Editor’s note: The following guest column has been on hold since March as a result of space constraints in the print edition. It is included here in the online version so the author’s voice can still be heard.
By E.J. Pagel
There is now a bipartisan agreement from the “gang of eight” on a new immigration plan to legalize the 11 to 15 million illegal aliens here — it could take eight years.
Many Republicans are climbing on board, calling for “enforcement first,” just like President Ronald Reagan did in 1986. But the Democrats insist, “we already have enforcement.” There’s no proof of that. The argument in Congress continues, and now we’re told that many border agents will be laid off as a result of the impending sequestration.
Today’s Republicans seem to think that winning the hispanic vote is crucial, therefore they must agree to amnesty and other special rights for illegals. That would be devastating to American workers. We have 7.9 percent unemployment now. Giving work permits and other rights to illegals clearly makes it worse! Why is it that only a few politicians can grasp that concept?
If this had really been a high-priority issue for hispanic voters, we would’ve seen an increase in their voting for Republicans after Reagan’s 1986 amnesty. That didn’t happen. In 1988, President George H.W. Bush got 30 percent of the hispanic vote. Then, in 1992, after he got rid of the English requirement on the citizenship test, he only got 25 percent of their vote! It was just pandering, and it didn’t work. Twenty years later, 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney got 29 percent of the hispanic vote.
Surveys by Gallup and the Pew Center show that hispanics don’t focus their votes on immigration. They vote for big government — programs and benefits, and they don’t realize the impact that legalizing millions more illegals will have on those government benefits, especially in this economy.
Second-generation hispanics are more likely to be on government programs than first-generation, and third-generation hispanics are more likely to be on government programs than second-generation. It is the government benefits party — the Democrat Party — that is driving the hispanic vote, not immigration. All public data supports that fact.
Hispanics are on government programs more than any other ethnic group. They realized they can vote themselves benefits from the U.S. Treasury at someone else’s cost. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2010 reported 80 percent of hispanic babies are born out of wedlock … 66 percent for blacks and 29 percent for unmarried white women. They all want government benefits. Cuban-Americans voted 49 percent for President Barack Obama. Mexican-Americans voted 84 percent for Obama. Hispanics will keep on voting Democrat, no matter what the Republicans do.
Pew Center also confirms as false the narrative about hispanics being natural conservatives. They are less likely to go to church or be employed than non-hispanics, they are more in favor of gay marriage, and more dependent on government programs than any other ethnic group. Aren’t our elected officials reading this same information? Poll after poll shows the American people want immigration laws ENFORCED.
We presently admit 100,000 new immigrant workers every month, but we don’t create that many jobs! Immigration levels should be reduced until unemployment is under 5 percent! Who can’t understand that? (Please speak up.) We have guest worker programs, we have legal ways to come into our country, and we have E-verify. It is 99.5 percent effective and used by hundreds of thousands of businesses. Why should we ever reward those who broke the law?
The bipartisan U.S. Commission on Immigration studied the issue for 11 years, and recommended that the level of legal immigration be reduced to 500,000 per year. But the emerging plan would increase legal immigration from 1.2 million to1.9 million per year immediately by LEGALIZING ILLEGALS ALREADY HERE. What a slap in the face to those who came here legally! We are still providing for those legalized under the Reagan amnesty, and we have no idea how many. Reagan himself said it was a mistake.
But Democrats claim that our immigration system is broken. IT IS NOT BROKEN. What is broken is the will of our public officials to enforce the laws on the books! See how the federal government, under Democrat control, is bringing lawsuits against states that are trying to help them enforce the law! And while the present laws are not being enforced, what makes anyone think the next set of laws will be enforced? We’ve been down this road before, but the Democrats keep on spouting the same old poo.
E.J. Pagel of Winnebago, Ill., is a member of the Illinois Minuteman Project.
From the Oct. 9-15, 2013, issue