Does the Republican Party Have a Future?
Most Americans believe that the United States of America is an exceptional country. The “borders test” proves that people are coming to America, not fleeing from America to exit to other countries. People come to America because it is a remarkable oasis of freedom, prosperity, and opportunity for foreigners no matter what socioeconomic rank they were assigned in their native country.
Republicans and conservatives recognize that the principal reason for our unique abundance is our constitutional restraints on the power of government. As Thomas Jefferson said, “In questions of power, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”
Accordingly, Republicans and conservatives believe in limited government, constitutional separation of powers, balanced budgets, and a minimum of government supervision and interference in our daily lives. Other countries have constitutions that list what the government should do for individuals, whereas the U.S. Constitution recites what government cannot do to us.
This approach has stood the test of time: our Constitution is the longest-lasting constitution in history. Republicans recognize this as the major factor in our economic successes.
We have welcomed millions of immigrants who came here believing their lives will be better. Most of them came from countries where the only government they knew was one that made all decisions about economic and social policy, and even about individual rights.
The current level of legal immigration to America adds thousands of people every day whose views and experience are contrary to the conservative agenda of limited government. The proposed amnesty (such as the Gang of Eight’s S.744) would add millions more.
The influx of these new voters will reduce or eliminate Republicans’ ability to offer an alternative to big government, increased government spending, higher taxes, and favorite liberal policies such as Obamacare and gun control. New voters will lean on our hard-pressed health care system and overcrowded public schools to demand more government spending.
Amnesty advocates point to the assimilation of large numbers of immigrants in the early years of the 20th century. But that was followed by a national pause and slowdown of immigration from the 1920s to the 1960s, which allowed newcomers to assimilate, learn our language, and adapt to our unique system of government.
Furthermore, most of those earlier immigrants arrived eager to become Americans. Many became almost 200% Americans, typified by Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” and by those who dominated Hollywood in those years. Still, it took seven decades and Ronald Reagan before many of those immigrants voted Republican.
Under current law, 1.1 million new legal immigrants come in every year. By itself, this will create 5 million new potential voters by 2024 and 8.4 million by 2028. CBO projections indicate total increases under the Senate bill of 9.7 million by 2024 and 17.9 million by 2028.
Immigration has created a greatly expanded leftist Democratic electorate. In 2016 there will be 13 million Hispanic voters (up from 11.2 in 2012).
An enormous body of survey research shows that large majorities of recent immigrants, who are mostly Hispanic and Asian, hold liberal views on most policy issues, and therefore vote Democratic two-to-one. Their motivation is not our immigration policy; it is economic issues.
The 2008 National Annenberg Election Survey found that 62% of immigrants prefer a single government-run healthcare system. The 2010 Cooperative Congressional Election Study found that 69% of immigrants support Obamacare, and the Pew Research Center found that 75% of Hispanic and 55% of Asian immigrants support bigger government. see graphic
A Harris poll found that 81% of native-born Americans believe the schools should teach students to be proud of being American compared to only 50% of immigrants who had become naturalized U.S. citizens. Only 37% of naturalized citizens (compared to 67% of native-born citizens) think our Constitution is a higher legal authority than international law. see graphic
A Pew survey reported that 75% of Hispanics prefer a “bigger government providing more services” rather than a smaller government. Pew also reported that 55% of Asians prefer “bigger government providing more services,” and only 36% prefer a smaller government. So it’s no surprise that the 2012 exit polls conducted by Edison Research for major media outlets reported that 71% of Hispanics and 73% of Asians favored Obama. see graphic
The New York Times Washington bureau chief admitted that “The two fastest-growing ethnic groups — Latinos and Asian-Americans — are decidedly liberal.”
The Pew Research Center reported in 2011 that, of all groups surveyed, Hispanics have the most negative view of capitalism in America — 55%. see graphic This is higher than the share among self-identified liberal Democrats, even higher than the supporters of Occupy Wall Street.
The Pew Research Center found that 68% of Muslims prefer a bigger government providing more services, and only 21% want a smaller government. see graphic Pew also found that American Muslims are not particularly conservative even on social issues.
The data do not support the notion that immigrants are social conservatives. Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute points out that “It is not immigration policy that creates the strong bond between Hispanics and the Democratic Party, but the core Democratic principles of a more generous safety net, strong government intervention in the economy, and progressive taxation.”
There is no evidence that amnesty or inviting more immigration will produce Republican votes and abundant evidence that it will produce more Democratic votes. After Ronald Reagan signed the 1986 amnesty, George H.W. Bush received only 30% of the Latino vote in 1988, seven percentage points less than Reagan in 1984.
The current level of immigration, even without S. 744, will add nearly 15 million new potential voters by 2036, a large share of whom will favor the Left. To allow this to happen will make Republicans a permanent minority party. It will alienate the Republican base, at least four million of whom stayed home in 2012.
Defeating amnesty and the additional immigration that all amnesty bills include would also be good policy for the benefit of the 60 milllion American citizens of working age who are not working. A reduction in immigration would take pressure off our already overloaded health care systems and schools, and it would facilitate the assimilation of immigrants and their children who are already here.
Looking at the political motivation of the groups pushing higher immigration and amnesty, it’s obvious that the Democrats promote largescale immigration because it produces more Democratic votes. A recent Gallup poll found that “Hispanics in the U.S. identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party over the Republicans Party by about a 2-to-1 margin, regardless of whether they were U.S.-born.”
But why are some prominent Republicans pushing amnesty?
The New York Times, a big supporter of amnesty, gleefully reported on October 26 the front-page news that Republican big donors and big business leaders are gearing up for a “lobbying blitz,” backed up by money threats, to get Congress to pass amnesty. Big business wants amnesty in order to get more cheap labor, which will keep wages forever low, and that is a gross betrayal of the legal immigrants who hope to rise into the middle class and achieve the American dream.
The big donors are the ones who poured four hundred million dollars into the campaigns of losing establishment-backed Republican candidates in 2012. They would rather elect Democrats than conservative, social-issue, Tea Party-type, grassroots Republicans who don’t take orders from the establishment.
If the Republican Party is to remain a party that is conservative and nationally competitive, it must defeat amnesty in every form. Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), summed it up:
“I think it would be crazy for the House Republican Leadership to enter into negotiations with Obama on immigration, and I’m a proponent of immigration reform. He’s trying to destroy the Republican Party, and I think that anything that we do right now with the president on immigration will be with that same goal in mind, which is to destroy the Republican Party and not to get good policy.”
And finally this cartoon which sums everything up: