The GOP Can Turn An Amnesty Bill Into A Political Bloodbath For Democrats

Supposedly, after a completely disastrous 2009, the Democrats want to try their hand at amnesty in 2010. Talk about going from the frying pan into the fire:

With the healthcare battle still unfinished, the Obama administration has been laying plans to take up an issue that could prove even more divisive — a major overhaul of the nation’s immigration system.

Senior White House aides privately have assured Latino activists that the president will back legislation next year to provide a path to citizenship for the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States.

In a recent conference call with proponents, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina, political director Patrick Gaspard and others delivered the message that the White House was committed to seeing a substantial immigration bill pass and wanted to make sure allies were prepared for the fight.

In addition to the citizenship provision, the emerging plan will emphasize efforts to secure U.S. borders against those trying to cross illegally. But that two-track approach was rejected repeatedly in the past by Republicans and other critics who insist that a border crackdown must demonstrate its effectiveness before any action on citizenship is considered.

Pushing comprehensive immigration reform AKA amnesty was an utter disaster for the Bush Administration — and the unemployment rate wasn’t sitting at 10% then. Today, every job held by an illegal alien in the United States means another American is out of work.

Moreover, despite the hype you hear, the Democrats are almost as split as Republicans on illegal immigration. The far left-wing and liberal Hispanic groups love it while the more moderate Democrats oppose it. For that reason, along with all the tough votes Democrats have already taken, if there is a comprehensive immigration bill, it is likely to be dead-on-arrival.

So, why do it at all? It would be a cynical and foolish gesture designed to convince Hispanics that Democrats are looking out for them while encouraging Republicans to fight with each other.

However, if Obama is dumb enough to try this high risk maneuver, there is a very simple way for the GOP to beat the Democrats’ brains out on this issue.

Simply put: It’s called “security first.” If you’re a Republican who’s against amnesty, your position should be, “We’ve done a comprehensive bill before in the “80s and it failed. So, we need to secure the border and make sure illegals can’t get jobs before we even start to talk about any sort of amnesty.”

On the other hand, if you’re a Republican who has previously supported comprehensive immigration reform, your position should be: “We already tried this before during the Bush Administration and the American people rejected it because they didn’t believe we would secure the border. At this point, we need to prove we’re serious about security first. Besides, with so many Americans out of work, this is the wrong time to do it. So, we need to secure the border and make sure illegals can’t get jobs before we talk about amnesty.”

You know what:  that is? It’s a simple, reasonable, politically savvy compromise that will unite Republicans, divide Democrats, be popular with the American people, and won’t turn off Hispanics.

Let the Democrats get blasted by the American people for supporting amnesty on one hand while liberal Hispanic groups attack them for not forcing it through on the other. If the Dems are dumb enough to do this and the GOP is smart enough not to take the bait, it’ll be the last nail in the coffin for the Dems’ election hopes in 2010.

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