DATE: 1/09/2004 09:25:00 AM
Lileks on Deportation - Today's Bleat is devoted largely to the issue of deportation and illegal immigration. Full of good quotes, but this one's my favorite:
People who insist that all illegals be deported have an excellent point, and I think they’re right. And after we have deported all the illegals we can try something that's only slightly more difficult, like walking to the moon. If we start early, we can make it by suppertime.Although many conservatives are angry about it, Bush is finding a logical middle way to deal with a problem most presidents have ignored. As Lileks says, mass deportations may warm the hearts of many on the right, but it will do little to actually solve the problem. As long as America remains a place where one can earn enough money to support a family, people will risk deportation to support those they love.
Punishing business will not work, either. Like it or not (and I don't), many businesses have become dependent upon the services of illegal immigrants. This isn't something we can simply wish away. Many are accusing the president of pandering when the reality is quite the opposite. Bush is showing astounding political courage. He's taking on an issue that presidents have chosen to ignore for decades, and giving the country a compassionate but firm way to deal with it.
Disagree with the president if you want, but for some conservatives to make this the hill they die upon is foolish. Polipundit keeps repeating his threat to "reconsider his support for the president." What will that achieve? Judging by the way the Democrat candidates are talking, probably full amnesty for all illegals living in the United States. No time limit, no expectations, no fines. And let's not forget the other issues that will be affected - abortion, judges, tax policy, national security...all affected for decades because conservatives cannot grow up and accept that they won't always get everything they want.
Dem Voters? - One of the fears many conservatives have is that those immigrants, most of them Mexican, will sign up as voters for the Democrat party and beat the living tar out of conservatives twenty or thirty years from now. First of all, this is defeatist nonsense. Why can't conservatives convince Hispanics to vote for us? We cannot just give up on an entire voting group just because we 'don't think' they're going to vote our way. Such defeatism only encourages...well...defeat.
Second, this is not right on the facts. Unlike other minority groups, Hispanics are not tied to any one political party. They are most always swing voters. Most of them, with strong feelings on family and cultural issues, are natural conservative voters. The problem is that most conservatives have just been defeatist and ignored them. Bush did not - he knows the language, learned the issues they care about, courted their vote and won a good chunk of it. As I've mentioned before, I'm half Mexican. I've seen the conservatism in the culture - if Republicans are willing to work at it, they can capture the Hispanic vote.
Instantly assuming all Hispanics are going to vote Democrat, though, is not a good start.