[They] generally respect the work ethic and economic contributions of new immigrants.This demographic, which Armey portrays as the new silent majority, is pretty elusive. That is, unless he is referring specifically to the small minority of immigrants who are more productive than the average native, but he in no ways specifies this so the assumption has to be that Armey is talking about immigrants on the whole. The polls I've seen consistently show that Americans across the political spectrum want tougher immigration enforcement and less total immigration. A thorough Zogby poll in May of this year reported these findings:
- On immigration generally, Americans want less, not more, immigration. Only 26 percent said immigrants were assimilating fine and that immigration should continue at current levels, compared to 67 percent who said immigration should be reduced so we can assimilate those already here. ...The more conservative the respondent considered himself, the more likely he was to favor a reduction in immigration. Those self-describing themselves as "very conservative" favored less immigration to current levels at a ratio of over 7-to-1. For "conservative" it's a little over 7-to-2. Even "liberals" favor less immigration by 2-to-1. Only "progressives" slightly favor current levels--51% to 43%. I wonder how these pocketbook conservatives describe themselves ideologically?
- One reason the public does not like legalizations is that they are skeptical of need for illegal-immigrant labor. An overwhelming majority of 74 percent said there are plenty of Americans to fill low-wage jobs if employers pay more and treat workers better; just 15 percent said there are not enough Americans for such jobs.
They're probably a relatively wealthy subgroup, as is the WSJ's readership. For people with annual incomes of $75,000 or more, less immigration was still favored by a margin of 2-to-1. Despite the WSJ, the financial press is hardly unanimous in its advocation of unfettered immigration--Investor's Business Daily, for example, has been a leading voice in favor of immigration reform.
After creating a vague demographic and describing it in a way that doesn't mesh with reality, Armey launches invectively into the sovereignty crowd:
Even more embarrassing is Tom Tancredo and his hot, hateful rhetoric against immigrants. Such demagoguery feeds the worst instincts of nativists and blocks a serious solution to our nation's border security problems. Reagan, conversely, understood that America is a country of immigrants, and he famously demanded that big government's walls be torn down.Reagan's 1986 amnesty was just grande, huh Dick? This paragraph is everything it accuses Tom Tancredo, who spends half his time trying to assure people that he's not a 'hater' or a 'racist', of being. The blatant inaccuracies Armey's piece contains, as shown earlier, feed into the worst instincts of the open borders crowd, and his smearing of Tancredo epitomizes hateful demagoguery. Meanwhile, he offers not even a sentence toward solving our border security problems in his 1,040 word piece.
Does Armey not realize that the illegal immigrant deluge costs the government more than it contributes in revenue by over $10 billion a year? Or that the disastrous Senate immigration bill would cost a staggering $200-plus billion over the next ten years, according to the CBO? These immigrants are guarators of a larger government, not a smaller one, with the economic shortfall having to be picked up by the net taxpayer. While 24.5% of immigrant households utilize at least one welfare program, only 16.3% of natives do. And the Hispanic deluge is more fatalistic than natives in accepting as inevitable the corruption and largess of government (not surprising given the governmental situations in the countries they come from). Legalizing these immigrants with amnesty would be even more costly. Then there are all the other externalities like increased pollution, crime, disease, and cultural balkanization to be suffered. Doesn't sound like a great deal for pocketbook conservatives to me.
Win or lose, if Republicans hope to maintain the political support of a voting majority in the future, they will need to rediscover their fiscally conservative roots, and govern accordingly.Increasing the number and proportion of ethnic minorities concentrated in urban areas who are less educated, more impoverished, more criminally prone, and more likely to use government benefit programs than natives doesn't strike me as the best method of governing in a 'fiscally conservative' way. Nor does increasing the size of a segment that so perfectly fits the profile of a Democratic Party voting stalwart sound like the best way for the GOP to retain a voting majority.