Next Up On Obama’s Agenda: Amnesty For Illegals

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/a>Can Barack Obama sucker the Republicans into signing their own political death warrant? We’re about to find out.

Allies expect Obama to harness the combined political capital of his reelection and the outcome of the tax fight for an aggressive push to legalize millions of illegal immigrants in what could be a signature domestic achievement.

Of course, we’re going hear the false claim that all the GOP has to do to pull in the Hispanic vote is to agree to an amnesty for illegal aliens. Of course, if that were true, since Reagan already agreed to amnesty back in 1986, Hispanic voters WOULD ALREADY be voting Republican.

That’s not happening, is it? Also, raise your hand if you think the Democrats would ever agree to amnesty if they think it is going to help the Republican Party with Hispanics? There are no hands raised out there, are there?

Of course, there shouldn’t be any hands raised because the only thing an amnesty for illegals would do is add millions of new votes for the Democrats.

Here, their argument is that Latinos, Asians, and other voters will never support Republicans in any number if we make illegal immigrants who share their ethnicity feel unwelcome and even threatened by deportation. That argument is not entirely false. Some ethnic voters, whether U.S.-born or legal immigrants, will be strongly influenced by this, others weakly, but it will be one of several factors pushing such voters as a group towards the Democrats. Other factors will push them towards the GOP; for instance, Republicans generally get between a quarter and a third of Latino votes. Those voters have their reasons too.

Nothing at all will change if the GOP — as some of its “moderates” argue it should — supports an amnesty for illegals, allowing them to stay in the U.S., but denies them citizenship and the vote. Democrats and Latino activists will merely ground their charge that Republicans are anti-immigrant in the citizenship issue rather than the illegality one. Republicans will face exactly the same criticism as now, but against a background of wider publicity, without the solid “rule of law” argument they can cite when they oppose amnesty. Indeed, they would find themselves arguing the unsustainable case that immigration and citizenship should accommodate a permanent class of migrants without political rights. Eventually either the GOP would yield to political clamor and consent to citizenship for the amnestied or the courts would insist on one by degrees. So the end result of amnesty would be citizenship for 12 million poor, mainly Latino, migrant workers with a grudge against the GOP.

Here is a rough, back-of-the-envelope calculation of what that alone might mean. Let’s assume that only two-thirds of former illegals become U.S. citizens — that’s 8 million new Americans with the vote. (Given the Democrats’ determination to protect voter fraud, that might also mean somewhat more than 8 million new voters, but we won’t consider that in what follows.) Since these voters are poorer and less assimilated than Latinos as a whole, they will likely skew more Democratic than their ethnic fellows. Republicans would be optimistic if they counted on winning more than one-fifth of them — i.e., 1.6 million voters. On a 100 percent turnout, that would give the Democrats a net advantage of 4.4 million votes. On a more realistic assumption that these new voters would have a lower than average turnout — say, 50 percent — that would give the Democrats a net additional 2.2 million votes over Republicans. Those assumptions are fallible, admittedly, but they are not unrealistic.

So the bar that any advocate of amnesty has to meet is as follows: He must demonstrate how amnesty will ensure that the GOP also gains at least a net 2.2 million votes, plus one, as a result of the reform.

Incidentally, if Romney had picked up 400,000 more votes in Florida (73,858), Ohio (103,481), Virginia (115,910), and Colorado (113,099), he would have won the election. So, we’d be giving up 5 times that many votes over the long haul to get what — a 5%-10% boost with the other Hispanic voters for an election cycle or two while we lose twice as many conservative white voters who’d be so angry that they would stay home?

A Republican vote for that is a vote for political suicide. Nothing more, nothing less and any Republican who votes that way, no matter what his record looks like in other areas, deserves to be primaried and defeated.

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