Standing against illegal immigration isn’t ‘conservative,’ it’s American

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Mexican border crossing, photo by Omar Omar via flickr

OCALA, Fla., May 2, 2014 — Let’s face it: America is in decline.

Politically, economically, socially, religiously, and demographically, the American landscape is morphing before our very eyes. While some changes have been for the better, such as an emphasis on secular government, others have left us in the dust — like free trade policies.

The mother of all transformations, however, is multiculturalism. This concept is a lightning rod without parallel. Those who do not seek assimilation to traditional American society see it as a wonderful development. For those of us who know the value of cultural cohesion, however, it is a tremendous problem.

Multiculturalism has come to be regarded as a leftist idea during recent years. According to conventional wisdom, implacable opposition to it comes from the right. Might there be pro-labor Democrats who desire a unified country, and libertarian businesspersons who could care less about such a thing?


Of course. Don’t expect the punditocracy to pick up on that, though.


READ ALSO: Is ‘anti-illegal immigration’ just code for anti-Hispanic?


Richard Lamm brings a much needed sense of reality to the situation. The former three-term Governor of Colorado became famous long ago for his environmental activism, as well as support of abortion rights and smart development strategies. Over the last several years, however, his opinions concerning multiculturalism and American immigration policy have brought him back into the spotlight.

“This is not an issue of immigrants, but of immigration,” Gov. Lamm explains to me about the environment and public education. “What possible public policy advantage would there be to an America of 400 million? Do we lack for people? Do we have too much open space, parkland and recreation? What will 400 million Americans mean to our environment? Do we need more people for National Security? Are our schools unpopulated? Do we not have enough diversity? Will we live better lives if Phoenix and Denver double in size? Do you want a Colorado of 12 million people? These questions seem to answer themselves.”

Those who have lost their jobs due to illegal immigration are rarely heard from in the media. Is this because they do not feel like sharing their stories, or could it be that few are listening to them?

“I saw how employers were using illegal immigration for cheap labor and in some cases firing Americans so they could hire illegals who they could pay less and work harder,” Gov. Lamm recalls. “I saw the incredible flow of illegal aliens who crowded out American workers in construction, packing plants, the service industry, etc, many of whom were paid ‘off-books’ so we got no state income taxes from them. Saw how this was not ‘cheap’ labor except to the employer.

“Illegal immigration went from being single men who came and picked our crops and went home, to whole families who came and stayed, imposing incredible costs on our taxpayers. The medical costs and education costs were substantial as the employers externalized these expenses to the taxpayers.”


READ ALSO: Hispanics won’t vote GOP even if conservatives cave on amnesty


Yet, some believe that our country needs mass immigration now more than ever. They say that such a thing will reinvigorate the economy. What is Gov. Lamm’s opinion on this view?

“It’s not 1900 anymore! We are no longer an empty continent looking for people to open the land,” he observes. “We have 23 million Americans looking for work! Have we repealed the laws of Supply and Demand? Employers love cheap labor, but a country should train its own people. Immigration has given us a second underclass in the West, (the Hispanics) and 50 percent of their children don’t finish high school. How do we build a competitive 21st Century economy when our fastest growing demographic fails to graduate 50 percent of their kids from high school?”

Keeping all of this in mind, it is no surprise that illegal immigration is one of the foremost hot-button issues in American politics. Standing against it is another stereotype of the right. History, however, reveals immigration control to be anything but right-wing.

Gov. Lamm notes that the “United States has had two National Commissions looking at the Immigration question, both headed by liberals. Father Hesberg in the 1980s and Congresswoman Barbara Jordan in the 1990s. Both great liberals. Both Commissions recommended that America cut its legal immigration in half, put the emphasis on ‘skilled immigrants,’ and both found that there was no moral or legal reason to tolerate illegal immigration.

“A Nation has its first obligation to its own workers and its own poor. I had a group of Hispanic Americans come into my office in 1976 who worked in a Denver packing plant. They had just been fired by heir employer who turned around and hired illegal aliens for a lot less money. That had a big impact on me.”

Stories like this play on our emotions, but they should get us thinking about how our economy really works. On the right, there are those who preach the gospel of free trade. While that sort of thing might sound fantastic in theory, the sort of market atmosphere which it fosters eventually brings about some terrible practices.

This is not to say that viable solutions are being offered on the left, however.

“Mass immigration is hurting our own poor and liberals have to get their heads out of their butts and recognize that we are no longer an empty continent with empty land, but a cash/wage economy which needs capital, not labor, to create jobs,” Gov. Lamm highlights.

The objective truth about America’s current immigration policy is on display for all to see.

Multiculturalism has led to intense social, ethnic, and religious conflict. The appropriate question, then, is whether the American people will pressure their public servants to deal with this problem accordingly.

On the right, it would mean setting aside age-old vendettas against reproductive rights, gay rights, and fair trade. On the left, it would mean toning down rhetoric about those first two issues, and resisting the lure of extreme globalization. Are both sides willing to look forward rather than waste time over today’s petty partisan debacles?

That remains to be seen, but if the recent past is a guide, change won’t come any time soon.

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  • Your statement “On the right, it would mean setting aside age-old vendettas against reproductive rights, gay rights, and fair trade.”

    We should not have to compromise our convictions of being prolife and pro traditional marriage to deal with and appease those who want to force amnesty on Americans because there are those that are here illegally. I do not find these standards to be petty.

    However, I do agree with the rest of your article.

    • Laura Mullen

      The anti-choice vs pro-choice argument was settled decades ago with Roe V Wade. The gay marriage debate is being settled by the courts almost on a daily basis. In both cases nobody is being forced to get an abortion, or marry someone of the same sex. So keep your convictions, just stop trying to attack rights of other Americans which have been won in court. If you don’t marry a same sex partner, or get an abortion you haven’t compromised your position. If you think that your beliefs are more important than other American’s beliefs, and court won rights, than you are wrong and , frankly, an enemy to the rest of us.

      • lie detector

        Americans are being forced to provide services to gays and be involved in their “weddings”. A photographer at a cerimony is placed in a position where they are unable to distance themselves, and may be charged or fined if they refuse.

        The aca forces tax payers of any conviction to finance abortions without regard to beliefs. Try to exempt yourself and you’re homofobic and a criminal.

        Let’s amend pro-choice to what it is. Pro-make the choice I like or else…

  • Alan J Fraize

    NO AMNESTY PERIOD

    • donny1020

      Amnesty for employers that recruit, transport, house, employ, and exploit illegal aliens is OK though?????

      • Alan J Fraize

        No it is NOT put them in jail

  • donny1020

    Just to be straight, it is owners of businesses, many who self identify as conservative and Republicans that are the individuals that employ illegal aliens. It is these same groups of business owners that pay illegal aliens substandard wages and who actually push American citizens out of jobs. Illegal aliens are recruited, transported, housed, employed and exploited by these same conservative business owners, it is these same business owners that refuse to hire Americans rather than illegal aliens. If these conservative business owners did not employ illegal aliens and lock out American workers there wouldn’t be an immigration issue.

    Where is the outrage against the Chamber of Commerce and the Associated Builders and Contractors of America who support an open borders policy. Illegal aliens have zero political strength, they have no lobbyist in Washington DC while the Chamber of Commerce and the Associated Builders and Contractors of America have an extensive lobbying arm in Washington and funnel millions of dollars to politicians to continue the open borders policy. When was the last time the anti illegal immigrant groups protested in front of the offices of either the Chamber of Commerce or the Associated Builders and Contractors of America?

    What has taken place is the wealthy and influential have caused many Americans to focus on the powerless rather than the individuals and business organizations which have created the problem. Not once have either the Chamber of Commerce or the Associated Builders and Contractors of America been the focus of attention and not once has their been a demand by the average American that Chamber of Commerce and the Associated Builders and Contractors of America cease advocating for open borders. Not once has a boycott of goods and services of the members of either the Chamber of Commerce or the Associated Builders and Contractors of America been called for by anti illegal immigration groups.

    Once people wake up to the fact that it is conservative business owners who profit from employing illegal aliens maybe we will see some changes. Nothing will change until the Chamber of Commerce’s and the Associated Builders and Contractors of America’s membership of these organizations are held responsible for their own actions and the actions of their organizations. The AFL-CIO does not employ illegal aliens, business owners do, all the AFL-CIO does is advocate for fair wages and working conditions for all workers. As an American construction worker I can compete with illegal aliens on skills and abilities. What we can not compete with is an employer who employs illegal aliens and pays them below minimum wage. Illegal aliens don’t have control of the wages which their employers pay and illegal aliens are not the one who make the employment decisions, that would be the business owners.

    I recently spoke to a illegal alien who is also in the drywall industry, he is currently going blind due to untreated diabetes. His employer recruited him from Mexico, employed him and paid him below minimum wage. His employer is a members of the Associated Builders and Contractors of America as well as the Chamber and he refuses to employ Americans. The illegal aliens employer does not provide any type of medical nor do they maintain a safe work site. The employer which I work for not only pays a fair wage but also provides his employees and their families with medical insurance and his employees have a retirement plan. My employer is enrolled in E-verify and all of his employees are drug tested. This employer has also been in business since the 1940’s. He lost a job recently to the business owner which employs illegal aliens, has no health care or retirement and pays his employees below minimum wage. The projects owner made the decision not to hire a law abiding contractor simply due to price. Who profits from these actions? Not the illegal aliens but the owner of the drywall company that employs illegal aliens and the developer that gets a price break due to the unscrupulous employer. Where is the outrage against these business owners that employ illegal aliens?????????

    • Sparta of Phoenix AZ

      Yes, you’re right about big biz but your totally leaving out the ethnic and social justice nut jobs/refugee advocates etc…The reason nothing is getting done on this topic is because both right and left have a vested interest. You seem obsessed with the employer aspect (which is only half of the equation). Its very simple…In order to actually fix this thing we need no huge comprehensive strategy aka amnesty…

      1. Repeal the 1965 Immigration Act
      2. Repeal Birthright Citizenship
      3. Enforce E-Verify
      4. National ID’s
      5. Enforce, ENFORCE the laws on the books!

      Problem solved…

  • IsThisAmerica

    No amnesty. Close down the borders, don’t allow one more illegal into this country. round up the other illegals and get them out. Otherwise put it into law, No one may rent or sell anything to an illegal, no company can hire illegals. Why should we protect them? They afterall knew coming across our border was illegal. They are guilty of their first crime. America needs to put Americans back to work. We need to take care of our poor. Why should we continue to be FORCED to take illegals that even Mexico don’t want? Send them back, slam the border shut and lock it. Get rid of ALL illegals, including muslims who don’t belong here, they worship satan (allah), and hate us.

  • Pie Thon

    On May 20, 2013 an illegal alien drunk driver struck and killed Sgt. Dwayne Polk, a deputy sheriff in Harris County, Texas.

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  • Suzzy

    Democrats and progressive liberals which is now 99% of the democrat party are just as guilty. They love cheap labor also and do not care about Americans Hispanic, White, American Indian etc…

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