Joseph Cotto, 5/27/2015 [Archive]

Preventing Amnesty Gone Wild

By Joseph Cotto

After several years on the back burner, talk about comprehensive immigration reform has finally returned.

The last time a bipartisan consensus formed on the matter was in the U.S. Senate. Unfortunately, it was centered around a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens. Whether or not amnesty will ultimately prove popular with the Republican-led U.S. House remains to be seen. Such a thing appears doubtful, though.

If anything, opposition to amnesty has solidified since last year's midterm elections. House GOPers recently rejected defense legislation because it would have provided for citizenship should an illegal serve in our military.

This move was met with strong criticism, including from center-right voices, which is what makes it so commendable. When the rubber met the road, typically spineless politicians chose the more difficult, yet patriotic, path. "The Honorable" gentlemen and gentlewomen indeed.

Still, kicking the can down the road no longer works. Illegal immigration has grown too vast 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.

Before anything else is mentioned, we must realize that the idea of rounding up and deporting illegal aliens en masse is 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 post-Great Recession 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; especially those whose constituents utilize illegal alien labor.

GOP members would be wise to remember a 2013 Gallup survey which revealed that a "majority (56 percent) 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 percent of all American registered voters who say the same."

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.

——-

Copyright 2015 Joseph Cotto, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Joseph Cotto is a historical and social journalist, and writes about politics, economics and social issues. Email him at joseph.f.cotto@gmail.com.

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