Comment: Republican Traitors

When CIR cleared the Senate last June, a small cadre of intellectuals in the Republican Party went to work to undermine immigration reform in the House. They won. At least for 2013. One of the most prominent of those intellectuals was Sean Trende, Senior Elections Analyst for RealClearPolitics (he earlier practiced law for eight years at Kirkland & Ellis, and Hunton & Williams). In a series of scathing pieces from mid-June 2013 through mid-July 2013, he put forward novel and well-argued excuses to abandon CIR in the House. It was his argument that carried the day at the time – largely that the Republican Party needed to double down on the white vote, and the Hispanic vote be damned. That is why what he says now matters –since the House Republican leadership has just re-invigorated the immigration debate by putting forth principles for immigration reform – and Mr. Trende is back at work leading the effort to undermine immigration reform once again.

Those who agree with Mr. Trende are undermining not just immigration reform, but the Republican Party too. Let’s read between the lines in his latest missive: On Immigration, What Are the Republicans Thinking? Mr. Trende insults conservatives (and libertarian populists) who support sensible immigration reform, by suggesting that “the conservative/libertarian populist wing of the party would […] sit the election out” if Republican immigration principles were enacted into law. Apparently, those who support immigration are not welcome in Mr. Trende’s vision of a Republican Party. His view of the Republican Party does not include anyone except Southern racists apparently – moderate Northerners need not apply - they cannot call themselves conservatives or libertarian populists, as if these latter two appellations were reserved for Southerners alone (conservative Northerners find themselves “moderates” in Southern quarters). Mr. Trende asks: “in a cost-benefit analysis, does the [Chamber of Commerce …] win out over the base?” There are some in the Republican Party who believe that business interests ought to have a seat at the Republican table, obviously Mr. Trende and his racist cohorts disagree. GOP principles are sure to start “a civil war on the Democratic side”, since a pathway-to-citizenship is not included – but this is not enough for Mr. Trende and his ilk. They insist instead that “the smarter play” would be to “wait until 2015” – a transparent ploy to kill immigration reform, regardless of the cost to the Republican Party in so doing. Mr. Trende is a brilliant man, and one of the most astute observers of the political scene in the USA. However, he is wrong on his immigration prescription for the Republican Party for a simple reason – a winning party needs the largest coalition it can build, and a coalition without immigrants is not one that can be sustained in 21st Century America.

Immigration Daily is fiercely non-partisan – or, it would be more accurate to say that we are fiercely bi-partisan, in that we believe that the stable two-party system which America has developed is one of the pillars of the Republic. Hence, we regard any mortal threats to either party with great suspicion, and regard those within each Party who follow suicidal paths as dangers whom the Republic would be better off without. Hence our vitriol against those in the Republican Party who would destroy it through a hate-filled agenda. The time has come for Republicans who support immigration reform to remind the anti-immigrationists in their midst that to be anti-immigrant is both anti-American and anti-Republican. If they don’t like America and the Republican Party, the anti-immigrationists are welcome to leave. Share your thoughts by writing to


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