Legalizing 11 million illegal aliens does not mean 11 million Democrat votesby Hugh Holub on May. 15, 2011, under border issues, immigration law reform, politics
There appears to be two strains of thought about opposition to a path to legalize the presence of 11 million illegal aliens in the county.
You can see these strains of thoughts in comments to my various blog posts on border security and immigration reform.
The first strain of thought has an obvious racists undertone. The xenophobes in America are frightened by “foreign” invaders and cite all sorts of examples of why immigrants are a drain on our economy, a threat to our culture, etc. They keep raising the flase flag of the “reconquesta”. This is an American tradition going back to when “No Irish Need Apply”. The new folks who land in America have always been demonized by those the got here first.
The second strain of thought opposing legalization links allowing the 11 million illegal aliens the right to stay legally in the country to adding 11 million votes for Obama and Democrats.
That argument exhibits a profound ignorance of who the 11 million illegal aliens are and what is really going on.
First off a whole lot of them are children and can’t vote.
Second, all proposals for legalization do not automatically grant anyone citizenship and the right to vote.
All the various proposals do is get the illegal aliens above-ground with various degrees of penance for entering the country illegally or overstaying their visas.
In even the most generous legalization proposals, an illegal alien allowed to stay legally in the country would have to wait 5 years to become a citizen…and probably longer. So the impact of a legalization plan would not open the door to new voters until at least the 2016 election if it were enacted today. Obama (if he wins a second term,) won’t be eligible to run for a third term in 2016.
Third, and in my book the most important aspect, is who the illegals really are and how they view what becoming an “American” is all about.
My take on this is purely anecdotal first hand experience derived from years of working in various capacities in southern Arizona’s Hispanic communities such as Nogales.
I do not see a lot of knee-jerk automatic Democratic Party voters in the immigrant Hispanic community.
I have been in way too many Hispanic immigrant homes and see the same scene over and over again….a picture of Jesus Christ, a picture of John Kennedy, a picture of the Virgin de Guadalupe, and pictures of their kids as doctors, lawyers, and in the uniforms of our military or police forces.
This is a group of people who believe in hard work for the benefit of the next generation, who are deeply religious, and who actually don’t much trust government.
Try and enforce Anglo building codes and zoning laws in a predominantly Hispanic community and you will (as I did) discover that a lot of these would-be Democrats actually think like libertarians when it comes to their property rights.
Talk to legal Hispanic immigrants and you also find a strong opposition to giving those who jumped the fence a cut in front of the line for citizenship.
I’ve had the experience of Hispanic neighborhoods reaching out to the Border Patrol to improve security of their neighborhoods against illegal aliens and asking the Nogales Public Works Department to grade roads around their neighborhoods near the border to improve Border Patrol access.
If there is any justification that millions of Hispanic immigrants…if allowed to legalize…would vote Democrat it is because the Republicans have made a short-sighted decision to exploit fear of illegal aliens for political gain such as Russell Pearce has done in Arizona.
Instead of recognizing a deep-seated loyalty to America which gave people an opportunity to better their lives….
Instead of recognizing the values of Hispanic families tracks very closely with what most people would define as “Republican” values….
Opportunists have exploited xenophobia to invent a political campaign issue…”no amnesty”.
The demographics, especially in Arizona and other border states do not favor the short-term illegal alien demonization strategy of the GOP.
This leaves Hispanic voters no home in the GOP….and drives them into the Democratic Party ranks as voters.
Thus it is not that Hispanics… if legalized… would automatically vote Democrat…they will end up voting Democrat if they are not welcome as Republicans.
The last California election demonstrated the suicidal result of GOP attacks on Hispanics because the Hispanics that are legal and do vote now are alienated from a place they might otherwise find a lot of common ground.
It is hard for me to understand the thinking that would take the wife of one of the Marine’s whose picture is on the wall in an Hispanic home, and deport her because she was an illegal alien.
It is hard for me to understand the thinking that take a kid who was brought into the country by his or her parents as a minor child…and who has no knowledge of any life except as an American…and kick that DREAM kid out of the country.
So…if those 11 million illegal aliens eventually end up getting legal status…and after a long and drawn-out process gain citizenship and voting status….they will probably remember who said “welcome to America and help us build our nation to even greater heights than we have achieved”…and who tried to load them all up in box cars and ship them out of the country.
There’s an old cowboy saying that the best way to get rid of an enemy is give him a rope, a horse and a tree and if he’s so inclined he will hang himself.
The GOP has their rope, their horse and their tree on the legalization issue and their agenda is being driven by guys like Russell Pearce.
MORE COMMENTS AND ARTICLES ON BORDER ISSUES:
>An open letter to Obama about the border
>California Congressman re-introduces DREAM Act