The Liberal Newcomers

Phyllis Schlafly, National Review, February 3, 2014

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{snip} In a new report, Eagle Forum details how immigration is fundamentally changing the electorate to one that is much more supportive of big government.

By itself, the annual flow of 1.1 million legal immigrants under the current system will create more than 5 million new potential voters by 2024 and more than 8 million by 2028. Congressional Budget Office projections indicate that under the Senate Gang of Eight’s S.744 bill, the total additional potential voters would rise to nearly 10 million by 2024 and 18 million by 2028. The influx of these new voters would reduce or eliminate Republicans’ ability to offer an alternative to big government, to increased government spending, to higher taxes, and to favorite liberal policies such as Obamacare and gun control.

There is nothing controversial about the report’s conclusion that both Hispanics and Asians, who account for about three-fourths of today’s immigrants, generally agree with the Democrats’ big-government agenda. It is for this reason that they vote two-to-one for Democrats.

The 2008 National Annenberg Election Survey found that 62 percent of immigrants prefer a single, government-run health-care system. The 2010 Cooperative Congressional Election Study found that 69 percent of immigrants support Obamacare. Pew also found that 53 percent of Hispanics have a negative view of capitalism, the highest of any group surveyed. This is even higher than the 47 percent among self-identified supporters of Occupy Wall Street.

The Pew Research Center has also found that 75 percent of Hispanics prefer a “bigger government providing more services,” and only 19 percent prefer a smaller government. Pew also reported that 55 percent of Asians prefer “bigger government providing more services,” and only 36 percent prefer a smaller government. So it’s no surprise that in 2012, 71 percent of Hispanics and 73 percent of Asians voted for Obama.

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Immigration in general—not race—is the issue. The limited data for other immigrants—including Europeans and Muslims—indicate that they, too, generally hold views well to the left of the average American voter. In fact, as discussed in our new report, for reasons largely outside the control of conservatives, immigrants and their children gravitate to left-wing parties in almost all Western countries. The problem for conservatives is not race or ethnicity but immigration as such.

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Those supporting a big increase in legal immigration point to the successful assimilation of Great Wave immigrants (roughly 1880 to 1920). But that wave was followed by a slowdown of immigration from the 1920s to the 1960s, which allowed newcomers to assimilate, learn our language, and adapt to our unique system of government. Also, Great Wave immigrants arrived before the rise of the grievance industry and identity politics. Moreover, it still took decades before a significant share of these immigrants moved into the Republican column. In the meantime, Great Wave immigrants and their children provided much of the political support necessary to pass and sustain both the New Deal and the Great Society.

It is also the case that the Republican party’s continued support of mass immigration, let alone the increases in the Gang of Eight bill, is contributing to alienating the Republican base, at least 4 million of whom stayed home in 2012.

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Conservatives should appeal to immigrants without sacrificing our principles. One way to do this is to argue that defeating the Gang of Eight bill, with its amnesty and doubling of legal immigration, would benefit the nearly 60 million American citizens (many of them immigrants) who are not working. If employers really are having trouble finding workers, the private-enterprise solution should be to raise the pay! A tight labor market is the best anti-poverty program. A reduction in immigration would also take pressure off our already overloaded health-care system and schools, and it would facilitate the assimilation of immigrants already here.

Our new report makes clear that for conservatives, there is no issue more important than reducing the number of immigrants allowed into the country each year. If legal immigration is not reduced, it will be nearly impossible for conservatives to be successful on the issues we care about.

If the Republican party is to remain a party that is conservative and nationally competitive, it must defeat amnesty and any proposed increases in legal immigration. Further, we must work to significantly reduce the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country from the current level of 1.1 million a year. {snip}

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