Home > 2012 Election, 2012 Primaries, DC Politics > 2012 Winning Issue #1: Illegal Immigration.

2012 Winning Issue #1: Illegal Immigration.


Homeland Security at Work

This subject is near and dear to my heart for several reasons.  First of all, I am a proponent of LEGAL immigration.  We are a nation of immigrants who came to America to be Americans, to experience freedom and liberty.  Nothing should ever change that.  We are also a nation of laws and we should expect and demand that immigrants obey the law, especially when it comes to how they come into the country.  For most of the Bush Administration and for most of the last couple of years, it looked like amnesty and the rule of lawlessness would rule the day on this issue, but I honestly think we’ve turned the corner and that the conservative view on this issue will win the day.  Over the past year we’ve seen some very encouraging things happen in regard to immigration.

  1. Even as Obama’s ICE has worked t find obscure regulatory methods to stop processing illegals, their other hand has been hard at work enforcing federal law with regard to employment of illegals and, in fact, we will deport a record number of illegals in 2010, around 400,000.  That’s a huge jump from the previous administration and it’s certainly a good thing.
  2. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed SB1070 into law, making it against state law to be in Arizona illegally and empowering Arizona police agencies to detain suspected illegal aliens.
  3. The Obama Administration file suit in federal court to block enforcement of SB1070, the case is currently making it’s way to SCOTUS.
  4. The attendant publicity around SB1070 brought an interesting result.  People favor it by a huge margin, 55-60% favor it and polls show many states where people want a similar law passed by their state legislatures.
  5. As we noted here earlier in the week, Rep Lamar Smith is going to hold hearing with the intent to bring new immigration laws based on requiring eVerify for hiring in the US.  This is a great first step and may actually end up being a solidly bipartisan piece of legislation because Obama’s Immigration folks are looking forward to testifying and support the legislation in concept at this point and it’s an issue that can be rightly painted as a “jobs” issue.  Illegal aliens are taking jobs from unemployed American citizens.  Come on Nancy & Harry, oppose this one.  Please.
  6. The DREAM Act, legislation aimed at nibbling away toward blanket amnesty, was killed in the Lame Duck Session.  With Republicans in control of the House, it’s dead as my white cat for at least two years.
  7. As we noted in the above linked piece, AZ State Sen Russell Pearce and his allies will be holding a press conference on January 5 to outline new legislation that will be introduced in at least Arizona that will go after “birthright citizenship”, effectively nullifying it for children of illegal aliens.  See the earlier piece for our commentary on that, but suffice it to say that we feel Pearce is doing the right thing and the state level is the place to start the fight.
  8. In Kansas, Kris Kobach was elected Secretary of State.  This is important because Kobach worked with Russell Pearce to write SB1070 and he is coming into office in Kansas with legislation ready for committee review with respect to illegal aliens and voter fraud.

In a year end piece in the New York Times, they note that the battle on illegal immigration – and they even call it that – has shifted from Washington DC to the States.  This is critical to getting the problem addressed for a couple of reasons.  First of all, any major piece of legislation coming out of DC will likely be an amnesty bill – see the DREAM Act.  By moving the battle to the states, the focus of the legislation changes 180 degrees to incremental enforcement.

Legislative leaders in at least half a dozen states say they will propose bills similar to a controversial law to fight illegal immigration that was adopted by Arizona last spring, even though a federal court has suspended central provisions of that statute.

The efforts, led by Republicans, are part of a wave of state measures coming this year aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration.

Legislators have also announced measures to limit access to public colleges and other benefits for illegal immigrants and to punish employers who hire them.

Next week, at least five states plan to begin an unusual coordinated effort to cancel automatic United States citizenship for children born in this country to illegal immigrant parents.

Opponents say that effort would be unconstitutional, arguing that the power to grant citizenship resides with the federal government, not with the states. Still, the chances of passing many of these measures appear better than at any time since 2006, when many states, frustrated with inaction in Washington, began proposing initiatives to curb illegal immigration.

The battle lines are already drawn for this fight.  Conservatives, people who believe in the rule of law and advocates for legal immigration are on one side.  The Left, which includes the entire Democratic Party machine and some liberal Republicans, along with an interesting alliance of Mexican nationalist groups (LaRaza, etc) and the US Chamber of Commerce who oppose businesses having to deal with immigration status not to mention their love of cheap labor.  This was will be fought in the courts, the key is to get the right legislation before SCOTUS, because that’s where it will end up.  The SB1070 ruling from the federal judge in Phoenix was expected.  I expect the Ninth Circus to affirm her ruling and from there it will go to Justice Roberts Court.

For a quick roundup of who’s on our side, The Times article has a good outline.

“The federal government’s failure to enforce our border has functionally turned every state into a border state,” said Randy Terrill, a Republican representative in Oklahoma who has led the drive for anti-illegal immigration laws there.

[…]

Among the states expected to introduce bills similar to Arizona’s [SB1070] are Georgia, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.
[…]
In Kansas, Republicans won big majorities in both legislative houses and Sam Brownback, who just retired as a United States senator, was elected governor. Mr. Kobach, the law professor, was elected secretary of state after a campaign in which he vowed to pass a law requiring proof of citizenship for voters.

The Times article has the standard level of moaning about how Republicans will lose the “Latino” voting block, blah blah blah.  Arizona has a large Hispanic voting block and a very aggressive “immigrant” lobby.  The media are their lackeys.  Republicans swept every statewide office and took three House seats away from the Democrats.  Two more House seats in southern Arizona were within a couple of thousand votes each of flipping to Republicans and our candidates were first timers.  One of those districts, the incumbent had never run a TV commercial in any of his campaigns and won by about 3,000 votes.

Bottom line, this issue will be a clear winner for Conservatives and Republicans.  We’ve got the right people doing the right things at both the state and federal level and we’ve got momentum on our side.

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