Immigration Politics Now Favors Moderates

Not that long ago the immigration extremists of the far right basked in the glory of victories like Arizona’s SB 1070. Their chest pounding drowned out those of us who were pointing out the influence of the eugenics movement and involvement of white supremacists in the legislative process. Those who argued for a humane middle ground were shouted down in the near mob-like clamor from the far right to rid the United States of illegal immigrants upon whose shoulders, they believed, all evil rested.

Times – and opinions – change. With the Supreme Court’s decision in Arizona v. United States and President Obama’s decision to end the deportation of certain younger illegal immigrants America’s center again found cause for tolerance. And the demographics of the Latin vote in keys states, long predicted to be a growing phenomenon, is finally beginning to show in actual voter registration.

Marshall Fitz lays this out in a guest editorial at Politico today. I borrow here from his piece,

“…Immigration is a defining issue for immigrants and Latinos — not the top issue but a defining issue because it’s personal. These voters, therefore, reject candidates who espouse or associate with anti-immigrant demagoguery — regardless of their views on other issues. And swing voters strongly support pragmatic approaches to solving our immigration problems.

The Obama administration’s decision to provide administrative protection to undocumented youth is a clear example of this new paradigm at work.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney ran one of the most extreme anti-immigrant primary campaigns in memory for a leading candidate. He vowed to veto the DREAM Act and promised to pursue a national self-deportation policy. As a result, his standing with the Latino electorate is in the toilet, and Romney himself acknowledged to a group of donors that he can’t win if he doesn’t do better with those voters.

By contrast, Obama announced a realistic pro-immigration policy that demonstrated his commitment to protecting the Latino community’s youth. In the wake of that decision, Obama saw a sharp increase in his already overwhelming advantage over Romney among Latinos. Perhaps more significantly, he witnessed a 50-point turnaround in Latino voter enthusiasm.

What’s more, polling of likely voters after the announcement showed that the public strongly preferred the president’s approach. In fact, it showed that independent swing voters preferred the president’s approach over Romney’s 2-to-1.

Politicians of all stripes should take note: When it comes to immigration, smart and humane policies are also good politics.”

Some predicted this change. Some refused to believe it. The reality is now taking shape, and the doubters and extremists need to find the clarity of thought to reconsider their anti-immigrant drumbeat. Humane and practical solutions are the order of the day on this issue. ‘Bout time.

Author: ELIJAH SWEETE

Contributor, aka tidbits

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13 Comments

  1. When you are right of Senator Rubio on immigration policy, you are out of touch with reality.

  2. “The reality is now taking shape, and the doubters and extremists need to find the clarity of thought to reconsider their anti-immigrant drumbeat. Humane and practical solutions are the order of the day on this issue.”

    Can anyone actually believe that it is humane to allow illegal aliens to force citizen and legal immigrant families into unemployment and poverty by underbidding the law abiding families for jobs?

    The practical reality is that exploitive employers and their minions will say and do anything to keep from losing their slave like labor.

  3. wigglwagon,

    While you and I disagree, I welcome you to the discussion.

    ES

  4. I guess it depends on what you call “moderate”. You assume it is “pro-immigration” but that could mean a lot of things.

    I think most people are willing to understand that minors didn’t have a choice and give them some slack and don’t want to see legal immigrants vilified. OTOH, most still regard illegal immigration as “illegal”.

  5. dps,

    You may misjudge me. My position is not necessarily “pro-immigration.” More pro person. For the record, I have long opposed the “path to citizenship” and tend to favor a permanent guest worker solution…not far different than Senator Rubio.

    What I oppose are policies that place every person of brown skin, including lawful U. S. citizens, under a cloud of suspicion or required to produce papers or be subject to unnecessary stops by authorities because some other brown skinned people may not be here legally.

    12-14 million is too many to deport. We don’t have the resources. I believe we as a nation owe it to ourselves to have a rational conversation about workable, practical and, yes, humane, solutions.

    Just my .02

  6. In the ’20s, employers were unencumbered by governmental regulations. Many of them only paid subsistence level wages. Many of them paid in scrip so that the employer also made the profits off the meager wages that were spent strictly for survival products. That is where we are headed again if the Democratic Party continues to help employers use free trade, illegal immigration, and deregulation to drive down wages and destroy benefits for law abiding workers.

    According to polls, over 2 billion people have expressed their desire to move to America. How many of them can America accept before it fails under the load of population?

  7. “What I oppose are policies that place every person of brown skin, including lawful U. S. citizens, under a cloud of suspicion or required to produce papers or be subject to unnecessary stops by authorities because some other brown skinned people may not be here legally.”

    Why are you only concerned about people of brown skin? As a caucasian, professional traveler, I have been searched at least 20 times and questioned and forced to show ID hundreds of times. Some of that was at border crossings but most of it took place within the continental US. Being stopped and questioned and required to produce papers is only a problem for criminals.

  8. Wigglwagon,

    Do you believe that the ills you describe justify the use of racially selective enforcement to cure?

    Btw, please provide a link to support your assertion re: polls that show 2 billion want to move here.

    Finally, why single out the D party when talking about free trade and deregulation? Doesn’t matter to me…I’m not D…just curious. Do you believe there may be other causes for middle class decline?

  9. Wig,

    You say “Being stopped and questioned and required to produce papers is only a problem for criminals.”

    To be honest, that statement pretty much tells me everything I need to know. No disrespect, but you and I see the world – and our rights as American citizens – very differently.

    You’re entitled to your views. I’ll hold dear to mine.

    ES

  10. Thank-you Elijah for another fine post and thank-you for being “pro person”. Your contributions to TMV are almost always informed by reason, moderation, and humanity.

    “Those who argued for a humane middle ground were shouted down in the near mob-like clamor from the far right”

    Sorry to say that mob-like clamor is no stranger to America’s political right. Eventually it will spell their undoing.

  11. “Why are you only concerned about people of brown skin? As a caucasian, professional traveler, I have been searched at least 20 times and questioned and forced to show ID hundreds of times. Some of that was at border crossings but most of it took place within the continental US.”

    Wow! I don’t doubt you, but I find this very strange.

    I am one of those brown-skinned people and I have NEVER been stopped (except at international borders or customs) in my 53 years in the U.S.and asked to show ID.

    Must admit, however, that I avoid traveling through Arizona.

    Elijah, thanks for a great post.

  12. Elijah, I will take your questions one at a time.
    “Do you believe that the ills you describe justify the use of racially selective enforcement to cure?”

    I did not describe any ills. I described the reality of traveling around in today’s world. To me, the questioning, searches, and ID requirements did not appear to be racially selective. If there was any deliberate bias, I would be more inclined to think it was directed more toward caucasians than the people you refer to as ‘persons of brown skin’. Of course, most people have not traveled millions of miles as I did. Consequently, many of them take their security for granted when in reality it carries a very high price.

  13. Second question.
    “Btw, please provide a link to support your assertion re: polls that show 2 billion want to move here.”

    I do not remember where I read that. Does that number sound unreasonable to you? Over 4 billion people live in countries with a lower per capita GDP than that of Mexico who supplies the majority of our illegal immigrants. Does it matter whether the number is 4 billion, 2 billion, 1 billion or even just 100 million? As I said in the original question, how many of them can America accept before it fails under the load of population?

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