Since the Romney/Ryan ticket’s loss last Tuesday, the Republican Party has been going through a period of soul searching. Much of that is useless propaganda about how the party needs to move to the ‘center’ (whatever that is) on its tax-cutting growth agenda.
But some of it is a genuinely helpful re-examination of the GOP’s relationship with immigrants and immigrant voter groups. This is a helpful but small step in the right direction. Liberalization of immigration laws was a theme of this column before the election (and a theme of this columnist for many years before). In order to foster more discussion of this issue, we reproduce below an article which appeared in the print edition of Forbes in September of this year.
For those who believe that we are a Johnny-come-lately on this issue, only interested in promoting immigration in light of last week’s electoral defeat, you can find links to columns which I’ve written on this subject going back to 2006 after participating in a radio debate with Pat Buchanan on the issue and a follow up here.
Finally, I add this exhortation to my GOP brethren: If you see your problem with immigrants as merely one of marketing, then you will not succeed. The nativist wing of the party is not just politically inconvenient, it is morally and economically wrong. The point is not to capitulate to political necessity; the point is to have the right policy. The right policy is a growing economy, non-burdensome immigration laws, a welfare system which promotes work, not dependency, and a culture of assimilation, not isolation.
Latinos are religious, morally conservative and tend disproportionately to join the military and start businesses. They are natural members of the conservative coalition.
Nevertheless, some of the loudest voices in the conservative movement are advocating that Latinos here illegally be forced from the country. Big-government skeptics are oddly clamoring for something that only big government could accomplish.
Expelling 15 million people against their will would constitute the largest forced migration in American history. No one has ever forcibly moved that many people without concentration camps and mass death through plague.