November 9, 2007


Losses Put GOP In Tough Situation: Illegal Immigration Efforts in Doubt (Anita Kumar, 11/09/07, Washington Post)

House Republican leaders, who made immigration a centerpiece of the fall campaign, said Thursday that efforts in the Virginia General Assembly to crack down on illegal immigrants probably are doomed because of losses their party suffered in the election this week.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 9, 2007 3:44 PM

Sure, the pro-illegal position is the winning electoral strategy. Just ask Eliot Spitzer and Hillary Clinton.

In Virginia, every candidate ran anti-immigration campaign, so Republican losses have nothing to do with immigration.

Posted by: sam at November 9, 2007 5:01 PM

sam is right - from what I have read, the Democratic candidates out-flanked the GOP on the issue.

Angry mob nativism is a losing position. It is evil. But that isn't the issue here.

Of the 75% of the populace that wants a secure border before any 'comprehensive' reform, probably 10-15% are anti-Mexican. Maybe less.

The reaction to Eliot Spitzer (and the discomfiture of Hillary) shows that this issue is even more of a problem for the Democrats. They have avoided it for the past several months, but no longer. Of course, if they go totally yahoo in an attempt to stay ahead of the GOP, it will be interesting to watch the agonistes of Hillary begin to take over her campaign. And it will be interesting to watch Bill Richardson' reaction. My understanding is that he is already outraged at the outrage over Spitzer's plan, and is claiming that he fixed the situation in NM with driver's licenses.

Posted by: jim hamlen at November 9, 2007 7:38 PM

Jim probably has it right. Hillary or whoever, reading the polls, will turn hard on immigration. But then they will choose Richardson as VP to try and mollify the latino vote.

The trick for the GOP is to not appear as mob nativists but at the same time satisfy the 75% of the population that wants stricter border controls.

Posted by: AWW at November 9, 2007 8:17 PM

A middle position-- 'the yahoos go too far but we need a secure border'-- always sounds sort of sane and sensible, if only because you're trying to compromise, to mollify both sides. But sometimes the centrist position is incoherent. In this case, "a secure border" is almost surely a physical impossibility, and "enforcing the law," if it means anything at all, could only mean some kind of ethnic cleansing. Most Americans' views on immigration have a certain delusional dimension; they don't understand as well as they ought to that illegal immigration is as inevitable as death and taxes and there's no point in feeling frustrated by it. Still, at the end of the day they do punish the bad guys: Pete Wilson, Jerry Kilgore, Pat Buchanan. The GOP held Congress for twelve years before they passed the Secure Fence Act, and twelve days after it. At the end of the day, nativists do seem, so far, to get their just desserts.

Posted by: Nathan Smith at November 10, 2007 1:11 AM

Yes the GOP got a bit sullied in the dustup over this issue with the party split and all but I'm willing to bet it will be rewarded as more and more people come to understand the tough nut this thing represents and thereby applaud/support the courageous stand many on the right took even though the obvious play was to pander, give into the pressure, and bottom feed for votes. (the Dem strategy)

Posted by: Perry at November 10, 2007 8:59 AM

And, of course, the border has never been secure in the history of the nation.

Nativism is like protectionism. Everyone assumes that they would be huge winners at the polls, but they rarely are, and never twice in a row.

Posted by: Ibid at November 10, 2007 9:01 AM

and "enforcing the law," if it means anything at all, could only mean some kind of ethnic cleansing

Male bovine fecal material. The present situation only favors the upper classes and those who exploit our emerging, imported peasant class. Unless making rich white people obey the law has now become "ethnic cleansing".

If you get a real job with a real corporation, you've got to jump through all sorts of stupid hoops to prove your eligibility to work in this country. What's being objected to is the idea that these laws aren't being applied to day laborers and nannys and all the other under-the-table jobs necessary for the lifestyles beloved by our elites. Saddle them with the same restrictions and regulations, and their "help" would cost them twice is much, which is why so many of them are all for "illegals". So either enforce the laws on all employers, or get rid of them.

And, of course, the border has never been secure in the history of the nation.

Then what was the point of Ellis Island all those years, or are you claiming that it's some sort of myth, too?

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at November 10, 2007 3:03 PM

Then what was the point of Ellis Island all those years, or are you claiming that it's some sort of myth, too?

The point certainly wasn't to stop Mexicans, or Canadians, for that matter.

But I'd certainly agree to bringing back the Ellis Island system. Anyone who wants in just has to get to this country and, barring obvious illness, in they get. Somehow, I doubt that's what you mean by "securing the border."

Posted by: Ibid at November 10, 2007 4:15 PM