Immigration has become a big issue in recent weeks, with Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) leading a bipartisan group of Senators proposing a comprehensive immigration reform package that includes enhanced border security, a path to citizenship for those who are currently in the country illegally, and increased work place enforcement to prevent employers from exploiting those in the country illegally to undercut wages or skirt work place regulations.
Democrats, fearing the loss of immigration as a wedge issue, have responded through President Obama with a proposal that looks similar on the outside, but, based on history, is really little more than blanket amnesty with no improvement of border security or work place enforcement. In addition, Democrats are promising immediate access to free health care for immigrants, legal or otherwise, through Obamacare.
As things stand, Republicans have little chance of success. Democrats and the president want to create 11 million new Democrat voters, immigration reform is their strategy to do it, and they are going to promise whatever it takes to get it. After all, it is hard to beat "Santa Claus" with a bag full of "something for nothing." In order for the Rubio package to be successful, we'd need a substantial number of Democrat members of Congress who were willing to put the future of the nation ahead of the votes they'd stand to garner if they supported the creation of millions of new Democrats. And we've not seen that kind of statesmanship, from either party, for a long time.
If Republicans continue to play the immigration reform game by the old rules, they are going to be defeated today, and consigned to a permanent minority status in the future as a tsunami of low skill, low information, Democrat voters join the electorate. Voters who are used to trading their votes for promises of "government assistance," and can be depended upon to vote for whomever offers the most goodies.
However, Republicans need not, and should not, play by the old rules. Instead, they should take a page out of Sun Tzu's Art of War. Instead of allowing Democrats to use immigration as a means of creating 11 million new Democrat voters, Republicans should up the ante and use it to create 11 million new Republican voters.
First, Republicans should offer complete and total amnesty for all illegal immigrants currently living in the United States. This amnesty would give them legal status, access to government programs, and legal protections, but it would not give them citizenship or the right to vote in national elections, nor would it give them a work permit. It would, however, give them a preference for obtaining a work permit under the private work permit program to be included with the Republican proposal.
Second, Republicans should offer a private, efficient, work permit program along the lines of that proposed by Newt Gingrich under which anyone wishing to work in the United States contracts with a private employer who provides transportation, wages, and insurance for the duration of employment. Such a system would put an end to the issue of illegal border crossings by providing a cheaper, quicker, and safer means of finding work in the U.S., and essentially eliminate the use of undocumented workers by employers.
Third, Republicans should create an accelerated path to citizenship that allows applicants to skip the current lengthy, complicated, and expensive naturalization process. Instead, new immigrants would be granted citizenship when they meet five criteria:
— Applicants could not have used any government support services in the last three years. In other words, applicants must demonstrate they are self-supporting.
— Applicants must not be a member of a union, or a student.
— Applicants must be functionally literate in English.
— Applicants must have taken, and passed, a 100-hour American history, culture, and constitutional study course, designed by Hillsdale College that would provide applicants with a firm grounding in traditional American principles, values, and traditions.
— Applicants, must register as Republicans for the first election cycle.
This would allow immigrants to obtain citizenship in three years, rather than the five to six years it currently requires, plus they wouldn't have to go through the cumbersome green card application process. Immigrants who didn't want to meet the criteria would still be allowed to apply for citizenship via the existing process.
Fourth, Republicans should put an end to the limitations on visas for highly educated immigrants wishing to work in the United States. These folks are coming here to work and create wealth, and Republicans should facilitate their doing so, preferably as Republican voters.
It is sad that Republicans can't win on the immigration issue by offering a reasonable package of sensible reforms and carefully considered proposals. Unfortunately, if that is the path they choose, they are going to lose, and the Democrats are going to create 11 million new Democrat voters that are going to want their promised handouts. The Democrats will then use their unassailable majorities to tax Americans to fund their massive new government programs.
While many would argue that such a Republican proposal would have the effect of forcing immigrants to support Republicans, so what. The current Democrat proposals are little more than bribes to entice immigrants into the Democratic camp. Republicans would simply raise the ante, and offer a package that is more attractive while helping to ensure that future citizens are supportive of traditional American, rather than progressive Democrat, values.
Who knows, with 11 million new voters who are used to supporting themselves, paying taxes as contributing members of their communities, and who are educated on what has made America the source of such immense wealth and freedoms for its citizens, and how that wealth and freedom can be lost, we might actually see an end to low-information voters who consistently vote for whomever promises them the biggest "bag of stuff," even at the expense of their nation.
Even better though will be watching Democrat politicians and the mainstream media suddenly trying to argue why Republican-sponsored amnesty, an accelerated path to citizenship, and a safe and secure work permit program are suddenly "not good" for illegal immigrants, and how Republicans offering a path to citizenship just proves how much they hate immigrants.