No votes should be bought at the price of destroying what attracts so many to our shores. History, language, culture and faith are at the center of what it means to be an American. These are rapidly being watered down and compromised to meet the needs of those coming here, often illegally. Does pluralism mean we have to relinquish what made us great? Surely that is too high a price.
Conservatives, and the Bush administration, if it wants to save itself, should get behind the TRUE Enforcement and Border Security Act introduced by Representatives Duncan Hunter, California Republican and chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and Virgil Goode, Virginia Republican.
The bill seeks to deter illegal immigration by enforcing laws that sanction employers for hiring illegals, ends the automatic citizenship for children of illegals born in America (this might also take some constitutional reinterpretation by the Supreme Court), and removes other incentives for people who would break our laws. If the Bush administration and Republican members of Congress fail to support this measure, it will show how empty their rhetoric is on the subject and give conservatives plenty of time to find candidates for office who do support it before the next two elections.
Supporting real immigration reform would surely raise the president's job approval rating, especially if he explained it as a national security and cultural issue that gets to the heart of our identity.
Paul Weyrich said it best: "As conservatives, we need to make it clear that we will not vote for any candidate who refuses to close our borders to illegal immigration and cut back on legal immigration, at least until we can acculturate the immigrants we already have."
Are you listening, Mr. President? Are you listening Republican Party? If not, those approval numbers can still go lower and the disapproval numbers higher.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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