Friday, March 31, 2006

CW on Immigration: Part IV

Another bit of nonsense peddled by Republican backers of “immigration reform” is that failing to open up the borders to all comers will cost the GOP at the ballot box. "Anti-immigration rhetoric is a political siren's song," says former GOP head honcho Ed Gillespie, "and Republicans must resist its lure . . . or our majority will crash on its shoals."

Another tall tale frequently proffered by immigration enthusiasts is that the national GOP is emulating California Republicans and will soon pay through the nose for "anti-immigrant" rhetoric. You may recall that in 1994, California governor Pete Wilson pushed Proposition 187, a ballot initiative denying various public services to ILLEGAL immigrants. The initiative won handily, though it was struck down by the federal courts, and Wilson cruised to victory.

Writing in the Washington Post, Ruth Marcus summarizes the "argument" that the GOP is imperiled by supporting a tough line on illegal immigration:

Now, though, with thousands demonstrating against a House-passed immigration bill that is all crackdown and no mercy, Rove's project is imperiled. The GOP -- riven between an enforcement-only approach and Bush's kinder, gentler immigration reform -- is risking a national repeat of Wilson's experience as governor of California over a decade ago.

Wilson pushed for Proposition 187, the 1994 initiative to deny state services to illegal immigrants, and won -- with disastrous results for the California GOP.


Is any of this true? A hardheaded look at the true political terrain provides a slightly different picture. The biggest change that occurred in California politics during the 1990’s was the enormous outflow of conservative whites from the state, wrought in part by surging illegal immigration following the 1986 amnesty. This fact combined with the importation of Democratic voters via immigration is the explanation for the demise of the GOP and conservatism in the Golden State. Steve Sailer dissects the myth further.

Sailer has also demonstrated that the president did not garner the support of Hispanics frequently attributed to him, and has shown conclusively that the GOP future depends on winning a larger share of the white vote. Is amnesty for illegal aliens the best way to accomplish that goal?

I would also direct you to the analysis by Peter Brimelow and Ed Rubenstein (updated in 2001) making the case that unfettered immigration is rapidly changing the demographics of the nation in a manner likely to create a progressive cycle in American politics at the expense of the GOP and whatever remains of the "conservative movement."

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