We are launching a nationwide campaign defending the Bush administration’s approach to comprehensive immigration reform and those who support it.
The Senate’s failure to pass S. 1639 most obviously affects border security. Congress will enter 2008 without funding for additional fence, border agents, or holding beds, and a without a system of tamper-proof employee identification. The policy of the United States remains what it was: de facto amnesty along an uncontrolled border.
But the collateral damage to the conservative movement, largely self-inflicted, is also severe.
Morally, the popular and formal organs of the political Right invoked the civil infraction of crossing an unenforced border as the rationale for mass punishment of illegals and their employers – a punititve overkill of monumental proportions.
Economically, the popular and formal organs of the political Right invoked such Marxist canards as Ricardo’s iron law of wages and the fictitious decline of the middle class. The interests of the employers of illegals -- farmers, ranchers, food processors, service industries, high tech, and small business – were disregarded at best, deprecated at worst.
“Politically, the popular and formal organs of the political Right comported themselves as if 32 million Hispanic American citizens could be disregarded when discussing the fate of 12 million Hispanic illegals; and as if the demographics of the West and South were irrelevant.
A substantial portion of the political Right fell prey to the talk-radio-fed delusion that support for deportation of illegals exceeded support for their amnesty among the general public. The truth is precisely opposite, as polling by the Americas Majority Foundation has confirmed. By a margin of two-to-one, the American public prefers to amnesty illegal aliens, either as guest workers, or as eventual citizens.
The self-fed delusion of the unpopularity of Hispanic migrant labor led most of the informal organs of the political Right to attack those conservative, pro-Hispanic politicians of the South and West who harbored no such delusions. Regrettably, many of the formal organs of the political right followed suit. In the process, conservative prospects have been severely damaged in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, Florida, and Texas.
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