by: the Common Constitutionalist
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is in the spotlight. He’s daring to touch one of, what are becoming many third rails in American politics.
It’s not welfare reform or Social Security privatization; both are rails, which will eventually have to be touched. No, the third rail I speak of, is immigration. This is the hot issue Rubio, the son of Cuban exiles, has chosen to tackle.
For quite some time the Democrats have owned the issue of immigration. Actually, that’s not quite accurate. The issue they do own is not immigration, but illegal immigration. And they don’t just own it, they embrace it.
The Dems, with the aid of the media, pundits and spineless Republicans have successfully blurred the line between legal and illegal immigration until there is no discernible line left.
The old saying is no truer than in this case: “those who control the language, control the debate”. Such as Global Warming morphing into Climate Change or more recently; gun control, which, right under our noses, has just been renamed. It is now gun violence, because who could possibly be opposed to ending gun violence. When illegal immigrants are magically reclassified as just immigrants or effectively citizens that are merely undocumented, those of us that insist on the distinction have lost or at least been relegated to the back of the bus.
Enter the so-called conservative rising star – Sen. Marco Rubio. Rubio, the young, photogenic Republican is a rising star in the party. As Joe Biden might say, he’s clean and articulate. Best of all, he’s Hispanic. Hooray, a Republican that is not a white guy! Why that makes any difference is beyond me, but apparently it does.
I don’t know whether he’s trying to “get out front” on this issue because he is of Cuban heritage or he, like many Republicans, simply feels he must.
I do know the Republicans will lose on the issue of illegal immigration. They will lose because the GOP is becoming the Democrat-lite party. The Republicans don’t seem to grasp that they cannot win a giveaway contest vs. a party full of socialists, the Democrats.
Now Rubio has said some good things, such as “Legal immigration has been, for our country, one of the things that makes us vibrant and exceptional”. I agree with that statement. Any reasonable person would. Another strong statement: “Every country in the world has immigration laws and expects to enforce them and we should be no different”. Who wouldn’t agree with that? Evidently most people, or at least most politicians, for we don’t, in fact, enforce the thousands of immigration laws we have now.
He continues: “I’m a big believer in family-based immigration. But I don’t think that in the 21st century we can continue to have an immigration system were only 6.5% of people who come here, come here based on labor and skill. We have to move toward marriage and skill-based immigration.” I agree with the merit and skill-based immigration statement. The family based nonsense sounds like liberal claptrap.
He then exclaims, “I don’t think there’s a lot of concern in this country that we’ll somehow get overrun by PhD’s and entrepreneurs.” Too bad, but he’s right.
Rubio then takes the inevitable turn toward the squishy left of the Republican Party, as he weighs in on agriculture. “The goal is to give American agriculture a reliable workforce and to give protection to those workers. When someone is undocumented they’re vulnerable to being exploited.”
This is exactly what I meant by the language. Illegal aliens are now simply undocumented. I also disagree with the statement. These people came to our country illegally. They have no right to ask nor do we have any obligation to protect them.
And what does Rubio propose to do about the 12 to 20 million illegals currently residing in our country? He says, “Here’s how I envision it. They would have to come forward. They would have to undergo a background check. Anyone who committed a serious crime would be deported. They would be fingerprinted. They would have to pay a fine, pay back taxes, maybe even do community service. They would have to prove that they’ve been here for an extended period of time. They understand some English and are assimilated. Then most of them would get legal status and be allowed to stay in this country.”
And predictably, Republican lawmakers say that Rubio’s plan could pass muster, even with immigration hard-liners, if the plan included a significant restitution for illegals to pay and began taxing them for their work here.
And… Rubio and the Republicans lost me. Whatever conservative statements he uttered prior, was all just washed away.
This softened, kinder gentler stance will be just another nail in the coffin of the Republican Party. They will not win a single coveted Hispanic vote and in turn will lose more of the conservative base that already believes the Republicans untrustworthy. This is a political stunt. It will never work – the Democrats will never allow the GOP to achieve even the impression of success. Republican lawmakers have shown once again they are sellouts.
In fact, what will more likely happen, is something akin to compromising on the budget where taxes are increased and more money borrowed now, with the promise of tax cuts later that never materialize. Republicans are chumps and so is Rubio for proposing this.
Rubio has lost me. I may be alone on this, but I’ve stated I will never support anyone who is willing to, in any way, legalize or reward criminal aliens.