“New Immigration Tone” – Not so New

An article in the September 9 Arizona Republic titled “Some in GOP Seek New Immigration Tone” is less than accurate.

The premise of this article is that up until now, advocates of adherence to immigration laws have focused on enforcement only. As a point of fact, they have been promoting enforcement first as opposed to enforcement only.

The primary reason for insisting on enforcement first is rooted in the amnesty experience of 1986. With the greatest intentions, Republicans, led by President Ronald Reagan, advocated and enacted an amnesty program with the understanding that immigration law/border enforcement would be a foregone conclusion. Sadly, the political will to deliver said enforcement quickly vanished and the porous border we currently suffer from is the legacy of successive failure of political will to enforce the law.

At no point has there been a single noteworthy political leader, Republican or Democrat, who has seriously advocated for an enforcement only approach. To that end, two noteworthy proposals have recently emerged which offer a truly visceral approach to the immigration woes facing our nation. One such effort is embodied in the immigration policy, developed by ALRA, which includes the following:

• Strategic Border Security Improvements (Completion of a Physical Border Fence and enhancement of border observation technology/personnel presence)
• Obligatory State and Municipal Adherence to Existing Immigration Laws
• A Pathway to Citizenship for Immigrant Armed Forces Personnel and their Nuclear Family members
• Implementation of a Universal Biometric ID for all Immigrants
• Establishment of a Temporary Foreign Labor Program
• Streamlining of the Visa Application Process

A second example is the immigration plank of the new GOP platform, as recently released by the Romney/Ryan Campaign, which addresses these issues in the same manner.

We welcome the Republican Party’s new found resolve to find solutions to stop illegal immigration. However, neither the solutions prescribed by Governor Romney or ALRA can be legitimately described as new.


In case you missed it, the PBS program “Arizona Week” had a special this week on the “Latino vote.” .To view Jose’s interview, unedited, click here.