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The Real Problem for CIR: GOP Only Cares About White Voters. By Roger Algase

Rating: 5 votes, 5.00 average.
Does anyone seriously believe any longer that immigration reform would have a chance in Congress if it weren't only for Syria? Or if the fall calendar weren't so busy with other issues? (See, for example, What about immigration reform? Congress running out of time, by Benjy Sarlin on the website: Hardball With Chris Matthews, September 4)

Can anyone seriously think that CIR would pass if everyone would just leave the House Republicans alone so they can do reform "piecemeal", after House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte has already announced that passing a reform bill which could actually reach the president's desk is not his objective? (See Wall Street Journal: House GOP Puts Immigration on Back Burner, September 3.)

Or can any rational observer believe that House Republicans would suddenly do an about face and come on board with the Senate's bill to legalize 11 million unauthorized immigrants if only the Democrats would only agree to throw the "special" Pathway to Citizenship under the bus, along with diversity green cards, siblings of US citizens, possibly a big slice of the H-1B program and everything else that already occupies that space?

Or, is it possible (for those who are old enough to remember the 1954 and 1960 movies), that the House Gang of "Seven Samurai", or "Magnificent Seven" will suddenly come to the rescue of CIR with a "bipartisan" reform bill - that only the Democrats in that group are willing to sign off on? See August 30 Latin Times, Immigration Reform 2013: When Will The House 'Gang of 7' Introduce Its Comprehensive Bill, If Ever?

How much longer will the media (or immigration supporters) keep on their blinders and pretend to let themselves be taken in by these fantasies, or by the notions that any more than a relative handful of House Republicans have the slightest interest in passing a real immigration reform bill, as opposed to fake reform that is 99 percent enforcement and possibly 1 per cent throwing a few bones to DREAMERS who are, say, under the age of six?

If anyone still believes that CIR, with legalization and the Pathway, or anything even close to CIR, has any serious chance of passing in the GOP-controlled House, a September 5 National Journal article by Robert Brownstein should make for some interesting reading. The article is called: Bad Bet: Why Republicans Can't Win With Whites Alone.

Here is the link:

www.nationaljournal.com/magazine/bad-bet-why-republicans-can-t-win-with-whites-alone-20130905?print=true

The article states:

"Initially. most Republican leaders viewed Obama's re-election as a demographic wake-up call for their party...

But through 2013, the sense of demographic urgency within the GOP has palpably dissipated. Instead, an array of conservative analysts has advanced a competing theory for Romney's defeat: He failed to generate a big enough margin among whites."

Referring to an argument along this line advanced by conservative analyst Sean Trende, the NJ continues:

"But his [Trende's] analysis has become a rallying cry for conservative activists who reject the view that the 2012 result proved that the [Republican] party must adjust its message to appeal to more minority and young voters by, among other things, enacting immigration reform...

Can Republicans bet their future primarily on the notion that the party can amass even bigger advantages with whites?"

But the NJ points out that if the Republicans hope to win in the future by capitalizing on the Democrats' perceived weakness among white voters, the GOP may be playing a risky game:

"The challenge for Republicans hoping to reverse these [smaller percentages of whites in the electorate] voting trends is that they reflect tectonic shifts in the overall population." (Emphasis added.)

The NJ article continues:

"Weighing all these factors, most political professionals in both parties who have expressed an opinion are somewhat between dubious and scornful of the notion that Republicans can rely entirely on further gains with whites to recapture the presidency without meaningfully improving among minorities. 'This is an anti-mathematical position', says longtime Democratic pollster Geoff Garin. 'Electoral reality is not the product of someone's ideological wishes. It's arithmetic. And the arithmetic is working badly against the Republicans.'"

In that case, why is there so much opposition to immigration reform among House Republicans? Don't they know how to count? Or are they so blinded by racist ideology that they don't care if they keep losing presidential elections in the future in perpetuum?

The NJ's conclusion is as follows:

"But even in a rapidly diversifying nation, Republicans remain almost entirely dependent on the votes of whites, who supplied Romney with nearly 90 per cent of his total support and cast over 90 per cent of the ballots in almost all the party's 2012 presidential primaries. Nearly four-fifths of House Republicans represent districts that are more white than the national average. This means that minorities who might be drawn to the party by a different mix of policies, such as comprehensive immigration reform, have minimal influence in shaping the party's agenda now. For those seeking a more inclusive and diverse GOP coalition, the first hurdle is that the future doesn't have a seat at the table today." (Emphasis added.)

As if this were not already obvious before, now the real reason that CIR was DOA in the House and is unlikely to come back to life in that chamber is clear to everyone. Media pundits who persist in attributing the House's failure so far even to consider meaningful immigration reform to superficial factors such as Syria, the legislative calender, etc. are doing a disservice to the immigration community, and to the Latino, Asian, African-American and other minority voters who believe in full racial equality in America.

If, as seems very likely at this writing, CIR is finally killed off in the House by Republicans pandering to white voters whom they perceive as anti-immigrant, then minority and other pro-immigration voters (including large numbers of white voters who are not bigots) will know which party to blame.

Nor are CIR supporters likely to sit on their hands in the 2014 election. This assumes, of course, that minority voters, young people, the less affluent, and other normally Democratic voters are actually allowed to vote in a number of Republican-controlled states, despite their voter ID laws, purges from the voter rolls, restrictions on early voting and Sunday voting, poll closings in minority neighborhoods, shorter voting hours, and all the other voter suppression tactics which the same Radical Right that is killing immigration reform in Congress is using to try to stop millions of pro-immigration US citizens from going to the polls next year.

The following update is posted on the evening of September 9.

Certainly, well regarded media outlets have no shortage of other reasons for House inaction on CIR, besides appeals to white racism by Tea Party Republicans and their supporters on the right.

A September 8 New York Times article, Immigration Reform Falls to the Back of the Line, states that in the House:

"...many Republicans view an overhaul bill passed by the Senate as a federal juggernaut that is too kind to immigrant lawbreakers..."

But is this really a serious argument? Every time Republicans don't like a Democratic proposal, whether the Affordable Care Act, Food Stamps or relief for Hurricane Sandy victims, they call it a huge, unworkable, federal program.

And we have been hearing from the far right that immigration reform is nothing but "amnesty for illegals" for at least the past 30 years. It is time to move beyond propaganda.

And even the above New York Times article also states:

"...Republican angst about losing Hispanic voters in the 2012 presidential campaign has faded."

Is this anything other than a polite way of saying that the Republicans are only interested in white voters?
Maybe the mainstream media are being just a little too "polite" in their handling of the immigration reform issue, at the cost of focusing on the reality.








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Updated 09-09-2013 at 06:49 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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Comments

  1. Harry DeMell's Avatar
    I can't believe that ILW publishes this trash. He's got it backwards.
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Mindless name-calling will not add anything to an open discussion of a very serious issue.

    My posts are not based on just my own opinion, but on solid evidence that Republican pandering to white racism is blocking CIR in the House. I refer to a carefully thought out and well considered article in my post.

    This may be an "inconvenient truth" for some people - but every issue has its share of people who are in denial.

    Roger Algase
    Updated 09-10-2013 at 05:57 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
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