Immigration Reform Must Mean Immigration Security

By Joe Gruters

The Boston bombings have shown again the critical security issues involved with our immigration policy, and the importance of knowing who is visiting our country and where they are.

This means starting with secure borders and enacting e-verify, and the fact is that our borders are not secure right now. People illegally cross back and forth by the millions. That is a blatant security problem that also is creating enormous financial burdens on Americans and visitors who are here legally, abiding by American laws and paying into the system.

It is both dangerous and it is unfair.

So we have great respect for Sen. Marco Rubio and what he is trying to accomplish with immigration reform. It clearly needs reforming. And he should get tremendous kudos for taking on such a politically dicey issue — one that is dividing his own party. He is showing leadership from the front, unlike the current White House occupant.

However, having said that, the bill remains flawed. Despite Sen. Rubio’s defenses of the triggers, when boiled down it appears to be amnesty-first. The most realistic future based on the duplicity of the last time we went through immigration “reform” in the 1980s is that Democrats will find a way to avoid the border security.

Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, writes that the bill calls for “an enforcement plan on paper and a commission to be named later.” A giant loophole.

“Under the bill, no additional enforcement has to take place before undocumented immigrants get legalized. The secretary of the Department of Homeland Security merely has to come up with a strategy for enforcement and notify Congress that it has commenced. It doesn’t matter if it is a good, bad, or indifferent plan, so long as it is a plan. Then, an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants get legal status.”

Now that legal status is not citizenship. And according to the bill right now, such citizenship would still require going through hoops. It’s not the blanket from the 1980s. But unfortunately, it does not take a prophet to predict how the Democrats will act. Sequestration has proven they are more interesting in winning than governing in the best interests of the American people.

Once the people here illegally are made to be here legally with the wave of a pen, Democrats will immediately begin to push to make them citizens. The Gang of Eight proposal is only legislation. It can be changed, modified or overturned.

So Democrats will pull at emotions to argue that we’ve got to allow these legal residents to have all the benefits available if they are paying into the system. And then they will argue that this country was built on a revolt against taxation without representation and that this will leave the people here legally in the position of paying taxes but not being able to vote — which will resonate with a lot of people. Therefore they must become citizens.

And we still won’t have border security.


There is only one chance with leverage on Democrats primarily seeking millions more Democrat voters. Any immigration reform must be based in factual reality, not the pieties of political correctness, and not in crass future political gains regardless of the consequences to the nation.

If it cannot be done with the security of the American people in mind first — and that means fully guarded borders — then it should not be done at all. As bad as the current situation is, it is better than any solution that involves giving legal status to the current crop of people here illegally before the borders are actually, physically secured.

Thanks for being informed and engaged.


Gingrich: An Immigration Debate Based On Reality

Today, Newt Gingrich published this very good op-ed on the immigration debate. I felt this was worth sharing in its entirety because of its depth.

By Newt Gingrich

Campaigning for president last year included the opportunity to participate in a number of memorable televised debates.

As I think about what the Republican Party must do to rebuild, a particular set of exchanges from these debates stick out as a lesson.

We, the candidates, were asked repeatedly what we would do with the 12 million illegal immigrants currently in the United States, “many of whom have been in this country a long time.”

I always laid out two critical pieces of any immigration solution: the urgent need to secure the border, and the creation of a guest worker program.

But it was also important to answer the real question with intellectual honesty.

There are 12 million people in this country who have come here illegally. It wasn’t our choice for this to happen, but their presence is a fact. So we must decide: Are we really going to deport all 12 million people, many of whom have deep ties here?

My position was that people who have come here recently, have no ties to this country, should go home. But the-size-fits-all deportation of 12 million people, without regard to their circumstances, would constitute a level of inhumanity the American people would never accept.

As I said in a Florida debate, “We as a nation are not going to walk into some family…and grab a grandmother out and then kick them out.”

In response to this call for discretion and humanity, while at the same time enforcing the law, several other candidates — including our party’s eventual nominee — had repeatedly accused me of amnesty.

At an earlier debate Governor Romney replied to my suggestion by saying, in essence, “Amnesty is a magnet…people respond to incentives. And if you can become a permanent resident of the United States by coming here illegally, you’ll do so.”

The Democratic National Committee actually cut an attack ad against Romney based on this very exchange, which you can see here.

The ad below was produced by the Democratic National Committee

It is difficult to understand how someone running for President of the United States, a country with more than 50 million Hispanic citizens, could fail to acknowledge that the American people should not take grandmothers who have been here 25 years, have deep family and community ties — and forcibly expel them.

When asked in a Florida debate if, in light of his criticism, his own immigration proposal would round up 12 million people and deport them, he replied, “Well, the answer is self-deportation.”

And we wonder why the Republican Party achieved historically low levels of support among Latinos in 2012?

As we study what happened last year, we’ve discovered the data support the intuition that this rhetoric can kill the Republican Party among Latinos.

An August 2011 Univision National Poll in collaboration with the Mellman Group and the Tarrance Group found that only about a third of likely Hispanic voters had an unfavorable impression of Governor Romney. Roughly a fifth had a favorable impression, a quarter weren’t sure, and the rest had never heard of him.

The poll showed that 41 percent of likely Hispanic voters were still persuadable — they were weak Obama supporters, or they were undecided or favored Romney. There was opportunity for Republicans.

An election eve poll of Latino voters found that a year later, only 14 percent thought Governor Romney “truly cares about Latinos.” 56 percent said he “does not care about Latinos,” and 18 percent said he is “hostile toward Latinos.” 66 percent, meanwhile, said President Obama “truly cares.”

When asked about Governor Romney’s statements on immigration, including specifically his claim that illegal immigrants would “self-deport,” 57 percent of Latino voters said it made them less enthusiastic about him. Only 7 percent said it made them more enthusiastic, meaning on that issue he was underwater by 50 points.

He went on to be defeated by wide margins among Latino voters.

In fact, if he had won even 36 percent of them, Governor Romney would be President Romney today.

I do not write this to single out Mitt Romney. He worked hard for a long time and his campaign was up against skilled opponents. But the sad fact is that the Republican Party for too long has failed to communicate to Latino Americans a positive vision for the future. Our slide among Asian Americans has been in the works for a generation.

I write this because as the current immigration debate heats up it is critical for us to recognize that words and attitudes really matter. Understanding what people hear matters. We may not mean to say what people hear we say. After decades in politics this is a lesson I have learned the hard way.

As a party, we simply cannot continue with immigration rhetoric that in 2012 became catastrophic — in large part because it was not grounded in reality.

Senator Marco Rubio has done an important service cutting through some of the baloney with the observation that what we have now is de facto amnesty. It is reality. The 12 million people are here, living and working. Many of them are bound together by the web of human relations — family, friends, neighbors — and the American people will not support mass deportation.

That is the reality — the starting point of the debate about what we, as a country, should do.

This does not mean we as Republicans should give up on our principles, or on the priority of securing the border.

It means we must recognize, as I tried to do in that primary debate, that politics is always an intersection of principles and people.

A party that appears to ignore people won’t get the chance to make the case for its principles — any of them.

You can sign-up for Newt’s emails directly.

Brittney Morrett on Rubio, Republicans and Immigration

Brittney Morrett has written what I consider to be a very good piece for The Guardian, regarding immigration, Republicans and Senator Marco Rubio.

Marco Rubio shows how Republicans can lead the immigration debate

In place of Obama’s broken promises, conservatives can offer immigrants a path to citizenship through economic opportunity

By Brittney Morrett

In 2008, Barack Obama sailed into the presidency on a wave of promises – most of which he didn’t keep. One was to reform immigration in a nod to the growing US Latino and Asian populations. To date, there haven’t been any significant steps toward immigration reform from President Obama. Sure, he told the masses on Inauguration Day that this term would be the term for immigration reform, but that sounded a lot like what he said in the first term.

Unfortunately for Obama, Senator Marco Rubio (Republican, Florida) is beating him to the punch. A favorite among conservatives, Senator Rubio is no longer dodging this hot potato issue and is tackling immigration reform head-on. On Monday, he released a concrete plan for immigration reform with a bipartisan group of seven other senators.

Instead of rolling out an innovative solution of his own on immigration, the president’s speech this week can be summed us as, “What Rubio said.” Now, we will truly see if the Obama administration intends to act.

The problem with immigration reform is two-fold. First, Democrats don’t want to reform immigration. If they did, they would have done so already. The party that pushed through the Affordable Care Act could have pushed immigration as well. Instead, liberals use it as an issue to dangle in front of Latino and Asian voters.

Second, Republicans are pointing to the rule of law, worrying that legalization would eventually lead to citizenship for those here illegally, which could be political suicide for the GOP. It’s a valid concern given that about 70% of Latinos and Asians voted Democrat in 2012. However, Republicans need to realize that deportation isn’t a viable solution for the estimated 12 million in the US illegally. Neither is ignoring the issue. (I dropped an unnecessary S from a word here. SP)

Republicans correctly want to secure the border first and foremost. Senator Rubio stated that he will not be part of a plan that does not secure the border – vital for national sovereignty and security. He also believes that those who broke the law should have to wait behind those legally in line, and pay fines and back taxes. These principles were woven into the “Gang of Eight” proposal.

Rubio is on the right track, and the GOP would do well to let him lead on this issue. Immigration is not a bad thing in itself, and it can improve a country’s competitive advantage if looked at, and tackled, from a free-market perspective. If immigration is reformed wisely, it could go a long way toward helping the struggling US economy.

Across the country, crops continue to go unpicked due to a farm labor shortage. A temporary worker program with a path to legal status for those who show self-reliance would solve this problem and boost the agricultural industry. This would legalize and legitimize the relationship between the private sector and immigrant labor.

Once immigrants are here legally, they can contribute to a stronger economy, as they have in the past. According to the Partnership for a New American Economy, immigrants or their children founded more than 40% of the Fortune 500 companies in 2010. That translates to more American jobs for American workers. Taking into account that 23 million Americans are currently out of work, this should be a selling-point for immigration reform.

Everyone should agree that the current system needs improvement, so that it becomes more efficient and promotes legal immigration. The number of visas available to those in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics should be raised. If Americans want the US to remain competitive in the global market, they should encourage skilled immigrants to come to America.

Conservatives can do well with this issue if they hammer home the economic benefits of immigration reform – and do so with engaging and understanding rhetoric. No one wants to argue against putting food on the tables of American families or expanding the private sector, because it’s a losing argument.

Liberty, independence, and prosperity are what conservatives want for everyone. That is what drew me to conservatism in the first place. Those values and principles are also what draw immigrants to America (as opposed to other countries). If conservatives learn how to communicate their principles to Latinos and other immigrant groups, it would go a long way toward reducing the hold Democrats have on those demographic groups. Leading on immigration reform is a chance to do just that.

This is the Republicans’ issue to tackle. They can soften their often misattributed “nativist” image while promoting market-driven solutions that would lead to a better and stronger America. Immigration can’t be ignored, nor can the wavering economy: immigration reform is a way to address both.

Marco Rubio: My Goals For Immigration Reform

US Senator Marco Rubio has written this op-ed for La Opinion. The op-ed was originally written in Spanish, and I have used a “translate” option in order to post this here. So, you will have to excuse what appear to be errors, blame it on the software translation.

La Opinion - GPH Consulting

Guest column

As a nation founded, built and made exceptional by immigrants and their descendants, Americans have a special appreciation for how important immigration has been throughout our history and recognize it as an indispensable part of our future.

In return, Americans have been welcoming of immigrants than any other nation. With more than 1 million people coming here legally every year to stay permanently, no other country even comes close.

Unfortunately, our immigration system is broken, and our dysfunctional Congress has been unable to launch a new legal immigration system that honors our heritage as a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws.

To accomplish this, we need to address three key areas: modernizing the legal immigration system, implementing real and effective mechanisms of enforcement, and create a human process and responsible for dealing with the 11 million undocumented immigrants, a process not be unfair to those who are waiting to get on the right track and that it encourages illegal immigration in the future.

First, we need a modern legal immigration system with implementation and enforcement of the law, which is based on cutting-edge technology to simplify the process to come and stay here legally. We need a guest worker program that allows us to bring agricultural workers both temporary and long-term to provide our farms, dairies, and other agricultural industries the number of workers needed.

Also we can not have a system that allows only get about 6.5 percent of our immigrants based on knowledge. We need visa programs to attract and retain more entrepreneurs, investors and highly skilled in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It makes no sense to educate and train these talented individuals in our universities and then send them back to their countries.

None of this should lead us to abandon or weaken immigration based on family. This is how my parents came legally to the United States, and as a lot of new Americans join our society every year.Family unification should remain a high priority, together with interest and economic needs of the nation.

If we fail to do this with the modernization of our immigration system, then no matter what we do with those who are here now, we will be back with millions of undocumented people in the future.

In addition to modernizing our legal immigration system, a second major area of ​​focus is to improve our ability to enforce our laws. In no nation on earth should be expected to ignore immigration laws, and we can not ignore. We achieve substantial progress for operational control of our borders, create an effective mechanism of enforcement in the workplace and find a way to ensure that visitors to our nation out of our country when they are supposed to do .

The third key area is not easy, how to treat undocumented immigrants already here. Like most Americans, I am concerned that we have millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States.

For those who have committed serious crimes in the United States, should be found, arrested and deported.

But most people who are undocumented are not dangerous criminals, but they are not victims.Knowingly violated our immigration laws and have no legal right to remain here. But they are also human beings, who took these decisions in pursuit of a dream that we would recognize as the American dream.

The best for our country is to address this problem in human form but responsible. One way to ensure this never happens again. This is not against the person who has the “right” to come and stay here illegally, but with or without documents, most of them are here to stay.

Can not round up 11 million people and deport them. Nor can we fix our broken immigration system if we continue to offer incentives for people to come here illegally – which is precisely the signal it would send a general amnesty or special new ways to gain citizenship.

But if we modernize our legal immigration system, secure the border and create an effective system of enforcement in the workplace, we can find a solution that protects our right to have our laws are respected in the future and that is fair for those who have come here the right way.

The first step should be to require that those who have not committed any serious crimes and have been assimilated into American culture, they have the opportunity to apply for nonimmigrant status temporarily. To receive this status will have to emerge from the shadows, admit having acted against the law, submit to a background check, pay taxes and a meaningful penalty for breaking our laws.And to maintain this status, should be kept clean criminal record, providing services to the community and demonstrate a command of the English language and U.S. civics.

In addition, they may not receive social assistance benefits, student aid or other federal public assistance we provide to legal immigrants.

They will have to remain in this status of nonimmigrant temporary for a significant period of time. But ultimately, it is a good idea to have millions of people trapped in a permanent immigration status is keeping them away from our society. Therefore, if and when our new measures of enforcement are working legally – should be allowed to apply for permanent status, not through a special path, but through the legal immigration process we imagine new and modernized. This means you will have to wait behind all those who applied before them legally. And when his turn comes, must meet the conditions of any visa request.

This will not be an easy road. In fact, it will be longer and more difficult than if they had chosen to respect our laws first. But legally allowed to live here, work and pay taxes while they wait.

In the past, efforts to accommodate illegal immigrants because the measures have failed to implement the law were never implemented. That is why this option to apply for a green card and get in line should not be available until it is certified that significant progress has been made to control the border and the federal government has implemented a workable employment verification and a system to ensure that our visitors do not stay longer than welcoming with their visas expired.

This is a good common sense approach will have enough support from across the political spectrum, because both parties would like to have a makeover. For those concerned about illegal immigration, what we have now is a de facto amnesty. For those seeking help undocumented families remain separated by deportations, while politicians are still arguing and trying to impress each other.

My hope is that President Obama will use his voice and influence to promote this measure. However, if what you offer is a process for undocumented immigrants to be more forgiving and faster than even most of the advocacy groups are calling for immigrant rights, that does not bode well for reform. It will be a clear sign that, instead of passing a law, he is more interested in a political victory that benefits Democrats. For the sake of our country and the millions of people affected by our broken immigration system, I hope the President show that is so serious about the problem as many of my colleagues and myself.

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What are your thoughts on what Senator Rubio had to offer? Leave a comment or Tweet us @GPHconsulting.

Marco Rubio WSJ Weekend Interview

Wall Street Journal

In case you have not seen it yet, Saturday’s Wall Street Journal features a very good interview with US Senator Marco Rubio.

A couple of segments are worth excerpting:

In terms of legislative strategy, Mr. Rubio says he would want to see “a comprehensive package of bills”—maybe four or five as opposed to one omnibus—move through Congress concurrently. He says other experience with “comprehensive” reform (ObamaCare, the recent debt deal) shows how bad policy easily sneaks into big bills. It would also offer a tempting big target for opponents. Other reformers think that only a comprehensive bill can address the toughest issues. “It’s not a line in the sand for me,” replies Mr. Rubio.

Not missing a chance to tweak the president, he says that Mr. Obama has “not done a thing” on reform and may prefer to keep it alive as an electoral winner for Democrats with Hispanics for years to come. But, then again, “maybe he’s interested in his legacy,” Mr. Rubio adds, and open to a deal. The president, he says, would need to bring over Big Labor and talk back the most ardent pro-immigration groups from “unrealistic” positions on citizenship for illegals.

Is immigration reform a magic bullet for the GOP’s troubles with Hispanic voters?

“No,” Mr. Rubio says, but “the immigration issue is a gateway issue for Hispanics, no doubt about it. No matter what your stance is on a number of other issues, if people somehow come to believe that you don’t like them or want them here, it’s difficult to get them to listen to anything else.”

He adds: “I think it’s the rhetoric by a handful of voices in the minority, but loud nonetheless, that have allowed the left to create an unfair perception that conservatives and Republicans are anti-Hispanic and anti-immigration, and we do have to overcome that.”

After two relatively quiet years in the Senate, Mr. Rubio is taking his first significant risk. Often mentioned in talk about a 2016 presidential run, he has decided to make immigration a signature issue.