Monday, May 14, 2012

"Conventional" Wisdom

Here we go with another GOP Convention (August 27th in Tampa).  Romney has some challengers who are getting weaker by the minute.  That means that the party stand on immigration will be whatever Mitt wants it to be.  (That’s no big deal because Romney has had the firmest position since Herman Cain.)

Like McCain in 2008, he will control the public display.  How he portrays it will be telling.

What he cannot control is the party platform.  Look for it to continue to suggest stronger enforcement.  It hopefully will speak out against amnesty as rewarding bad behavior.

“Build the fence,” is safe territory but not very effective by itself.  More effective at the border are things like flexible patrol units with portable eyes in the sky.  Not very glamorous, but effective.  Couple that with good intelligence on movements and you’ve got something.

Add a Port Court system to end catch-and-release for real, and you’ve got a plan.  That assumes you have funding to actually do the job and the political will to prosecute those who try to re-enter the United States. 

None of this is new, but we’ve never been consistent with enforcement.

Interior enforcement is another issue that needs addressing.  Mandatory E-Verify?  That’s not new either, but it’s never happened.  Worksite raids?  Prosecution of BOTH the worker and the employer send the right message.

The local-federal co-op programs are a shambles.  Be it Secure Communities or 287(g), they have been largely dismantled as a result of activists crying, “Racial Profiling.”

Detention beds are always in short supply.  That ought to be covered.

One would expect a party platform that addresses all these issues.

Watch the cast of characters.  George W Bush, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio…even Newt Gingrich are capable of leading a pep rally on amnesty.  If given the stage for that purpose it will signal that the old GOP is still running things.

Palin is an unknown quantity on immigration.  She was coached by McCain’s people to remain silent and she still does.

Michelle Bachman seems set against amnesty but prefers to talk about sponsorship reform.

Santorum and Cain are solid.

My point on speakers is this:  If the old guard wants to send a message to Latinos about immigration reform they have the players to do it.  Look to see who they put up there and what they say.

Now, to watch for the red herrings.

Any guest worker programs would be nothing more than a sham.  We HAVE guest worker visas already.  They are temporary and do not lead to green cards.  Employers have to bring workers in and pay for them.  There’s the rub.  All these complaints from resorts and packing plants are really about getting workers on the cheap, not getting workers.

I might add that the real approach would be a plan to get our citizens back to work.  If those jobs are really that valuable, where’s the salary and benefits to entice our own people to do those jobs?

Vagueness is something else to watch for.  A lack of candor really means a lack of position.

Whatever is said by the candidate will be doctrine that must be defended in the campaign.  Watch for Romney’s boldness, or lack of it.  Immigration issues are a great way to flesh out integrity, or lack thereof.  McCain tried acquiescence, just a bit softer than GWB’s message.  The Left owns the amnesty message (which Obama has failed to deliver on) and any efforts by the GOP to use it for additional votes will be very costly.

Romney would do well to speak to Latinos at another level.  Talk about jobs and families and crime and ethics.  Talk to them as Americans and coax them out of their hyphenated world.  Tell them that illegals take jobs from them and cheapen wages.  Tell them that illegals are keeping their family members waiting for a legitimate visa.

I would love to see a conservative candidate have that conversation.  Flat out tell them that amnesty is not a bargaining chip.  Move on to other topics all Americans, including Latinos, should care about.

No comments:

Post a Comment