Immigration Reform 2013: The GOP Message Should Be to Let the Best Workers In

In the aftermath of the 2012 elections, commenters proclaimed that the Republican Party faces a near-certain death due to forthcoming demographic changes over the next two decades. In response to this, it was said that the Republican Party would have to soften on certain issues, including their staunch opposition to immigration reform and desire to deport illegal immigrants. It should come as no surprise that the party as a whole was seen as extreme on immigration when presidential candidate Mitt Romney staked out a position to the right of gunslinging Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Going back to the New Deal, Democrats have historically brought together various interest groups and pitted them against Republicans by offering more free stuff. With Hispanics, Democrats have succeeded in doing this by portraying themselves as softer on illegal immigration and more likely to offer citizenship to immigrants than Republicans.

Many pundits responded to Republican losses in the recent elections by declaring that Republicans must offer an olive branch to Hispanics in order to make electoral inroads with that demographic group. This includes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants that has been endorsed by Marco Rubio.

If Republicans want to continue to be relevant as a party, they don’t need the Hispanic vote. They don’t need the black vote, nor do they need the female vote or even the white male vote. What Republicans need is the opportunity vote.

All is not lost for the Grand Old Party. Young voters have been energized by the message of liberty presented by candidates such as Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), and Ron (Ret.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.). This message crosses against demographic lines, offering a clear alternative to the destructive big government policies that establishment politicians in both parties have shoved down the throats of the American people.

Freshman Senator Ted Cruz set the tone for this message in a recent op-ed he titled “Opportunity Conservatism.” Cruz discussed how his father fled Cuba to come to America seeking only the opportunity that hard work combined with the freedom to pursuit your dream offers.

Allowing immigrants who wish to work hard for an opportunity at the American dream to enter and remain in our country is not a capitulation to Democrats, but an extension of the economic opportunities that the free market offers.

Unfortunately, Republican stalwart Karl Rove has taken the opposite approach. He has started a new Political Action Committee that seeks to prevent grassroots candidates from getting out of Republican primaries. He will instead support the establishment politicians who will play interest groups against each other instead of embracing a message that cuts across ethnic and sociological groups.

Republicans do not need to reach out to a specific demographic group, but instead those who feel that Washington insiders have rigged the game against them. The Republican message should be that anybody who is willing to work to support themselves is welcome in this country. Republicans must shun Karl Rove.

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Charlie Vidal

Charlie graduated in 2012 with a degree in Public Policy Studies from the University of Chicago. He was the Midwest Regional Director for Young Americans for Liberty and has worked on Ron Paul's 2012 presidential campaign and Nick Schwaderer's successful 2012 campaign for Montana State House. Having grown up in New York, Charlie is a fan of the New York Rangers, Jets, and Yankees as well as the Oregon Ducks and Tottenham Hotspur.

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