I wrote today’s piece on illegal immigration, before the release of the most recent Gallup poll, which largely supports the essay’s main thrust: that Hispanics for the foreseeable future are not going to be voting in great numbers for Republican candidates — no matter what. The latter will probably not garner much more than 30 to 40 percent of their vote, despite all sorts of politically correct proclamations about illegal immigration. The problem for Republicans is twofold and transcends the issue of the border: First, Hispanics define compassionate family values not so much as right-to-life, capital punishment, championing of traditional religious issues, etc., as an activist big government that redistributes money and is fueled by higher taxes on presumed others. At a future date, when Hispanics achieve higher per capita incomes, and on average are paying far more in taxes than the entitlements they receive, these attitudes could change and family values may be redefined, but such change is predicated on time, closing the border, and tying future legal immigration to ethnically blind skills and education.
Second, as in the case of Asians and blacks, the Democratic party under Obama has successfully forged a Chicago-style “us” versus “them” binary — “them” caricatured as unhip rich white guys. That the war was often punctuated by all sorts of silliness like “punish our enemies,” “a nation of cowards,” the stereotyping police, the son that would have looked like Trayvon Martin, and racial weigh-ins from popular-culture fixtures like a Jamie Foxx or Chris Rock matters little; like the inane commentary in the “war against women” of a Sandra Fluke or Lena Dunham, the caricatures appealed to those for whom they were designed to appeal.
It does not take a political scientist to fathom that the Hispanic Democratic leadership always insists that their constituents are open to all points of views on all issues (when, in fact, they will break two to one or three to one against Republicans in most elections) in order to peel away Republicans on immigration.
But the most recent polls, as nearly all previous polling, point to the only sane approach for Republicans: a principled and long-term strategy, instead of post-election pandering, that promotes adherence to the law, the melting pot, and upward mobility. Integration of legal immigrants, with professional skills and education, and free-market opportunities for the second and third generation alone will break up the present pattern of bloc voting. Whether millions of long-term residents who are here illegally should be granted trial green-cards should hinge on their having a crime-free record and residence characterized by a work history rather than dependence on public assistance — and, of course, with prerequisites of closing the border and fining employers who break the law.
Unfortunately, for all the talk of a grand compromise on immigration, no one has any idea of either how many people are residing illegally in the U.S. or how many have come in the last five years, have criminal records, or are on public assistance — and no one seems too interested in finding out. And so, for now, Obama’s war continues between the worthy-to-be-punished racialist nativists who battle the caring, family-values moralists over the future of children at ice-cream parlors . . .