Republicans not RINOs: Immigration Reform a Republican Tradition

Americans and immigrants share the same values of work, family and opportunity. There is no reason to fear the newcomers arriving on our shores today. If anything, they will energize what is best about our country.” – Republican Congressman Jack Kemp

Republican Jack Kemp

Jack Kemp

Many of my fellow conservatives consider Republicans like Marco Rubio and myself as sellouts and RINOs. But nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, we come from a long tradition of conservatives who have led on the issue of immigration and fought for reform.

As Republicans, we are the party of personal responsibility. We are the party of rugged individualism, where we pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and work hard to overcome adversity. This is exactly what most immigrants do, as they boldly leave their homes, their country, their people, and their native tongue – giving up everything they once knew, in order to better themselves and their families. This sounds like the type of people we would want to come to our nation and be integrated into our society – people who are seeking a better life and are willing to give up everything for it. These are the type of people who would make great additions to our nation, whether they be guest workers, legal residents or even naturalized citizens.Another principle from the Republican tradition that pro-immigration reform leaders stand on is family values. Being a descendant of a Mexican immigrant myself, I was taught at an early age about the importance of prioritizing my life. The order was to put God first, family second and then school/work third. Just as my family is important to me, so it is for the millions of immigrants and their family members who came here illegally. At the end of the day, if we believe in parental rights and are pro-family, we should not be seeking to deport mothers and fathers of American citizens. A great conservative voice for this was President George W. Bush, who said,

“I know there’s a compassionate, humane way to deal with this issue. I want to remind people that family values do not stop at the Rio Grande River. People are coming to our country to do jobs that Americans won’t do, to be able to feed their families. And I think there’s a humane way to recognize that, at the same time protect our borders, and at the same way to make sure that we don’t disadvantage those who have stood in line for years to become a legal citizen.”

Thus, it is hypocritical to say that we are a party of pro-family values if we are not willing to at least consider dealing with the reality that many of these illegal immigrants are related to United States citizens. Also, many of these citizens are the children and grandchildren of illegal immigrants. Historically, this is something Republicans have taken into consideration.

Moreover, Bush believed as many Republicans do, that we will never be able to secure our borders until we have an immigration program that allows immigrants who are seeking work to be able to participate in our economy legally. Bush States,

Republican

George H.W. Bush

Regan also was a compassionate conservative leader who not only believed in amnesty, but who passed amnesty.  He stated in 1984,

“I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though sometime back they may have entered illegally.”

Republican

Ronald Reagan

Reagan believed that America was a city on a hill for immigrants. He did not believe in building a wall because he did not see that as beneficial. Instead, Reagan thought of an idea where people could come here and work and then go home freely. Here Reagan and Bush talk about immigration,

 

Another great leader from this Republican tradition is Jack Kemp. Back in 2006 Kemp stated,

“In many respects, the way Republicans position themselves on immigration will determine whether the party retains the mantle of majority leadership. Will we remain a party that governs – that offers practical solutions to the problems facing the country? Or will we revert to the harsh rhetoric of criminalizing illegals and even those who provide services, albeit unwittingly? Immigration – including the robust annual flow required to keep our economy growing and the 12 million illegal immigrants already in the country – is a fact of life in the United States today. And the only practical way to deal with these stubborn realities is with a comprehensive solution, one that includes border security, interior enforcement, a guest-worker program and status for the illegal immigrants already here.” (bold added)

The question then becomes will we heed the words of those Republicans like Bush and the late Jack Kemp who were leaders on the issue of immigration, or will we hid behind the usual rhetoric? Republican leaders, like Marco Rubio, wish to actually deal with immigration in a conservative way – a plan that emphasizes border security while still dealing compassionately with the 11 million illegal immigrants who are here today. We have a strong tradition and we will stand on this tradition.  Jeb Bush also seems to echo the warnings of Jack Kemp. Jeb Bush makes the point that the rhetoric that is used against immigration reform is “wrong and stupid” and the “combination to be incorrect and stupid is very dangerous in politics.”  He is right, we need to stop using immigration as an issue of division that divides  our nation, because doing nothing is irresponsible to the millions of lives that will be affected by whatever law passes congress.

Moreover, it is not just compassion that drives Republicans to seek for real reform, but the fact that immigration has a net positive impact on our nation. I became a Republican because they had sound policies that were responsible, especially as it relates to economic policy. This is why many Republicans like Rubio, Flake and Ryan have embraced immigration reform because they have a sound policy for increasing immigrant labor. As I have stated in a previous research blog post,

“There any many benefits to having affordable labor. As previously mentioned, in cities that boast a high percentage of low skilled immigrant labor, goods and services are provided at a more affordable rate. This translates into cost savings for the population as a whole.  It is imperative to understand that the total national income is not lost from these savings; rather it is redistributed by creating employer gains and savings for consumers.[33]  The savings for the consumer will allow them to later choose where they would like to spend the extra cash, which would in turn help another business, consequently, helping the employees of that business. In the end, the wealth is not lost.  In addition, high skilled laborers who are paid less than native born employees actually add to economic growth and job creation. Economist Peri explains that “firms pay immigrants less than their marginal productivity, increasing the firms’ profits. Such cost savings on immigrants act as an increase in productivity for firms…[T]his allows firms to expand production and employ more people in complementary task many of which are supplied by natives.”[34] Therefore, immigrant labor helps to creates more affordable goods and services by increasing profits to businesses and helps them to employ more Americans, which are net benefits, instead of a net loss.”

Ultimately, immigration reform is good for both employers and individuals and for the growth for our economy as a whole. It is positive for the immigrants and their families. This is why many Republicans like Paul Ryan, conservatives leaders like Grover Norquist and conservative economists like Arthur Laffer and Arthur Brooks  are strong proponents of immigration reform.

Republican Marco Rubio

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio

In conclusion, those conservatives who say that Republicans who believe like me are RINOs and leftists who hate America, need to be reminded of the great Republican leaders of the past and present. There are leaders fromthe past such as the late Jake Kemp and Ronald Regan.  And there are current Republican leaders such as Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker who has come out in favor of a path to citizenship, along with Senators Marco RubioJeff Flake, and Congressman Paul Ryan all of which support reform. Furthermore, these leaders do not support amnesty; rather they support giving illegal immigrants an opportunity to work here legally and the potential to earn a green card and later citizenship, if the immigrant desires. This is not amnesty, which would be a pardon; rather, it is an opportunity, not a guarantee. We all know Walker stood up to the unions in Wisconsin, and Flake has stood up to the Republican establishment opposing federal spending in Washington DC. Then there is Paul Ryan who for years has fought to balance the budget and reduce America’s deficit.  These great leaders and many others like them have impeccable conservative records. Therefore, when one says that Marco Rubio, Jeff Flake, Scott Walker and Paul Ryan are RINOs, I would respond, “No, they are Regan, Kemp and Bush Republicans.”

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Editors note: as with all blog postings that appear with a by-line, the opinions presented are the author’s and not necessarily the positions of Cafe Con Leche Republicans.

Thomas Martin Salazar Cafe Con Leche RepublicanThomas Martin Salazar is an Arizona leader of the Café con Leche Republicans. Thomas was born and     raised in Arizona. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in History from Grand Canyon University and is currently working on obtaining a MDiv in Biblical Communication from Phoenix Seminary. Thomas has also served as the Grand Canyon University College Republicans Vice President and interim President (February 2007-April 2008) and as a Maricopa County Republican Precinct committeeman (August 2009 – August 2012).

It’s the Morning After the First Debate, and I’m Giddy

Wow!  I’m giddy.  I was surprised and thrilled by Gov. Romney’s performance in last night’s debate (Oct. 3).  I watched the debate with 7 other Conservatives, time-delayed by a Tivo box so that we could halt the action and toss in our own comments.

Several of us were apprehensive at the outset, but by the end of the debate we had worked ourselves into a frenzy of excitement, shouting “Yes! Yes! Yes!” as he pounded home those key points that free-market, limited-government, fiscal-responsibility Conservatives have been trumpeting for years.

Now I have to confess.  I had no idea that Gov. Romney had this in him.  Sure, he’d had some brief flashes on the campaign trail, and his style turned for the better after naming Paul Ryan as his VP.  But like many Conservatives, I feared the Governor was just the next-in-line Establishment Republican candidate — doomed to be another gracious loser.

I’m still absorbing what I saw & heard, and I’ll have to go through the whole debate again, but I do remember Romney’s first home run of the evening (for me) when he pointed out the immorality of the debt we are piling on the backs of our children.  As I’ve written in the past (herehere, and here for example), we are effectively selling them into a modern-day version of debt bondage.  At last we have a candidate who leads with that point against all those “compassionate” Democrats, the people who supposedly “care”.

As for Obama’s own performance, a repeated interjection among my friends was “He’s flailing, he’s flailing!”.  Time and again he reached back for his standard campaign talking points, sometimes well off-topic, and he was visibly shell-shocked when Romney put them down emphatically, with compelling refutation points, nicely bulleted and driven home like nails in a coffin (puns intended).

If you can watch the debate again, keep an eye on Obama’s upper jaw near his left ear as he stares down at his podium.  One of our friends spotted it first.  You’ll see a light spot come and go as he visibly clenches and unclenches his teeth. This man is used to adulation and acquiescence, not reasoned confrontation.  Bound up in his Leftist ideology and surrounded 24/7 by sycophants and a fawning, collaborative media, he was totally unprepared to defend his indefensible record. He spent much of the evening staring down at that podium as if being scolded by his school master.

Obama will be better prepared at the next debate, and Romney will have to guard against over-confidence.  But I’m no longer worried.  Obama’s hand is incredibly weak — almost everywhere, he’s holding a pair of deuces against Romney’s full house.  And Romney’s better at the game — much better.

Of course, the election ain’t over ’til it’s over, and the Obama machine, the Great American Left, and the Democrat Media Complex won’t go gently into the night.  But we have ourselves a candidate in Mitt Romney, and I have a new-found confidence that he and his staff might just run this campaign right across the finish line going away, and leading by several lengths.

Then, the long hard path to recovery begins.

[This article cross-posted from WesternFreePress.com]

Are the Democrats Sensing Defeat? Ask Chris Matthews.

Are any of you Conservative news junkies sensing what I’m sensing?

Namely —

It seems the Leftist media are finally sensing defeat in November.  And I mean really sensing it. The willful self-deception that they’ve cultivated for so long is crumbling.  Their messiah is false.  He’s failed.  And rather miserably at that.  And he may well take the party down with him in just a few weeks.

Why do I think they’re sensing defeat?

One of their media princelings, Chris Matthews, the bloviating, spittle-spewing host of MSNBC’s Hardball, shifted rather abruptly into defensive alibi mode on the August 31 edition of his show, less than 24 hours after Mitt Romney’s RNC acceptance speech.  Matthews began slathering blame on “Republican opposition” for Obama’s failure, this time including a freshly announced conspiracy, ostensibly hatched “in secret” back in 2009, to oppose the President’s policies.

Short memo to Chris:  The opposition opposes.  That’s what they do.  Especially when your messiah sets about to do what he’s done. And every minority party seeks to regain the majority.  It’s nothing personal, okay?

But more importantly —

What Obama failure are you talking about?  So now Obama has failures?  Are you now implying he’ll lose the upcoming election?  Are you seeking to lay off the blame for that in advance?

Sheesh.  This is quite a shift for a mawkishly liberal, self-delusional, sycophantic, Obama camp follower like you, no?  Has that 2008 tingle up your leg migrated to a 2012 chill up your spine?

What happened?  Did you watch the RNC speeches that your network wouldn’t air?  Were you frightened by the depth of the Republican bench?  (If so, eat your heart out, pal.)    Did you mentally compare Paul Ryan to Joe Biden and suffer a panic attack?

I occasionally enjoy your show for its unintentional humor, but the sea change in your August 31 show was positively delightful.  Please do it again on your next show.  Please.  As the RNC mystery guest said: Go ahead. Make my day.

Republican National Hispanic Assembly (RNHA) Statement Regarding Vice Presidential Pick Paul Ryan

RNHA STATEMENT REGARDING REPUBLICAN VICE PRESIDENTIAL PICK 

Lakeland, FL. – The RNHA applauds Governor Mitt Romney’s pick of Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate. RNHA National Chairman Alci Maldonado stated: “Governor Romney’s excellent choice of Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate clearly demonstrates an affirmation of Mr. Ryan’s strength of character and leadership. Congressman Ryan has initiated the national discussion regarding the need for entitlement reform and budgetary restraint and management. Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan’s proposals to reform Medicare will ensure its future solvency and integrity and it will not be eliminated as some critics have charged. Medicare will not be eliminated as we know it, it will be saved.

America is headed for a fiscal catastrophe and the Obama administration has made things worse for America by refusing to deal with our skyrocketing debt, our lack of jobs and our financial insecurity. The Obama administrations mishandling of our economy has compromised our future security and will pass on a terrible legacy to future generations. It is indeed time for a change of administration in Washington and America has a clear choice between more of the same disastrous policies or with a new administration, a return to prosperity, balanced budgets and economic security for all.”

The mission of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly is to build a membership organization to foster the principles of the Republican Party in the Hispanic community; provide Hispanic Americans with a forum to play an influential role in local, state, and national Party activities; increase the number of Hispanic Republican elected officials; and create and maintain a network of Hispanic Republican leaders.

ROMNEY/RYAN 2012!

Mitt Romney / Paul Ryan 2012

It’s time to believe in America again.

Rep. Quayle Statement on The Path to Prosperity

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, April 5, 2011
CONTACT: Richard Cullen

WASHINGTON (D.C.) Congressman Ben Quayle (R-AZ) released the following statement in support of Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) fiscal year 2012 budget resolution: “The Path to Prosperity.” The budget includes common-sense entitlement reforms that will save critical social programs including Medicare and Medicaid. It also includes tax reforms that will make American businesses more competitive. Overall, Chairman Ryan’s plan would cut $6.2 trillion from President Obama’s budget over the next decade and would create nearly one million jobs in the next year, according to a projection by the Heritage Center for Data Analysis.

From Congressman Quayle:

“Chairman Ryan’s plan delivers something that has been unacceptably scarce in Washington for years: leadership. Without question, Chairman Ryan deserves significant credit for offering such a bold plan, however, simply telling the American public the truth shouldn’t be considered such an unusual step. America is on an unsustainable fiscal path. That is a fact, not an unfounded assertion.

“This budget puts us on the path to finally pay off our debts, create millions of jobs and save our important entitlement programs. Many have said that Democrats will use this historic budget to demagogue House Republicans. I hope the opposite will be true; I hope that Democrats are ready to join us in recognizing the extent of our debt and help us take the necessary steps to fix the problem.”

Watch Congressman Paul Ryan’s video presentation:

Read Congressman Paul Ryan’s Wall Street Journal op-ed HERE.