A leftover from yesterday, and a surprising one since Republican amnesty plans already invariably include long paths to citizenship for illegals. The Gang of Eight plan in 2013, which may have destroyed Marco Rubio’s presidential hopes by forever tainting him as a RINO on immigration, featured a 13-year path — right in line with the lower end of the range Rush offers here. And Rush isn’t targeting his path to DREAMers or DACA recipients or some other special class of illegals. He’s quite clear that he’d rubber-stamp the entire illegal population so long as they don’t get to vote for a good long while. The average border hawk would tell you that that’s a sucker’s game since, once citizenship is on the books, Democrats will end up accelerating the timetable the next time they’re back in control of government. But here’s Rush ready to be done with the whole issue. Huh.
Amnesty advocate Shikha Dalmia celebrates:
Nor is Limbaugh merely kidding. He actually proposed something similar five years ago. The proposal is essentially an admission that the true reason conservatives hate amnesty isn’t because undocumented immigrants are more crime prone, as a recent spate of highly questionable restrictionist studies have tried to show. Nor does it have anything to do with illegals being welfare queens given that no one works harder than an illegal immigrant. Employment among undocumented males is 90-plus percent. Furthermore, illegals by and large shun states with generous welfare benefits flocking toward those with plentiful jobs instead. Nor is this about protecting native jobs and wages because, research has repeatedly shown, immigrants compete with other immigrants, not natives.
In short, anti-immigration animus in the GOP has less to do with ideological restrictionism and more to do with partisan politics. Conservatives oppose amnesty because they fear that immigrants will vote Democratic.
Dalmia calls the belief that immigrants will vote Democratic once they’re nationalized “a massive misperception at best and a self-fulfilling prophecy at worst.” Eh, not really. Jason Richwine:
The foreign-born gave about two-thirds of their votes to Hillary Clinton in 2016, as did Asian and Hispanic Americans (both immigrant and native), whose explosive demographic growth is rooted almost entirely in immigration from over past 50 years, most of it legal. Asians and Hispanics supplied roughly 20 percent of Clinton’s vote total — close to the contribution made by black Americans, who have long been considered an indispensable part of the Democratic coalition.
In a report covering elections prior to 2016, University of Maryland political scientist James Gimpel found that increased levels of immigration at the county level are associated with decreasing support for the Republican party, even after controlling for income and prior demographics. Notably, Gimpel found that immigration turns counties blue not simply because of the votes supplied by immigrants — many are not citizens and therefore cannot vote — but also because of outmigration by natives who dislike the cultural and economic changes associated with immigration.
“[T]he more foreign born voters a state has, the greater the increase in the percentage of people who voted Democratic,” wrote Thomas Holbrook about his own study in 2016. “Where there aren’t very many foreign-born voters, the Democrats gained in some states and Republicans gained in others. But Democrats got more votes in virtually every state that had an above-average level of foreign-born voters.”
Rush’s thinking, I suppose, is that giving newly legalized illegals 20 years or so to assimilate will reduce the pressure they might otherwise feel to vote Democratic. Once the fear of deportation is lifted and they begin to build wealth, their preferences will turn more centrist. Could be, but like Richwine says, a lot of political damage can be done during a short term time while naturalized illegals remain left-wingers. Plus, polls from Gallup and Pew taken in recent years show no major difference between native-born and foreign-born Hispanics in preferring Democrats.
Exit question: Dalmia thinks Rush is proposing a no-strings-attached amnesty here. Full citizenship in exchange for a 15-25 delay in voting, straight up. I don’t know that he’s offering that; he says he’d want the voting delay as “part of the deal.” I sure hope he’d insist on E-Verify and the end of chain migration in return for a gift-wrapped giveaway like this!