AN OPEN LETTER TO CONSERVATIVES WHO WANT TO PLAY POLITICS WITH IMMIGRATION        

 

First and foremost I am a conservative who is a husband, son, grandson, nephew and cousin of immigrants.  In addition my extended family all live abroad including two stepdaughters, one stepson and all my grandchildren and there is literally no way I and my wife, who is a US citizen, can bring them to the United States so that our family can be reunited and I can enjoy the comfort of their love and presence in my final years.  The other part of my family all came here legally and with regard to my wife, at great expense while overcoming barriers this government has thoughtlessly put in the way of those who try to do things by the rules…rules, I must add that seem to keep changing by the year.   My wife has an application to bring our youngest unmarried daughter here that will take by our best estimate, 20 years before it is even reviewed.  I will be long dead by then.  I raise all of this to make three basic points:

 

One is that legal immigration is broken in this country and is in itself a cause of illegal immigration.  We simply do not have a comprehensive and coherent policy as to who we want to let into this country and why we want them here.  If we did we would not now have job shortages in certain parts of the country in agriculture and skilled trades that inexplicably many unemployed Americans don't seem to want to fill. Further everyone should remember that the immigration problem is not just Mexicans crossing our southern borders. It is estimated that as much as 50% of the entire illegal population comes from elsewhere. It includes Irish (about 200.000) who came here during the Northern Ireland conflict as well as Iranians Vietnamese, Indians and Asians from almost every country on that continent.  Mexico moreover, is a source for almost 5% of our oil and is after all a part of North America.  Latinos are also the fastest growing portion of the American population.  Many are highly skilled like the thousands of Filipino nurses and teachers who were brought her when we had a nursing shortage and who are now experiencing problems with acquiring residency and/or citizenship.

 

My second point is that the statement that Speaker Gingrich made on how to deal with undocumented individuals who have been here for a substantial period of time, have sunk deep roots into this country and have families here, has been one small part of his very public comprehensive plan on immigration for months as well as a reflection of his views in this area for years. It is not amnesty but a path to legality he seeks.  The two are distinctly different.  The newly discovered outrage of Rep Bachmann and the mis-characterization of his position by Gov. Romney is desperation politics disguised as principle and usually something we see from the other guys not “conservatives” who supposedly take an intelligent and high moral stand on all issues and those involving families in particular. For any one who wants to actually read his very well thought out positions simply go to http://www.newt.org/solutions/immigration   and educate yourself before you jump to a conclusion that is more knee jerk ideology than reason. 

 

His position on immigration is defined by three principles i.e.

1. No “comprehensive” plan can work. President Bush could not pass one during six years with a Republican Congress. President Obama could not pass one with a Democratic Congress. Immigration reform can be outlined as a complete proposal but has to be passed in a series of steps, with each one understood and passed on its own merits.

2. Under no circumstance can a path to citizenship be created which would allow those who have broken the law to receive precedence over those who patiently waited to become residents and citizens via the legal process. Those who adhered to our immigration law cannot be usurped by those who violated it.

 

3. We must reconcile the goal of legality with the reality that there are millions of immigrants currently here outside the law, some with a long set of family and community ties, and some with no ties. A system has to be established that establishes legality but no citizenship for those with deep ties, repatriates those with no family or community ties in a dignified way, and quickly sends home those who have committed criminal and other destructive acts.

 

His solutions are in ten steps: i.e.

1. Control the border.

2. Create a 21st Century Visa Program

3. “In-source” the best brains in the world

4. Allow foreigners, who want to spend money, invest and create jobs in America to do so.

5. There has to be a legal guest worker program, but its management must be outsourced to a sophisticated manager of anti-fraud systems, such as American Express, Visa, or MasterCard.

6. Create a path to earned legality for some of the millions of people who are here outside the law.

7. Deportation of criminals and gang members should be efficient and fast.

8. Ensure that every new citizen and every young American learn American history and the key principles of American Exceptionalism.

9. English must be the official language of government.

10. Young non-citizens who came to the United States outside the law should have the same right to join the military and earn citizenship.

 

My third and last point is directed to all the candidates, the voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, the entire country and my fellow conservatives in particular.  The sub set the Speaker described in his debate statement and in his position papers is not simply comprised of “illegals”.  It also contains a far larger number of American Citizens who under the policies advocated by Bachmann and Romney in particular, will lose a father or a mother or a spouse or a grandparent because once again politicians have failed to think this thing through and end up hurting American voters.  In the end stupid, inaccurate and harmful attacks such as those we are witnessing on this issue will result in voters wreaking their revenge at the polls and justifiably so.

 

Gingrich was right when he challenged the Republican Party and the Conservative movement to live up to their claim of being the champions of the family.  You can’t rip families apart because of a “magnet” theory that makes no sense when applied to the population under discussion, and then try to hide the damage you will do to American citizens. By claiming it is being done to benefit them as American citizens.

 

 

Lastly, any immigrant deported who paid into social security should be able to file for those benefits when they meet the requirements for them.  The Europeans do not prohibit Americans whom have worked overseas, benefits that they earned while working there.  Again the lack of a coherent immigration policy should never justify the theft of money honestly earned while illegally here. 

 

Sometimes Republicans exhibit a death wish born out of a zeal for political perfection particularly when they seek that perfection by walking over a cliff.

And sometimes politics is truly “a tale told by idiots…full of sound and fury …and signifying nothing”.

 

LARRY ALLISON