Yesterday, on CNN’s State of The Union, Carlos Gutierrez, a Latino outreach advisor to Mitt Romney, said this:
“The Hispanics I know were scared of the Republican party. I think it has to do with our incredibly ridiculous primary process where we force people to say outrageous things, they get nominated, and they have to come back.”
He later claimed that Romney’s loss was the fault of extremists within the Republican Party who are “xenophobic” and “anti-immigration.” And in response to Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers assertion that the Republican party is pro-immigration, Gutierrez interrupted with an incredulous “Really?”
Really. Let’s get this straight. The Left’s favorite Straw-man is that Republicans are “anti-immigrant,” “anti-immigration,” or “xenophobic.” Every time I turn on CNN or usually MSNBC, the pundits speak of laws like Arizona’s SB1070 as “anti-immigrant.” Anytime Conservatives discuss securing the border or the financial burden of 12 million illegal aliens living in the United States; anytime Conservatives talk about E-Verify or deportation, the Left acts as if Conservatives just loathe immigrants.
Though the ridiculousness of this Straw-man is obvious to me; to many, it isn’t so clear. Let’s iron this issue out a bit, and break down exactly what Conservatives believe:
1. Our southern border needs to be absolutely secure–whether with a physical fence or by some other method–in order to protect our country from possible terrorist access, as well as to keep out those who would enter illegally.
2. Illegal aliens–though many do work–still put a burden on American taxpayers. Many illegal residents are on welfare or other government handouts that are funded by taxing legal residents.
3. There are thousands of people from other countries who are waiting to get the United States the legal way. It is unfair that they have to wait while others enjoy the benefits of American life simply because they broke the law to get here.
4. We are a country of immigrants. We want immigrants to come to this country because they often contribute greatly to our culture and our workforce. Those who come here legally are generally hard-working, eager participants in American society.
5. Conservatives want immigrants to have a path to citizenship, so long as they are coming here legally. Conservatives want a reformed, streamlined immigration process, and we want a secure border.
What is xenophobic about that? Nothing Mitt Romney said during the campaign was “anti-immigrant.” The Left loves to try to paint Conservatives as “anti-immigrant” because it gets them the Latino vote. This election, it worked. Hopefully, it won’t work in the future.
The Republican Party does not need to change its immigration stance; it needs to better articulate it. In addition, Republicans need to take to task those who decry their stance as “anti-immigrant.” If the Republican Party can better articulate its position, rebuke and shut down those who falsely cry “racism!”, they can win back a sizable portion of the Latino vote, and win the 2016 election.