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KUHNER: The United States of Mexico
Immigration reform will make GOP a permanent minority
President Obama is on the verge of completing his socialist revolution. Remarkably, he is about to be aided and abetted by some Republicans — including leaders of the Tea Party. Who says politics doesn’t make for strange bedfellows?
At a recent major policy speech in Las Vegas, Mr. Obama pushed for comprehensive immigration reform. In particular, this reform contains one seminal proposal: a pathway to legalized status for 11 million to 20 million illegal aliens. In short, the president is calling for amnesty.
Former President George W. Bush sought to pass similar legislation in 2007. Only a fierce public backlash forced him to back down. This time, however, Mr. Obama may succeed where Mr. Bush failed. The reason: Many Republicans are joining Democrats in the drive to push through an amnesty law.
A so-called “Gang of Eight” group of senators comprised of four Democrats and four Republicans have laid forth a framework for immigration reform. Their plan calls for nearly all “undocumented workers” to be granted legal probationary status, which would enable them to work and live freely in the United States. Once a security fence or wall is erected along the porous southern border, a trigger mechanism would kick in, allowing most illegal aliens to become permanent residents or green card holders. In short, it is amnesty masquerading as sensible bipartisanship.
The Republicans leading the charge are Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. That is to be expected. They are open-borders, free-trade corporatists, who put the interests of big business ahead of Middle America.
Yet the big surprise is Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida. The Tea Party stalwart was once staunchly anti-illegal immigration. Like many on the Beltway right, however, he has “evolved” on the issue. He now wants to spearhead the amnesty plan, selling it to both grass-roots conservatives and the Hispanic community. Mr. Rubio is convinced it will help the GOP break the Democrats’ stranglehold on the Latino vote.
He is wrong. The great lie being propagated by the liberal media is that Republicans have been losing the Hispanic vote due to their position on immigration. This is false. As Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute points out, polling data conclusively show most Hispanics care little about amnesty. It is not on their list of top priorities — not even close. The real reason they overwhelmingly support Democrats is big government, especially the generous benefits provided by the expanding welfare state. The majority of Hispanics prefer entitlements and higher spending rather than smaller government and low taxes. Republicans can pander on immigration all they want; it will do nothing to attract Latinos. The GOP is tilting at windmills.
For Republicans, amnesty is a poisoned chalice. They drink it at their peril. It rewards lawbreaking and criminal behavior. It undermines the very basis of American society: the rule of law. It also violates national sovereignty, rendering our borders meaningless — transforming them into administrative lines on a map that any foreigner can transgress with impunity.
Moreover, the cultural ramifications will be profound and irreversible. Amnesty will not only make more than 11 million illegal aliens — overwhelmingly from Latin America — permanent citizens. Under the reunification provisions of U.S. immigration law, it will enable them to bring in family members as well. The total number could easily exceed 25 million legalized aliens. No country can absorb — never mind assimilate — that many immigrants.
It is a recipe for social fragmentation and ethnic balkanization. Spanish will become America’s second language. Large parts of the country, especially the Southwest, will slide into bilingualism and biculturalism. We will be creating a giant internal Quebec — a restive non-English-speaking population susceptible to racial tribalism and ethnic separatism.
Harvard economist George Borjas has shown that massive illegal immigration drives down wages for native-born workers. Amnesty will cause a glut in the labor market. It will severely erode the standard of living of lower-income, working-class Americans — especially blacks and Hispanics, who most often have to compete with illegal aliens for jobs. The United States will be transformed into a Third World nation with a vast labor underclass.
Demography is destiny. If one wants to see the future, it is California. It is now a majority-minority state — meaning whites no longer constitute the ethnic majority. The land of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan is but a memory. The GOP has become a political rump. The Democrats, with their coalition of labor unions, environmentalists, homosexuals, single women, blacks and Hispanics, dominate state politics. If amnesty is passed, large swathes of America — Texas, Florida, Arizona, Nevada and Virginia — will resemble California ethnically, demographically and eventually, politically. The Republicans will be doomed to national minority status.
Mr. Obama will then have completed his goal. The GOP will be annihilated; the United States will be turned into a one-party Democratic regime, and nothing will stand in the way of his transformational presidency. We will have become the United States of Mexico.
Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a radio commentator in Boston.
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