In Politics, Keeping Old Allies Is Wiser Than Wooing New Friends You’ll Never Have

By Joe Guzzardi
July 1, 2013

When the Senate cast its final yea vote last week for the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, advocates started pushing the House to get on board---or else.

Chuck Schumer, S. 744’s original sponsor predicted, that House Speaker John Boehner would cave under pressure and by the end of the year would pass the Senate’s bill. Schumer’s challenge to Boehner should strengthen the House Speakers resolve; the Senate bullied S. 744 through the Judiciary Committee and killed amendments that would have strengthen it.

Still, the heat is on Boehner who so far has insisted that the House will not consider S. 744 since a majority of Republicans don’t back it.

The Senate knows that S. 744 is unacceptable not only to the House but also to Americans who gain nothing from it. The legislation is special interest-driven with a cornucopia of benefits for the cheap labor and Hispanic lobbies. S. 744’s two biggest supporters are mutli-billionaires Michael Bloomberg and Mark Zuckerberg. 

Not only would legalized illegal immigrants become immediately work authorized, millions more overseas low-skilled workers would eventually compete with 20 million unemployed or under-employed Americans. S. 744 is so craven that it even contains a provision that would give some employers a $3,000 tax credit to hire recently legalized immigrants at the expense of citizens or legal immigrants of long standing.

The list of amnesty supporters applying pressure is interesting. Among them are business leaders, mainly Silicon Valley, agricultural growers, unions, churches, youth groups, educators, immigration lawyers and immigration organizations--all of whom sat at the table while the Senate drafted the legislation and each of which would profit either financially or politically from S. 744.

Advocates rely on tedious, long ago debunked arguments that are designed to scare House Republicans into falling in line. The pro-immigration coalition threatens that Latinos will withhold their votes if Republicans don’t pass a bill similar to the Senate’s. According to them, if Republicans don’t endorse S. 744, the GOP will suffer in future elections, become the perpetual congressional minority party and never regain the White House.

Should Republicans be snookered by this malarkey, they deserve to lose. Extensive post-election analysis found that even if presidential candidate Mitt Romney had won 70 percent of the Hispanic vote, he would have lost. And contrary to the widely reported theory that the Hispanic vote is increasing and therefore crucial, it was the same percentage of the total electorate in 2012 as it was in 2008.

Republicans need to court their amnesty-opposing base. If white voters had shown up at the polls in 2012 in the same numbers as they did in 2008, Romney would have won. The difference in 2012 was that white voters, sensing that Romney’s campaign wooed every demographic except them, stayed home while black voters turned out in record numbers. Remember the old political truism: “Don’t abandon the friends you have for ones you’ll never get.”

Assuming the Republicans learned a lesson from the 2012 election, their approach to immigration legislation is on the right track. The House message back to Schumer, and President Obama who set an August deadline, is “What’s the hurry?” Trey Gowdy, South Carolina Republican and House Judiciary chairman for immigration and border security wants to take immigration one step at a time to “get it right.”

Schumer and the White House’s artificial timelines hurt Congress’ ability to write a better immigration bill that will benefit the nation, and not just the elite.

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Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org

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