It’s about wanting to win elections.
In June 2012, President Obama announced his Deferred Action to Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Since Congress had failed to pass the DREAM Act, President Obama responded, “In the absence of any immigration action from Congress to fix our broken immigration system, what we’ve tried to do is focus our immigration enforcement resources in the right places.”
This was the most disingenuous speech of the Obama presidency. At one point, he made it clear that “it makes no sense to expel talented young people, who, for all intents and purposes, are Americans.”
But towards the end of his remarks, President Obama said something completely different:
Now, let’s be clear this is not amnesty, this is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship. It’s not a permanent fix. This is a temporary stopgap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people.
From 2008 to 2014, there are 22 quotes from President Obama where he explains how the president does not have the power to provide an amnesty through executive power like DACA in 2012 or Deferred Action for Parents of Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) in 2014.
In 2008, then candidate Barack Obama said, “I believe in the Constitution and I will obey the Constitution of the United States. We’re not going to use signing statements as a way of doing an end-run around Congress.”
In 2010, President Obama pointed out:
I’m president, I’m not king. If Congress has laws on the books that says that people who are here who are not documented have to be deported, then I can exercise some flexibility in terms of where we deploy our resources, to focus on people who are really causing problems as a opposed to families who are just trying to work and support themselves. But there’s a limit to the discretion that I can show because I am obliged to execute the law. That’s what the Executive Branch means. I can’t just make the laws up by myself.
Under Article II, Section 3, the United States Constitution, the president is required to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed” and he cannot ignore a law he doesn’t like. While DACA is unconstitutional, opponents of DACA need to realize that 800,000 people are going to be negatively impacted by this decision.
Instead of branding every Republican a racist, Democrats will need to work with Republicans on immigration. It would be in the country’s best interest for the Democrats to address people’s concerns about illegal immigration.
There are three valid reasons for all Americans to be concerned about illegal immigration. The first set of reasons concern national security. While most illegal immigrants crossed the border to make a better living, some of these people mean us harm.
For example, in 2001, Mahmoud Kourani, a fundraiser for Hezbollah, managed to sneak into the country and raise money for this terrorist group. He was deported in 2003.
In 2011, Said Jaziri, was caught trying to sneak into the United States through the Mexican border. Our border patrol caught him as he was hiding in the trunk of a BMW. In 2007, this radical Islamic cleric was deported from Canada to his native Tunisia for lying about the fact that he was arrested while living in France. He also called for the death of the Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard.
Beyond Islamic terrorists, drug cartels have also used our undefended border to bring drugs and commit serious crimes, including murder. The most important of these drug trafficking organizations are the Sinaloa Cartel, Juarez Cartel, Tijuana Cartel, and the Gulf Cartel.
The man who killed Kate Steinle in 2015 was deported five times. We need to build a wall to keep bad people from entering this country.
The second valid argument for opposing illegal immigration focuses on economics. When Republican David Frum, endorsed Hillary in 2016, he actually admitted that “I more or less agree with Trump on his signature issue, immigration.” He also wrote how he was sympathetic to curbing immigration in part because “stagnating wages for the lower 90 percent of the workforce suggest that the United States is suffering from the most severe labor glut since the Great Depression.”
David Frum is an immigrant from Canada. As early as 2007, Frum wrote, “The class divide was widening in 1990s America; anybody with eyes could see that.… And immigration was worsening the inequality problem without offering any significant social benefit.”
According to Frum, income inequality continued to widen from illegal immigration because, “The largest share of the benefits went to the immigrants themselves, and almost all of the rest to people at the top of society. Almost all of the costs were borne by people at the bottom.”
Beyond national security and the survival of the middle class, conservatives, like Ann Coulter, primarily oppose illegal immigration for electoral reasons. The bottom line is that conservatives want to win elections.
If amnesty was likely to net the Republicans millions of new voters, the Democrats would become nativists overnight. Ann Coulter argued, “[In 1965] Sen. Ted Kennedy passed an immigration law that has brought 59 million foreigners to our shores, who happen to vote 8-2 for the Democrats.”
In June 2016, Coulter wrote:
The reason California can’t elect a Republican statewide isn’t that Hispanics got even madder at Republicans since Proposition 187. It’s that they’re a much larger part of the electorate, thanks to: (1) Reagan’s amnesty; and (2) the ACLU running to a Jimmy Carter-appointed judge to get Proposition 187 overturned.
Coulter is right that the Democrats benefit from immigration. Since 1992, Democrats have won the popular vote in six of the last seven presidential elections. From 1968 to 1988, there were six presidential elections and the Republicans won the popular vote in five of them.
From 1952 to 1988, there were 10 presidential elections and the Republicans won California in nine of them. The Republicans have not won California since 1988.
I want Republicans to be able to win elections. The Democrats do not.
When my parents, and other Russian Jews, came to the United States in the 1970s, most of them joined the Republican Party because of Reagan’s anti-communism. It concerns me that most of the immigrants who came here since the 1970s are voting for Democrats.
Bottom line, I hope Republicans and Democrats can find common ground on securing our border. Regarding the people who are already here, it is unlikely that Republicans and Democrats will reach a deal anytime soon. The people who benefit from the cheap labor will vote for the Democrats and the people whose wages are stagnant will vote for the Republicans.
Canada has shown us that a nation can have lots of immigrants without furthering income inequality. This requires bringing in more high-skilled immigrants to address specific labor shortages. These people don’t need to vote for the Democrats and that is why the Democrats don’t want them.
We need more honesty in this debate. I want Republicans to win elections. Can we have an immigration policy that picks as many Republicans and Democrats? Current and former communist countries have a good track record of bringing us Republican-voting immigrants. Could we increase the number of applications from Cuba to Poland?