Let's Read the Polls About Amnesty

Phyllis Schlafly

2/11/2014 12:01:00 AM - Phyllis Schlafly

The Congressional Budget Office just reported that Obamacare will shrink the U.S. workforce by 2.5 million full-time jobs. That's stunning confirmation of how President Barack Obama's favorite legislative legacy is (as even Democrats have admitted) a "train wreck."

The job loss is caused by businesses reducing their employees' hours in order to avoid paying the employer mandate to buy insurance. Even more striking is the callous way Obama's friends are trying to put a happy face on this bad news by claiming that Americans who are reduced to part-time jobs by Obamacare will be better off because they are liberated to exercise choice about how to spend their unemployed hours. As The New York Times wrote, it will be "more possible" to leave jobs (or reduce hours for less pay) because "new government subsidies will help pay premiums."

Fifty million Americans of working age (18 to 65) are not employed, and this number has held constant throughout Obama's presidential years. That's an awesome 31 percent, a devastating blow to families' livelihoods, self-respect and belief in America as the land of opportunity.

Republicans should be addressing the issues of jobs and Obamacare, but the tone-deaf GOP establishment (the chamber-of-commerce, country-club types) keeps pushing for various versions of amnesty that will import millions of foreigners to take jobs from Americans, all the way from entry-level jobs to college-graduate jobs, imported on H-1B visas. Establishment spokesmen talk a lot about devotion to the free-market system, but they ignore the Economics 101 lesson that increasing the labor supply reduces job opportunities and wages.

Businesses do market research to identify public opinion about their products, and politicians buy a lot of public-opinion polls to identify voters who support their views and learn about how these numbers can be increased. Today's public-opinion polls prove that Republicans are fools to support any form of amnesty or the continuing importation of millions of foreigners who reject conservative views and will vote for the Democrats, who support big government and spending.

The Pew Research Center found that 75 percent of Hispanic immigrants and 55 percent of Asian immigrants prefer a "bigger government providing more services," and only 19 percent of Hispanics and only 36 percent of Asian immigrants prefer a smaller government. So why is anybody surprised that 71 percent of Hispanics and 73 percent of Asians voted for Obama in 2012?

The 2010 Cooperative Congressional Election Study found that 69 percent of immigrants support Obamacare. Pew found that 53 percent of Hispanics have a negative view of capitalism, which is an even higher percentage than self-identified Occupy Wall Street supporters.

Polls show that Republican emphasis on patriotism and national sovereignty is likely to alienate many immigrants. A Harris Poll found that 81 percent of native-born Americans believe our schools should teach students to be proud of being American, compared to only 50 percent of immigrants who have become naturalized citizens.

A survey comparing immigrants' views on the U.S. Constitution and international law is particularly shocking. A Harris Poll found 67 percent of native-born citizens believe our Constitution is a higher legal authority than international law, but only 37 percent of naturalized citizens share this view.

Even the mainstream pro-Obama media admit the significance of these poll results. The New York Times' Washington bureau chief says, "The two fastest-growing ethnic groups -- Latinos and Asian-Americans -- are decidedly liberal."

University of Alabama political scientist George Hawley observes that "immigrants are well to the left of the American public on a number of key issues."

Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute pointed out that it "is not immigration policy that creates the strong bond between Hispanics and the Democratic Party, but the core Democratic principles of a more generous safety net, strong government intervention in the economy, and progressive taxation."

Ronald Reagan signed a generous amnesty in 1986. Then, in the 1988 election, George H.W. Bush received only 30 percent of the Latino vote, seven percentage points less than Reagan had received.

Amnesty advocates like to point to the effective assimilation of millions of immigrants from about 1880 to 1920 as a model to encourage similar large-scale immigration today. However, that was followed by a national pause in immigration from the 1920s to the 1960s, which allowed newcomers to assimilate, learn our language and customs, and adapt to our unique system of government.

Moreover, it still took decades before those immigrants moved into the Republican column. Before they did, the immigrants and their children provided much of the political support to pass the New Deal and the Great Society.

The bottom line is that amnesty, or any version thereof, is suicide for the conservative movement and the Republican Party.