“We are not a nation of immigrants, we are a nation of citizens” – Mark Levine to CPAC
CPAC 2015 Immigration Panel
From left: Alfonso Aguilar, Rep. Jeff Duncan, Charlie Gerow, and Mario Lopez
Photo: Ileana Johnson 2015
Among the glitz and conservative rhetoric of CPAC 2015, one important panel discussion was barely attended by 40-50 people – “Immigration: Can Conservatives Reach a Consensus?” It is in my estimation an issue that is going to fundamentally alter the makeup of our society forever.
The panel was moderated by Charlie Gerow of Quantum Communications and consisted of three panelists: Representative Jeff Duncan (SC-3), Alfonso Aguilar of the American Principles Project and Mario Lopez of the Hispanic Leadership Fund.
Alfonso Aguilar presented an argument for a conservative solution that respects the rule of law and focuses on border security but recognizes the need that our economy has for foreign workers, dealing at the same time with “the undocumented population without doing amnesty.” Amnesty, in his view, and self-deportation that does not work, are “false choices.”
Because the status quo is not an option, Aguilar said, we must encourage those Republicans who share his view and convince the rest of the Republicans that “the status quo is not acceptable.” People are staying here illegally because “Big Government encourages de facto amnesty.” Additionally, “people come here to work, they are not coming here to have children and to become citizens, no mother brings her child so they can pay instate tuition at Texas A&M.” They come here because there is no way for them to enter and exist legally, Aguilar continued.
Yes, we need border security, strategic fencing, and more resources in places like the Rio Grande Valley where there is lawlessness; we need expanded use of sensors, of drones, and an exit registry, Aguilar proposed.
“We believe in the free market. If American Big Business cannot find workers, why should the government tell an American employer that they cannot bring a foreign worker that they need? Let the market determine,” continued Aguilar. “The Braceros program worked, but liberals opposed it because of the unions.”
Aguilar argued for family reunification, that we cannot break up families. There are entire towns in Mexico that have dislocated populations, he said. We have become a social featherbed for the poor Mexican population. Aguilar argued that “children” traveled last summer on top of trains to be reunited with their families. Yet there is factual information that many among these travelers were not children, were known gang members, and transportation and housing were arranged and paid for by our government.
The panel emphasized that we need a market-based guest worker program that will work as long as operational control and border security are under control. We cannot grow the economy, Aguilar said, if there are no American workers willing the do the job and we do not have foreign workers. What about millions of American citizens who are currently unemployed and have no prospects of getting a job in this terribly mismanaged and depressed economy? Why does the government only care for the fate of illegal aliens and not the future of our own American citizens?
What can we do with the millions of “undocumented” currently residing in the United States? “We cannot deport millions of people,” Aguilar said, and self-deportation does not work. Actually deportations have occurred in the past successfully. He proposes a penalty for the path of legal status, but no citizenship.
In light of the hurried Social Security cards which were issued to the five million amnestied by executive fiat, these people will vote illegally for those who brought them into our country. Contrary to what Aguilar said, “Latinos are not natural-born Democrats,” they do come from third world nations whose citizens look up to big government for their salvation and wellbeing even though they may be conservative with their families and with religious views. They look up to the Pope with reverence, a political figure, who has criticized capitalism in favor of Marxism and has interjected himself in the issue of global warming and population control.
Mario Lopez pointed to a chart from Reason.com, showing the backlogged legal immigration system as a proof that our immigration system is broken. He mentioned Obama’s executive overreach in reference to amnesty and how he voted five times as a senator for poison pill amendments to kill the immigration reform bill proposed long before he became President.
Pointing to the visa lottery, the country quotas, and the bureaucratic nightmare that backlogs family integration visas, he said, “It is almost impossible to immigrate legally to the United States.” My question is, how many members from an extended family in Mexico should be allowed to integrate with one illegal family member who successfully jumped our border, while millions from other countries are waiting to bring one spouse and/or child into the United States?
“People are dying every day to get a piece of the American dream. “ They are not coming here for handouts, welfare checks. People come because America is the shiny city on a hill.” I say, it is a shining city on the hill with generous welfare programs at the border. This mass exodus into the United States created “legacy voters” who are loyal to Democrats who promise and deliver more welfare.
“Why is the system broken? It is not broken, it is not enforced,” said a member of the audience. “What has to be changed, radically changed?” Aguilar answered that the immigration track, the quota system based on the country of origin, treats other countries unfairly, and it must be stopped. The H2B visas for non-agricultural unskilled workers should not be capped at 65,000 per year, he argued, because employers cannot find American workers and the labor market should be allowed to prevail.
Do politicians and immigration lobbyists care how millions of unskilled and unemployed Americans are supposed to find jobs? The tired explanation that Americans won’t do jobs that illegals do is a convenient fantasy created for those in need of cheaper labor. Additionally, not all illegals are paid lower wages.
Rep. Jeff Duncan interjected that we have an unsecure border and a broken sovereignty. “The American people do not trust the administration to enforce the law so why should we have another law for the President to pick and choose winners and losers; the President has poisoned the well to have a conversation in Congress because no one trusts the administration to actually do the job that it is charged to do. We have to uphold the law.”
Rep. Duncan said that the robust welfare system incentivizes people not to take the jobs. In order to redress the immigration problem, welfare reform must also be addressed concurrently. Rep. Jeff Duncan’s partying words were, “ I don’t agree with everything the panel has said, but we should have a debate and listen to the American people.”
People should come here legally and then go back to their countries. The American people should decide how much immigration we have. Mario Lopez argued that “Labor is an economic commodity. Overpopulation is not an issue if you complain that you are bringing in too many illegals. There is a demand of labor.”
Panelists agreed with one audience member that citizenship should be outlawed if a person has committed a crime in the United States and the offenders should be sent back to their home countries.
To the question, could labor unions be a hindrance to the proposed immigration system, Mario Lopez answered that labor unions are generally against it with the exception of a few such as the SEIU. “Operatives in unions are generally Democrats.” He continued that “we cannot keep people out” and “the Chamber of Commerce wants cheap labor.”
The question remains, if illegals who refuse to assimilate do not come to the United States for welfare, why have so many received over $4.1 billion in earned income tax credit, who claimed children of relatives in Mexico, and why recently amnestied illegals, who have not paid taxes at all, will receive retroactively for 2011-2013 as much as $35,000 per family in earned income tax credit?
Would it not be cheaper for the American taxpayer to enforce e-verify and adopt $5 biometric cards that would match prospective foreign employees with prospective employers and stop all welfare to illegal aliens? Would it not be safer for the American people to stop bringing in “refugees” from countries that are hostile to our culture, to our western civilization, to our legal system, and to our way of life?
Copyright: Ileana Johnson 2015
“We are not a nation of immigrants, we are a nation of citizens” – Mark Levine to CPAC