Longtime readers of this blog know our views on illegal immigrants and immigration and border security. That said, there’s been some sentiment on the immigration issue lately in the Virginia righty blogosphere that I feel compelled to respond to. I wasn’t one of those offended by the (in)famous Super Bowl commercial featuring America the Beautiful sung in various languages, but Jim Bowden makes some very salient points otherwise about borders, culture, and the rise and fall of nations nonetheless. On the other side of the ledger, many who should know better are rushing to the defense of the GOP establishment and their immigration ‘principles’ that came out of the GOP House retreat late last month.
Particularly galling at Bearing Drift today is the repeated use of the word ‘nativist’ to describe those of us who actually expect immigration laws to be enforced. In this same post, Shaun Kenney, whom I nearly always agree with otherwise, decries caricaturing of illegal immigrants using a graphic, and then does the exact same thing to those of us who demand border security and the rule of law, using a graphic of the memorable Bill “The Butcher” Cutting character, played by Daniel Day-Lewis, from the film Gangs of New York. We also apparently are demanding draconian violations of civil liberties and the rounding up of the 12 to 15 million illegals come hell or high water… News to me. He advocates for amnesty, well, because it’s mean to expect these poor, innocent illegal immigrants to show some respect for our laws and sovereignty. Oh, and the Catholic Church, represented on this issue by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, wants amnesty, so for some reason that should settle it. I think not. Come on, Shaun, you’re better than that. That is the height of hypocrisy. And please, people, quit conflating legal and illegal immigration.
Over at Virginia Virtucon, a post is up taking Dave Brat, a candidate for U.S. House in the 7th District, to task for questioning the incumbent, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, on immigration, because Brat demands immigration laws be enforced, while opposing Obamacare. The author has the nerve to suggest it’s hypocritical because Obamacare is the “law of the land”. Respectfully, this is political weaselry at best. The Affordable Care Act is only in force because John Roberts chose to place his concern for the ‘reputation of the SCOTUS’ (or something) above the plain language of the Constitution. Even left-wing SCOTUS watchers were amazed that he sided with the four liberal justices. No one has ever credibly suggested that immigration and border security laws are unconstitutional. Such a comparison is ridiculous on its face. Add to this that Brat would seek repeal of the Affordable Care Act should he be elected, and the attacks come off as even more patently ridiculous. Factor in that Cantor himself said on the House floor less than two weeks ago that “immigration reform could be an economic boon to this country” and it’s easy to see why conservatives are suspicious of Cantor, Bob Goodlatte, and House leadership on immigration issues.
Want to win the trust of conservatives on these issues? Enforce the law and secure the border. Once that’s done, then, and ONLY then, will we be interested in discussing immigration reform. The visa and immigration system is certainly broken, by over a century of lobbying by every industry, racial interest group, religious denomination and labor group imaginable, and cries out for repair. But just like the amnesty Reagan signed in the 80s, the business lobby will team up with others to prevent any meaningful enforcement, and this time we have an administration ulterior political motives to look the other way already. No amnesty, and no reform until enforcement. Learn it, practice it, earn it.