by Alex Gonzalez
Let’s not kid ourselves and be honest: the “hot” issue of immigration is all about politics. We know the issue of immigration is more about politics than the “rule of law” or any other argument detractors may have. Obama has failed, twice, to deliver on his promises to Latino voters on an immigration bill. But exit polls from the recent Mid-term Election also showed that Americans are also weary and skeptical of empty GOP threats.
President Obama and Democrats could have passed on Immigration Bill when they had both the House and the Senate in 2009-10. But instead, they opted to pass Obamacare to appease the liberal progressive “white” base that wanted some type of access to “universal” healthcare.
In June of this year, once again, Obama promised “Executive Action” at the end of the Summer after Speaker John Boehner refused to bring the Senate Immigration Bill for a vote in House. But because three democrat Senate candidates, and one incumbent, in tossup races asked Obama to delay his executive action, Obama caved in and delayed his executive action after the Mid-term Election.
But Obama is not alone on empty promises, or threats. Republicans claims of “border security” and “the rule of law” are cues that arouse camouflaged nativists feeling within some elements of the GOP; and that was the case with “humanitarian crisis” with the “border kids.” But such “hot” rhetoric on immigration reflects nothing about economic conservative values, free market conservative mantra, Reagan Republicanism, or George W. Bush’s Compassionate Conservatives . So let’s be honest, this is more about politics, by some, to mobilize the base against “amnesty” than the “rule of law.”
For example, Speaker Boehner said after the defeat of 2012 that the House was ready to pass an Immigration Bill. Furthermore, Speaker Boehner several times between 2013 and 2014 reiterated that the leadership in House was ready to introduce an immigration bill; they went as far as releasing a set of “Immigration Principles” in June of this year. Yet, Speaker Boehner recanted these “principles” after an intense lobbying from anti-immigrant groups, and ratings-driven conservative media that rile up some elements of the Republican base against any immigration bill.
The Speaker himself publicly mocked Republicans in House in late September and suggested that he had avoided bringing the Senate Immigration Bill for a vote in House because some members did not want to vote on the bill. Also, Speaker Boehner, attempting to reign-in Obama “lawlessness,” spent two months threatening Obama with a “lawsuit.”
Yet neither Obama nor Boehner delivered on their promises or threats. So at the core, this is politics as usual. The fact is that this issue is not about the “rule of law” or “border security” as much as it about some member is the House not wanting to explain theirs constituencies how this bill is good for the economy and the nation.
Now we have Antagonista-in-chief, Ted Cruz, threatening to shutdown government if Obama issues an executive action. But if indeed Ted Cruz wants to be Hispanic Antagonista-in-chief, let him be. But we as conservatives need to be honest we ourselves: Cruz does not care about “the rule of law” and giving citizenship to “illegal” immigrants from Cuba, as he claims, nor about the Republican brand. He cares only about tarnishing the image of the Republican Party while he strengthens his control of his tea party brand.
If Ted Cruz really cared about the “rule of law,” he would have demanded already that that we stop giving citizenship to Cubans who come here illegally every year, smuggled by mafias through Mexico, and are immediately put into a “path to citizenship.” So far this year, according to Custom and Border Protection (CBP), about 13,000 illegal Cubans have crossed illegally from Mexico into Texas the same way the “border kids,” yet Ted Cruz has remained silent about it, albeit he is from Texas and claims to be against “amnesty.” Evidently Cruz does not care about illegal immigrants from Cuba getting un-earned citizenship. We can be honest and admit that Cruz wants to use this issue to antagonize long-time Hispanic residents like Dreamers to pander the tea party nativists.
However, the fact is all the groups behind Cruz’s “anti-amnesty” propaganda are the same groups that rejected President W. Bush’s Immigration Bill in 2006-07, while Cruz himself was helping craft W. Bush’s Immigration Bill; and these groups are the same organization like the Heritage Foundation that chastised Gov. Rick Perry for his support for the so-called Texas Dream Act.
So this political game is older than Ted Cruz. However, if Ted Cruz is now threatening to shutdown government, chase “border kid” and Dreamers, let him, and let politics takes its course. Let the voters and the politics of in 2018–when Cruz runs for re-election, in Texas decide whether Cruz is representing the moral and economic interests of Texas and the Republican Party. But the reality is that neither Cruz, nor those groups are in the business of fixing things as much as they are in the business of profiteering from instilling fear about immigration, Ebola and ISIS. So enough threats, time to act.
But we also need acknowledge that this political game on immigration is very unfair for the millions of families and businesses that have lived “under the shadows” fearing governing overreach for years. We have a broken legal immigration system, or de-facto amnesty, that penalizes hardworking families and businesses. This de-facto amnesty no only hurts businesses by forcing them into a clandestine black market, but it also suppresses what Max Webber called “the Protestant Ethnic and Spirit of Capitalism,” and the “American Spirit” of entrepreneurship promoted by Adam Smith’s the Wealth of a Nation. So the time is ripe for action.
If Republicans feel confident that they are correct in claiming that the “American people have spoken” and they don’t want the president to act unilaterally. Well, let Obama’s actions be the burial to his own legacy. Let the people rally against Obama’s “unilateral” decisions, and let the Speaker of the House finally file a lawsuit against Obama’s overreach, and thereby, have the Supreme Court put an end to Obama’s legacy. So there is nothing to fear for the GOP. Right?
Let the game of politics and Plural Democracy play its course. Under Plural Democracy, groups compete for power and access to the institutions of government and legislators in Congress. So let the people decide. Let the tea party groups and Latino voters decide who who is right on immigration. Let the GOP face the wrath of religious groups–Protestant and Catholics–that for a long time have supported some type of relieve to keep families together, So time to stop talk and act.
It is time the stop the talk and act. Let the game of politics and Plural Democracy play its course, and let politics decide who is right. But no more promises and no more threats.
Alex Gonzalez is a political Analyst and Political Director for Latinos Ready To Vote! comments to firstname.lastname@example.org