Immigration Law Blogs on ILW.COM

by Roger Algase

Bloggings: Jeb Bush Tries to Talk Ethnic Sense About Immigration Reform to the Republicans. Will They Listen? By Roger Algase

in a June 30 Wall Street Journal oped: A Republican Case for immigration Reform, Jeb Bush (along with co-oped author Clint Bolick) tries to talk reason and reality about CIR to his fellow Republicans. Here is the link:

onlinewsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324328204578571641599272504.html#printMode

Bush begins:

"No Republican would vote for legislation that stifled economic growth, promoted illegal immigration, added to the welfare rolls, and failed to ensure a secure border. Yet they essentially will do just that if they fail to pass comprehensive immigration reform - and leave in place a system that does all of those things."

He continues:

"The Senate immigration reform addresses most of the flaws of the current system. It reduces family preferences, increases the number of high-skilled visas, expands guest worker programs and creates a merit-based immigration system for people who want to pursue the American dream. It also offers a path to citizenship for those who were brought here illegally as children, and dramatically increases resources and tools for border security."

Bush also argues that the Senate bill (S.744) does not provide amnesty, but only 13 year probation for those who came here illegally.

What's not to like about Bush's description of the Senate bill, especially if one is a Republican who wants to keep legal Latino immigrants out by reducing family preferences, and illegal ones out by doubling the Border Patrol and throwing a $30 billion windfall at the big defense contractors to make up for lost profits from Iraq and Afghanistan?

On this last point, see July 1, Washington Post: Immigration deal would boost defense manufacturers  (Warning - for strong stomachs only):

www.washingtonpost.com/politics/immigration-deal-would-boost-defense-manufacturers/2013//07/01d1c115e4-df63-11e2-b2d4-ea6d8f477a01_print_html

However, as Jeb Bush knows all too well, policy is not the main issue in the immigration reform debate. Therefore, he gets to the real point:

"Such reform is commended by sound policy and principle. And it will also earn goodwill among citizens of Hispanic and Asian descent. Republicans received only 27% of Hispanic votes - down from 40% only 12 years earlier."

(Of course, it would be unkind to dwell on Florida Governor Jeb Bush's role in suppressing and blocking a full count of the vote by thousands of nen-white US citizens in the 2000 presidential election. So, in the interests of civility, I will not dwell on this point.)

To continue with the oped:

"Fifty thousand Hispanics turn 18 and become eligible to vote every month. Republicans did even worse among Asians.- now the largest group of immigrants every year - receiving only 26% of their votes."

In other words, sound immigration policy and principle (to the extent that Jeb Bush's ideas about them are sound) are nice window dressing, but CIR is really all about attracting more minority votes. And so it is, for any Republican who cares about reason, reality and the GOP's survival.

But the same ethnic considerations are also at the root of the opposition to CIR. Which will win out in the Republican party, the voices of reason and ethnic inclusion, or the raucous shouts of anti-minority hate? The answer to this question will determine whether CIR passes this year.



 




About The Author

Roger Algase is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been practicing business immigration law in New York City for more than 20 years.


The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) alone and should not be imputed to ILW.COM.