Suddenly, the U.S.-Mexico border crisis is real. Because the people affected are now left-wing Democrats in East Coast “sanctuary cities,” rather than those retreads in Florida and Texas, the liberal media has seen the light. Democrats and their media allies have found their common sense, complaining about the “border crisis” (yes, they use those words now)—you know, calling a spade a spade.
In recent weeks, liberal hypocrisy has rightly been exposed by voices across the political spectrum. But this story isn’t just about liberal Democrats getting what they deserve. Establishment Republicans like Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, and the entire Bush clan have long sold “immigration reform” as the solution to America’s border problem, proposing policies like a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
The issues on display today stem, at least in part, from the “immigration reformers” who regularly refused to uphold the rule of law and looked down on border security. The current chaos on our southern border falls on their shoulders. And, while Democrats are clearly singular in their hypocrisy, the border crisis is a bipartisan boondoggle.
For decades, there has been an unholy alliance between open-border Democrats and establishment Republicans—working with national organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce—to undermine law and order. They helped create the crisis by selling a lie that Republicans must appease the Left on immigration to avoid alienating the Hispanic vote.
It was a lie then and it’s a lie now. Along came Donald Trump in 2015, running on the rule of law and border security to defeat his establishment opponents and snag the Republican nomination for president. In 2016, he rode an “America First” platform that included closing the border en route to the White House.
And guess what? Did Hispanic voters abandon the Republican Party in droves? Did they call Republicans xenophobes and racists for simply opposing illegal immigration?
Not quite. To the contrary, Latinos are now more open to voting Republican than ever before, understanding that beliefs like economic growth and limited government benefit them too. Across the political spectrum, Hispanic voters also recognize the fact that illegal immigration only ends up hurting American citizens and immigrants who came here legally. According to The Hill congressional reporter Mychael Schnell, “Some Latino Democrats are frustrated with Democratic efforts to attain legal status for undocumented immigrants.”
Nearly a decade since the “Gang of Eight” proclaimed “immigration reform” as the only path forward for Republicans, Hispanic voters are now siding with Republicans on hot-button issues like inflation. Cue the recent Wall Street Journal headline: “Latino Voters, Once Solidly Democratic, Split Along Economic Lines.”
In 2022, Americans are witnessing an unprecedented demographic shift, with Hispanics rejecting the identity politics of the Left and truly voting their conscience. That is the secret behind Rep. Mayra Flores’ (R-TX) historic election earlier this year.
For Democrats, it’s karma. It’s been a long time coming. Even now, Democrats don’t really have a solution to the immigration problem, choosing to scapegoat red-state governors instead of actually addressing the border crisis. And their ineptitude is borne out in the polling data: Nearly 60 percent of Americans disapprove of President Biden’s immigration policy.
The Hispanic shift—personified by Flores—rejects the liberal hypothesis that opening the southern border would reward Democrats with millions of new votes. There’s a reason why Biden and other Democrats believe in amnesty for illegal immigrants: They see those people as new cogs in the Democratic machine (at least, until the mass migrant move north). This was never about compassion; Democrats have always looked at illegal immigrants as voters to exploit. In the Left's eyes, the “pathway to citizenship” has always been a pathway to electoral victory.
How the tides have turned. For the first time ever, Republicans are no longer pandering to Hispanic voters with demeaning, racist assumptions. Trump and his supporters embraced Latinos who came here legally as equals, welcoming them to the melting pot and encouraging them to live the American Dream. Like all Americans, Latino voters believe in old-fashioned American values—from education and law enforcement to economic prosperity. They want what most people want: The chance at a better life.
Republicans can relish the liberal hypocrites eating their words now. But let there be a lesson learned too: Put America first, and a wide range of Americans will support you. The Republican Party is finally one big tent.
Ted Harvey serves as chairman of the Committee to Defeat the President.