GOP and U.S. benefit from immigration reform

It’s clear that advocates for immigration reform in and out of Congress are employing a full-court press now to push House Republicans to take up legislation on the issue.

GOP members of the House, including 3rd District Rep. Scott Tipton, should do just that — not because they are being pressured by Democrats or advocacy groups, but because it is in their own best interest and that of the country to do so.

It could be President Romney

 

According to some analyses of recent presidential election results, if Mitt Romney had received the same percentage of the Hispanic vote in 2012 that George W. Bush did in 2004, he would be president now. The Hispanic vote was especially important in Colorado, Florida and Nevada.

CNN noted immediately after last year’s presidential election that Romney received just 27 percent of the Hispanic vote, a huge drop from Bush’s 44 percent in 2004.

Furthermore, Hispanics are the fastest-growing ethnic group in the U.S. population. The number of registered Hispanic voters grew 25 percent just from 2008 to 2012, CNN said.

Passing immigration reform won’t guarantee all Hispanic voters suddenly cast their ballots for Republicans. But many Hispanics are independent-minded or conservative, and would be willing to vote for Republicans if they knew the party was trying to address immigration in a meaningful way.

 

Reform is fiscally conservative

 

As Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet said last weekend, the bipartisan immigration reform bill passed by the Senate earlier this year is estimated to shrink the federal budget deficit by $900 billion. That’s not Bennet’s number, but an estimate from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

So, conservatives worried about the nation’s budget deficit and the federal debt should be supportive of the Senate’s immigration reform legislation or something very similar to it.

 

Solid support in this region

 

Additionally, as a variety of agricultural interests in this region and across the country have said, it will help farmers and ranchers obtain needed, legal labor for their operations and therefore it will have a stabilizing effect on the economy, especially in places such as western Colorado.

On top of that, as a poll released this week indicates, large numbers of people in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District support the kind of immigration reform outlined in the Senate bill. The poll was sponsored by a pro-reform group, America’s Voice. Even so, the question asked was fairly straightforward and the results — 77 percent support overall and 74 percent among Republicans — were impressive.

Critics of the Senate bill call it an amnesty measure for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants already in this country. It’s true the measure would create a path to citizenship for current illegal immigrants, but that path would take 13 years and would require that they not have any other criminal record.

Also, the bill would significantly beef up immigration enforcement in several key areas. First and most important, it would nearly double the number of U.S. Border Patrol agents and it would require completion of 700 miles of fence along the Mexican border. In addition, it would require all businesses to use the E-Verify system to ensure they only hire workers who are citizens or in this country legally.

 

Time for the House to act

 

Tipton and other Republicans in the House say they hope to move forward with a piecemeal approach to immigration reform, although Tipton did say this week he believes many of the pieces could be considered in unison.

Democratic leaders in the House on Wednesday pushed Republicans to take up immigration reform quickly. House Speaker John Boehner was noncommittal, but rank-and-file members like Tipton should urge their leaders to take action.

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Ed: A previous version of this story included an incorrect headline.


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HAHA read the headline….  IRRIGATION reform…. lol the conservative movement to legislate how I water my lawn….  thanks Daily Sentinel for the morning pick me up!!

Kudos to the Daily Sentinel for another timely editorial:  “GOP and U.S. benefit from immigration reform”.  After witnessing the destructive debacle of the “government shutdown” and threatened “debt ceiling” default, it appears that its editors are belatedly attempting to inject some common sense into local “Tea Party” lemmings and our fellow-traveling 3rd C.D. Representative Scott Tipton.

However, the Sentinel’s wistful re-endorsement of a “President Romney” entirely begs the underlying question.  Given the incessant anti-immigrant bashing that permeated the Republican primary debates in 2012 – not to mention Mitt’s own anti-minority “47%” – no Republican could have garnered a larger share of “the Hispanic vote”.  Moreover, any comparison to “compassionate conservative” George Bush’s 44% in 2004 is inapt, since “Shrub” could never have passed the right-wing conservatives’ “litmus tests” in 2012 and would have been branded an heretical “squish” rather than named the GOP’s nominee.

For the record, the CBO scored the Senate’s “comprehensive immigration reform” bill (S.744) as reducing budget deficits by only $158 billion over the next ten years (after incurring the massive expenses of increased border security and fielding “E-Verify”), and by another $905 billion in the following decade (when undocumented immigrants now “in the shadows” are more fully integrated into the economy and tax system).

To mollify the vocal “right-wing”, S.744 allocates $46.3 billion for more border guards and fencing (mostly in neo-secessionist Texas), while H.R. 14 allocates only $8.3 billion.  Thus, the Sentinel’s editors are remiss for not questioning the prudence of the Senate’s willingness to pay a $38 billion bribe to acquire a “pathway to citizenship” and/or (as has Senator Bennet) the common sense of investing billions in 21’ fencing when 22’ ladders abound.  After the House acts, a conference committee will resolve that disparity. 

Meanwhile, Tipton’s support for a “piecemeal approach” is simply another delay tactic.

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