Sooper Mexican is Symptomatic of a Bigger Problem with Conservatives

by Bob Quasius – Recently there’s been a controversy swirling around Sooper Mexican and his profane tweets on Twitter, which resulted in a Latino Rebels critique “Where Have You Gone Sooper Mexican?”

sooper mexican

Sooper Mexican has no class at all!

Eva Longoria

Eva Longoria – a liberal with much more class than Sooper Mexican

Sooper Mexican savagely attacked Cafe Con Leche Republicans for our support of immigration reform, for example calling us “maricones” (“homosexuals”) and “pendejos”, a particularly vulgar word never used in polite conversation (rhymes with “grass” and “poles”). Sooper Mexican’s vulgarity from behind a WWF style mask of anonymity embarrasses all conservatives, not just Hispanic conservatives.

Last October, Cafe Con Leche Republicans skewered Eva Longoria for her vulgar tweet calling any woman or minority “stupid” for voting for “racist/misogynistic” Mitt Romney. Unlike Sooper Mexican, Eva Longoria deserves credit for promptly apologizing for her retweet, a mistake she hasn’t repeated.

We don’t agree much with Eva Longoria’s politics, but she’s worked tirelessly on immigration reform. People on both sides of the aisle need to work together on finding practical solutions to difficult issues. Eva Longoria has shown us she has class; we can’t say the same for Sooper Mexican.

A vigorous debate over immigration reform is nothing new and should be welcomed. A healthy democracy hammers out solutions on the anvil of controversy. There are Republicans on both sides of the immigration debate who work hard and interact respectfully with their opponents.

“The person who agrees with you 80% of the time is a friend and an ally – not a 20% traitor.” – Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan 80% 20% rule

Ronald Reagan had class

Various polls peg Republican support for immigration reform including a path to citizenship at 75%, but ironically it’s a shrill part of the 25% opposition that accuses the 75% majority of being RINOS, traitors, etc., and drives many moderates in Congress to the sidelines on immigration reform.

“If you can’t win elections, you can’t govern.” – Rick Perry

Historically Republicans have always found the ‘big tent’ concept a winning strategy. In Reagan’s ‘big tent’ not all Republicans need to march ‘lock step’ on every issue, but as long as Republicans are ‘in step’ on most issues, we can come together to win elections, and iron out policy differences later.

However, how can Reagan’s ‘big tent’ work when someone is machine gunning others inside that ‘big tent’? I cannot recount how many times I have been called a “RINO”(Republican in Name Only), “open borders liberal”, “traitor”, “treasonous”, “Obama lover,” “progressive,” “illegal immigration supporter”, and countless other insults because I support immigration reform over mass deportations.

Sooper Mexican represents a disturbing trend that sadly, has taken hold in the Republican Party: the lack of civil political discourse. Bloggers, radio show hosts, and even many elected officials have seen personal benefit in polarizing and demeaning anyone who disagrees with them, and creating conflict to generate attention for themselves.

This lack of civility isn’t just directed to Democrats or liberals; as we have seen first-hand, fellow Republicans are unfairly being labeled RINOS, and in our case, subjected to profane treatment. It may generate more readers for their blog or support for their personal political ambitions in the short term, but in the long run, it undermines the party and alienates average Americans who would vote Republican but are repulsed by their behavior.

Sooper Mexican’s views on immigration are representative of just 8% of Hispanics, but his willingness to toe an ideological line has made him popular among some conservatives, especially the tea party.

Recent years have been difficult for Hispanic Republicans, as the rhetoric and demand for strict ideological purity on immigration has driven many from the party. Moreover, Democrats seek to put women and minorities into ideological boxes and criticize any woman or minority who strays from their box, which is just as unfair.

“Latinos are Republicans — they just don’t know it yet.” – Ronald Reagan

Hispanics have low turnout rates at election time and are under-represented on voter rolls. Rhetoric from both parties suppress voting by conservative Hispanics, which skews election results towards the left and reinforces the false narrative that Hispanics, and especially Hispanic immigrant, are natural Democrat voters, when poll after poll by Pew Research shows over 60% of Hispanics are center-right.

Editor’s Note: originally posted at Fox News Latino – original link.

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Bob Quasius is the founder and president of Cafe Con Leche Republicans

Will Hispanics Kill the Republican Party?

Hispanics

“Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” – Mark Twain

by Raoul Lowery Contreras – In my 23rd year, I met U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ) at the University of Oregon. He signed my copy of his earthshaking book, Conscience of a Conservative.

Being a Republican before I was a “conservative” however, I answered the call to arms of my former boss United States Senator Thomas H. Kuchel (R-CA) to join the fight for the Republican 1964 Presidential nomination on the side of New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller.

I was disappointed when the Goldwater wave overrode Governor Rockefeller for the nomination and further disappointed when Lyndon Baines Johnson overwhelmed Goldwater in November, 1964. The GOP was almost killed by the Democratic wave.

The day after the election, pundits of all sorts pronounced the Republican Party dead, dead forever.

Rest in Peace GOP, November 1964… I was 23.

Fifty years later, I am hearing the same words about the Republican Party being dead. More than 95% of Blacks voted for Obama for racial reasons and that won’t happen again. 73% or so of Hispanics voted for Obama, as well, with higher percentages among Puerto Ricans and Dominicans than among Cubans and Mexican Americans. Will that happen again?

Most of the pundits are ultra-liberal writers/commentators of the mass media. Then there is MSNBC’s Chris Mathews who apparently had an orgasm when Obama won in 2008 (“I Felt This Thrill Going Up My Leg”).

Are they right? History tells us they are not. Republicans were routed in 1932 but came back in 1938 when they won 81 House seats and 6 new senators, and actually did so in 1952. Republicans just missed in 1960 after 8 years of President Eisenhower.

After the Goldwater defeat, the GOP was declared dead and buried but the GOP came roaring back just two years later around the country and elected Richard Nixon in 1968.

The 1966 midterm elections were a Republican romp just two years after Goldwater was heavily defeated. 47 new Republican House members were elected; 3 new senators, 8 new governors including Ronald Reagan (CA) and George Romney of Michigan and 700 new state legislators.

Nixon was reelected by the greatest victory wave in the country since Franklin Roosevelt, a victory in 1972 even greater than Eisenhower’s second victory in 1956.

Watergate came and the GOP stumbled but would have won the 1976 Election if President Gerald Ford had just received 10,000 more votes in Ohio.

1980 came and Ronald Reagan’s win was so convincing that Jimmy Carter conceded hours before the polls closed in California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii and Alaska.

He did better in 1984. In 1988 George H.W. Bush was elected President and carried forth the Reagan/Bush policies for another 4 years.

The Republican Party is not dead, though Democrat partisans wishfully insist that it is.

For example, the Democrat Latino Decisions (LD) group of Hispanic academics based at the University of Washington has published their projections of a growing Latino electorate and how it feels now and will feel in the future if there is no Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR). Despite the fact that it was Democrats led by Harry Reid and Barack Obama that torpedoed the 2006-7 Bush CIR proposal, Latino Decisions tells us that Latinos will blame Republicans even if Obama sits on his hands and allows CIR to die.

More importantly Latino Decisions predicts growing Hispanic electorates in their projections but insist on a static 25% of the Latino vote going Republican in their future scenarios.

That, however, is a faulty assumption that destroys their conclusions of how Latinos will vote. They assume, wrongly, that the GOP Hispanic vote will remain at 25% despite the fact that the Hispanic Republican vote has approached 50 percent in past elections; i.e. Hispanic votes have been documented only since 1968.

Their 25% is based on the Romney Hispanic vote of 2012. Belying that assumption are actual Hispanic votes cast for John McCain — 31% and George W. is credited with 44% in 2004. No one knows how Hispanics voted in 1952 and 56 but we can guess that they voted for their Commanding General just like the rest of America did.

The percentage is the key. But it is not when one uses a static 25% based on an outlier election result of 2012.

We know this, since Hispanic votes have been counted and studied, each Republican that has earned 35% or more of the Hispanic vote has won the Presidency; that includes Nixon, Reagan, Bush I and Bush II.

hispanics juntos con romney

Can Republicans increase their Hispanic vote by a third more than Mitt Romney received in 2012? Fact: Hispanics hold two governorships (Brian Sandoval in Nevada, Susanna Martinez in New Mexico) and, one U.S. Senator named Marco Rubio.

Do pundits and Latino Decisions think that more Hispanics won’t vote Republican in 2016 if one of those three Hispanic political giants is on the Republican Presidential ticket?

If they do, they are blind and/or consider Hispanics to be stupid.

Editor’s Note: reposted from Cafe Con Leche Republicans with the author’s permission – original link

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Raoul Contreras Lowery

Raoul Contreras Lowery

Raoul Lowery Contreras (1941) was born in Mexico, raised in the USA. Former U.S. Marine, athlete, Dean’s List at San Diego State. Professional political consultant and California Republican Party official (1963-65)…Television news commentator, radio talk show host…published Op-Ed writer (1988 to present)…author of 12 books (as of 1-05-12). His books are available at Amazon.com

Hispanics = Republicans? Pretty Much!

The tough prosecuting District Attorney and her husband, lifetime Democrats both, went to lunch with Republican friends and a couple hours later came away exclaiming, “I’ll be damned, we’re Republicans.”

So told New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez to Republicans in 2012. She had discovered a famous quip of former California Governor and U.S President Ronald Reagan, “Latinos are Republican. They just don’t know it yet.”

To understand both Governor Martinez and President Reagan one has to know what the three basic areas of political policy are in the Republican Party.

There are three “legs” that make up the philosophical base of Grand Old Party (GOP) thinking: National Security, Social/family/individual responsibility, and Economics.

Republican Value – National Security

National Security has been a huge element in GOP thinking since December 7, 1941. The Republican 80th Congress created the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from the remnants of the World War II Office of Strategic Services (OSS) which President Roosevelt created despite his Secretary of State Cordell Hull had declared, “Gentlemen do not read other Gentleman’s mail.”

Democrat mistakes that led to modern Republicans. In 1949 Democrat Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, declared Korea outside the America’s Pacific defense perimeter. Result, North Koreans Communists aided by the Soviet Union invaded South Korea. 34,000 Americans died.

The GOP was successful in nominating and electing General Dwight D. Eisenhower (Ike) President and Richard Nixon Vice President in 1952. Ike ended the Korean War. He created the MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) policy that served the United States well for over 30 years against the Soviet Union. He kept thousands of American troops in Europe and Japan/Philippines/Korea. He kept us out of Vietnam despite the French begging us for help.

Richard Nixon inherited Vietnam, the worst foreign policy mistake of the 20th Century. On his first day in office (January 20, 1969) he ordered troops out of Vietnam where eventually 58,000 Americans died in the amateur Kennedy/Johnson folly. Nixon started the fall of the Soviet Empire by diplomacy with China.

Our real enemy today is Muslim terrorism, not the Soviet Empire which imploded thanks to Republican policies of MAD and intelligent diplomacy. It didn’t hurt that Ronald Reagan started rearming the USA, a policy heavily supported by Hispanics whose individual support was highlighted by more Hispanic military service than in all U.S. History. Today, 20%, one in five Combat Arms soldiers and Marines are Hispanic, almost all Mexican Americans.

Military strength, a strong U.S. Navy and a policy of assistance to varied allies have kept a world-wide American presence in support of American interests throughout the world. That has been Republican policy since 1941. There are, however, isolationists who demand a U.S. pullback to our borders because they don’t believe in our being “Policeman of the World.” Our interests need defending no matter where in the world.

Republican Value – Social/Family/Individual responsibility

Social/Family/Individual responsibility covers a huge swath of American behavior. Abortion, forced birth control, food stamps, welfare, the destruction of family, and federal stripping of 1st Amendment constitutional protections in religion and religious practice are huge issues with Hispanics.

73 percent of Black babies are born out of wedlock, 52% of Hispanic and 30 percent of White babies are also born out of wedlock. This is a disaster. Abortion speaks for itself.
Obama care is forcing religious institutions like hospitals and universities to violate their own beliefs in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution. Record numbers are drawing food stamps and disability funding and labor participation is at modern lows. Hard work doesn’t count any longer for many, but not Hispanics.

A Safety Net is fine. The Hispanic family, however, is the foundation of civilization; food stamps, welfare and no-growth Democratic policies are destroying the family.

Republican Value – Economics

Economics supported by Republicans include less government intrusion, a fairer tax system for all, less over-regulation, a free labor market and a government that encourages growth, job creation and more domestic energy production.

80,000 pages of tax laws and an Internal Revenue Service that is unfair for political reasons must be corrected in the interest of fairness. President George W. Bush’s tax reforms have been set in concrete despite fervent opposition by Democrats. More needs to be done. A tax code of ten pages will unleash economics which can revitalize the economy more than the industrial revolution did.

Basically, the Republican economics policy is two words: ECONOMIC GROWTH. Target, four or more percent growth.

The military record shows that Hispanics have supported a strong international USA since 1941 (31 Medals of Honor since 1941). President George W. Bush raked in over 90% Hispanic approval when he attacked Afghanistan in 2001. Surveys show that Hispanics are generally pro-life, pro-marriage and are not afraid of hard work. Mexican American labor force participation, for example, is the highest in the country. Hispanics thrive on economic growth because they are workers, hard workers.

Was Reagan right? Yes, Hispanics are natural Republicans!

Editor’s Note: reposted with permission from Cafe Con Leche Republicans – original link

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Raoul Contreras Lowery

Raoul Contreras Lowery

Raoul Lowery Contreras (1941) was born in Mexico, raised in the USA. Former U.S. Marine, athlete, Dean’s List at San Diego State. Professional political consultant and California Republican Party official (1963-65)…Television news commentator, radio talk show host…published Op-Ed writer (1988 to present)…author of 12 books (as of 1-05-12). His books are available at Amazon.com

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).

Conservative Principles and Gang of Eight Immigration Reform

A great debate is raging among conservatives these days. One camp argues the gang of eight immigration reform is amnesty, contrary to conservative principles, amnesty encourages more illegal immigration, and immigrants vote Democrat.

Marco Rubio gang of eight immigration reform

Marco Rubio

The other camp, led by Senator Marco Rubio and Grover Norquist, argues our legal immigration system has been broken for decades, and we effectively have de facto amnesty because it’s simply not practical, humane, nor economically wise to deport 11 million. They believe our present immigration system, with its arbitrary quotas and massive bureaucracy is inconsistent with conservative free market principles. They reject the notion that immigrants invariably vote Democrat, and see opportunity to win more New American votes, as proven by Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and recently by Canada’s Conservative Party.

A May 2011 poll by Pew Research found “staunch conservatives” split 49%/49%. Three Republican groupings, “staunch conservatives”, “main street Republicans”, and “libertarians” split roughly 60/40% in favor of immigration reform including a path to citizenship.gang of eight immigration reformA recent poll found 60% of Republicans  support immigration reform, and after details of the gang of eight immigration reform plan were explained, support rose to 75% with just 10% strongly opposed. The perception fostered in the mainstream news media for years is that Republicans are monolithic and opposed to immigration reform, but clearly Republicans have been and still are divided. Before November, Republicans who were shrill about immigration were often quoted in the media, while most Republican leaders tended to avoid the topic or only talk about immigration enforcement, which is less divisive. Since the November election debacle, pro-reform Republicans are more vocal, pushing back against the shrill minority who for years have berated immigrants.

gang of eight immigration reform grover norquist Grover Norquist has been staunchly pro-immigration reform for many years. He participated in a series of immigration reform conferences during 2012. Only the last conference, just weeks after the election, garnered any media attention at all, while Mitt Romney’s self-deportation rhetoric garnered constant media coverage. Most media coverage of conservatives who support immigration reform is recent.

Immigration Before the Progressive Era

Prior to the progressive era, American had no immigration quotas and a few common-sense restrictions, such as barring criminals, prostitutes, paupers, etc.

America’s first unauthorized immigrants were African slaves, imported after Congress banned the importation of slaves in 1808. In the Southern states slavery was still legal, and more slaves needed, and so the importation continued despite the ban.

Later, many Irish immigrants bypassed legal ports of entry because they were simply too impoverished to pay the head tax. The federal government did not have immigration inspectors until 1890, though some states had immigration inspectors. Very few immigrants who arrived in America were turned away. Those who chide unauthorized immigrants with the claim their grandparents came legally would do well to compare today’s immigration laws with the past; the laws are vastly different now.

Immigration as a Tool of Progressive Social Engineering

Prior to the first quotas, Ellis Island admitted 98% of immigrants who arrived. There were no immigrant visas; those who wanted to immigrate simply arrived, and unless they were in an excluded class (i.e. criminal, prostitute, sick, etc.) they were admitted.

Madison Grant The Passing of the Great Race

Madison Grant, progressive and author of “The Passing of the Great Race”

In 1921 and 1924 strict per-nation quotas were imposed, designed to bar non-Europeans altogether, and severely restrict immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe. Early modern progressives like Margaret Sanger, Madison Grant, and Harry Laughlin argued Southern and Eastern Europeans were genetically inferior and lowered the intelligence of America’s people”, would never assimilate, came seeking charity, increased crime rates, etc, many of the same arguments we hear today.

Margaret Sanger

Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood founder

Harry Laughlin infamously testified in Congress that 82% of Jewish immigrants were feeble minded.” Madison Grant wrote the book “The Passing of the Great Race, or the Racial Basis of European History” (read here), which argued “Nordics” were superior, and greatly inflamed American public opinion against immigration. Hitler called Grant’s book his “Bible” and ordered it translated and published in Nazi Germany, and Nuremberg war crimes defendant Karl Brandt referred to Grant’s book. Not surprisingly Hitler praised the 1924 National Origins Act.

Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood and an ardent supporter of eugenics, wrote of immigrants and blacks in Pivot of Civilization: 

“…’human weeds,’ ‘reckless breeders,’ ‘spawning… human beings who never should have been born.”

Harry Laughlin President Pioneer Fund, Deputy Director Eugenics Research Office anti-Semite anti-immigrant eugenics activist immigration amnesty

Harry H. Laughlin, architect of 1924 immigration quotas

Later, Laughlin founded the Pioneer Fund, which later financed today’s leading anti-any-immigrant organizations with millions, and still funds academic “research” about “differences” between the races. Numerous Pioneer funded studies were referenced in the book “The Bell Curve“, which insinuates blacks have lower intelligence levels than whites for genetic reasons. The book has been widely debunked by other researchers, but the ideology keeps cropping up, most recently among the anti-any-immigrant lobby headed by FAIR, NumbersUSA, and the Center for Immigration Studies. FAIR grew with the help of millions in funding from the Pioneer Fund.

John Tanton FAIR NumbersUSA CIS Center for Immigration Studies Eugenics US English ProEnglish gang of eight

John Tanton – who founded FAIR, NumbersUSA, and CIS.

John Tanton, founder of the modern day anti-any-immigrant movement is very much like Madison Grant, except Tanton’s bigotry is much more subdued, since most modern day Americans won’t listen to bigots. Like Madison Grant, John Tanton is a liberal, conservationist, eugenics activist, and has held leadership positions in Planned Parenthood, Zero Population Growth, etc. Most of the arguments Tanton and his disciples use to argue against immigration and for population reduction are identical to those of his ideological great-grandfathers Madison Grant, Harry Laughlin, Margaret Sanger, and Paul Ehrlich (author of The Population Bomb).

Is the Gang of Eight Immigration Reform Amnesty?

Those who constantly throw out the term “amnesty” in describing the gang of eight immigration reform would do well to consult Webster’s dictionary:

amnesty: the act of an authority (as a government) by which pardon is granted to a large group of individuals.

pardon: the excusing of an offense without exacting a penalty.

With $2,000 in fines and a ten year wait to even apply for permanent resident status, clearly a stiff penalty is exacted, in addition to a tough set of requirements such as proof of payment of taxes, background check, etc. The 1986 immigration reform clearly was amnesty, as no fine or wait time was required. Those who met the requirements were simply granted permanent resident status.

Is “Amnesty” a Magnet for More Illegal Behavior?

Opponents of the gang of eight immigration reform argue amnesty is a magnet for more illegal immigration, and point to the increase in illegal immigration after 1986 as evidence that amnesty is a magnet.

Historically, what has been America’s experience with mass amnesty? Did past amnesties lead to more illegal behavior?

America’s first mass amnesty was Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation granting amnesty to confederates who would swear a loyalty oath to the United States. Lincoln didn’t live to see the end of the civil war, but President Andrew Johnson honored Lincoln’s amnesty, though he added exclusions, for example refusing amnesty to top confederate leaders. How many civil wars have we experienced since 1865? Zero!

If the U.S. had made a serious effort to prosecute confederates for treason during time of war, we could probably have denuded a number of forests building gallows for hanging hundreds of thousands. However, the nation saw the need to move on after a bloody civil war, and virtually all confederates were granted amnesty in exchange for regaining their loyalty to the U.S.

Immigration Amnesty

America’s first immigration mass amnesty came in the late 1920s. Early modern progressives saw immigration laws as a tool for social engineering. Immigrants from various nations were barred, starting with the Chinese in 1882.

In the early 20th century, 200,000 Italians immigrated to the U.S. each year, but in 1924 Italy’s immigration quota was set at under 4,000, a 98% reduction! Similar reductions were imposed on Russia and other Eastern and Southern European nations. Not surprisingly, within a few years the U.S. had several million unauthorized immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe, who were “inspected” and allowed to stay. Then, as today, it was considered impractical to deport so many. Recently the New York Times opined that Hispanics are the New Italians, drawing parallels with 20th century immigration.

Did the late 1920s immigration amnesty lead to more illegal immigration? Clearly not, because the great depression soon followed and the economic forces that led so many to immigrate illegally vanished.

Critics of immigration reform argue the 1986 amnesty served as a magnet to more illegal immigration, but was this really the case? In statistics, there’s a term “correlation is not necessarily causation.” A doctor once pointed out in an op-ed the correlation between pantyhose usage and lung disease, but pantyhose clearly doesn’t cause lung disease!

There has indeed been more illegal immigration after 1986, but a review of the inflows of unauthorized immigrants reveals that inflows followed to the state of the economy, not policy. During the late 1990s illegal immigration inflows surged, while in recent years net illegal immigration from Mexico has dropped to zero, as the U.S. experienced a jobless recovery while Mexico’s economy has been strong, and Mexican birth rates have declined. AFTER a 1996 law that toughened immigration enforcement, there was a surge in illegal immigration. Clearly illegal immigration inflows have much more to do with economics than policy!

Is Today’s Immigration Policy “Conservative” or “Progressive”?

The quota concept originated with early modern progressives, who were huge believers in racial eugenics and social Darwinism. The infamous Dillingham Commission (1907-1910) authorized by Congress devoted entire volumes of their report to immigrants as charity seekers, criminals, and predicted immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe would never assimilate and become a vast underclass. Children of immigrants were often “retarded” according to the Dillingham Commission.

immigrants who refuse to learn English

Dillingham Immigration Commission – Retarded Children of foreign-born non-English speaking fathers.

I have read through several volumes of the Dillingham Commission Report, and one thing stands out: Southern and Eastern Europeans were smeared in the same manner as Hispanic immigrants are today. A vast permanent underclass was predicted by early modern progressives, but for some reason I’m not able to find a vast underclass of Southern and Eastern European descendants in America today, nor am I able to locate a large population of feeble minded Jews as predicted by 1924 National Origins Act architect Harry Laughlin. In fact, Jews are among the most successful demographics.

The blatantly racist per nation immigration quotas and bars to non-European immigration were eliminated in 1965, but the quota concept remains with us to this day, for both immigrants and guest workers.

Do quotas make sense? I think not! Immigration is driven by economics, and inflows should be driven by labor markets, not arbitrary quotas influenced by special interest groups (i.e. big labor). Critics of immigration reform point to America’s immigrant quota as largest in the world. However, as a percentage of population U.S. immigration inflows are #22 of 34 OECD nations. Canada admits 2-1/2 times as many immigrants; Switzerland and Germany five times as many, and tiny Luxembourg ten times as many immigrants, as a percentage of population. For some strange reason our demise as a nation is predicted if we accept more immigrants, but 21 other nations already accept more immigrants and don’t experience the dire consequences predicted for America.

Similar arguments were made by slavery proponents, that freeing the slaves would bankrupt the U.S. We freed the slaves and paid for a long civil war, but didn’t go bankrupt in the process.

Conservative Principles in Immigration Reform

Conservatives believe in limited government in free markets and limited government, but are current immigration policies consistent with conservative principles? I say emphatically not! The main features of today’s immigration policy are arbitrary quotas with no basis in free market capitalism, with massive government bureaucracies telling employers how many immigrants they can hire, how to recruit them, and even how much to pay. Some employers, particularly farmers, must deal with several big bureaucracies, with no assurance their harvesters arrive in time for harvest, and big fines for honest paperwork mistakes. Not surprisingly, farmers bitterly complain how difficult the system is to use, and less than 10% of farm ‘guest workers’ have visas.

Conservatives also believe in the ‘rule of law’ and conservatives are against amnesty, as amnesty by itself is a temporary solution. As a conservative, I am opposed to amnesty in and of itself, as that doesn’t address the underlying problem. In 1986 Congress passed immigration amnesty with some enforcement provisions which proved largely ineffective. Congress failed to follow up for many years on border security, and never followed up on guest workers. In effect, in 1986 Congress ‘kicked the can down the road’, making three million immigrants legal, without addressing the root causes of the problem.

Current immigration and guest worker quotas have no rationale in economic need. Historically whenever economic demand for immigrants and guest worker labor exceeds quotas, the result has always been widespread illegal immigration. This happened in the 1929s, again in the 1950s when a resurgent post war economy required more guest workers than the quota. We’ve often experienced illegal immigration since the braceros program was eliminated during the 1960s at the behest of big labor unions. Big labor continues to be a major obstacle to guest worker programs. We presently have 9-9.5 ‘guest workers’ of which 1.8 million have a work authorized visa. The balance would no doubt be happy to obtain a visa if those were available to them, but they’re not.

Immigration Reform and the Rule of Law

As a conservative, I support the ‘rule of law’, but I also recognize that enforcement alone cannot turn bad policy into good policy. If we lowered superhighway speed limits to 20 MPH to conserve gasoline we’d surely have enforcement problems! Then would we pour massive enforcement resources to stop speeding, or step back and recognize that policy and enforcement are intertwined, and sensible policies result in manageable enforcement? Or would we take an ‘enforcement first’ stance and massively enforce a 20 MPH speed limit until everyone stops speeding, before setting rational speed limits?

When guest worker visas are limited by arbitrary quotas to less than 20% of demand, we should not be surprised that many come here illegally seeking work. Obviously we’d like for everyone to enter the U.S. through the front door, but when that door has been broken for decades we should not be surprised that our ‘hired help’ enters through the back door or windows. It’s obvious that the best way to divert migrant workers from illegal channels to legal channels is with sensible guest worker programs.

It’s Time to Pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform

I’m not happy with all aspects of the gang of eight immigration reform. I’d rather see us get rid of quotas, perhaps implementing a tariff on guest worker wages payable by employers, to tile the table in favor of hiring Americans workers first. It’s easy to predict future waves of illegal immigration, when demand exceeds quota and Congress again fails to act, under pressure from big labor. Big labor has already been hard at work undermining guest worker reforms, for example limiting the number of guest worker visas in the construction industry. However, once housing rebounds, and the need for guest workers exceed quotas, we can expect unauthorized immigrants to fill that gap.

I’m also not keen about e-verify. The federal government has been trying to make e-verify work since 1996. E-Verify is a deeply flawed system. Unauthorized immigrants can readily circumvent e-verify by using a real person’s name and social security, with fake ID. As long as the name and social security number match, most will pass e-verify. U.S. citizens who are unlucky enough to be the subject of errors in government databases, and their employers, can expect to spend weeks dealing with mammoth bureaucracies to get errors fixed!

The gang of eight immigration reform plan calls for increased use of e-verify, and buried within the bill are provisions to incorporate biometrics into e-verify. Biometrics will make it much more difficult to circumvent e-verify, but many Americans will balk at providing biometric information such as fingerprints, DNA, etc., viewing it as the invasion of privacy it is. Another major annoyance will be exit controls for everyone leaving the country. Without capturing information about those leaving the U.S., the entry/exit tracking for visa overstayers cannot work. However, this will impose delays on all travelers exiting the U.S.

However, all-in-all, the gang of eight immigration reform plan would be a big improvement over the present situation. Eliminating quotas is not likely as long as progressives and their big labor backers are wedded to the notion of quotas, especially for guest workers. Guest worker programs would be streamlined, and guest worker visas would become portable. It may also be easier for Congress to act in the future with the most contentious issue – legalization – behind us. We should all back the gang of eight immigration reform plan, while also writing our elected representatives with suggestions for improvement.

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Bob Quasius is the founder and president of Cafe Con Leche Republicans.