- - Tuesday, April 15, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Democrats eager to enact amnesty are telling Republicans it’s not in their interests to stand in the way of comprehensive immigration reform. Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez of Illinois says he wants to “to save [Republicans] from … opponents of legal immigration and immigration reform.”

Some Republicans may be touched that some Democrats want to share the love, but the nonpartisan Center for Immigration Studies does not agree. The Washington-based think tank issued a study Tuesday that examines what it calls “the partisan political implications of large-scale immigration,” such as what happened following the 1986 amnesty, and predicts a similar result if the “Gang of Eight” reform bill, passed by the Senate and beloved by amnesty advocates, becomes law.

The study, led by the University of Maryland’s James G. Gimpel, confirms the center’s 2010 findings that mass immigration takes votes away from Republicans and gives them to Democrats. “Each one percentage-point increase in the immigrant share of a large county’s population,” Mr. Gimpel concludes, “reduces the Republican share of the two-party vote by nearly 0.6 percentage points, on average.”

The conclusions further note that the “enormous flow” of legal immigrants into the country — 29.5 million from 1980 to 2012 — “has remade and continues to remake the nation’s electorate in favor of the Democratic Party.” It’s no coincidence that Republicans have lost the popular vote in five of the past six presidential elections, and won the sixth only narrowly. No Republican presidential nominee since 1980 has won more than 40 percent of the Hispanic vote. Enactment of the Gang of Eight bill “would accelerate this process.” This explains why House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is making “immigration reform” her top legislative priority and has gone on the road to push it.

The San Francisco Democrat suggested that if she had to choose, she’d rather see immigration reform enacted than regain the speakership. That’s pure sophistry, of course, because these options are hardly mutually exclusive. The several million immigrants who would be added to the voter rolls would guarantee her getting the gavel back, and this time for good.

Increased immigration reduces the Republican vote because immigrants “have policy preferences when it comes to the size and scope of government,” the report explains, and such preferences “are more closely aligned with [liberals] than with conservatives.” The survey data “show a two-to-one party identification with Democrats over Republicans.”

Adding to the nation’s low-income population through open-door immigration policies further increases the share of the electorate that supports “redistributive policies championed by Democrats.” Illegal immigration may well be, as Jeb Bush suggests, “an act of love” by migrant parents for their children, but you don’t have to be a doctor of psychology to understand why Democrats love immigration “reform” so much.

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