Amnesty Not the Answer for GOP

By:  Jack Kerwick, Ph.D.
Amnesty Not the Answer for GOP

Offering amnesty will get Republicans nowhere, because the GOP is chronically unpopular among Hispanics, who see the Democrats as the party offering endless benefits to racial minorities.

Because Ronald Reagan granted amnesty to three million mostly Hispanic immigrants in 1986, Republicans feel all but compelled to grant amnesty 11 million such immigrants in 2013.

When asked why Republicans are more open to pursuing “a pathway to citizenship” today than they were just a few years back, John McCain offered a reply that is refreshing for its frankness: “Elections. Elections.” The Republican senator from Arizona, former presidential candidate, and longtime supporter of amnesty explained: “The Republican Party is losing the support of Hispanic citizens.”

Numerous polls have indicated that McCain’s assessment is flat out wrong, that “Hispanic citizens” — i.e., those Hispanics that are here legally — are about as opposed to illegal immigration as is the average American. Such polls shouldn’t be necessary, though, to see that amnesty does not promise to be a winning ticket for the GOP. There is one simple fact that should make this plain: The GOP remains chronically unpopular among Hispanics in spite of the fact that it was a Republican president who granted the one and only amnesty for Hispanic immigrants that this country has had.

But if it isn’t their resistance to amnesty, it may be asked, then why do Hispanics continue to vote overwhelmingly for Democrats?

To answer this question, we need to do something that few politicians from either party are willing to do: speak truthfully. And the truth is this: The reason that Hispanics, along with blacks and Asians, vote in massive numbers for Democrats has everything to do with racial politics.

Everyone knows this. Few people are willing to say it.

There aren’t many things in American politics capable of commanding a trans-racial consensus. That the Democratic Party is the party of entitlements, though, is something that is recognized by Americans of all colors and creeds. And let’s face it: A growing number of Americans, of all races, find the offer of something for nothing irresistible.

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