2007 May 14 Monday
GOP Prez Candidates Shifting To Oppose Immigration Amnesty

While many US Senators work to get together an immigration amnesty those running for President as Republicans are backpedaling.

Senators from both parties and senior White House officials are hurrying to negotiate a deal that would give illegal immigrants a path to legal status after clearing criminal checks and paying fines. The plan would beef up border security and put new emphasis on enforcing workplace rules. Democratic leaders have given them until tomorrow to produce legislation before forcing another vote on the McCain-Kennedy bill that failed last year.

In the meantime, the leading Republican candidates for president are distancing themselves from the plan.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who just a year ago characterized the bipartisan efforts as "reasonable proposals," now derides the plans being negotiated in Congress as "amnesty" for illegal immigration.

Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, whose record is filled with pro-immigrant speeches and actions, has been largely silent on the debate. And Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, another GOP contender, was a key McCain ally on immigration a year ago but recently renounced his support for the approach.

"When the public opinion matters most is during elections," said Steven Camarota, the research director for the Center for Immigration Studies, whose group advocates a harder line on illegal immigration. "That's why all the candidates tend to move toward enforcement and not talk so much about legalization."

Immigration is the issue where the masses and the elites disagree the most. Elite preferences got a big boost due to the Iraq war. The unpopularity of the Iraq war helped get more pro-immigration Democrats get elected. The Democrats see low performing immigrant groups as reliable Democratic Party voters. True enough. Poor people tend to want stuff from the government and vote for Robin Hood politicians to get it for them.

Republican elites see immigrants as cheap labor. Capital owners see larger supplies of unskilled labor in terms of lower labor costs. But their position can be summed up as the privatization of profits and the socialization of costs. Business owners can make profits from workers who earn little and who pay little in taxes. But then the rest of us pay more in taxes to support these poor folks and in crime, crowding, and higher housing costs.

The deal-makers in the US Senate basically have contempt for popular will. So does George W. Bush. Will the populace shout loud enough and become angry enough about the immigrant hordes to force the elected officials to bow to popular will? Or will we get a massive immigrant amnesty?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2007 May 14 11:31 PM  Immigration Politics

Kenelm Digby said at May 15, 2007 5:35 AM:

Really, I believe the roots of the Great American Immigration Disaster are a lot deeper than a simple disconnect between the will of the polticians and the 'will of a majority of American Whites'.
The great, but sadly under-recognised Tom Metzger, summed it up thusly - American Whites are NOT a homogenous group of shared common culture and ancestry but a disparate, polyglot group from the European nations lacking a real 'blood and soil' bond of genetic ancestry that is the real making of great nations.Therefore it is short work for ruthless, disinterested vested interests to by-pass any 'race instinct' and manipulate the disconnected rootless mass as it wills.
The strongest opposition to race-replacement comes from such nations as Austria and the Netherlands, where ethnic genetic interest theory would have predicted it.

Chris said at May 15, 2007 2:24 PM:

As we speak, Harry Reid may be getting his way with Kyl et al, pushing S 1348 directly to the Senate floor. If this thing is passed, it really won't matter AT ALL what any Presidential candidate thinks about immigration policy.

m said at May 15, 2007 4:15 PM:

"American Whites are NOT a homogenous group of shared common culture and ancestry but a disparate, polyglot group from the European nations lacking a real 'blood and soil' bond of genetic ancestry that is the real making of great nations"

Then please explain why homogenous Euros with centuries long "blood and soil" bonds are facing the same problem?

Only Japan among 1st world nations has avoided this situation.
And the Japanese are rivaled only by Chinese and Koreans as racists and racialists.

Audacious Epigone said at May 16, 2007 1:18 PM:

A great deal of the shifting toward the pro-sovereignty position can be attributed to political astuteness rather than a genuine desire to limit the citizenry's need for a more expansive government (via greater crime prevention measures, wealth transfers, extra educational services, etc). But it's pleasing nonetheless.

Cynics criticize Tancredo and Hunter for having no chance of winning the nomination. But they're pulling the entire gamut of contenders in the right direction. Wittily at last night's debate, the former said:

"It's beginning to truly sound like a Baptist tent revival meeting here. And I am glad to see conversions. I'm glad they happen. But I must tell you, I trust those conversions when they happen on the road to Damascus, and not on the road to Des Moines."

David Lajaunie said at May 16, 2007 7:14 PM:

It turns out that S.1348 is going to be even more of a sellout than originally thought. Four year "Z" visa's (really eight years when it comes right down to it), phony enforcement triggers, chain immigration untouched etc. This is a disaster of tremendous import for the Nation as a whole with hardly any political upside for Republicans short term, certainly none long term. What on earth are the Republicans in the Senate thinking?

Randall Parker said at May 16, 2007 7:53 PM:


Great line from Tancredo.

What I want to know: How will the Democrats in the House treat the Senate bill?

Cutler said at May 16, 2007 11:05 PM:

"What on earth are the Republicans in the Senate thinking?"

Short term?

They get to keep business support (which necessitates continued illegal immigration, since legal immigrants have wage protection) and those who will now vote Democratic may or may not even be in the electorate that they are personally hostage to.

In the long-term, they're retired anyway, the cynical ones don't give a damn that the Republican Party will be dead. They got theirs.

The less cynical ones get to feel good about themselves for sticking up for the poor illegals, who naturally, they've convinced themselves, won't harm the country anyway.

John S Bolton said at May 16, 2007 11:10 PM:

Doesn't it resemble the approach of, say, a German government agent provocateur, to praise Metzger in this context.
Restrictionism of immigration is mainstream with the people; not the province of fringe elements.
I sent my messages to Congress, including a number of postcards today.
Remember you are literate and the other side of this issue very largely is not!

Robert said at May 17, 2007 10:52 AM:


It seems our lords and masters wish to abolish the American people, specifically its white population.

m said at May 17, 2007 5:53 PM:

"They get to keep business support"

Biz money shifts with the majority,so the GOP has lost Wall Street as well as Main Street and seeks to alienate the rural byways as well.

If Karl Rove were the number crunching genius many claim,he would have realized that the CEO vote just isn't big enought to sustain a national majority.

Ted Kennedy's legacy will be a Democrat majority for at least a generation,due mainly to Bush's legacy of finally overturning the Goldwater/Reagan legacy.

The very legacy that made the GOP a majority for a generation.

Audacious Epigone said at May 17, 2007 7:10 PM:


As we've dealt with previously, non-IRC Republicans up for re-election fared much worse than those who were members to Tancredo's Immigration Reform Caucus. The rhetoric of the rookie Congressional class during the '06 campaigns was overwhelmingly one of tougher enforcement and more restricted immigration. Time to hold some feet to the fire.

Your post suggests to me that several of the GOP Presidential candidates instinctively feel that if the conservative base is sold out by a Congressional amnesty, it will be the last straw for many of them, who've been frustrated time and time again for the last seven years, and they'll refuse to show up in November '08.

D Flinchum said at May 18, 2007 6:35 AM:

I believe that the candidates who supported amnesty in the past but now are singing another tune are counting on the amnesty to pass in 2007. Most of them won't have to vote on it and so be counted (bad luck for McCain). They'll then be able to point to "what they said" in 2007 while privately assuring the biz community that they will see to it that enforcement has no teeth. But then I'm a cynic.

Elliott said at May 18, 2007 7:46 AM:

I feel I have no alternative but to prepare my children to work and live in another country. They are simply too law abiding to remain in the United States where, I fear they will be unjustly used by the monied and powerful.

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