With the Legal Workforce Act, a bill forcing companies to check the immigration status of their employees, working its way through Congress, voters nationwide continue to believe overwhelmingly that when it comes to immigration legislation the focus should be on the border.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 65% of Likely U.S. Voters say it is more important to gain control of the border than to legalize the status of those already living illegally in the United States…
This just reaffirms what I have been saying for years – before anything else regarding immigration is tackled, the border must be made secure. Whether or not we’ll amnesty those already here or deport all or do a mix is irrelevant in political terms until the border is secure. The reason for this is that the people simply do not trust the government…any proposal for reform which does not emphasize border security first will be seen by the people as a mere amnesty bill with the problem of illegal immigration never to be solved. Liberals can put it down to nativism or racism all they want, but the overwhelming majority of Americans simply want the laws enforced. It is against the law to illegally cross our borders…make sure the law is being enforced and then get back to us on your other issues.
In my view, this poll also indicates that we Republicans will not be punished if we make border security an important, 2012 issue. Not the most important issue, but it is an issue none the less…and an issue where we can draw stark contrasts between ourselves and Democrats. Remember what really happens in illegal immigration – our liberals like to concentrate on those who have got here and are working hard, but they never talk about those robbed, raped and murdered before they get here…nor do they talk about those who don’t work hard but, instead, choose to abuse our social welfare programs. The contrast being drawn would be one of responsible government vs feel good politics which lead to death and poverty. This can be the opening wedge in a general discussion of all liberal feel-good policies which lead to disaster.
Some Republicans worry that a strong stance in favor of border security will cost us Latino votes. In this, they are right…a certain, small segment of the Latino population of the United States does vote on whether or not there are open borders. But it is a small group…most Latino voters vote sensibly, just as most Americans, overall, vote. Bottom line, I don’t want those votes – and if it costs us votes to do the right thing, then that is the most honorable cost you can incur.
We can own this issue and make it work to our advantage…just as soon as we brace ourselves to do the right thing; and the right thing to do, first, is to secure the border.