Immigration as a top concern for American voters polls somewhere around 2 or 3 percent, according to the latest Gallup survey. That is right down there with "lack of respect for each other" and "hunger."
And remember, a good portion of that 2 or 3 percent who consider immigration their most pressing issue do so because they want the federal government to simply do its job and enforce its own immigration laws and protect the borders.
So, why is it that Republican leaders in Washington have suddenly thrust immigration into the spotlight and made it the most pressing issue in the land?
Even more alarming, why have these Republican leaders suddenly become seized with the illegal desire to make an illegal grand bargain with Democrats in Congress to grant illegal amnesty to some 12 million illegal aliens residing illegally in our country right now? (Notice a theme here?)
With the war on terrorism winding down and the "war on women" over, has the GOP launched a war on Republicans? So it would seem.
Republican leaders in Congress would have you believe that if they do not embrace amnesty for all these millions of illegal aliens, then the only (slightly) sane political party left in America will be washed away. It will be overcome by waves and waves of new Hispanic voters who shun the xenophobic and glaringly white Republican Party. The Grand Old Party will become the Extinct Old Party.
Such are the scary, noxious potions that Republican strategists, pollsters and demographers have been whipping up for years. Then they make gazillions of dollars by unveiling them to party leaders in private and scaring the living hell out of them.
They are the global warmists of the Republican Party.
And, just like with the global warmists, it all comes down to power. These people would rather maintain their grip on a shattered party than lose control of an ascendant party. And, of course, scaring the crap out of people is a very good way to make lots and lots of money. Just ask Albert Gore Jr.
If the Republican Party really is headed over a cliff to certain annihilation, why does it appear set to continue picking up seats in the U.S. Senate this year? And why is it that the Republicans whom voters have been sending to the Senate in recent years have become increasingly conservative?
If the party is on the precipice of doom, why are so many veteran Democratic lawmakers, including some of Nancy Pelosi's most trusted lieutenants, bailing from Congress? Is it because they think they are poised to resume the committee chairmanships that took them decades to earn in the first place?
The sad truth is that Democratic voters are ably represented by their party's leaders in Washington. Large corporations hungry for cheap labor are brilliantly represented by Republican leaders. Hell, even the illegal aliens who are not allowed to vote are amply represented in Washington — by both parties.
The only suckers who don't have a seat at the table are the American people, the taxpayers and workers.
Workers are doubly cheated because their union leaders long ago abandoned them to get into bed with the Democratic Party and now Republican leaders want to get into bed with the Democrats to grant amnesty to 12 million illegal competitors.
So, while the issue of immigration falls far, far behind truly urgent issues such as jobs, the economy, gas prices and how Obamacare is screwing everybody over, there is a way to reverse it.
If Republican leaders go along with Democrats to pass this crazy amnesty plan, the issue of immigration will quickly become one of the most urgent issues in the country, especially among Republican voters.
And then it really will become the Extinct Old Party.
• Charles Hurt can be reached at email@example.com and @charleshurt on Twitter.