How To Turn The Illegal Immigration Issue Into A Huge Winner For The GOP In 2006

If the GOP were united on illegal immigration, we could beat the Democrats brains out politically on the issue. Just look at the backlash that’s being created by these incredibly obnoxious illegal immigrant rallies:

More interesting polling data (all released yesterday) on immigration. A SurveyUSA poll of 500 adults in Phoenix shows 47% believe the recent pro-immigration protests are “creating a backlash,” while 30% believe the mass demonstrations have helped the protesters “achieve their goals.” Asked if “people who enter the United States illegally” make the country a better or worse place, 73% chose “worse” and only 21% “better.”

The same questions were asked in a SurveyUSA poll of 500 Denver adults: 50% believed the demonstrations were backlashing, while 28% found them benefiting the protestors; and the worse/better breakdown was 71% to 24%. That worse/better question brought a 76% to 14% margin in a Little Rock, while in Wichita, 82% of those polled by SurveyUSA want to “increase border security to keep illegal immigrants from entering the U.S.” (14% oppose such) while 73% believe the government should “attempt to find and deport those who are in the U.S. illegally” (only 20% oppose such).

Just imagine if the Republicans in the Senate took the same line as the Republicans in the House and pushed a bill that does nothing but secure the border and strengthen our immigration laws. Not only would it be wildly popular, but think of what a fantastic issue it would be for the elections in 2006. It would literally put the Democrats in a position where they would feel compelled to vote against securing the border.

Plus, think about the other issues that this would put in play:

— The GOP would be the party that believes in respecting the law and the Democrats would be the party that believes in rewarding people for breaking the law.

— The GOP would be the party sticking up for the jobs of poor Americans while the Democrats would be the party that wants to bring in foreigners to take jobs from Americans.

— The GOP would be the party looking out for the American taxpayers, while the Democrats would be the party that wants to make illegals citizens so they can give them welfare and food stamps.

— The GOP would be the party that puts Americans first, while Democrats would be the party for people who believe that foreigners should be given a leg up over Americans in America.

All it would take to make this happen would be to split border security and immigration enforcement, which is extremely popular with people from both parties, from a guest worker/citizenship program, which is incredibly controversial with people in both parties. If the Democrats want to argue that we should leave our borders wide-open for months or maybe even years while we debate a controversial guest worker program, let them make that argument, but that’s certainly not the position that Republicans should be taking.

The GOP should unite behind a simple principle on illegal immigration: “Secure the border and enforce our laws.” After all, since Americans overwhelmingly seem to agree on at least that much, why not start there and leave the more controversial ideas to be settled later? It would be the best thing for the country and for the Republican Party.

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