Laura Ingraham op-ed: Why conservatives should say no to immigration reform

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Read Laura’s Washington Post op-ed and sound off in the comments…

Why conservatives should say no to immigration reform

By Laura Ingraham, Wednesday, February 19, 10:27 AM

Recently on Fox News Sunday, my friend George Will and I had a vivid disagreement about whether conservatives should support the immigration “reform” measures being pushed by the president and the GOP leadership on Capitol Hill. Last week, Will devoted a column to the issue, claiming that those of us who oppose the president “reflect waning confidence” in American culture and the U.S. economy. He then tried to refute the major arguments made by the conservative opponents of reform. The result was depressing evidence that not even someone as smart as Will can make a persuasive defense of immigration reform.

Let’s start with the claim that opponents of reform have “waning confidence” in our culture and economy. In the first place, anyone who has as much confidence in this country as he did a decade ago hasn’t been paying attention. In his own column, Will concedes that George W. Bush was the first president since Woodrow Wilson to serve two terms and leave office with the average household income lower than when he entered it, and Obama may be the second. To me, these are not signs that the folks in Washington know what they are doing. Hope and optimism are beautiful things — when appropriate. But hope is not the basis for policy. Wise policymakers analyze major issues such as immigration carefully and look at facts and probabilities, instead of just hoping for the best. And when you look at Will’s arguments for immigration reform, you’ll see that the wise move for conservatives is to keep doing what they’ve been doing: Just say no.
● Will claims that the GOP should not focus its arguments in 2014 solely on Obamacare. I agree, and so do other conservative opponents of immigration reform. But that hardly proves that we will benefit politically from giving in to the president on his top priority and yielding a huge political victory to the Democrats that will boost their morale and devastate many people in our base.

● Will maintains that if the GOP enforces unanimity on major issues, it will not grow. GOP supporters of reform are not being silenced or pushed out of the party. And, again, I don’t see the political benefits of siding with the president and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) against the conservative base on such a vital issue. The easiest way for the GOP to do very poorly in 2014 would be for its base to stay home, and that is more likely to happen if conservative voters watch the GOP cooperate with the president on immigration.

● Will contends that it is “unworthy” of conservatives to conclude that immigrant voters will always vote for Democrats. This is a plea for hope over experience. Of course conservatives should be trying to get immigrants’ votes. Of course they should never give up on any voting bloc. But poll after poll has shown that Hispanic voters (many of whom are immigrants) overwhelmingly support the Democratic Party — not just because of immigration, but also because they generally agree with Democrats on fundamental questions of how much the national government can and should do. In light of these data and the experience of California — which has shifted from a Republican stronghold to one of the most liberal states in the country, in large part because of the rise of its immigrant population — it is absurd to pretend that allowing even more immigrant voters wouldn’t be a boon to the Democrats.

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