Today's immigration panel at CPAC was a wondrous journey into a parallel universe. In this fantastical land, “jobs go begging in the streets,” Hispanics plead to be used as helots, guest workers take a vow of celibacy once they cross the border, and the issue of immigration can avoid being “politicized.” It's fitting that the panel was preceded by an unedited rendition of “Little Lion Man” over the speakers, and the audience (and presumably CSPAN) was treated to Mumford & Sons crooning “I really f***ked it up this time, didn't I, my dear?”
The panel consisted of Dr. Whit Ayres of North Star Opinion Research, Dan Garza of the LIBRE Initiative, Helen Krieble of the Vernon K. Krieble Foundation, Jennifer Korn of the American Action Network, and Congressman Raul Labrador. Professional Hispanic Helen Aguirre Ferré of “Zona Politica” aggressively moderated, to make sure that the audience got the intended message.
Ferré effusively thanked the American Conservative Union and Al Cardenas both before and after the panel. As well she might—the “debate” consisted entirely of people who supported some version of amnesty. Ferré [Twitter]who is far whiter than “white Hispanic” George Zimmerman, made sure to overly trill her r's and consistently reorient the discussion so that the Republican base came in for criticism.
First up was the profoundly goofy Dr. Whit Ayres of North Star Opinon Research. He announced conservatism's existential struggle against “secular socialism.” He warned that if conservatives don't win, America may look like a “Western European nation”—and we can't have that! Instead, Dr. Ayers claimed that we must have “new allies” and the good old “hard working” Hispanics are the natural target. (Just in passing, is there any ethnic constituency that we are supposed to think is not hard working?”)
Though Dr. Ayres comes from a polling company, he presented no hard data in support of his claims. Instead, he simply asserted the glories of his proposed alliance, though it was slightly disrupted when an audience member shouted out they only wanted allies here “legally!”
This little incident about summed up the audience reaction. There was no booing or grumbling, but there wasn't much in the way of applause either. Instead, for much of the panel, the crowd simply absorbed the slogans about “undocumented immigrants” and the need for a “new tone” in sullen silence.
Ayres enthused that Republicans are only one election cycle or candidate away from a rebirth, claiming that the GOP is in the same position as the Democrats in 1988. Of course, he missed one critical fact—the Democrats ensured future victory by importing a new people to overwhelm the American voters they could not convince.
Dan Garza of the LIBRE initiative spoke next. The LIBRE initiative is one of those “free market” ethnic identity groups that employ professional minorities and give to Conservatism Inc. convenient non-whites they can stick on panels or in front of microphones. Garza paid tribute to America's immigrant heritage, beginning with the Pilgrims. The news that the founders of Plymouth Plantation were simply immigrants to an existing society would be news to the Pilgrim Fathers, as well as the American Indians that would displace. I'm not sure Garza really knows what “immigrant” means. In Garza's telling, the reason immigrants come to America is so they can discover the value of capitalism, another blind assertion unsupported by hard data.
Garza did allow that there were “valid concerns” about wages or border security, though needless to say he did not elaborate. Nor were these “valid concerns” respectable enough that someone expressing them was be allowed on the panel.
Garza was also the first one to deploy some Spanish phrases at CPAC, to the blank stares of the overwhelmingly Anglo audience.
The highlight was a story Garza told about an illegal alien he knew who had been missing from church (a nice touch!) for some time. Later, the alien told Garza that he had been deported and had undertaken another dangerous journey to sneak into the country.
Patriots can be forgiven for taking an unintended lesson of this story—that that border security is simply so bad that people can take for granted they will sneak back in.
Helen Krieble used the manipulative strategy of framing immigration enforcement as a “statist” policy. Of course, as Sam Francis described, immigration is the example par excellence of “anarcho-tyranny,” as the government cracks down on the rights of American citizens while remaining blithely indifferent towards its basic responsibilities. Needless to say, this went unmentioned, with repeated condemnations of “statism” and the repetition of the sacred phrase “free market” substituting for serious thought.
Of course, Krieble didn't just ignore reality. She created an entirely new one, where businesses all over the country simply cannot fill their massive job openings. Unemployment? What unemployment?
Krieble's “Red Card” guest worker plan would have the government function as a middle man between businesses and foreign workers. It is an ambitious public-private partnership organized against the Forgotten Man of American politics, the native-born working class.
Citizenship went almost entirely unmentioned. In this alternate universe, guest workers simply don't have children who can vote.
But Krieble actually deserves applause—her presentation confirmed that the conservative movement's rhetoric about a “new tone” is simply camouflage for the real agenda of obtaining a never-ending supply of cheap laborers (who preferably can't vote.)
It's a solution as immoral as it is impractical. We can only hope that progressives will have enough moral misgivings about creating a helot class to oppose a compromise that would guarantee them a permanent electoral majority.
Jennifer Korn of the American Action Network name dropped a whole series of Republican politicians that are supposedly on board for amnesty. Alas, she claims Rand Paul is among them. She did criticize the diversity lobby and urge movement towards a system built around the needs of business. But once again, the need for cheap labor was the guiding principle, as opposed to any conception of an American national interest, or (perish the thought) the core national population.
Congresman Raul Labrador accepted the need for a guest worker program but smoothly shifted the rhetoric to focus on the Left. He dodged the straw man of a “new tone” and urged Republicans to stop flagellating themselves. However, he then built a new one and said “five Republicans” have a problem with rhetoric. When challenged to name them, Labrador demurred and the moderator let him escape. Still, Labrador also explictly defended E-Verify, the need to complete border fences, and interior enforcement. (Krieble protested—it's “statist.”)
Jenny Korn admitted that a solid majority of Hispanics supported Prop. 187 in California, but noted that it is the “tone” that eventually offended Hispanics to the point that “conservative” became a dirty word.
Essentially, the panel wants Democrats to recuse hemselves from talking about the issue, immigration to be handled from the perspective of ensuring low paid workers for big business, and Hispanic groups to moderate their rhetoric.
But why should they? Even the panel seemed to understand that Hispanics won't vote for the GOP. They are simply hoping the Democrats don't push their advantage.
Which brings us to the real dirty word of CPAC's immigration discussion. It's not racism, or statism, or even nativism, but “citizenship.”
Moderator Ferré asked point blank if “citizenship” is the poison pill that will kill "immigration reform" but this question was essentially dodged. Citizenship was almost unmentioned during the discussion—even at CPAC, the movement can not be honest about the specifics of what they are proposing.
Ideally, Conservatism Inc. wants cheap labor for their masters, positive press for opposing "racism," and as few Hispanic voters in the electorate as possible. It cannot do all three, but it prefers cognitive dissonance to systematic (and politically incorrect) thought.
Near the beginning of the panel, Dr. Ayres condemned the belief that Hispanics tend to vote Democratic no matter what. He didn't rebut it (of course) and simply gloated that whites will soon be a minority in the country their ancestors built. To those opposed to amnesty, he challenged: “What's your plan?”
The plan is simple: an immigration moratorium, attrition through enforcement, abolishing birthright citizenship, attacking multiculturalism and rebuilding the national core.
If this fails, then immigration patriots have to ask what comes after America. As outlandish as that sounds, it bears a closer resemblance to reality than anything discussed during the immigration panel.
The tragedy of the so called “thoughtful” voices on immigration reform is not that they are liberal, or moderate, or "post-national." It's that these self-proclaimed sophisticates are guilty of a willful refusal to think seriously, And it shows.