Doing nothing is a trap, but we can't let it become amnesty.
I foresee a firestorm coming among conservatives in response to efforts by Capitol Hill Republicans to pass immigration reform. And while I share the concern of those who fear an amnesty sell-out for political purposes, I think we need to be smart about how we view this and not be too quick to condemn it.
This problem has been around a long time, and it’s been difficult both in a policy-making sense and as a political proposition to pass the right solution. I understand that some conservative activists want no compromise at all, which means nothing is acceptable short of the immediate deportation of 11 million people – which as a practical matter is impossible. This government can’t even build a web site that works. They can’t find and deport 11 million people.
So we have to find a solution that’s actually workable, and that means we have to work on the right problem. As Republicans put together their step-by-step plan, the key is to make sure they don’t get pushed into passing amnesty. Activists need to be focused on that, not on simply opposing anything short of mass deportation.
Doing nothing is not an option because, in addition to being bad policy, it plays politically into the hands of the Democrats. They would love nothing more than to beat up Republicans over immigration, to call them racists and all that (with the gleeful assistance of MSNBC and their other media allies), if for no other reason than it takes the focus off ObamaCare.
Republicans can’t let that happen. They need to pass a solution that is not amnesty and is not a quick path to citizenship, since there is already a path to citizenship and there’s no reason to create an accelerated one. That is exactly what the Democrats want because that’s how they instantly create another 11 million Democrat voters. If they could, they’d probably find a way to let illegal aliens vote too!
Remember, Democrats are trying to use a chicken feed strategy of distraction. What’s that? When I was a kid on the farm, my grandmother would come out on the porch and throw chicken feed. Our chickens were “free range” before that term was in vogue, and those free range chickens would run wherever the chicken feed was thrown.
The Democrats are my grandmother, standing on the porch, and the chicken feed is every distraction they want to offer to take attention off ObamaCare. The media are the chickens. As Shaney B suggested on the show today, we should call them the Free Range Media, because they just run after the chicken feed distractions wherever the Democrats throw them.
Republicans can’t let immigration become one of those distractions. It’s right to do something about it, but it wouldn’t be right if the solution turned out to be amnesty or a quick path to citizenship. If activists stand up against those two possibilities, they will be doing the right thing.
Update (Dan): You know I had to: