Skip to comments.Some Republicans (Lindsey Graham) See Racism As a Factor in Immigration Stalemate
Posted on 01/30/2014 7:25:35 PM PST by Qbert
WASHINGTON For more than a year House Republican leaders have insisted the chamber would act on new immigration laws. And for more than a year, Republicans have done virtually nothing on the issue despite intense pressure from activists, business groups, and the nations changing demographics.
And although there are a variety of reasons for inaction, one Republican lawmaker recently offered a frank acknowledgement that for many House Republicans, theres one issue at play thats not often discussed: race.
Part of it, I think and I hate to say this, because these are my people but I hate to say it, but its racial, said the Southern Republican lawmaker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. If you go to town halls people say things like, These people have different cultural customs than we do. And thats code for race.
There are a range of policy reasons for opposing plans to liberalize immigration or to regularize undocumented immigrants in the country, ones revolving around law-and-order concerns and the labor market. But that perceived thread of xenophobia, occasionally expressed bluntly on the fringes of the Republican Party and on the talk radio airwaves, has driven many Hispanic voters away from a Republican leadership that courts them avidly. And some Republicans who back an immigration overhaul, including Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and one of the Republican Partys most vocal champions of a pathway to citizenship, acknowledge that race remains a reality in the immigration debate.
There will always be people [who have] different reasons for opposing the change. We have a history in this country of demagoguery when it comes [to immigration]. You know, Irish Need Not Apply. Theres nothing new going on today thats gone on before. This isnt the first time that theres been some ugliness around the issue of immigration, Graham said.
But Graham said despite that legacy, voters, including strong majorities of Republican primary voters, are lining up behind the idea of citizenship.
Heres what I dont get: When you ask primary voters in a poll would support a pathway to citizenship where you have to learn English, pay a fine and go to the back of the line, its 60% in South Carolina, Graham said. Nationally, its over 70% it seems through polling, if nothing else, that the Republican Party gets it.
Theres some racist people, certainly, said Ana Navarro, a Republican strategist and advocate for immigration reform. But I want to think its a minority and thats not whats going to decide the immigration debate.
Graham agreed, but said he is puzzled by the resistance to moving on new immigration laws in the House.
I dont know. I have no idea, I have no idea. I cant explain it. I think maybe its a fear of a primary, Graham said when asked what makes his colleagues so hesitant on the issue.
With Republicans meeting in Cambridge, Md., this week to discuss, among other things, recommendations for a set of immigration policy bills, House Republicans reluctance to touch the issue is a major facing Republicans.
Part of it is the fact that most of our districts are more worried about a primary opponent instead of a general opponent. Immigration is a thing you get primaried over nobody is afraid of the pro-reform forces. They are afraid of the anti-reform forces, the operative said.
Its confusing for Republicans when in conservative states like South Carolina, Graham said, changes to immigration policy are met with much less public skepticism than perhaps many assume.
We have a tourism economy where we need workers [and] we have an agricultural economy. I think the employers in South Carolina make a compelling case that we need workers, Graham said.
Unlike abortion, Obamacare, the deficit, or federal spending, theres no organized, well-funded opposition: There are no media campaigns of note or lobbying blitzes on Capitol Hill. In short, Republicans feel pressure without any formal outside group really applying it.
Instead, Republican lawmakers and operatives alike also said that while fiscal issues have been driven by large, national groups like the Club for Growth and Heritage Action, Republican reluctance to tackle immigration reform is much more a bottom-up phenomenon.
Opposition to any form of citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States has long been an article of faith for Republican voters, much like opposition to any changes to Social Security are for Democrats. Immigration is now a third-rail issue in the GOP.
Talk radio, particularly regional and small-market talkers, have also kept up the pressure, Republicans said, explaining that the airwaves back home are constantly filled with talk of amnesty that makes backing new laws difficult.
Those factors, combined with the brutal beating Republicans took during the 2007 immigration reform push, means many lawmakers even those who werent in Congress at the time are leery of the issue.
I think it is an issue that left a scar. Even though opposing organizations are not as organized, are not as vocal this time around, people [still] see it [as] a political time bomb, Navarro said.
And then there are the pragmatic Republicans in Boehners conference, who argue turning to immigration will distract from the partys focus on Obamacare and insist sticking to that is the better political play for the party in 2014.
That argument doesnt hold much sway with advocates for new immigration laws. I understand the desire to not distract from Obamacare. But Im a Republican who believes we can do both. We have the momentum now, said Brian Walsh, a Republican strategist who has worked with bipartisan immigration advocacy groups.
For Walsh and other similarly minded Republicans, the greatest frustration has been what they view as the outsized influence of the small cadre of Republicans in the House, talk radio hosts and activists who they say have paralyzed the party.
Republicans are listening to a loud minority [but] those who oppose this havent been challenged to say, Whats their plan? Walsh said.
Theyve been able to get away with yelling about part one while ignoring part two of the political equation, he added.
Hey,Lindsey, exactly which race are “Hispanics”?
An former Senator in 2015
I agree. People like Lindsay Graham don’t like blacks and don’t want to see them working.
..picturing Lindsie rubbing two sticks together......wonder if one of his clerks whispers in his ear every once in a while is really a RAT plant. Hey Graham, how much did you make on this flub?
Nothing wrong LEGAL immigrants....
They don’t like teenagers either evidently (who are having a hard time finding part time work).
Racism is not a factor. The law is the factor. Beyond that, Senators, Congressmen, and Presidents getting bought and paid to not follow or enforce the immigration laws that are on the books is another factor. Until I see an enforced border controls including functioning guest worker programs, an immigration policy based on the needs of the US, actual deportations of illegal immigrants, and heavy fines for those who hire them, I see no reason to discuss legalizing anyone.
The truth of the matter is, illegal immigration lowers the wages of Americans, serves to make welfare and food-stamp recipients out of abled body Americans who sit at home rather then work in the fields, and the entire system serves to exploit desperate people in general.
Stopping illegal immigration would pressure home countries to reform because their citezens would have no where to escape to. Mexico might actually beome a decent country if they actually had to deal with their most desperate people.
I’m sorry if any of this sounds harsh, but it’s reality. I had no money when I was young. I hoed weeds in a field one summer and the next summer I worked in a tomatoe cannery to make money.....and I’m as white as a piece of paper. I never thought I was above doing anything to make my way.
The world is nuts!!!!
Linda’s acting out again.
This Soros Stooge needs to be primaries...so tired of Americans being called racist for not pandering to Hispanic racist groups
How long before this insufferable nance gets kicked out of congress?
Why is this guy a Republican?
Let's graph the numbers from that table above.
Note the sharp increase in immigration from Mexico and how that differs from the moderate increase of all other regions. Note also the sharp decline in immigration from Europe while all other regions have increased.
Immigration from Mexico is 2.5 times that of Europe - Immigration from one country, Mexico, is 2.5 times that of many countries combined. There is far more immigration from Mexico than from ANY other country.
How's that for racism?
You want some more?
The RINOs are conspiring to grant amnesty to what is primarily one group - Mexicans.
Then see Figure 2 and do the math: 63% of illegals are Mexican.
You are the racist, Graham. You and the rest of your conspiring pals.
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