Are Asians and Hispanics Really Just a Fifth Column for Big Government?

 

I don’t know, really, whether it would be good or bad politically for Republicans to tackle immigration reform this year. Some say it would be divisive and distract from the party’s Obamacare critique. Others argue that waiting would inject the issue into the 2016 GOP presidential race.

Generally, however, I am in favor of implementing good policy ideas ASAP. And reform that would legalize undocumented workers and create a more-skills based system would be a big net plus economically. (Timing-wise, as Reihan Salam argues, passing a jobs act for the long-term unemployed might be of higher priority.)

Columnist Ann Coulter apparently doesn’t want that sort of immigration reform today, tomorrow, or ever. But’s it’s not just a piece of legislation she’s against. Coulter is pretty much dubious of all immigration, full stop.

Immigrants — all immigrants — have always been the bulwark of the Democratic Party.  … This is not a secret. For at least a century, there’s never been a period when a majority of immigrants weren’t Democrats. … The two largest immigrant groups, Hispanics and Asians, have little in common economically, culturally or historically. But they both overwhelmingly support big government, Obamacare, affirmative action and gun control. … At the current accelerated rate of immigration — 1.1 million new immigrants every year — Republicans will be a fringe party in about a decade … why on Earth are they bringing in people sworn to their political destruction?

1.)  Of the 11 million illegal aliens, only 80% are Latino, and only 40% or so might actual seek citizenship. And probably less than half of those will vote. So amnesty might provide Dems with an additional 1 million votes. How would amnesty have played out in the 2012 election? Sean Trende: “Using these numbers, not a single state would have cast its votes for the electors of a different candidate in 2012. In fact, in 28 states, the president’s margin would have increased by just a half-point or less.”

2.) I have been worried that fears of a further influx of unskilled Hispanic labor would metastasize into undifferentiated restrictionism. Well, here we are. So now (some) conservatives don’t want the brainiacs, either? According to a Harvard study, immigrants generally account for about a quarter of the US workforce engaged in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.What’s more, according to Pia Orrenius of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, immigrants accounted for well over 50% of the growth in employment in STEM-related fields between 2003 and 2008. So we want those foreign PhDs only if they are big 2nd Amendment supporters?

3.) Such a static way of viewing the world. Maybe Republicans will always have electoral problems with low-income immigrants. But can’t Republicans improve their showing with them — not to mention those Hispanics and Asians natives and immigrants in the middle and upper class — with the same set of pro-growth, pro-mobility policies that might appeal to all Americans? A CBS News report earlier this year points out that Hispanic households earning more than $100,000 were actually more likely to call themselves Republicans than Democrats, but warns that “if over the long term Hispanic voters see a distinction between the parties based more heavily through the lens of group attachments, economics matters less” Republicans won’t be able to make much progress.

And that scenario seems far more likely to happen if Republicans treat Hispanics and Asians as a fifth column for Big Government rather than voters to be persuaded by policies that appeal to their concerns and by politicians who see them more than just a category in a poll’s crosstabs.

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  1. Profile Photo Member
    @

    I wonder if you are accounting for the skill the left has in data mining and tailoring its message down to the smallest residential block in the zip code. As they harden racial divisions in this country, it will find a way to bump up that 20% you mention would develop an interest in voting enough to make a difference.

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Member
    @DuaneOyen

    Roger Simon reiterates Peter Skerry’s view, and it makes sense. 

    “Amnesty”, which is inevitable in some form because we have de facto amnesty right now, is not one idea, it is many different approaches to a real problem.  And we do not have to create 10 million new lefty citizens.

    • #2
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    @Ekosj

    Imagine that you host an annual holiday open-house in your home. Food and drink and festivity. Everyone is welcome. All you ask is that your guests knock at your door, greet you politely, shake your hand and introduce themselves. Your affair is very popular. So popular in fact that there is frequently a line on your walkway patiently waiting their turn to enter. How do you feel, then, about a group of people who, instead of adhering to your simple rules, hop your fence, let themselves in your back door and help themselves to the contents of your refrigerator? My reaction would be to tell this group that they had abused my hospitality, disrespected my home, shown contempt for those waiting entry out front, and I’d ask them to leave. And rightly so.

    • #3
  4. Profile Photo Inactive
    @OmidMoghadam

    After Obamacare I would like to make a suggestion for the law makers to avoid any legislative action that starts with “Comprehensive” in it’s title. These are very complex issues and smaller approaches would work best. If no visa for ‘braniacs’ is the issue, then let’s work on that first. However, having spent many years in the STEM field, the large employers use the H1-B visa to supress salaries for other employees.

    • #4
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    @mikesixes

    Coulter is pretty extreme. But you are doing exactly what the Democrats are doing, and equating opposition to amnesty for illegal aliens to opposition to all immigration. You’re picking the most extreme example from the anti-amnesty side and arguing as if the most extreme position is the only opposition to amnesty. So, ya think there are a lot of high-skill STEM types in the illegal cohort? I don’t, and therefore I don’t think the H1B question has anything to do with this discussion.

     Maybe we should permit more immigration. Maybe we should permit less. But people who sneaked in aren’t immigrants, they’re trespassers.  They don’t deserve amnesty and they should never be allowed to vote.

    • #5
  6. Profile Photo Inactive
    @PettyBoozswha

    I would love to see Mark Krikorian fisk this posting. You point out only 80% of illegal immigrants are Latino, and only 40% of them seek citizenship, [how do they seek citizenship and vote if they’re illegal?] yet you neglect to say the second generation of Latino’s overwhelmingly absorb the most destructive  aspects of underclass culture and even to the fourth generation create a drag on the median attainment in education,  labor force participation, etc. Yet we bend over backward to appease these folks while we put a thumb in the eye of every would be emigrant that could contribute skills or who, like East Asians or East Indians, show phenomenal aptitudes to adapt and aspire to improving our human capital.  Those of us who are opposed to let-er-rip immigration  are constantly portrayed as Mr. Potter in It’s a Wonderful Life, while the valiant heroes defend the downtrodden. But life is not a Frank Capra movie, and we should quit addressing this issue as if it is.  

    • #6
  7. Profile Photo Member
    @Franco

    It’s always fun to see the elite money people argue for “good policy ideas”. 

    “Coulter is pretty much dubious of all immigration, full stop.” 

    Taking Coulter out of context here.  She was merely making a point about all immigrants based on statistics, rebutting the arguments made by the Crony Capitalist wing of the GOP who explain to the unwashed that these new immigrants are ripe for conversion. She was not, as you imply, making any argument that legal immigration should be curtailed. 

    You “don’t know” whether it would be good or bad politically for Republicans? You admit such ignorance of basic politics publicly?

    Waiting would not “inject” the issue into the 2016 elections, and if it is an issue then, it will do well for Republicans to continue to hold the line because that is the popular position. The popular position is to start enforcing existing laws. That’s all that needs to be done right now (meaning the next 5-10 years) Only the CoC are clamoring for action, along with Democrats and La Raza.

    Besides, passing the bill now won’t mean the end of the issue. On the contrary it will become even more heated.

    • #7
  8. Profile Photo Member
    @Franco

    Highly annoying is your conflation of the term ‘immigrants’, and the issue, which is about illegal immigrants. Are you not arguing in good faith? Or are you just  sloppy? “..immigrants accounted for well over 50% of the growth in employment…” Great. We have legal immigration and it is those people to which the study refers. That’s not the argument. No one, not  Coulter and no conservative I know is arguing that we shouldn’t have immigrants, or that legal immigrants aren’t a net plus for America. 

    It’s fun also to see how you cite studies that you think bolster your case, as though we will be impressed. Harvard Study Dallas Federal Reserve…

    1) Where do you get these numbers? 11 million illegals? Many say there are twice that. Besides, with chain migration and continued casual border enforcement along with a mad rush to make it here before the deadline, I’d say it will be at least double that, maybe triple. 40% or so might seek citizenship. Really? How do you figure that? Less than half won’t vote? Another unsubstantiated claim. And what about the next elections? Have you no abilty to project into the future?

    • #8
  9. Profile Photo Inactive
    @MikeK
    mikesixes: Coulter is pretty extreme. But you are doing exactly what the Democrats are doing, and equating opposition to amnesty for illegal aliens to opposition to all immigration. You’re picking the most extreme example from the anti-amnesty side and arguing as if the most extreme position is the only opposition to amnesty. So, ya think there are a lot of high-skill STEM types in the illegal cohort? I don’t, and therefore I don’t think the H1B question has anything to do with this discussion.

     Maybe we should permit more immigration. Maybe we should permit less. But people who sneaked in aren’t immigrants, they’re trespassers.  They don’t deserve amnesty and they should never be allowed to vote. · 55 minutes ago

    I am in favor of increasing the number of LEGAL immigrants that have been barred by Senator Kennedy’s ban on European immigrants. The idea that illegal Mexican immigrants are potential STEM students is ludicrous. I have spent years reviewing workers comp claims. A high percentage are Mexican illegals and the majority (a big majority) of them are illiterate. They are illiterate in Spanish for God’s sake !

    • #9
  10. Profile Photo Member
    @Franco

    This is James Pethokoukis telling us how our eyes aren’t seeing what they see, how our political instincts are wrong because of Harvard studies, CBS news reports, and plenty of figure fudging and baseless assertions. How a group that historically votes for Democrats -and increasingly so, will magically be converted as long as we stop treating them like a Fifth Column (Really , quite a reference!) and implying we are racists and xenophobes because we believe our borders and our citizenship are worth something more than some near-term economic gains which most of us won’t see anyway is a nice try, but fails miserably. Who do you think your audience is?  This post is insulting not just my intelligence but my basic senses as a conscious human being.  

    • #10
  11. Profile Photo Contributor
    @FrankSoto

    We’re gonna need a bigger comment section…

    • #11
  12. Profile Photo Inactive
    @flownover

    Get rid of those accepting low wages, force the employers back into the marketplace to find replacements and the unemployment numbers improve, the household families strengthen, the tax revenues increase, and we can really take advantage of the new energy picture. Then get hard nosed with China , have a trade war and bring back manufacturing to the country . A little tweaking of the welfare regs back to Clinton-era workfare and pretty soon the welfare numbers start dwindling. Gee this is easy.

    Oh wait, the NYT thinks we need to be France. We are going to need alot of those clunkers to line the streets so they can burn them nightly. 

    No respect for the law, no respect for the country. Without enforcement of the rules , it’s just economic terrorism in a cute package.

    • #12
  13. Profile Photo Contributor
    @FrankSoto

    I’m going to have to respond to these points one at a time, because there is too much to refute in 200 words.

    James Pethokoukis: 

    1.)   How would amnesty have played out in the 2012 election? Sean Trende: “Using these numbers, not a single state would have cast its votes for the electors of a different candidate in 2012. 

    Obviously in an election where the democrats won nearly every close state, there would be no change in the results when a small advantage is given to them.  

    James Pethokoukis: 

    1.)  In fact, in 28 states, the president’s margin would have increased by just a half-point or less.

    So in the other 22 states, the margin increased by more than a half-percent didn’t it?

     Not to mention that Latinos have higher fertility rates, which means the next generation will grow substantially, making the problem worse.

    • #13
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    @BruceHendricksen

    In the short term, an amnesty bill supported by the Republicans will result in lower turnout by the base for 2014 elections, IMHO.  In the long term, it probably doesn’t matter. With birthright citizenship, most of those children of illegals will be voting Democrat soon anyway.

    • #14
  15. Profile Photo Member
    @kylez

    Only 80 % are Latino. 

    • #15
  16. Profile Photo Inactive
    @NickStuart

    Yeah, what the heck. Why not pass immigration “reform,” throw open the borders, set up another massive cluster-up, rely on Barack Obama to enforce parts of the law he doesn’t like (ROTFLMAO), promise enforcement again (ROTFLMAO), and get the additional benefit of infuriating the “base” and motivating them to stay home in droves on election day (you know, those mouth breathing, knuckledraggers that put the GOP in control of the house in 2010)?

    What could go wrong?

    • #16
  17. Profile Photo Contributor
    @FrankSoto
    James Pethokoukis:

    2.) I have been worried that fears of a further influx of unskilled Hispanic labor would metastasize into undifferentiated restrictionism. Well, here we are. So now (some) conservatives don’t want the brainiacs, either? According to a Harvard study, immigrants generally account for about a quarter of the US workforce engaged in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.What’s more, according to Pia Orrenius of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, immigrants accounted for well over 50% of the growth in employment in STEM-related fields between 2003 and 2008. So we want those foreign PhDs only if they are big 2nd Amendment supporters?

    This entire paragraph is hooey.   We are talking about amnesty for illegal immigrants, and you site the usefulness of high skilled legal immigrants.  I must have missed the wave of doctors and scientists who crossed the border illegally.  

    I don’t care that you can find a handful of people who oppose even legal immigration of high skilled workers, they don’t represent any significant cross section of conservatism.  This entire paragraph of yours is a distraction.

    • #17
  18. Profile Photo Contributor
    @FrankSoto
    James Pethokoukis: 

    3.) Such a static way of viewing the world. Maybe Republicans will always have electoral problems with low-income immigrants. But can’t Republicans improve their showing with them — not to mention those Hispanics and Asians natives and immigrants in the middle and upper class — with the same set of pro-growth, pro-mobility policies that might appeal to all Americans? A CBS News report earlier this year points out that Hispanic households earning more than $100,000 were actually more likely to call themselves Republicans than Democrats, but warns that “if over the long term Hispanic voters see a distinction between the parties based more heavily through the lens of group attachments, economics matters less” Republicans won’t be able to make much progress.

    How do you explain that the Reagan amnesty did nothing to help the Republican party with the Hispanic vote?  Why should we expect this one to be different?  

    • #18
  19. Profile Photo Member
    @WICon

    Man, there is a stink blowing off AEI lately.

    • #19
  20. Profile Photo Member
    @TFiks

    It’s hard to be objective about immigration, East Indian, Mexican, or other, when my son, who was a National Merit Scholar and last year graduated with a B.S in applied math, can’t find a job better than tutoring secondary school math students.

    I’m pretty bitter.

    • #20
  21. Profile Photo Inactive
    @BrentB67
    Bruce Hendricksen: In the short term, an amnesty bill supported by the Republicans will result in lower turnout by the base for 2014 elections, IMHO.  …

    I think that is a good opinion and a key reason why we will be seeing Speaker Pelosi again soon.

    • #21
  22. Profile Photo Inactive
    @user_161539
     Sean Trende: “Using these numbers, not a single state would have cast its votes for the electors of a different candidate in 2012.

    That’s just the problem.  We need several states to cast their votes for the electors of a different candidate than in 2012, and this does not help us:

    “In fact, in 28 states, the president’s margin would have increased by just a half-point or less. Many of the important swing states are in this category: Obama’s margin would increase by 0.2 percent in Ohio, New Hampshire, Missouri and Minnesota, 0.3 percent in Michigan and Wisconsin, 0.4 percent in Iowa, and 0.5 percent in Virginia.”

    • #22
  23. Profile Photo Member
    @

    Who let the Birchers out?

    Not exactly an uplifting or even much of a civil discussion in response to Pethokoukis. Recall that his parents are immigrants, so he’s got a lot of nuance and personal experience wrapped up in the issue.

    Anyway, the comments are what I expected as a response. Conservatives do not believe in their own principles enough that they think they can persuade those not already persuaded of their position. The low-growth or no-growth economy has changed horizons, with folks both left and right treating the pie as not growing but as fixed, meaning the slices only get thinner with the more people added. Those lowered economic expectations have transformed into lowered political expectations, as we’ve seen here.

    I’m all for a phasing in of existing illegal immigrants into legal residence, since I believe anyone can be persuaded of the rightness of conservative principles. If they’re going to get amnesty, I would want the GOP standing outside their door the next morning ready to ask them what issues matter to them with local party leaders ready to explain how a small government provides greater individual liberty for personal and community success.

    • #23
  24. Profile Photo Inactive
    @CrowsNest

    Frank’s doing a bang up job of picking this apart, so I’m just going to sit back and watch.

    • #24
  25. Profile Photo Member
    @

    One of the biggest problems facing new immigrants is the lack of civil society organizations that can integrate them into civic life, which normally results in new residents experiencing America either through government institutions (welfare, schools, police) or not at all. Some evangelical and Catholic churches try to do their part, but many illegal immigrants do not even attend these, since the uprootedness has disrupted the lives they may be used to living (some Hispanic immigrants are often just moving from one bad situation to the next, making it all the more important to reach out).

    The instinct to withdrawal and condemn illegal immigrants shows a lack of charity. If you want to ensure that immigrants do not become dependent on the state, offer them an alternative through assisting their joining the community groups, working on their individuals skills, and getting their kids educated. If the immigrants cannot read, why not teach them? Or should we condemn to illiteracy because we fear their numbers?

    Again, conservatives, o ye of little faith!

    • #25
  26. Profile Photo Member
    @Franco
    Owl of Minerva: Who let the Birchers out?

    Not exactly an uplifting or even much of a civil discussion in response to Pethokoukis. Recall that his parents are immigrants, so he’s got a lot of nuance and personal experience wrapped up in the issue.

    The post is insulting therefore it deserves to be treated as such. And you are insulting too with your Bircher reference. So let the insults continue. Having immigrant parents is meaningless .I’m assuming they were legal immigrants, therefore your statement that he has ‘nuance’ is irrelevant. My grandparents were immigrants. I like immigrants. Greeks and all, even if they are (or aren’t as is the case here) bearing gifts. I just don’t like to be snowed and spun by someone who obviously thinks Ricos are generally stupid and will fall for this, um,  persuasive essay that might get a B from a lefty professor.

    • #26
  27. Profile Photo Contributor
    @FrankSoto
    Owl of Minerva:  If the immigrants cannot read, why not teach them? Or should we condemn to illiteracy because we fear their numbers?

    United States schools are legally required to educated children who are in the country illegally.  Try again.

    • #27
  28. Profile Photo Contributor
    @FrankSoto
    Owl of Minerva: Who let the Birchers out?

    Not exactly an uplifting or even much of a civil discussion in response to Pethokoukis. Recall that his parents are immigrants, so he’s got a lot of nuance and personal experience wrapped up in the issue.

    Plenty of us have parents who were immigrants.  This gives us no more an innate ability to discern truth than anyone else.

    And condescension is dripping from your comments.  You might ease off that in future responses.

    • #28
  29. Profile Photo Inactive
    @BrentB67
    Frank Soto

    James Pethokoukis:

    2.) I have been worried that fears of a further influx of unskilled Hispanic labor would metastasize into undifferentiated restrictionism. Well, here we are. So now (some) conservatives don’t want the brainiacs, either? According to a Harvard study, immigrants generally account for about a quarter of the US workforce engaged in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.What’s more, according to Pia Orrenius of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, immigrants accounted for well over 50% of the growth in employment in STEM-related fields between 2003 and 2008. So we want those foreign PhDs only if they are big 2nd Amendment supporters?

    This entire paragraph is hooey.   We are talking about amnesty for illegal immigrants, and you site the usefulness of high skilled legal immigrants.  I must have missed the wave of doctors and scientists who crossed the border illegally.  

    I don’t care that you can find a handful of people who oppose even legal immigration of high skilled workers, they don’t represent any significant cross section of conservatism.  This entire paragraph of yours is a distraction. · 27 minutes ago

    Concur with Frank wholeheartedly. 

    • #29
  30. Profile Photo Inactive
    @MikeLaRoche

    Favoring increased border security and believing the federal government should prioritize the needs of citizens over illegal aliens hardly makes me a “Bircher”.

    • #30
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