Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Immigration and NC Republicans

I may be beating a dead horse, but I find the Republican Party's internal debate on immigration reform so fascinating. Here is an op-ed about North Carolina by a former Republican County Chairman. It is specifically aimed at opposing driving permits for undocumented immigrants, but once again brings up the logical fallacies that plague restrictionist arguments.

The main problem is this:

Voting for amnesty and other liberal immigration policies does NOT increase Hispanic votes for Republicans. 
Voting for amnesty and other liberal immigration policies, however, significantly diminishes non-Hispanic conservative support for Republicans.

The first is questionable, and the second is demonstrably wrong. One the first point, remember that George W. Bush got plenty of votes from Latinos, and the vote share went down only as the party became vocally anti-immigrant. Next, the critical issue for Republicans is not just gaining Hispanic votes per se, but rather making sure they actually have a base of support in 10-20 years. The share of whites in the population is decreasing, and alone cannot win national elections, especially at the presidential level.

Second, it is crystal clear that Republicans do support immigration reform. There is no evidence that I have to seen to suggest that "non-Hispanic conservatives" (read "whites") stop supporting the party as a result of voting for immigration reform.

It's like watching a car heading for a cliff, with some of the passengers arguing strenuously that putting on the brakes is a really terrible idea.


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