Friday, November 4, 2011

2012 - Year of the Illegal Alien

The presidential race is bound to be far different than 2008 when it comes to the subject of illegal aliens.

Rick Perry is proposing a guest worker program that will allow illegal aliens to get work permits, but not citizenship.  (The sleight-of-hand here is that only about 22% of Mexican immigrants actually want to become U S citizens.  They want the jobs and the freebies, but they don’t really care about naturalization.)

And, like George W. Bush, he demands that we don’t call it amnesty.  (That joke is no funnier this time around, Rick.)

I praise Perry for putting this on the table, because it smokes out the positions of the other candidates in the process.  Four years ago we didn’t really have that catalyst.  The strategy then was to avoid talking about it.  But the GOP debates have given an airing of the issue.  And that is likely to continue.

Chalk it up to the economy or the Tea Party or New Media, but the candidates can no longer hide from the immigration issue.

And the race card has been played so much that it no longer gets the attention of any but the most ardent Obama supporters.  You won’t change their minds no matter what you do.

Obama has made his bed and can only continue to preach legalization.  He’s got the party platform requiring it.  He’s got the unions demanding it.  He’s got the Latino activists crying for it.  He’s got an unkept promise hanging over his head.  The man has nowhere to run.

And his previous trick of isolating the message with Univision and Telemundo no longer works.  The information is out there to the general public as soon as he utters the words, and it only makes him look sly for trying.

And so, cracking down on illegal aliens sells well for the GOP.
1)     Conservatives like it
2)     The economy calls for it
3)     It separates them from the message on the left
4)     It speaks to the rule of law
5)     There are abundant examples to make the point

Still we must guard against proposals that appear to be fixing the problem, but really do not.  Perry’s guest worker permit is one of them.  It is very popular these days.  Utah has a bill in the works and even Obama is pushing for it.  It is nothing more than 245i on steroids.

Another cop-out is the old “Build the dang fence,” message.  Border security IS important, but inadequate by itself.  Candidates need to talk about E-Verify, visa control, interior enforcement, detention beds, fed-local cooperation, making unlawful presence a felony, tightening up ID theft punishment, worksite raids…

There are large numbers of people watching for the message, and far more outlets for reliable media information.  Candidates can no longer control the message by controlling the old media.  And conservatives are tied together with e-mail, newsletters, blogs, websites, Facebook, Twitter…the narrative is wide open this time around.

Link to Perry’s amnesty program:

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