While listening to fellow republicans blather nonsensically about immigration reform – constantly complaining about problems and concerns, it makes one wonder what they really hope to achieve through their rhetoric. We are failing at capitalizing on this great opportunity to reach out and build up a stronger voting base through reasonable immigration reform. We agree that the 11 million illegal immigrants who are here and the millions more who are likely to come is a salient reminder that the current system is not working. Yet, we exasperate the problem more by doing nothing. These 11 million illegal immigrants are seeking and hoping for a path towards normalization so they can stay with their families and work.
The senate bill which is neither the final bill nor an idea bill still is better than the status quo, because as Senator Rubio has rightly said we have a “de facto amnesty.” The reform opponents war cry is “amnesty” as if the bill that is being proposed is some free pass to united states citizenship. Instead of the truth that this is a earned process where these people will have to earn their right to become citizens and remain here legally. The only mantra many in the opposition constantly harps on is “enforce our laws,” or “build a longer and higher fence.” If building a longer and higher fence helps to pass this reform I say go ahead build it.
However, fences and more law enforcement presence will not stop illegal immigration. Even if congress were to increase immigration enforcement there will still be illegal immigration, and to say otherwise is naive and childish. Even Rand Paul has lashed out at these reform detractors.
The reality is as Republicans we need to go back to our roots as the pro-liberty party. We are not a party of the Berlin wall. As Rand Paul stated the rhetorical question, “do you want us to put them into concentration camps…I do not think anyone is proposing that.” Moreover, most republicans realize that immigration is good for America and we should not let the ignorant criticism take over the debate. Just as Liberal statists attack the free market because it does not compare to the mythological utopian dream of economic equality through state redistribution, immigration reform opponents seek their own mythological reality of reduction of illegal immigration by 90% through enforcement.
Let’s face the facts – the free market works and is the best economic system known to man. Furthermore, Immigration reform may not be a perfect bill, but it is better than the current state of affairs. So let’s no longer stay in our fictional bubbles of reality and face the reality of the times and world we live in.
Additionally, the demagoguery is dishonest and is distracting from the real issues and battles of our time. First, opponents of immigration reform are being dishonest because there is never going to be enough enforcement without some major military or police presence on the boarder and that is just is not realistic. Moreover, what does legalizingthe 11 million who are here have to do with enforcing the border? Not much since they are living normal lives throughout the nation. Some may argue that it is not fair to the millions who have been waiting to legally come here to the United States legally, if we allow these 11 million to stay. Sadly as my grandmother always would tell me life is not fair, nor is the world. We do not live in La La land we live in the real world. So let’s stop being obstructionists and start working to fix the problems we have on hand.
By opposing immigration reform we are distracting from the real issues of our day. We are wasting a great opportunity to win back the Hispanic vote. While immigration may not be the most important issue to the average Hispanic or Latino voter, it is still a gateway into the other issues. We need to open the door for a conversation and responsible immigration reform is a way that we can start a dialogue with the Hispanic community.
As republicans we should be utilizing this time to pass reform because more legal immigration also will bring cost savings to both business and consumers allowing for a more productive America, and more production means more economic growth for our lackluster economy.
Finally, we need to realize elections are won based on our ability to persuade people to vote for us and our policies. We need to go back to our roots as the party of family values, liberty and growth, not one of a fictional dream to wall up our borders.
We need to reach out and fight in the area of ideas and give convincing arguments, than live in fear that if we pass reform we will lose an election. Rather, we should defend the policies that have made this nation great by opposing repressive and regressive laws.
In conclusion, I would ask you my fellow republicans to listen, and realize the battle against immigration reform is not an issue worth fighting nor is it the real battle. Rather, our war of persuasion should be focused on defending the policies that made this nation great. We should be in the arena battling to end the federal plundering of the greatest Ponzi scheme ever called social security. We should be fighting to end the negative impact that our tax policies have on our nation. We should be fighting for Americans health care as the oppressive regulations of Obamacare are coming. Thus as the party of liberty we should be standing firm and uniting behind an immigration reform that will not just benefit America but millions of immigrants from around the world. We need to open a dialog with Americans on the important issues of our day, instead of fear mongering on immigration. Instead, let us return to defending what made America such a great nation, that millions would risk all they had to come to this great nation of opportunity and blessing.
Editors note: as with all blog postings that appear with a by-line, the opinions presented are the author’s and not necessarily the positions of Cafe Con Leche Republicans.
Thomas Martin Salazar is an Arizona leader of the Café con Leche Republicans. Thomas was born and raised in Arizona. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in History from Grand Canyon University and is currently working on obtaining a MDiv in Biblical Communication from Phoenix Seminary. Thomas has also served as the Grand Canyon University College Republicans Vice President and interim President (February 2007-April 2008) and as a Maricopa County Republican Precinct committeeman (August 2009 – August 2012).