Moreover, John McCain's pro-amnesty fight, which almost cost him the Republican nomination, did nothing to help him in November, when he lost Hispanics 67-32 to Obama.
But when the McCain of 2010 ran that ad demanding that the government "complete the danged fence," he crushed conservative rival J.D. Hayworth and is on his way back to the Senate for a fifth term.
McCain's record these past three years makes the point: Pandering to Hispanics on illegal immigration is no automatic winner for the GOP among Hispanics, and a tough line against illegal aliens is no automatic loser.
Even Democrats are catching on.
In the gubernatorial race in New Mexico, the most Hispanicized state in the union, Democratic Lt. Gov. Diane Denish has promised to deny driver's licenses to illegals. Her Republican opponent, Susana Martinez, goes her one better. She will take away driver's licenses from illegal aliens who now have them. Martinez is running ahead and likely to be the first elected Latina governor in U.S. history.
Looking further into the Pew poll, Sailer found that of the seven issues of greatest concern to Hispanics, immigration ranked just fifth, barely ahead of the environment. Fewer than one in three Hispanics named immigration as extremely or very important.
The issues of greatest concern to Hispanics are education (58 percent), jobs (54 percent), health care (51 percent) and the budget deficit (35 percent).
With the exception of an intense concern over the crisis in public education affecting their children, Latinos share the concerns of other Americans. Perhaps it is time we began to treat these as our fellow Americans, rather than doing the Rovian thing and cross-dressing as La Raza Republicans.
Our immigration crisis is not an insoluble problem, if we have the will to resolve it. Not only has Homeland Security deported 780,000 illegal aliens in two years, an estimated 1 million have departed due to the Great Recession and an absence of jobs.
Yet, with 8 million U.S. jobs still held by illegal aliens, 15 million Americans out of work and another 10 million seeking work or having given up, the needed steps are simple, if not easy.
First, "complete the danged fence" on the border. Second, accelerate the deportations. Third, step up the audits and raids on scofflaw businesses that hire illegals. Fourth, enact a law in the new Congress denying automatic citizenship to babies born to parents who are in our country illegally, and dare President Obama to veto it.
Finally, demand a national moratorium on all immigration, until unemployment among all of our Americans falls to 6 percent.
Send the illegals back home, and send the Americans back to work.