There are No Amnesty Supporters in Republican Primaries

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) is facing a primary opponent, David Brat, who is challenging him on immigration. Cantor is fighting back by portraying himself as an anti-amnesty champion, like Renee Ellmers successfully did before him. Cantor, along with others in the GOP House leadership, began the year by endorsing amnesty for the bulk of the nation’s illegal aliens with the House’s “Standards for Immigration Reform.”

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That was January; this is May. Cantor’s campaign has now dropped a campaign flyer into GOP voter’s boxes spouting a very different message. This flyer is as anti-amnesty as it gets. It says: “Conservative Republican Eric Cantor is stopping the Obama-Reid Plan to give illegal aliens amnesty.” The flyer also brings attention to a Talkingpointsmemo.com headline which proclaims that “[Cantor]Torches Immigration Reform after Call with Obama,” a call that the White House described as “pleasant.”

Yet, only last month, Majority Leader Cantor pledged support for Jeff Denham’s military amnesty, the ENLIST Act, and reiterated this support last week. Cantor has also been working on his own version of the DREAM Act, which he has styled the “Kids Act,” since last year.

Interestingly, Majority Leader Cantor is also getting support from pro amnesty groups and pro amnesty lawmakers across the aisle in his contention that he has been a major obstacle for passing amnesty. Frank Sharry, director of the amnesty lobbying group America’s Voice, said last week: “Eric Cantor is the No. 1 guy standing between the American people and immigration reform.”

cantor_rallyOn Sunday, the pro-amnesty group Casa di Virginia sent protestors to storm Rep. Cantor’s Arlington Virginia condo, again calling him “the one man blocking immigration reform.” Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), who last year went on a tour with Rep. Cantor in New York City in support of passing bipartisan immigration legislation, sent out a press release through Casa di Virginia stating that he would hold a rally on May 28 in Virginia’s capitol to call attention to the “particularly important role” of Rep. Cantor in immigration.

But is it Eric Cantor standing in the way of amnesty, or Eric Cantor’s primary? We’ll know on June 10th.

The (Il)logic of Open-Border Libertarians

libertarianchartAs more and more Americans, especially younger Americans, reject the politics of the two dominant parties, libertarianism is attracting more adherents. Concurrently, there is a movement by D.C. special interest groups to co-opt libertarianism to advance their narrow political agenda. This is amply demonstrated by the false claim by self-proclaimed libertarians that support for open borders is an essential part of the movement. That is simply untrue.

A new essay by FAIR debunks these claims, exposes the fallacious reasoning in support of open borders, and examines in detail why the arguments of open-border libertarians fail to comport with reality.

Read the new publication here: http://www.fairus.org/issue/the-il-logic-of-open-border-libertarians

Histrionic Response to A Candidate Pledge

Open borders self-styled conservatives have been provoked into action by the FAIR Congressional Task Force pledge for political candidates calling on them to foreswear amnesty for illegal aliens and increases in immigration and guest workers. One of the first to attack the pledge was Grover Norquist, who apparently thinks he holds a patent on pledges because of his anti-tax increase pledge. Another salvo was aimed at the Task Force pledge on May 14 by Alex Nowrasteh.

The desperation of opponents to discredit of the pledge is obvious in this latest attack. Rather than arguing the pledge on its merit, the attack is an effort to confuse the issue by deliberately mischaracterizing it. Nowrasteh writes, “The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) has sponsored a pledge for political candidates to oppose legal immigration as well as amnesty for unauthorized immigrants.” That is false. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to understand the difference between opposing legal immigration and opposing an increase to legal immigration, which currently is at a level of more than one million new immigrants per year.

Having mischaracterized the pledge, Nowrasteh, rambles on about U.S. immigration history. But all of his rambling is meaningless because it is based on his mischaracterization of the pledge against an increase.

Anyone who wants to understand better the issue of the level of immigration should revisit the recommendations of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform led by the distinguished legislator and law school professor, Barbara Jordan. The USCIR recommended near unanimously that legal immigration should be restructured and reduced to a base level of 550,000 per year. No one at the time of that recommendation had the temerity to use that recommendation to challenge Jordan’s adherence to the nation’s openness to immigration the way that FAIR Congressional Task Force’s more modest pledge is being attacked.

Tuesday’s Elections Show The Power Of Money, Not The Appeal Of Amnesty

Ellmers Rescued by Pro-Amnesty Zuckerberg GroupWhile open borders lobby groups like Bibles, Badges and Business, are rushing to claim that Tuesday’s primary results show that amnesty is a “winning” issue, in truth the results show only that amnesty is well funded, not popular. Which we already knew! While these amnesty proponents brag that incumbents like pro-amnesty Rep. Renee Ellmers “won decisively while running on a pro-immigration stance,” in fact wins like hers, given the context, were neither decisively won nor based on an honest portrayal of her real stance on immigration. Rep. Ellmers, with all the power of incumbency and a campaign chest of $1 million, proved unable to get 60% of the vote against her challenger Frank Roche, who ran against her with a mere $23,000. With a financial advantage of over 43 to 1, such results do not constitute a decisive win.

Furthermore, Rep. Ellmers did not run on her actual position on immigration. The supposedly “conservative” arm of amnesty proponent Mark Zuckerberg’s Fwd.us, “Americans for a Conservative Direction” also spent at least $150,000 airing ads on television claiming that Rep. Ellmers is “working hard to secure the border and fix our broken immigration system once and for all.  No amnesty, period.” Unfortunately, for unsuspecting voters who just haven’t heard how to decode amnesty speak, the words “No amnesty, period,” often do convey the false but understandable idea that the candidate does not intend to reward virtually all illegal aliens with legalization.

Open borders lobbyists perpetually claim that Americans widely support amnesty.  But for years, going back at least to President George W. Bush, they have refused to call amnesty by its name. If amnesty were actually popular, there’d be no need for code words.

Libertarian Advocacy for Eliminating Penalties Against Illegal Aliens

Writing for the libertarian CATO institute, Alex Nowrasteh wrote on April 23, “Removing the 3/10 Year Bars Is Not Amnesty.” He advocated the elimination of the penalty adopted in 1996 that required an alien who stayed illegally in the U.S. to remain outside the country for a period of three to ten years – the greater penalty for illegal residents for more than one year – before being eligible to legally return.

His argument for eliminating the penalty was that it has led to a major drop in the voluntary departure of illegal aliens, and, he adds, is one reason the number of illegal alien residents soared. He reasons that the adoption of an enhanced enforcement measure had the effect of increasing the illegal alien population.

That argument is not credible if it is put in context. That context is a major strengthening of enforcement against illegal immigration on the southern border. This resulted from a major increase in Border Patrol staffing, fencing, technological upgrades, and other measures. The resulting difficulty in successfully entering the country across that border resulted in an increased reliance upon alien smugglers to guide illegal entrants. And, that meant smuggling fees that increased with the increasing difficulty in breaching he border.

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For that reason, illegal residents became increasingly loathe to return to their home countries for visits. That was not the only reason, however. At the same time, the network of formerly illegal aliens granted amnesty in 1986 and subsequent measures tended to spread out from traditional rural agricultural jobs to find new jobs in construction and services away from the border. From there they sent messages to their friends and relatives abroad that jobs were easy to find with inexpensive fake identity cards. When coming to those new job opportunities, the illegal aliens were more inclined to bring family members with them.

These two factors are sufficient to explain the rise in the illegal alien population without any recourse to the contrived argument that the rise was due to the three to ten year penalty for illegal residence. Of course, the CATO Institute is a champion of amnesty for illegal aliens, so it is not surprising that it would endorse measures that chip away at enforcement measures and would result in a greater ability for illegal aliens to take advantage of a backdoor route to legal residence.

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