Yes, Mitt Romney’s slithering away from his previous (relatively) restrictionist posturing during the primaries is disappointing, albeit unsurprising. But there is still no doubt that America dodged a bullet when Marco Rubio was not selected to be the GOP vice presidential candidate.
Ever since being denied the VP nod, Rubio has been touring the country bashing both Obama and the Republican Party for not being sufficiently supportive of mass immigration. (If either were only the case!) Responding to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s assertion that “you can’t just trot out a brown face or a Spanish surname and expect people are going to vote for your party or your candidate,” Rubio agreed: “I think what he’s saying, quite frankly, is true for both parties.”
Needless to say, Rubio, like most Hispanic leaders, does not have a “brown face.” But if Republicans and conservatives did not have this silly illusion that trotting out a “Spanish surname” would somehow win them the Hispanic vote, Rubio would probably never gotten the nationwide support to mount a US Senate campaign. Certainly he would never have been immediately promoted to national GOP hero.
Policies matter and, look, the Republican Party does have a challenge. We can’t just be the anti-illegal immigration party, we have to be the pro-legal immigration party.
In fact, of course, I don’t know of a single Republican leader who does not qualify his (alleged) opposition to illegal immigration by stressing how much he supports legal immigration. Nor has a single Republican politician proposed making any major cuts in legal immigration in nearly a decade. So where is Rubio getting this ludicrous idea that the Republican Party is not making itself out to be “pro-legal immigration”?
I have written repeatedly about how silly this “pro legal/ anti-illegal” immigration rhetoric is. But if Rubio really believed in it, he would presumably crack down on illegal immigration, and increase legal immigration. But instead, Rubio has merely called for a vague statement about a policy that embraces America as a “nation of compassion and a nation of immigrants but also as a nation of laws.” [Marco Rubio: GOP Has Immigration ‘Challenge’, ABC News, August 29, 2012]. He supports all (Hispanic) immigration.
With the election just days away, Rubio is now campaigning for Romney—on the grounds that he will be more likely to achieve amnesty than Obama.
Recently, Rubio spoke at a Romney rally in Nevada. He defended Romney’s decision to honor Obama’s unconstitutional deportation stays and work permits to illegal immigrants on the grounds that because the illegals had already applied and paid
a $465 dollar fee. They are folks that have already availed themselves of it, who have paid money to the federal government. I don’t know how you undo that…I don’t think it would be fair, after they’ve already paid and begun to live, to now yank that from underneath them.”
[Rubio says Romney wants permanent solution for Dream Act kids, by Kathleen Hennessey, Los Angeles Times, October 2, 2012]
Well, we could refund their $465 if that’s an issue. The fact that these illegals had already availed themselves of the program would perhaps be compelling if their conduct had changed because of the executive order. But they had no intention of honoring our laws and leaving the country—now they are simply continuing their illegal presence under semi-legal auspices. To analogize the situation to estoppel in contract law, there has been no “reliance” on Obama’s promise by the illegals.
Rubio went on to argue that the illegals who got Obama’s temporary amnesty need Romney to give them permanent amnesty because
In a blink of an eye, this two-year period will go by, and these kids don’t want to be here for two years; they want to be here for the rest of their lives.
But once you have ceded the conceit that the president has the right to grant protected status to illegals, then why wouldn’t Obama just extend that status longer?
Rubio recently abandoned any pretense that he opposes illegal immigration.
The mistakes that Republicans have made is [sic] that we have allowed conservatism to be defined as anti-illegal immigration. In fact, conservatism is pro-legal immigration.
[Marco Rubio On Mitt Romney, by Sam Stein, Huffington Post, October 16, 2012]
Shedding no bleeding heart cliché, he called the problem a “humanitarian” crisis comparing the young illegals to “refugees” and that he’s “seen their tears.”
Just as John McCain miserably tried to blame Barack Obama for not granting amnesty in amnesty in Spanish language ads, Rubio accused Obama of having “poisoned the well” against a “permanent solution” for these illegals. [Rubio: Obama 'poisoned the well' for reform on 'humanitarian' immigration crisis]
I hate to ever defend Barack Obama, but by arguing that we must now grant amnesty to all these illegals permanently, in part because Obama unconstitutionally gave them a temporary amnesty, is the exact opposite of “poisoning the well” against the DREAM Act.
Rather, DREAM Act supporters can add “tried to make themselves right with the law” along with “came here through no fault of their own” and “are really just American kids” to their list of clichés about the “DREAMers.”
Rubio is right about one thing: policies do matter to Hispanic voters. The truth is, however, is that most Hispanics support Democratic policies across the board. Supporting amnesty will not help the Republicans win new Hispanic voters. And opposing it will not cost them any of the few that they have.
For example, the LA Times’ Hennessey interviewed a Hispanic Romney supporter at the Nevada Rally:
Gloria Juarez, a 54-year-old Romney supporter from Henderson, said she worried those young people wouldn't be able to find jobs and would become a burden on the government. She thinks Obama is winning more Latino supporters because he panders to them.
“He’s singing the song they want to hear, but it’s the same song he sang four years ago,” she said.
She said Romney took his position “for the same reason Obama did it.”
Patriotic Hispanics like Juarez do not need unpatriotic Hispanics like Rubio to promote amnesty to get them to vote Republican.
And the Republican Party does not need Rubio lecturing it to cave even further on legal and illegal immigration.
"Washington Watcher" [email him] is an anonymous source Inside The Beltway