The real reason so many Americans oppose ‘immigration reform’

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OCALA, Fla., June 12, 2014 — Illegal alien amnesty looks to be a thing of the past for the time being.

Republican U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s primary defeat by Randolph-Macon College economics professor David Brat sent shock-waves through our nation’s political establishment and punditocracy alike.

Among many other issues, such as kowtowing to Wall Street and not connecting enough with his Richmond-based constituency, Cantor lost because of his reported support for certain “comprehensive immigration reform” measures. Brat, who seems to have been genuinely concerned by this, made the matter known throughout the congressional district.

Despite spending just over $122,000 through May 21 (the date of the most recent FEC filings for the two candidates; Brat raised about $200,000) to Cantor’s $4.8 million — a 40-to-1 margin for Cantor — Brat’s message resonated with ordinary people. The rest is stunning political history.


Republican House incumbents who face or might face far more well-funded primary opposition are now running away from amnesty. This flight will not only prevent a legalization program for undocumented immigrants until this fall’s midterms, but eliminate the possibility for so long as a mobilized base of voters opposes it.

With such limited potential, certain Democrats may even drop the issue and look toward more viable public policy measures.

Still, the question of why so many oppose amnesty is rarely answered. Could it be a closeted from of anti-Hispanic bigotry? Considering that the overwhelming majority of illegal aliens come from south of the border and, according to Pew, 65 percent of Hispanics are Mexican in heritage, who knows? Well, perhaps somebody does.

“This ‘perception’ is false and pernicious,” Dr. Stephen Steinlight of the Center for Immigration Studies told me last year. “No solid data or body of empirical evidence suggest, let alone prove bigotry motivates the great majority that opposes amnesty. It is a smear disseminated by amnesty advocates to advance their cause.

“‘Immigrant advocates’ lack compelling arguments to support their position. By labeling opponents ‘bigots,’ they rationalize refusal to debate them and camouflage fear of responding to opponents’ ideas with a fraudulent moral justification. ‘One Nation, After All,’ an exhaustive study of American attitudes towards Third-Rail issues by Alan Wolfe, finds no evidence that bigotry plays a role in opposition to Hispanic immigration. Americans oppose illegal immigration, not immigrant ethnicity.”

If ancestral background does not play a role, or at least one of significance, then what does?

“All nations need controls on immigration,” Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, mentioned to me in 2012. “There is a common misperception that immigration laws exist to facilitate the orderly admission of foreign nationals who would like to live in the U.S. In reality, immigration laws exist to protect the vital interests of the people of the United States and, only then, to ensure the orderly admission of people we choose to open our doors to. Immigration always benefits immigrants – they wouldn’t come or remain if it didn’t benefit them substantially.

“It may also benefit certain business interests in the U.S. who can take advantage of lower cost labor. Some foreign governments may also benefit, allowing a safety valve for their own unemployed and underemployed a stream of remittances from their citizens who live in the U.S.

“However, excessive immigration, poorly designed immigration policies, and the failure to control illegal immigration have a negative impact of most Americans. It can affect their jobs and wages as they are forced to compete against immigrant workers – both legal and illegal. Low-wage immigrants and their dependents are subsidized by taxpayers, either directly through means-tested programs, or indirectly through their use of public services and infrastructure that are not paid for through the taxes collected on their own meager earnings. Immigration is also leading to large-scale population growth that Americans neither want, nor which is beneficial to our environment and resource conservation.”

There is the answer to why untold millions of Americans oppose illegal alien amnesty. It not only makes sense, but dollars and cents for those either native born or legally immigrated.

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  • tukmol

    bugok

    • Gary

      I am an immigrant , now US citizen. English was easy for me to learn as a child. My parents (who were both over 40 when we came) and my grandmother who was 65 learned English. Out common language is the thread that hold us together. It’s good for people to learn many languages but you need to speak english.

      Immigrants are legal permanent residents. People who violate our immigration laws are NOT immigrants. shame on you for slurring actual immigrants and for calling people who stand for moral character “bigots”. The bigots are the people who use these migrants for their financial advantage.

  • Rich Valdes

    I wish that were really the case for most that oppose Amnesty, but the image for this article, is proof that a big part of such opposition is precisely because immigrants speak Spanish and in some cases don’t assimilate to American culture, but instead take pride in their own culture and weave that culture into their American experience.

    Sadly, the “it’s America, now speak English crowd” are so offended by ‘Press 1 for English, Press 2 for Spanish” that their their true motivations are often very clear; arguments about border security, tax/system overload, and the rule of law, are often trumped by a deep fear of change. An unspoken fear that Taco Bell will overcome McDonalds, so-to-speak, and that the America we all know and love will be taken over by third world Mexicans that only speak spanish, only want to work in the US to send money back to their country, and do so while ravaging our hospitals public schools, and neighborhoods.

    These feelings are most definitely bigoted, and are born in fear but mature into hatred. A hatred that is concealed by faux policy concerns, a stubbornness to accept others, and ill-spirited feelings toward Hispanic immigrants. I have a hunch that if the immigration problem was coming from the US-Canadian border we’d hear a lot less complaining.

    While I agree that we have an illegal immigration problem, and agree that this threatens and strains our nation and border states in various ways, I also can’t help but think that bigotry, fear, ignorance, and a general unwillingness to embrace others, are at the heart of many who enthusiastically oppose immigration reform.

    No empirical data, just my opinion based the facts of my personal observations as a Conservative Hispanic for the past decade.

  • Sheila Orr

    I have to agree with Gary. I support immigration through our laws. America is a melting pot, we love it, we embrace it, we go to the whatever country pride day cook outs to familiarize ourselves with their culture, food, music and even clothing. What we don’t support in anyway, shape or form is illegally entering this country. Everyone says Mexicans, however, not all those crossing the border illegally are Mexican. The UN has announced the southern border is open. We don’t know how many or who cross daily. Not only are they breaking the law, it has now become an invasion. Diseases are being brought into this country unabated, terrorists and refuges alike cross that border. With an administration that refused to follow the law, it’s not going to stop unless we stop it. Welcome to America, but come in the front door and stop sneaking in the back.

  • Andrew Smith

    FAIR = John Tanton = ?

  • Jorge Orwell

    Fairness? In 2006, government services provided to illegal aliens, cost US citizens around $50 billion.

  • Defend Liberty Philly Dude

    In March 2009, Houston Police Officer Rick Salter was seriously wounded by a gunshot from an illegal alien.

  • Joseph Biten

    One cannot maintain fidelity to our sacred Constitution while at the same time favoring amnesty for mobs of illegal aliens.