If Republicans Fail to Pass Immigration Reform, They May Lose the Presidency for Good
Elections aren’t won by governing well, they’re won by rewarding supporters and punishing opponents. This is the central lesson in The Dictator’s Handbook, a book everyone interested in understanding the human side of politics must read—and it’s a lesson the Democrats learned well.
In fact, the Democrats took it a step further: not only do they reward their supporters with government appointments, and punish conservatives by violating their constitutional rights; over the last half-century they have imported an entirely new voting block. The Democrats didn’t just play dirty politics, they rigged the game itself.
The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965—alternatively known as the Hart-Celler Act—opened America’s borders to the world, and forever changed the rules of political engagement in this nation. No longer was politics fought along primarily ideological and historical lines, instead, it became more profitable to play the game of “identity politics”. That is, the Democrats realized they could lock up a potentially infinite source of future votes by positioning themselves as the “immigrant party”.
And while it’s true that America’s political culture has always, to some degree or another, been mired in issues of racial identity simply due to the biracial nature of the nation, it is also true that the exploitation of black-white tensions was not a “growth market” from a political standpoint—especially considering that the Democrats were on the losing side of the civil rights movement. They needed a fresh source of reliable voters, and they found one.
Since 1965 more than 45 million people have immigrated to the United States—America’s immigrant population is now at an all-time high. That immigration has added a significant number of new voters is obvious, but perhaps less intuitive is the fact that America’s immigrant population votes Democrat by a wide margin.
According to a report from the Center for Immigration Studies, immigrants vote Democrat by a ratio of at least 2:1.
Likewise, another study from Pew Research shows that non-white Americans vote Democrat by a ratio of roughly 3:1 (and the vast majority of immigrants since Hart-Celler are non-white). True, this number includes a significant number of black Americans, but the general trend of the data remains. Furthermore, this predilection seems to persist to second, and third-generation immigrants. This is unsurprising—politics tends to run in the family.
The overwhelming ratio by which immigrants vote Democrat has had a profound effect on American politics. Consider that, with the exception of the Perot debacle of 1992, no Democratic presidential candidate has won a majority of the American-born vote since Lyndon B Johnson in 1964. Every subsequent Democratic president—Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton (second term), Barack Obama—won only because of the immigrant vote.
I note this observation not to discredit the legitimacy of their election victories, but only to acknowledge the major impact immigration has had on American political life. Immigration has literally changed the course of history—and it will continue to do so.
Trump: the last Republican President
Many Republicans rightly oppose any potential amnesty for DACA recipients because they fear the political ramifications of giving some 2 million people the right to vote—people who will almost assuredly vote Democrat.
But who cares? We need to put things in perspective: DACA will grant amnesty for a maximum of 2 million people. Meanwhile, 1.5 million people immigrate to America every single year. Looking strictly in terms of their ballot box impact, a DACA is just another drop in the bucket. This is a sobering thought, and yet immigration reform is given virtually no attention by the GOP, who prefers to debate the merits of Russian conspiracy theories and other inconsequential nonsense.
This disconnect is bizarre, given the fact that immigration will end the Republican Party’s vitality within a decade (assuming present trends continue). Consider that President Trump won by just 112,911 votes in Florida and 10,704 in Michigan—both states which could quite conceivably alter the course of the 2020 election. These are slim margins.
Now consider that every year a net 147,000 foreigners immigrate to Florida, and 22,919 immigrate to Michigan. One year’s worth of immigration could swing the course of the the 2020 presidential election—four year’s worth is overkill. Unless President Trump has a horseshoe hidden in somewhere in his infamous head of hair, 2020’s outcome is already written on the walls.
Of course, this is not to say that Trump will definitely lose—voter turnout is highly variable, and people’s political preferences are not etched in stone—but the odds are not on his side. Add to this the massive, concerted crackdown on conservative newspapers and personalities, and the odds of victory seem increasingly slim (this website alone lost a page with 92,000 Facebook fans in the most recent “purge”).
If present trends continue, Trump will almost assuredly be the last Republican president, until the party re-brands to cater to America’s changing demographics. But it doesn’t have to be this way. America is not doomed to a future of Democratic presidents. We could quite easily reform our immigration system—if only the political will existed.
Polls Show that Americans Support Immigration Reform
If the GOP simply respected the will of the people, this would not be an issue. As it turns out, Americans overwhelmingly support immigration reform, and President Trump has already signaled his support for the RAISE Act.
The plurality of respondents, 35 percent, think that there should be between 1 and 250,000 legal immigrants arriving to the United States per year. A net 12 percent want to see immigration increased to 1.5 million people per year or more, while nine percent of Americans think that there should be no new legal immigrants.
Plurality preference for between 1 and 250,000 new immigrants a year persists across white, Hispanic, and black Americans, as well as moderates and self-identified Democrats. . .
Americans prefer a system of prioritizing would-be legal immigrants based on their ability to contribute, based on their education and skills, over one based on immigrants having relatives in the United States, 79 to 21 percent. That includes a majority of white (79 percent), Hispanic (72 percent), and black (85 percent) citizens, as well as majorities of Democrats (72 percent), liberals (65 percent), and Clinton voters (72 percent).
The poll clearly shows that the majority of Americans are against mass immigration, and that support for this crosses racial and ideological lines—it’s as close to a non-partisan issue as you can get.
These findings are consistent with other polling done on the topic of immigration. For example, research done by Pulse Opinion Research found that voters in “swing states” favored comprehensive immigration reform by a 3:1 margin—immigration reform is the winning-ticket.
This poll also found that the majority of Americans opposed the “diversity lottery” program, wherein green cards are allocated to people from low-immigration countries:
Americans support doing away with the so-called diversity visa lottery 68 to 32 percent. The lottery, with its 50,000 visas allocated to nations otherwise underrepresented in the mix of immigrants arriving in the United States, has been a frequent target of criticism by Trump and congressional Republicans.
What these polls show is that Americans oppose mass immigration, and elected President Trump to end it. That the GOP is dragging its feet should make it crystal-clear to every American that they need to remain ever-vigilant, and that they should not place their trust in “representatives” whom they have never met nor heard of.
For the Republican Party to survive, we must make politics personal again, and force our representatives to end the age of mass immigration.