Of all the misguided, corrupt and deranged ideas floating around inside the D.C. bubble, perhaps the single worst one is giving illegal aliens amnesty as part of some sort of attempt to capture the Hispanic vote. If the GOP were to pursue a policy that primarily benefits corrupt business owners, the government of Mexico, and Democrats at the expense of our country and our own base, we'd truly deserve the "Stupid Party" moniker that has so often been hung around our neck. This policy wouldn't be a calculated risk or even a longshot; it would be a game of Russian Roulette with a bullet in every chamber.
1) We'd be bringing in a huge influx of Democratic voters. Roughly 70% of Hispanic Americans already vote for the Democrats and you have to expect that the Democrats would capture an even larger percentage of illegal aliens. Keep in mind that for the most part, illegals are poorly educated, have minimal English skills, come from socialistic countries and make a living here doing low end, poorly paid manual labor. The GOP would be lucky to capture 20% of that block of voters.
Now, let's do a little rough math. We don't know exactly how many illegal aliens are in the country, but 10 million seems like a nice conservative estimate. If the Democrats did actually capture 80% of those voters, it would lead to a net gain of 6 million potential new votes for the Democrats. Meanwhile, if only 407,000 votes had flipped from Obama to Romney in Florida (73,858), Ohio (103,481), Virginia (115,910) and Colorado (113,099), Mitt would have won and Chris Matthews would still be on a depression-related leave of absence. In other words, this is like coming up just short in a 100 yard dash and deciding to “fix” the problem by starting 25 yards farther back in the next race.
2) There would be a tremendous backlash from Republican voters. The GOP pushed for amnesty in George W. Bush's second term and it was hit with a political buzzsaw the size of the Hoover Dam. What makes anyone think it would be any different this time?
Personally, I'm willing to pledge my support to ANY viable primary challenger who takes on a Republican in Congress who votes for an amnesty bill. Put another way, even if it were Jim DeMint, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul or Paul Ryan, if you're for amnesty and have someone who can conceivably beat you in a primary, I'm for your opponent. There's no other choice because this policy is like playing a game of chicken with an oncoming train; so stopping amnesty is priority one and if it can't be done, then we should at least send as many of the politicians responsible to the political graveyard as possible.
3) It would be terrible policy for the country. At a time when the unemployment rate is sky high and the country is running a trillion dollar deficit, how much sense does it make to bring in 10 million new citizens who'll be a huge net drain on the country? We're not talking about bringing in ten million engineers, scientists, computer programmers and entrepreneurs to expand the tax base. To the contrary, we're talking about offering the gift of American citizenship to 10 million, largely uneducated manual laborers with minimal English skills, most of whom would draw tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars more in government benefits than they pay out over the course of their lifetimes. You MIGHT be able to make a case that we need a guest worker program to handle some of these low skill jobs, although even that would be difficult when so many Americans are out of work, but it's impossible to make any sort of coherent argument that 10 million brand spanking new poor Americans are going to do anything other than hurt the country at a time when we're already running a trillion dollar plus deficit every year.
4) Amnesty distracts us from the voter outreach we really need to be doing. As a party, the GOP does almost no Hispanic outreach. Just to give you an idea of how bad it is, in 2009 I found out that the Democrats had 20 senators scheduled to attend the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 19th Annual Legislative Conference while the Republicans had none. After raising holy hell about that on Right Wing News, senators like Orrin Hatch and Lamar Alexander suddenly agreed to be on the roster. Conservatives shouldn't need to publicly shame the Republican Party into showing up at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Additionally, while I don't think the Republican National Committee could have possibly made a better selection for its first national Director of Hispanic Outreach than my friend Bettina Inclan, why did we have to wait until the last election cycle for it to happen? It's not as if we just realized that we had a problem with Hispanic voters in 2011.
Although I'm constantly beating the drum to get more donors to help out the conservative new media, our #1 financial priority as a party should be minority outreach. We need our own National Council of La Raza and our own MEChA. We need more Hispanic blogs, more Hispanic talk radio and Hispanic conservatives who can take our message to places where it isn't getting a fair hearing today. We need Hispanic conservatives calling out the Democrats for their disgusting, patronizing and racist comments about Hispanics and we need to have their voices amplified by the big websites and talk radio hosts out there.
Now, will this take money, time and effort? Yes. Will everybody like this kind of change? No. Will it fix everything in one or two election cycles? No. But, is this exactly the kind of hard work we need to start doing year in and year out to level the playing field with Hispanic Americans? Yes, it is. The more time we spend focusing on a gimmicky, sure-to-fail Hail Mary like amnesty, the less time we'll spend making the changes that can bring Hispanic Americans home to where they belong, in the conservative movement.
5) Why does anyone think amnesty would allow the GOP to capture the current Hispanic vote? There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to assume that the GOP would be able to capture the Hispanic vote if we pass an amnesty. None. Zero. Zilch. If that's all it takes, well, keep in mind that Reagan signed on to a "one time" comprehensive illegal immigration plan while he was in office. So, if it's all about amnesty, why aren't Hispanics already voting Republican? By that same logic, why aren't all black Americans voting for the Republican Party today since, percentage wise, more Republicans voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act than Democrats?
Here's a hint: The Democrats are beating us with Hispanics by around 70/30, blacks 90/10, Jews 70/30, Muslims 80/20 and Asians 75/25. They're not doing that by signing on to major legislation; they're doing it with identity politics. Incidentally, nothing would change if we signed on to an amnesty because Republicans will never be able to hand out more free goodies than the Democrats. If we offer a legal status short of citizenship, the Democrats will offer citizenship and say we hate Hispanics because we won't do it. If we offer citizenship in 10 years, they'll offer it in five and say we're dragging our feet because we hate Hispanics. If we offered amnesty for every illegal tomorrow, Democrats would ask for a new amnesty every year for anyone who sneaks across the border and they'd say that we hate Hispanics if we disagree. Then, over the long haul, the percentages for Hispanic voters wouldn't change much at all because as we've seen, the tactics the Democrats are using have been proven to work again and again. The Democrats understand that, so why don't we get it? If you're actually naive enough to believe that amnesty will bring Hispanics over to the GOP, then ask yourself a simple question: Do you really think the Democrats would strongly support a policy that’s going to cost them millions of votes?