doesn’t tell the whole story; an analysis by National Journal’s Scott Bland found that 111 of the 233 House Republicans represent districts that are more than 80 percent white.

Those lawmakers may worry about the party’s national standing, but their first concern is getting re-elected every two years in these increasingly uniform districts. They fear primary challenges from the right. And while liberals often tout polls showing Republican voters’ support for immigration reform, there’s an “intensity-gap” among the party faithful — those opposed to reform are often the loudest voices in the room. And, as Benjy Sarlin noted for the website Talking Points Memo, many Republican voters who support immigration reform hold negative views of immigrants themselves. They tend to see them as a burden on society.

It’s a big problem for the party when Republicans express that view in public. Although relatively small in number, Asian-Americans are the fastest growing demographic and only 26 percent of them supported Mitt Romney in the 2012 election. Behind them are Latinos, 27 percent of whom backed Romney. Both groups skew younger than the population as a whole, meaning that with each election cycle more come of voting age. And both have soured on the GOP since George Bush won around 40 percent of their votes in 2004. Their loyalties aren’t determined by immigration policy alone, but the Republican Party’s perceived hostility to minorities threatens to turn each into a reliably Democratic voting bloc.

It’s unfair to paint an entire party as a bunch of nativists, but despite the growing demographic threat, dog whistles still sound in Republican politics. Texas gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott calls South Texas a “Third World country,” infamous xenophobe and former congressman Tom Tancredo is favored to win the GOP nomination to run for governor of Colorado, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) has warned of immigrants bringing “terror babies” into the US and Rep. Steve King (R-IA) — a self-proclaimed contender for the 2016 presidential race — said last summer that for every child of an undocumented immigrant “who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds — and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

Add the voices of right-wing talk-radio and other conservative media, and one can see why national GOP strategists are losing sleep: they fear turning broad swaths of the country into California. It was long a swing state – until demographic shifts and Governor Pete Wilson’s 1994 campaign demonizing immigrants for the state’s problems. Before that, Republicans had won eight of nine presidential contests in the Golden State, and held the governorship in seven of 10 elections. Now California is reliably blue.

The backdrop to all of this is the coming of age of a wave of millennials, young people who appear to be one of the most progressive generations in America. Shaped by the War on Terror and the failures of Bush’s two terms, these are not going to be voters who come running to the high-pitched shriek of dog whistle politics. The youngest are 14 years old, and as they approach voting age, Republicans should be embracing the richness of America’s diverse population. Yet their most loyal constituents would never tolerate it.

Joshua Holland is a senior digital producer for BillMoyers.com. He’s the author of The Fifteen Biggest Lies About the Economy (and Everything Else the Right Doesn’t Want You to Know about Taxes, Jobs and Corporate America) (Wiley: 2010), and host of Politics and Reality Radio. Follow him on Twitter or drop him an email at hollandj [at] moyersmedia [dot] com.
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  • Norman Morris

    Native Americans would not pass immigration reform and look what happened to them?

  • Tom Smith

    This guy talks about Republican Gerrymandering?
    What a joke.
    The Demoncats want to attach a slum, ghetto or barrio to every GOP district.

  • Anonymous

    Latinos are not the monolithic voting block they would present themselves as, nor are they a majority. The Republicans are responding not to “dog whistle politics” but the actual demands of the American people.
    One look at most of the comment sections of almost any mainstream media article reveals that Americans don’t want to give amnesty to everyone who can manage to set foot here, even though that is what most of the stories plead for.
    The failure to pass immigration reform will indeed prove disastrous…for the Democrats. This year they are already well set to lose the mid-term elections because their president, after several years, has still failed to address the problems of average Americans while at the same time crying for the “rights” of corporations and of those who decided to push their way into our society.

  • Anonymous

    Cute, but actually there weren’t that many natives left when the English arrived. There were at one time a hundred million on this continent, but by the time the Pilgrims got here, a plague had reduced that to about ten million.
    Had it not, they would have suffered the fate of the Vikings for 400 years prior; their heads on poles as a warning to other trespassers.

  • hacimo

    Where did you get this BS about 100 million american indians before the white invasion? A totally ridiculous number. The whole of Europe did not have 100 million souls in the 15th century. Even China did not have 100 million people at that time. N america did not pass the 100 million mark until around 1920. I suppose your clueless ignorance about population numbers and history is what happens when they stop teaching these subjects in public schools.

  • Anonymous

    Well, comments sections tend to attract the angriest people. Poll after poll after poll shows that Americans don’t like the idea of giving them a free ride, but favor a process where they pay fines and back taxes and get legal.

  • Anonymous

    Mostly small pox… and I think you added an extra zero… and the Vikings weren’t forced out of anywhere – if we’re talking about L’Anse aux Meadows – they got ahead of a supply train that wasn’t coming anyway … oh and they weren’t the ‘peaceful noble natives’ they’re made out to be in Hallmark Specials either.. but who’s counting ?

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  • wigglwagon

    The article says, “Thousands of words have been written about the potential consequences that may follow if the GOP further alienates America’s fastest growing voting blocs.”

    The potential consequences of allowing America to be dominated by people who have more children than they can afford to properly care for will be disastrous. It was a good ride, America.

  • K Brown

    Not gonna happen this year..or next. The best time to try it will be 2017, a year with no congressional or Presidential elections looming and a year when we’ll have a President we can trust to enforce the laws as written rather than how HE rights them.

  • marshall

    Gop I swear I will hate you forever…I promise I’ll fight against you for all my life! cowards

  • Anonymous

    Karen, mandating e-verify for all U.S. jobs will solve the “invisible people” problem.

    As for human trafficking, if the current population of exploitable people is legalized, the human traffickers will just abandon them import the next wave of fresher, younger exploitable people to be sold, prostituted and treated like possessions.

    How do we know this? It happened after the 1986 amnesty, which explains why we are right back here again.

    “Good Samaritan Law”??? Something like, send a check to someone in the U.S. and the U.S. government gives you a green card to follow your money? LOL

  • Jim Valley

    The silver lining in all this is the inability of today’s wretched republican party to win national elections. It has devolved from a major national political party into a minor regional religious cult.

    So, no more republican presidents. (Hooray!) And, every Supreme Court Justice will be appointed by a Democrat for the foreseeable future. This will allow us to gradually restore balance to the bizarrely right-wing Supreme Court we are saddled with now. No more Citizens United! No more gutting the Voting Rights Act! No more bush v. Gore!

  • Anonymous

    You are misreading the polls you speak of.

    Of course polls show that they should pay fines for breaking the law and pay back taxes like all citizens and legal residents would have to. Getting legal requires them to leave the job and go to the back of the line, which INCLUDES waiting outside the US where the back of the line actually exists.

    If they do not have to leave the country after paying fines and back taxes, then they are getting a free ride unlike the millions patiently waiting outside the U.S. to get legal.

  • Anonymous

    Awesome comment George! I am a die hard liberal minority and dislike the GOP but on this issue alone, one part of the GOP immigration policy would actually benefit poor minority workers and the democratic party, which is taking the minority vote for granted, may lose me.

    However, I hate the other GOP immigration principle of allowing corporations to import foreign workers by claiming they can’t find local workers.

    The first party that completely stops all employment based immigrationand mandates e-verify in consideration of protecting workers in America will surely win.

  • Anonymous

    The Liberal side are the “dog whistlers” here. Stand back and THINK.

    Our population is going through the roof, most of that growth is due to immigration.

    We have massive unemployment, yet we are importing more people, much of that at the behest of big business.

    All of this nonsense about our laws “separating families” is a complete dog whistle. The choices of illegal aliens are what is causing family separation, and those families are completely free to re-unify in the home country if someone (rightfully!) gets deported.

    The liberals have been dog-whistled into pushing for amnesty and increased immigration because th ewhistlers have framed it as a racial/civil right issue. It is not, but that’s how it has been marketed to liberals.

    No defense of conservatives here mind you, they have their own issues. But if liberals took the time to think about excessive and illegal immigration, they would oppose it on environmental and economic grounds.

  • Anonymous

    You go after the illegal employers. We gave a blanket amnesty in 1986, with the (broken) promise that after that our laws would be enforced. That amnesty was an invitation for the current wave of illegals to come. We simply cannot make that mistake again.

  • Anonymous

    For those who like their racism unvarnished…

  • Anonymous

    No, it requires filing paper work which is processed in order. You can deny that yours is a minority view — deport ‘em all, no quarter — but it is.

  • Anonymous

    If the Democrats would admit what the illegal, uneducated, unskilled invaders are doing to this country we could begin with mass deportations.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t be so sure… What most Americans really want is to go after the illegal employer and end birthright citizenship.

    We have E-Verify, make it mandatory.

    We have the SS database to detect fraudulent ID, use it!

    Citizenship/immigration status of a newborn should mirror that of the mother. Anchor babies and maternity tourism are abuses and these practices need to end.

  • JonThomas

    Let’s put aside the prejudiced spirit behind your statements of ‘uneducated and ‘unskilled’ invaders’ for a second, and point out that there just as many (more even) poorly educated naturally born citizens in this country. Next, let’s just state the truth about skill level…

    Most undocumented immigrants come here at a very young age (especially those from nations to the south.) The jobs they take on are low skilled at best, and at that age they have just as much skill as born and bred Americans.

    If you have a skill, the unskilled (of any background) aren’t even competing with you!

    Educated, or uneducated, undocumented immigrants only take the jobs that unscrupulous American employers are far too happy to offer them at extremely low wages! Instead of those employers, it’s the immigrants that are easily blamed!

    Now, back to the spirit behind your words…

    As I said, it’s easy for you to blame the powerless, isn’t it? But if your grievances have merit, why not take your anger out on the supposedly educated, ILLEGAL employers?

    People who come here looking to work are simply doing what they can to make a better life for themselves. Many come from places where floors are literally dirt! They often do have skills, but in types of work that simply does not exist in many rural locations outside of the developments that we take for granted. If any person (including you or I) found ourselves in conditions like they do, we may very well make the same choices!

    The American employers who hire these so-called “uneducated, unskilled invaders” are not acting out of desperation. They are acting out of profit motive and greed! A false economy, propped up by corporate farm subsidies exists that allows the low cost of food. Americans choose not to work under harsh conditions, doing extremely arduous labor around poisonous chemicals where corporate farmers pay MUCH LESS than minimum wages but extract huge profits.

    Blaming those powerless undocumented immigrants is easy, popular to an unthinking audience, and may initially sound like the morally correct position, but given ALL the facts, it’s much more intricate than a moral and truth vacant 1 sentence comment.

  • saints

    thank! you save thousand of dollar in tax return

  • Buster

    Thank you! Very well said! I will share this if you don’t mind.

  • JonThomas

    Thank you for your kind words. Nope, don’t mind. I guess I should just mention the obvious blah, blahs consisting of – be honest of your sources. :-)

  • kala

    Good one, Hacimo. So true, and funny if it weren’t so sad….

  • Anonymous

    And I guess they didn’t trust Bush or Clinton or any of the other presidents that attempted to pass immigration reform before?

    What ever your motives how about being brave enough to admit it instead of hiding behind the ridiculous party line of not trusting the president.

    And this is from a registered Republican.

  • K Brown

    Neither Bush nor Clinton ever sighed a bill into law and then delayed, canceled, adjusted, or changed the law to make it more to their liking. Obama raised the minimum wage for Federal contractors on his own, delayed several Obamacare provisions until after the election, shut down coal power plants without Congressional approval, and an amnesty as well. Of course he can’t be trusted.

  • Anonymous

    Yup, that’s what all the polls are saying….

    Or are the polls rigged by the ‘liberal media’?

  • Anonymous

    Agree, but we need more jobs, not more people at ALL skill levels. Tech workers have been decimated by H1B visas, and the Senate bill wants to vastly increase those at the behest of the Zuckerberg types of Silicon Valley.

    The illegals know what they are doing, and the planning makes it a conspiracy and nothing less. They ARE to blame, and we owe them nothing but a boot.

    As for illegal employers yes, they absolutely deserve to be dealt with. Jail for hiring managers is the only effective punishment, fines will just be a cost of business. I doubt our government will act, it may come down to American citizens protesting and perhaps some civil disobedience directed against illegal employers.

  • wigglwagon

    Old Josh is so far out that he does not know the difference between racism and economics.

  • mgibson

    I know many of these kids who are a million times smarter and talented than you. They wouldn’t write derogatory statements about other human beings on the web. Some of them wrote the software (FWD.us ) that Mark zuckerberg uses to push reform. I’ve personally hired many of them and will continue to do so.
    It is those of you who depend on handouts from the Government that are screaming the loudest because you think they will compete with you over handouts and welfare.

    Take some courage from these:

    1. The slave masters lost slavery as an economic system.
    2. The Union won against the Confederacy
    3. The Cilvil rights leaders won
    4. Hitler never succeeded

    Case in point: good always prevails over evil. And frankly, nobody really cares what you feel or think. You don’t have much influence to affect the political process. The Government will only take your vote and tax money but they will do what’s best for America and humanity so sit tight and watch or waste your time on hateful comments why others get ahead of you in life. You won’t become a millionaire automatically if all 11 million undocumented immigrants are deported because you’ll still have 300+ million other smarter people to compete with…put a suck in it then!

  • mgibson

    To all reformers, leave these angry conservatives fools and spend your time on mobilizing our ground game for the up coming elections. Some of these people will still be angry even if all 11 million undocumented immigrants are deported so just leave them in their misery and focus on what will get us ahead.

  • Anonymous

    What’s wrong with “filing paperwork which is processed in order”? This is the most fair system.

  • Anto de Chav

    “undocumented immigrants” is a euphemism for illegal immigrant..

  • Anonymous

    Poor people? You mean the criminal trespassers who broke into our country and their illegal employers? Sorry, no sympathy.

  • Anonymous

    Unless they are an American citizen right?

  • Anonymous

    eg55 gives us the globalist thinking, personified here. Borders don’t matter, every “good person” worldwide has the same right to work in America. That’s the argument, right there.

  • rags_555

    @VinceD2:disqus I wonder if you ever cared to educate yourself about the process for a H1b visa. Pl go to the Dept of Labor site to read about it. There are so many clauses and prereqs before a petition is approved before an employer can get someone to the US. Your notion of tech workers being decimated shows your ignorance. And oh btw , do you also know the H1B workers contribute to the social security & medicare while they dont get to use it?

  • Joe Guzzardi

    First, no one is going to pay back taxes; the Senate bill doesn’t require it. Nor is anyone going to learn English; that was required in the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act but it never happened.

    Second, Hispanics and other minorities aren’t going to vote Democratic. Recently arrived immigrants want big government, historically provided by Democrats.

    Third, no one (especially 20 million unemployed Americans) favors the huge increases in work permits that the Senate and House bills would generate. 12-20 million illegal immigrants would be given immediate work authorization BEFORE the border is secured; legal immigration would nearly triple during the first decade.

    Work permission is amnesty for illegal immigrants. And recent research from the Pew Hispanic Center showed that only a fraction of Mexicans eligible for citizenship have taken advantage of the privilege.

    And while Holland claims its “unfair” to paint an entire party as xenophobes, he proceeds to do just that. Notice the attached Tancredo photo even though he’s no longer serving in Congress and therefore has no vote on any bill that might emerge from the House.

    Okay, Holland’s is an opinion piece but based on half truths and deceptions.

    Final question for Holland: after the 1986 IRCA, the promised border and internal enforcement never developed. As a result, the then 2.5 million illegal immigrant population grew to today’s 12 million. Without enforcement, which is only “planned,” what do you project the illegal immigrant population will be in 2040?

  • Wesley

    Big business wants cheap labor therefore there will be no immigration reform. Keeping immigrants illegal creates a cheap labor underclass with no voice and no representation. It’s the best scenario for the exploiter class that is quickly becoming too fat. With GOP support they will diminish the middle and working class standard of living. They’ve been at it for a while now.

  • jmcdtucson

    Big business signed onto this reform because it doubles legal immigration, keeping wages low.
    Historically high immigration rates over the last 30 years are diminishing the middle and working class standard of living. That’s why this reform is (and should be) dead in the water.

  • jmcdtucson

    Yes, deserve. But moving 6 billion people to the United States isn’t the right solution to global poverty.

  • jmcdtucson

    Agreed, don’t blame the illegal immigrants, blame the employers and the politicians whose campaigns they finance. It’s exactly why, as Democrats, we should oppose this bill – it keeps wages low by doubling already historic immigration rates.

  • jmcdtucson

    And it should be pointed out that E-Verify will only solve the problem if it is enforced. Just look at the deferred action program to understand how laws don’t mean anything if they’re not enforced.

  • http://nolp.blogspot.com/ davidfarrar

    Well over 150 million, one-third of the population of this country.

    ex animo
    davidfarrar

  • jmcdtucson

    Those polls you’re referring to provide a false dichotomy (should we (a) provide a path to citizenship or (b) deport them all).
    They also fail to mention the most important part of the immigration bill – the part that doubles legal immigration from the historically high rates already in place.
    When those two flaws are removed, Americans overwhelmingly oppose comprehensive immigration reform

  • jmcdtucson

    Again with the “path to citizenship vs. deport ‘em all” false dichotomy.

  • jmcdtucson

    Yup, couldn’t agree more.

  • jmcdtucson

    Speculative at best.

  • Anonymous

    Nobody in Congress or the media want to address the question of how another amnesty that would add 33 million foreign workers to our workforce in just 10 years would benefit 20 million Americans who can’t find full-time work. And for the record: This business about illegals “paying back taxes” is bogus. This applies only to those who used an ITIN to pay taxes but still owe something to the government, and their numbers are relatively small.

  • Anonymous

    Rather be in limbo than Hell! Granting amnesty and vastly increasing legal immigration will doom this nation’s working class at ALL skill levels. Unfortunately with Reid in the Senate and Obama in the WH, gridlock is the best outcome we can realistically hope for on this issue.

  • Anonymous

    And like the rest of our laws, the H1B law is ignored!

    Example: One of my former employers “leased” Indian engineers and computer programmers from Wipro and Tata. These poor guys were abused, 70+ hours per week, and if they didn’t like it they would be sent home. One of these guys that I worked with said he was making $20k/yr. He had no reason to lie.

    My education about H1B’s was on the front lines, not in a law book. I saw the reality of this disgraceful program.

    And while these folks were coming in, American engineers were being let go, mostly over 40 males. We had a tally sheet of names. One guy did an off the record six sigma project and PROVED age discrimination using statistics.

    So take your condescending attitude and shove it. I have see the reality of this attack against American workers. It’s not pretty.

  • Anonymous

    Why won’t the government enact real enforcement first to show good faith? Promises of past immigration reform efforts have not been kept. The public doesn’t trust the government to enforce the laws already on the books. They don’t trust that the government actually wants to stop illegal immigration.

    And why isn’t anyone talking about the massive increases in LEGAL immigration demanded by business interests in exchange for supporting amnesty for current illegals? At a time when so many Americans can’t find jobs, business wants to import more cheap labor.

  • Wesley

    Big business signs into a lot of things then sends army of lobbyists to do the actions they actually want. Just as the puppet congressmen promise you one thing while they work for their biggest donors.

  • Mike

    The USA doubles its population every 60 years. We have to get our own house in order and set the example.

  • desert life

    If you keep buying things made in china there will be more Americans without jobs.

  • desert life

    fair and rational folks? yeah right.

    If you are so rational, why you keep buying things made in China? if you care so much about unemployment you should be buying only things made in the U.S.

  • desert life

    And tell me, are buying only things made in USA? Otherwise you are contributing to the diminishing of the middle and working class standard of living.

  • desert life

    Entering the country illegally is considered a federal misdemeanor and lacking legal immigration status is a civil violation.

  • desert life

    Connect the dot between you buying things made in china and joblessness and wage depression.
    If you really care about American workers then don’t buy things made in China.

  • desert life

    Oh, you are so smart.

  • Anonymous

    What about identity theft and fraud? Working illegally? Sorry, these people are anything but innocent.

    And I hope there’s a very special corner of He11 reserved for illegal employers! They are the real problem.

  • Anonymous

    Actually the Senate bill vastly increases legal immigration at ALL skill levels. Not good new fo American workers.

  • Anonymous

    I do my best to avoid MIC. So does my wife and she is a LEGAL immigrant from China!

  • Anonymous

    What kind of visa did you come with? My wife came as a student, we met and eventually got married, No problems. We did the forms ourselves, no lawyers needed. It went very smooth.

    I don’t know your situation, but if you came on a tourist visa, yes they have an expiration date. So do student visas.

    Just because some are not allowed to come does not mean the law is “broken”. We cannot open the borders to all or we’d be as overpopulated as China.

  • desert life

    If government would admit what the uneducated,unskilled, redneck, racist, people on welfare with iphone are doing to this country, we could begin with mass welfare cuts.

  • desert life

    You do your best… I see.

  • Anonymous

    Yep, unfortunately it’s almost impossible to completely avoid foreign goods from nations who are not fair trading partners. But for one example when I ordered a new car a few years ago, I specified that it be built in the US or Canada, not Mexico. I do not want to support the corporate lust for cheap wages. Wish more people took action on this.

  • NotARedneck

    Unfortunately, the “illegal employers” are major RepubliCON backers so the poor illegals are really on their own with the RepubliCONs on this one.

    The right wing criminal trash legislators will only vote for legislation that continues to provide this gravy train (very cheap labour) for their friends – whether it be a scumbag meat packing operation owner or a bimbo blond trophy wife who is too lazy to cut her own grass.

  • NotARedneck

    “And I hope there’s a very special corner of He11 reserved for illegal employers! They are the real problem.”

    Jerry Falwell promised that all RepubliCON supporters would go to heaven!

  • NotARedneck

    Unfortunately, it is the RepubliCONs (and all other right wing trash, for that matter) who want to depress wages. They LOVE illegal immigration, legal and temporary workers too. Meanwhile, like all politicians who benefit from racist, wedge issues, they love this problem too and want it to fester.

    Basically, what exists is an insurmountable problem that has grown under 30 years of predominately right wing RepubliCON sponsored politics. Deporting 10 to 15 million illegals, even if they could be found, is really beyond the capability of the federal government. Sorry but any right wing so called “response” is just plain nonsense. Besides, they really don’t want to “solve” this problem, only profit from it by keeping their majority of morons seated in the House. These turkeys need cheap Latino labour to mow their lawns.

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  • jmcdtucson

    How is this relevant to the topic at hand? Off-shoring manufacturing is a completely separate issue.

  • jmcdtucson

    Why? Are you? No one does because so many things are made abroad. Does that mean no one is allowed to discuss immigration? Of course not! It’s a ludicrous assertion.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, Jerry Falwell! LOL! What as a$$

  • Anonymous

    Well, nice personal attack there, but absolutely ZERO logic or reason. Typical.

    Fact is that illegals AND THEIR EMPLOYERS are pushing American workers out of jobs and in to poverty. Sorry that you seem to think that is some right of theirs but it is not. Actually Mexico doesn’t think excessive immigration is good either, check out their laws!

    The system isn’t broken, we simply have not enforced our laws because you and the Cheap Labor Lobby want cheap votes and cheap workers.

  • JonThomas

    I get that you are trying to give an example to make a point, but your particular example consists of a classic strawman argument.

    By coming here looking for work, undocumented immigrants (as a whole) are not engaging in violent, or directly destructive actions. They are simply trying to make a LIVING.

    Sancho, I’m not going to chase your windmills because they are not monsters, nor are they the ‘ferocious giants.’.I don’t accept the premise of your example because it sets up false parameters.

    Personally, I see them as fellow humans trying to make it in a very unforgiving societies. These unforgiving societies are what is immoral.

    A better example would be where a neighboring town (perhaps to the south) was pillaged and was being controlled by tyrants. When they were hungry and desperate, these neighbors walked up to your place and wanted to work and earn their living.

    Instead of reaching out and finding ways to help, the powerful in your town wanted the resources and cheap labor found through the tyrant’s corrupt ways, and actually supported the tyrants. A little history search reveals that the early settlers of your town actually STOLE your land through violence FROM the Great, Great-Grandparents of the people now in trouble.

    You have the audacity and ignorance to warn me of consequences for my pointing out that these people are just hungry and wanting to better themselves? Your ancestors were genocidal thieves, and everything you have was STOLEN from the them!

    Here’s the deal… There are no simple answers to this problem. But when people like yourself, and the OP of this small discussion, go after the weak, while wanting to ignore the powerful (the illegal employers, the Governments and exploitative forces involved, etc…) you gain little sympathy from me… well a bit for what may be (“may be” – because you might just be an average person and not one of the knowing participants in this vast venal power dynamic) your ignorance or un-thought-through position.

    As for morality…The best example of the moral thing to do would be to do as the Good Samaritan did… Why wait for someone to be in a position to steal? Why wait for them to NEED a place to live?

    The fact that there are people who are in such need is a direct consequence of the Capitalist, exploitative, non-caring, non-sharing, empire and domination – mindset.

    These people aren’t lazy looters out to take what you have. They are simply darker skinned, non-English speaking average people looking to feed themselves and their families!

    Comments like yours and the OP are so devoid of understanding and compassion, while so full of contempt, even your valid points lose legitimacy!!!!

    Here’s some advice which you are free to ignore… learn to present your argument in ways that do not use prejudiced terms and ideas. These people are not thieves, nor looters. They are not evil just because they might not have the same types of skills or education, and the people themselves do not have to be your enemy.

    I speak Spanish, and have labored alongside of many Mexican, Guatemalan, Salvadoran, and Honduran people who were here without papers. My neighbors where I live are from the South, and I have not asked nor do not care if they have papers or not. They are better neighbors than many on the street who are natural born Americans.

    What these people are, are HUMANS! To fix this problem, you can’t build walls, you can’t throw insulting derogatory accusations, you can’t spend trillions on military patrols… the only fix is through changing the governmental leadership, the deeply entrenched forces of commercial exploitation, and the unmerciful domineering attitudes of those who wield power.

    In short, keep blustering, this is not a simplistic subject to be handled through blaming the weak. And there won’t be any fixes for quite a while.

  • JonThomas

    I posted my long answer, here’s my short…

    I just feed, help, and treat them on an individual basis, just as I would anyone needing food and a place to live.

    The consequences? I have made many friends and good acquaintances among our undocumented visitors. They help me, and I help them.

  • Anonymous

    So you are just talking about people already here? You’re not advocating for an increase in immigration from the current 1 million new, permanent legal immigrants every year?

  • Anonymous

    They’re free to return home.

    By the way, go to Mexico illegally and they don’t mess around.

  • Anonymous

    Yep, welfare need to be reformed, another discussion. What we really need to do is dump “Free Trade Fundamentalism”. That trade deficit represents millions of jobs sent offshore to make the 1% richer. Bring jobs back, then welfare cuts happen.

  • Anto de Chav

    And sarcasm is genius.. was that sarcasm made in china?

  • desert life

    I don’t think so, if it was you would buy it.

  • Anto de Chav

    LoL… relax.. don’t take it too seriously,but immigration reform is a serious subject and will bring nothing but trouble,it will destroy the USA as we know it..

  • desert life

    Don’t worry undocumented workers or illegal immigrants as you may prefer, are used to work hard for their money.

    Racists will keep living on welfare even if there were long lines of employers to offer them jobs.

  • desert life

    A simple action a few years ago and you think you can say you do your best.

    Well Vinced2, I have to inform you that “your best” it’s not working. And you know that buying things made in china increases joblessness and lower wages. But you insist in blaming the undocumented workers for everything instead.

    You keep ignoring the big elephant in the room.

  • desert life

    If you care about unemployed Americans, stop buying things made in China.

    NO industry no jobs.
    Outsourcing American jobs to China has crippled this country , not the illegal immigration.

  • Anonymous

    Well, sorry your reading comprehension is lacking. That was ONE example. Yes, I am completely aware that the trade deficit is a big part of our problem, China, Korea, Mexico,,,, Yeah. it’s ALL important!.

    But the fact that you refuse to acknowledge is that there are ~7M illegals in this country doing non-ag jobs that American workers would love to do for a fair wage. Because of this illegal workforce, millions more have suffered wage depression.

    Do I blame illegals for ALL of the nation’s woes? Of course not. But they and especially their employers do bear a large chunk of the blame.

    There are several “elephants in the room” as you put it. Illegals and their employers are a large problem.

  • Anonymous

    THANK YOU!

    Yes, as Democrats, we should oppose this for some LIBERAL REASONS.

    This harms American workers.

    It drops a population bomb on our nation, probably adding 100M in 25 years.

    What are the environmental consequences of this?

    THINK!

  • Anonymous

    Hey fellow redneck!

    We’re on the same side 100%! NEITHER party is representing the American worker anymore. The “Cheap Labor Lobby” is spending millions to get more immigration so they can be even richer.

  • Owen Johnson

    I wonder if anyone posting comments here is aware of a few facts. First, net migration between the US and Mexico has been stalled at about zero ever since the housing market collapsed in 2008-2009. Second, a lot of undocumented workers ARE having taxes taken out of their pay, and in some cases it actually makes its way into the US Treasury, in others it’s pocketed by their law-breaking employers. Third, if we were to give a large number of now-illegal workers green cards, making them legal workers, tax revenue and wages would actually rise. If an immigrant laborer without papers has a problem with their employer or are being paid sub-minimum wages, they can do nothing about it but if they have legal status, they can. More dollars in the economy helps everyone.

    Some commenters here have it right that the GOP won’t pass reform because so many of their backers like the sub-par wages they can pay undocumented workers. Toward the end of Clinton’s time in office, INS started going after the employers and fining them heavily. The day Bush took office, that stopped.

    Undocumented workers are not the cause of our job shortage; they were here long before the outsourcing and profiteering killed American industry.