A night at the Minnesota Caucus

by Bob Quasius

After returning from the caucus for my county, I have mixed feelings. I was not happy that Newt Gingrich, the candidate we endorsed, did not do well in Minnesota, and some surprise that Rick Santorum had a blowout, handily winning Minnesota.

I was elated to offer a platform resolution on immigration that was accepted by my ward by a 3:1 vote, after much discussion! This is only the first step of several to changing the Minnesota GOP Platform, but an essential step. Next step will be the County Convention! Here’s the original paragraph, from the MN GOP 2010 platform:

Protect our Borders

We should continue to strengthen our borders against terrorism and illegal immigrants via increased border patrol funding and completion of the border fence. We are against amnesty for illegal aliens, including any program that will allow illegal aliens to remain in the United States, and we should continue with deportation. Also, children born to illegal aliens inside the United States should not automatically obtain citizenship. Ultimately, we should reduce the number of legal immigrants to help with assimilation and we should also allow for more extensive background checks before issuing visas. We strongly support making English the official language in Minnesota and the United States of America and that all state forms should be in English only. We must effectively limit the amount of access that illegal immigrants have to our society including employment, public benefits, scholarships, subsidies of any kind, driver’s licenses, permits, identification cards or taxpayer identification numbers.

Now here’s what I proposed:

Border security is important to keep terrorists and criminals out. Border security can be improved by taking pressure off the border, by diverting immigrant worker flows into legal channels through sensible reforms. When we need workers but there is no line to stand in, illegal immigration is usually the result. Legal Immigration needs a complete overhaul, to bring legal immigration and guest worker levels in-line with labor markets. The present system is overly complex and the rigid quotas often prove inadequate to meet the needs of our economy. Delays for legal immigrants are very lengthy and bureaucratic, and the process should be outsourced and streamlined.

Nearly all government business should be conducted only in English, but reasonable exceptions should be made for critical services used by new immigrants, such as driver license exams. More English language classes to adults are needed to facilitate the process of assimilation. Those here illegally who have no criminal record and have paid taxes should be allowed to remain as temporary guest workers, who must pay fines and annual fees. These immigrants may eventually be allowed to adjust their status to permanent resident after all legal immigrants presently in line have immigrated, provided they (or their spouse) have maintained a record of steady employment and tax payment with no criminal history.

Now here’s my argument why the original paragraph should be replaced in it’s entirety, broken down line-by-line.

Present – Section 9 – Protect Our Borders:
Protect our Borders
We should continue to strengthen our borders against terrorism and illegal immigrants via increased border patrol funding and completion of the border fence.

Agreed. Keep terrorists and criminal element out.

We are against amnesty for illegal aliens, including any program that will allow illegal aliens to remain in the United States, and we should continue with deportation.

Does not address root causes of problem, unmet labor needs. It’s not practical to deport 11 million, or desirable without making drastic changes to legal immigration to replace the workers. We deport 400,000 per year now, some of which are legal immigrants convicted of crimes. At 300,000 per year would take 37 years to deport 11 million, and in process would severely damage sectors of our economy, especially agriculture, and rip apart mixed status families. Meanwhile new illegal immigrants would take their place. Without amnesty we can achieve accountability for illegal immigration through stiff fines, making them wait in line as guest workers until every immigrant currently in line has immigrated, to ensure fairness to legal immigrants.

Also, children born to illegal aliens inside the United States should not automatically obtain citizenship.

No credible study shows this is a significant driver of illegal immigration. Need extreme caution in tinkering with constitution. Birthright citizenship was part of the ‘rule of law’ except for slaves before the U.S. was even a nation. Stripping citizenship in some cases will result in stateless babies, citizens of no nation. Do we really want that?

Ultimately, we should reduce the number of legal immigrants to help with assimilation and we should also allow for more extensive background checks before issuing visas.

We already do extensive background checks before issuing visas, and the cost is born by applicants. Assimilation of current immigrants is not a problem. Statistics show very high percentages of immigrants consider learning English very important (only 2% do not). Reducing legal immigration will worsen the root cause of illegal immigration, unmet labor needs and a system that is fundamentally contrary to free markets. Free market labor needs should drive immigration and guest worker levels, not arbitrary government quotas set by Congress.

We strongly support making English the official language in Minnesota and the United States of America and that all state forms should be in English only.

English is already the de facto official language, and the premise that immigrants refuse to learn English is not supported by numerous credible studies. It takes time to learn English well. Requiring that all state forms be in English only is a considerable hardship for newer immigrants. Current system of providing a few critical services in other languages is reasonable and very cost effective. Consider the unintended consequences. Do we want legal immigrant drivers driving without a license and insurance? Driver’s licensing benefits all of us and English ability is not relevant to driving ability. Better to focus on providing more adult English classes instead of punitive measures.

We must effectively limit the amount of access that illegal immigrants have to our society including employment, public benefits, scholarships, subsidies of any kind, driver’s licenses, permits, identification cards or taxpayer identification numbers.

Another faulty premise. Immigrants don’t come here to collect benefits or subsidies, and illegal immigrants are eligible for virtually nothing, and numerous comprehensive audits prove this too. Immigrants come to work. Legal immigrants are already barred from welfare for first five years of residency, except refugees. The U.S. has pursued ‘enforcement only’ strategies since 1996 with little result. Illegal immigration levels reflect labor markets, not lack of enforcement. Recently, net illegal immigration has dropped to zero due to bad economy.

However, we oppose participation in the “The Real ID Act.”

Agreed.

Tags: ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: