Monday, December 10, 2012

Amnesty Isn’t the GOP Gift to Unlock the Hispanic Vote

With President Obama corralling a stunning 71% of the Hispanic vote in his successful 2012 re-election bid, “establishment Republicans” are running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to figure out how to get a piece of America’s fastest growing demographic. (I’ve opined about how the GOP has written off the black vote as unattainable. I guess when the Hispanic vote approaches 90% for Democrats, Republicans will reconsider ignoring blacks like the heels of their shoes.)

House Speaker John Boehner, Karl Rove, Reince Priebus, and shockingly even Sean Hannity are calling for AMNESTY or some variation thereof under the guise of “immigration reform.” This new amnesty gang concluded Romney lost the Hispanic vote because of his “self-deportation” blunder.

Predicting another presidential loss in 2016 unless the party reverses its wicked ways, this GOP pro-amnesty gang believes granting citizenship to the estimated 11 to 20 million illegal aliens in this country will translate into Hispanic votes. Wrong! Amnesty isn’t the answer to winning the Hispanic vote or why Romney didn’t wow Hispanics.

Romney was inelegant in the way he talked about many topics but that doesn’t mean he was wrong, particularly about stopping illegal immigration. He should have explained what self-deportation meant. If the government enforced the laws, by securing our borders and cracking down on businesses who hire illegal aliens, these criminals who broke the law to come to America would voluntarily go back home.

Before the avalanche of illegal immigrants started pouring across or borders in the 1990s, American citizens worked jobs currently filled by illegal workers. Two exit polls, one conducted by CBS and another by Brietbart News/Judicial Watch, both found more than 60% of Americans supported Arizona’s immigration laws. With unemployment at a record high for the past four years, illegal aliens in the workforce not only take jobs from the country’s 23 million unemployed Americans but it is particularly harmful to Hispanic and black citizens who suffer higher unemployment rates. This is what Romney should have explained.

Americans want enforcement of immigration laws because they know illegal immigrants harm Americans by depressing wages, stealing jobs and increasing taxpayer costs for welfare, education, and social security programs. According to two studies conducted by the Heritage Foundation , the cost of amnesty would run $1 trillion over 30 years, which works out to be about $90 billion a year. This is 70 times the minimum $13.5 billion yearly cost of proposed enforcement bills, as scored by the Congressional Budget Office.

Counter to the myth the mainstream media and some Republicans are pushing, polls found Hispanics supported Romney's position on mandatory E-verify. According to an October Pulse Opinion poll, 66% of Hispanics supported mandatory E-Verify to prevent companies from hiring illegal immigrants. Another NBC Latino/IBOPE Zogby poll conducted in October 2012 found only 5% of Hispanics felt immigration was a top concern to them.

According to NumbersUSA, Romney’s position on enforcement of immigration laws helped him get more Hispanic votes than pro-amnesty John McCain did in 2008 in 16 of the 20 states with the highest Hispanic population. If the current GOP posturing on amnesty is true, that it will increase the GOP share of the Hispanic vote in the future elections, why does history tell another tale? In 1986 Ronald Reagan signed the Simpson-Mazzoli immigration bill, granting amnesty to illegal aliens living in America and pledged to secure the borders. Enforcement never happened and two years later in 1988 "George H. W. Bush lost the Latino vote by 39 points."

McCain’s pro amnesty stance didn’t help him win overwhelming support from Hispanics in 2008. Compared to Obama’s 67%, McCain only got 31% of the Hispanic vote.

In 1996, after implementing “Operation Gatekeeper,” aimed at securing the border along San Diego and Mexico, Clinton ran away with 72% of the Hispanic vote compared to Bob Dole’s paltry 21%.

While Obama used executive order to bypass Congress, granting amnesty to Hispanics age 31 and under , his administration deported over 1 million illegal immigrants during Obama's first term in office.

Obama won 71% of the Hispanic vote in 2012 compared to Romney’s 29% not because of his “amnesty” giveaway, but because he took his message of “growing the entitlement state and Americans dependency upon government” to Hispanics. Mitt was right, Hispanics, blacks and women voted for the gifts Obama promised them. Maybe Mitt should have bothered offering these groups his gifts. I think the GOP should be taking a message of enforcement to all Americans, along with NumbersUSA's five great solutions, which includes ending birthright citizenship.

The irony of all this pro-amnesty talk from “elites inside the GOP” is none of them mentions the first Hispanic elected US Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, is a pro-enforcement guy. Cruz campaigned on promising “to strengthen border security and help ensure that America remains a nation of laws” not lawlessness, which is what allowing illegal immigration is.

As a friend noted, minorities are choosing Democrats because Republicans are abandoning them. The same friend, a Los Angeles Police Department Detective in South Los Angeles, said “during this election cycle, there was NO one from the national or state GOP campaigning in our area.” LA we have a problem!

Responding to campaign advisor Lionel Sosa in 1984, who said it would be hard to win the Hispanic vote, Reagan replied: “Hispanics are already Republican. They just don’t know it.” Reagan took “his gifts,” the message of conservatism to Hispanics and won 40% of their vote. Amnesty isn’t the key to the GOP unlocking the Hispanic vote, it’s getting the messenger to take its blinders off.


Opposition to a policy is "hate" (?)

The British Left assert that opposition to British policies that attract millions of immigrants, legal and illegal, has to be "hate".  But that is getting to sound very hollow in Britain today.  But Leftists always resort to abuse when they have no arguments.  The guy featured below seems to be some flavour of Trotskyite.  Amusing that preaching against real Muslim hate "seems complex"

With the rise of UKIP, and immigration reform back on the agenda, The Huffington Post UK meets Nick Lowles, director of anti-fascist campaigners Hope Not Hate, on one of the UK's most toxic political issues.

For a man who campaigns against extreme hate speech, Nick Lowles inspires a lot of it.

Online, he's called a communist, a censor of free speech, a Zionist, a Muslim apologist, and an Islamophobe, and his attackers range from BNP supporters to Islamists.

It's what can happen when you head an organisation such as Hope Not Hate, which targets extremism and hate speech.

Lowles is clear that his organisation cannot just speak out against the far right, but against any movement or individual who incites hatred, be they hate-preaching bishops or imans, or even mainstream politicians.

And he's had to learn to deal with the hate that comes back in his direction, from those he targets, including the British National Party, the English Defence League, Muslim extremists, and the far-left too.

"I've been doing it 20 years, I've grown myself a thick skin. No-one likes the criticism, from Nazis or from people on the left. But you get used to it.

"And, at the end of the day, you can't ignore it. You have to look at whether the criticisms are valid, but also have faith in your ideas."

Lowles, a former editor of Searchlight (he cut official ties with that anti-fascist organisation last year), founded Hope Not Hate in 2004, to organise communities against the rise in popularity of the BNP.

The group has grown fast, and won ardent celebrity backers like Lord Alan Sugar, Amir Khan, Dermot O'Leary and comedian Eddie Izzard.

But the fight against extremism in 2012, Lowles says, is now changing focus. The BNP is close to total defeat, underlined by their performance in the Rotherham by-election a week ago.

"In Rotherham they got 8% of vote," Lowles said. "It should have been a strong area for them, they had councillors there in the past, Denis MacShane [the Labour MP for Rotherham] departed after a scandal.

"And of course they have been exploiting the grooming issue, the case which was so horrific in Rotherham.

"But there was so much media attention on UKIP. I think the BNP could have got 15% of the vote, but it's clear some voters switched to UKIP, they're seen as more likely alternative."

Lowles believes the BNP are in their "weakest position they've been in for many years, which is surprising given the economy and the continued distrust of mainstream parties. He says the BNP have not really recovered from 2010, when they raised the expectations of their supporters, and completely failed to deliver.  "Many of their newer supporters just dropped out.

"And then at the same time, you have the rise of the EDL, much more attractive to a lot of young people. Handing out leaflets, doing respectable election campaigning doesn't really appeal to them."

But the BNP cannot be ignored, and Hope Not Hate is gearing up to attempt to dislodge leader Nick Griffin in the 2014 MEP elections.

Lowles is worried that even though the BNP has lost support, the party's ideas and concerns still permeate many communities.  "The conditions that gave rise to them, are still there and getting worse.

"And we have to understand why people voted for the BNP, it was not just about racism or immigration. It was the anti-party politics movement.  "The longer we leave that vacuum, some is going to come back to fill it."

The concern is that younger anti-immigration activists flock to the militant EDL, while mainstream parties, like UKIP and even the Conservatives, look to take on the anti-immigration mantle which attracted older, traditional voters of the BNP.

Lowles' answer is to lobby mainstream parties on the way they address immigration - and encourage progressive voices to take a stand.

"People see the "extremist" parties as value parties. My dad was a Labour party man, loyal, very active, an local organiser. And he said to me a few years ago "what does the Labour party stand for?"

"He had to go looking for the mission statement on the website. And for my dad to say that, it really hits you."

The rhetoric of the Conservative party, particularly in the wake of the challenge from UKIP, and the appointment of controversial right-wing, anti-immigration campaign advisor Lynton Crosby, has worried Hope Not Hate.

"Even in the last few days we have seen all sorts of really right-wing views on immigration coming out. And that poses a challenge for Labour.

"On the one hand they can move into the middle, move right-wing, and show voters they can also get tough on immigration.

"But I think demographics of voters in Britain are changing. That's what happened in the US, with Latino voters.

"A progressive alliance forced Obama to change his views on certain issues. He went in on a pretty conservative platform, he ended up announcing immigration reform, the DREAM act, a product of years of campaigning.

"That needs to happen to our politicians in Britain. We need to call them out on things like immigration, child detention, scare them a bit. They can't ignore these issues.

"But it feels like a daunting task to go on the offensive about immigration, against the negativity, to talk about the positives."

Ed Miliband 'must stand up to the negativity on immigration'
Hope Not Hate has come under attack from both left and right in the aftermath of the grooming scandals in the north of England, in Keighley, Rochdale and Rotherham.

It has been accused both of ignoring the issue, and, particularly by the Institute of Race Relations's executive director Liz Fekete, of not taking a hard enough line against the racial narrative in the press.

The group produced leaflets to combat the far-right's anti-Islam campaigning in the aftermath, which "clearly state that a minority of British Muslims are involved in grooming but it will stress that this is a tiny minority of Muslims and it is wrong to blame a whole community.

It is an issue the organisation has struggled with, but it shouldn't be so difficult, Lowles said.

"It's undeniable that a lot of those perpetrators come from the British Pakistani community, when it comes to street grooming by gangs. Does that tell us something about Islam or Pakistanis? No it does not.  "I strongly believe this is not about race.

"But the problem is, left unchallenged, these become real racial issues. There are eight or nine big trials concerning this pattern next year, each time there are going to be issues to be taken on."

Hope Not Hate also campaigns against Anjm Choudry's Islamic extremism

He encounters charges of hypocrisy regularly on doorsteps, which has made the organisation more determined to campaign on other areas of extreme hate.

"People say to us on doorstops, you campaign agains the English Defence League, but you don't say anything on Muslims. And we have to. In Tower Hamlets we have campaigned against Hizt-bu-Tahrir [widely perceived an an extreme Islamic movement].

"We have campaigned against Anjem Choudry [Islam4UK and Muslims Against Crusades], and imams are grateful to us that we do. We will be working with mosques in Luton on anti-extremism tactics.

"It seems complex but it shouldn't be. If someone preaches hate, we will stand up against it."


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