Steve Deace

Likely fellow 2016 GOP presidential rival Marco Rubio has taken some heat from the conservative grassroots for being the face of "comprehensive immigration reform" (or what many conservatives call amnesty). Now it appears Rand Paul is going to the left of Rubio on this issue if you read his column in The Washington Times.

Rand refers to illegal aliens as "undocumented citizens" in the first sentence of the fifth paragraph, which is overly gracious wording not even the liberal media uses. Rand says Rubio's plan for fines and penalties for those who came here illegally as a means of making restitution is too harsh because many of them "are poor and may not be able to ever pay ten years of back payroll taxes. I would be willing to forego the fines and back taxes in exchange for a longer and significant time period before these folks are eligible to enter into the green card line." Rand never says who's going to be paying for those people that wait even longer for amnesty.

Rand says he would "normalize" illegals (aka amnesty) at a rate of two million per year, beginning with what he refers to as "Dream Act kids." I remember hearing from many Ron Paul people who criticized Mike Huckabee during the 2008 Iowa Caucuses because he was too soft on the illegal immigration issue. I wonder what those same people think after reading this? At least Rand was smart enough to write it in a conservative newspaper, and not pose for a photo-op with two liberals and the ultimate RINO as Rubio did.

The entire premise of Rand's piece is what's best and fair for the illegal aliens, and never discusses what's best and fair for the people here legally, paying taxes, and paying the freight for those who aren't. It’s frankly the kind argumentation we hear from the left, and the kind of logic a President Paul would be confronted with daily if he actually attempted to do anything about the welfare state.

A glaring omission from his column is any mention of the Constitution and the rule of law. It's never mentioned at all. Considering this is the same man that has been so bold and appreciated for his defense of our Constitutionally-protected liberties like life, property, and an overly intrusive government, that's hard not to notice.

But while the Constitution is never mentioned, there is a bleeding heart story about a boy who came here illegally from Peru and is now a student at the University of Arkansas, and how he needs our help (see that as amnesty). Except Rand doesn't tell us how someone who came here illegally got admitted to college in the first place, and how his education is being paid for. There are several potential answers to those questions, and none of them are good if you're here legally and a taxpayer.

Each night I work with a producer who just graduated from college, and she has years of student loan debt she's paying off. If we're going to start with bleeding heart examples of people who need a taxpayer-funded amnesty, why don't we start with the people actually paying their bills on behalf of others like our own Rebekah Maxwell?

How is it the same guy who thinks foreign aid is unconstitutional, not to mention an undue burden on the taxpayer, uses a bleeding heart example about foreign aid access to America's taxpayer-subsidized education system? How is that not a contradiction?

I point all this out as someone who just said a few days ago that no one was doing a better job of laying the ground work for a 2016 presidential than Rand Paul. But that was before I read this piece. The people who vote in Republican primaries on the issue of immigration do not support any kind of amnesty. Rand's reach has exceeded his grasp here. If his goal in this piece was to differentiate himself from Rubio he most certainly did – by helping him. Rubio's plan comes off as Texas style law-and-order compared to what Rand wrote in this column.

Rubio has been criticized by conservatives for giving his response to the upcoming State of the Union in Spanish, and Rand has been praised for giving the Tea Party response instead. Yet Rand's fellow Republican Senator Jeff Sessions, who serves on the Budget Committee, says these kinds of amnesty plans are likely to add trillions of dollars to the deficit . The Tea Party already took a credibility hit for letting Mitt Romney slide on Romneycare when we opposed Obamacare. Does the Tea Party now want to back amnesty? I thought we were for less government here?

What's ironic here is that I'm not even a hard-liner on the issue myself. I'm not a "deport them all" guy. I'm willing to give people a chance to experience the American dream provided they are not criminals, don't ask me for a handout, and pay restitution for breaking the law like any American would have to if we went to their country illegally. But what really irks me about this entire discussion is our own side is using all the flawed reasoning of the left to justify it.

The same kind of bleeding heart argumentation Rand utilizes in his column is the exact line of reasoning the Left uses to justify all their unconstitutional/wealth redistribution schemes. We are accepting the premise of purely emotion-based arguments, and then criticizing those with the opposite emotional response of "send them all home because I'm taxed enough already." Maybe I’m crazy here, but I’m thinking if we can’t make a case for a policy being what’s best for taxpayers we shouldn’t advocate that policy.

Furthermore, if there are 11 million illegal aliens in America (remember during the McCain-Kennedy debate in 2007 we were told there were 12-20 million), and Karl Rove is right that providing amnesty to them will result in the GOP consistently getting 40% of the Hispanic vote, then that means there's a net gain of approximately 1.5 million new voters for the Democrats. Tell me how that helps us?

I want the Rand Paul who kicks this garbage to the curb and defends the sanctity of life, the taxpayer, the Second Amendment, and the rights of American citizens not to be illegally detained by their own government without due process of law. I like that guy. Do you know where he went?

Heck, I might even be interested in seeing that guy become president one day. Let me know if you find him.


Steve Deace

Steve Deace's nationally-syndicated radio show airs coast-to-coast each weeknight from 9-Midnight eastern, including many of the Salem Radio Network's top conservative talk stations in markets like New York City, Houston, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Minneapolis. His radio program has been featured in major media such as Fox News, CBS News, ABC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Politico, The Weekly Standard, and National Review among others. In 2013 he wrote the second-most shared column of the year for USA Today, defending "Duck Dynasty" and traditional American values. In addition to being a contributor for Town Hall.com, Deace is also a columnist for The Washington Times. He is also the author of the new book Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again, which includes a foreword by David Limbaugh and is endorsed by a who's who of conservative leaders. You can follow him on Twitter @SteveDeaceShow.