I’ve been meaning to write this post for a few days now (or maybe a week even). I saw a tweet from Matthew Kolken, an immigration attorney with his own blog, that got me thinking. He said:
To which I responded:
For starters, I’m not a Republican. I’m not a Democrat. I’m a libertarian, but I’m not a Libertarian. So if you bash a political party — any political party — I’ll probably agree with you to some extent. I state this so you know that my criticism is relatively objective and not driven by my political affiliation. All of that being said: The GOP is insane.
Insane in the semipermeable membrane.
Republicans know — 100% know — that they need the Latino vote. Even if it is not critical now, it will be absolutely necessary over the long-run. They don’t have to get them all, but if 95-plus percent of Latinos vote for Democrats based on immigration issues, then it doesn’t matter how good you think your fiscal policy is. You’re probably going to lose.
And yet, some Republicans, such as Alabama’s Senator Sessions, insist on impeding immigration reform at every opportunity. I understand if you want sensible reforms — secure the border first and all that jazz — but to not think that any immigration reform is needed is simply burying your head in the sand. Immigration is a HUGE problem that is not going away. The system is terrible in so many ways. Immigration attorneys could probably come up with 100+ reforms before they even reached the issue of “illegal” aliens. At least give reform the ol’ college try.
Nope. As Bush the Elder stated (or maybe it was just Dana Carvey): “Not gonna do it.” The GOP simply isn’t interested.
As we head toward the 2016 election, the problem is only going to get worse. The GOP primaries are going to push everyone to the right, and the eventual candidate likely won’t stand a chance with Latinos in the general election. The sole chance that the GOP has of bringing Latinos into the fold is if it embraces its libertarian wing. As it stands now, the GOP has done everything it can to silence the libertarians, making many of them enemies. Look what they did to poor Ron Paul and his many followers, most of whom represent a young demographic that was previously the exclusive domain of the Democratic Party (or maybe the Green Party). Part of me feels the GOP has already missed its chance here.
Rand Paul is the only potential presidential candidate that has libertarian leanings, but he fell a bit further from the tree than most libertarians would like. His stance on immigration is moderate only by GOP standards, which is disappointing. But the overall point is more to the party than the presidential candidate. A true libertarian-leaning GOP party would be in favor of opening the borders, not closing them – of getting government out of the way. If businesses need international employees, hire them without all the red tape. If someone from Peru wants to work in the U.S. as a plumber, architect, or lawyer, I say welcome. I would be floored if the GOP ever went that far, but by closing the party to new ideas on immigration, it almost guarantees that most Latinos will vote for Democrats.
No immigration solution is going to be perfect (or even close), but the GOP has to at least try to find common ground unless it plans on simply writing off the Latino vote going forward. I don’t hold out much hope that it will happen, though. Only time will tell.