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Saturday, July 06, 2013

Republicans think immigrants should become a class of servants but immigration reform without path to citizenship is counter intuitive to their political origins

Republicans will turn their backs on immigration reform, just because they can.  An article in The Economist suggests it's easier to climb the embarrassing anti-immigration wall than for the GOP to pass reforms.

President Barack Obama insists that a “path to citizenship”, no matter how arduous (the Senate bill’s entails a 13-year wait, the payment of fines and a background check) must be part of any reform. Fourteen Republican senators voted for the Senate bill, giving it a hefty bipartisan majority. Polls show that most voters like the Senate’s plan.

Most important, nearly all Hispanic voters support a path to citizenship. Preventing a path to citizenship, it is assumed, would further diminish the Republican Party’s already feeble support among a fast-growing chunk of the electorate, especially Hispanics. The Republican National Committee, which co-ordinates the party’s election campaigns, has called on it to embrace immigration reform. So have several figures from the party’s evangelical bedrock, such as Ralph Reed, the leader of a pressure group called the Faith and Freedom Coalition. Lindsey Graham, a Republican senator from South Carolina and a co-author of the Senate bill, says it will be hard for a Republican to become president until the party puts the issue behind it.

For that reason, predicts another of the Senate bill’s authors, Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, the House leadership will make sure it's passed, one way or another. Since almost all Democrats will vote for it, fewer than 20 Republican defectors would be needed for it to squeak through. Democrats have duly identified 23 Republicans they consider “persuadable”.


Truthfully, immigration reform would be a slam dunk and passed by now, if it provided for servants to live in the  US for up to 20 years, without any hope of citizenship.

Yet, it's inconsistent for Republicans, a political party founded as an anti-slavery party, to yearn for immigration reform that creates a class of workers called servants.  Sure, some immigrant servants might be high technology geeks or they could be military people, but without a path to citizenship, their life in the US would be  totally servitude.  This potential working class without citizenship will bring another layer of undetermined social issues, like how they will receive primary and catastrophic health care and what will be the citizenship status of their children? 

Republicans have a special chance to get immigration reform done right.  They should offer a path to citizenship to all immigrants and, at the same time, remove that horrible anti-immigration prison fence. 

Moreover, Republican gerrymandering can't prevent Hispanics and other immigrant groups, from knowing who is for and against immigration reform. 

If Republicans are as patriotic as they claim, they'll honor their personal ancestral heritages and create the  opportunities for citizenship that made us all Americans.

GOP unfounded barriers to immigrant citizenship are counter intuitive for two reasons (beyond being plain wrong) - (i) it's against the root reasons the GOP exists and (ii) GOP opposition is an embarrassment to their familial immigrant ancestors. 

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