Despite the public black eye the Trump administration received over following the law and separating families at the border exactly as Obama had done only on a larger scale, one certainty remains that could backfire on Democrats in November:
Americans want the borders secured and controlled and an end to some of the worst policies, such as chain migration, diversity lottery, sanctuary cities and drivers licenses for illegal aliens. They strongly oppose what has become the operative Democratic position: illegals-first.
This is an overall winning issue for Republicans on the merits alone — a secure border is necessary for the proper and safe operations of a free country. We are rightly generous in our asylum laws because we are the safe port for the world. But we should not be generous with liars and lawbreakers sneaking in to the country.
This is a winning issue politically, too. Because it is not hard for Americans to look past the obstructionist media — with a little help — to see that Democrats always side with illegal immigrants over Americans and legal immigrants. Always. Democrats will and do prioritize energy, money and political capital for illegals at the expense of Americans every time. Every. Time. This is, in operation, an illegals-first policy.
This knee-jerk pro-illegal immigrant position materially damages the American working poor and minorities the most — supposedly the groups benefiting from their loyal Democratic patronage. Yet Democrats prioritize illegals anyway. And secondarily, all American taxpayers are also hurt. Who wins? Big business and select Democrats in deep blue areas. This is a terrible dynamic for Democrats and therefore a strong one for Republicans.
Republicans should run hard on border control and legal immigration that can only be debated after the border is secure. That combination resonates with Americans. Republicans need to be strongly proactive on legal immigration — it is vital to include that word in all campaigns because Americans are sympathetic to immigration conceptually, but not to illegal immigration.
Naturally, Democrats may help Republicans with that. Democrat-connected, well-funded professional protest organizations are ginned up for more outrage campaigns and protests over splitting up children and parents at the border, tugging at American heartstrings to feed their own raging hatred of President Trump.
Verbally or physically threatening and attacking Sarah Huckabee Sanders, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi in recent days is exactly the how the reactionary Left pushes voters into the Trump/Republican camp. Their antics are a turn-off to mainstream voters, even if those voters are unaware that Obama did the same thing.
A Harvard Harris Poll in January found that even when a government shutdown was looming — and government shutdowns are unpopular — Americans supported Trump’s three main positions for a border wall: strict limits to the chain of family migration; an end to the nonsensical Diversity Visa Lottery program; and a dramatic cut by almost two-thirds to legal immigration from 1.3 million currently to 500,000.
A more recent Gallup poll found that about 80 percent of Republicans remain “somewhat dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied” with current legal immigration levels, and a surprising one in four Democrats do, also.
If Americans feel that strongly about legal immigration, it is not hard to see their general animosity toward illegal immigration. It’s just that Americans are big-hearted and when they see people struggling, and families separated and general hardship, they want to mitigate that situation. It’s an excellent and fairly unique national instinct. But they overall think we have been on the wrong immigration track for a long time.
Here are the big picture policies that are winners for Republicans in November:
➜ Secure the border so that we can compassionately handle the small number of families coming with legitimate asylum issues;
➜ End chain migration for families that opens the door for virtually limitless legal immigration based on initial illegal immigration;
➜ End the Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery program where immigration applicants are chosen at random to jump to the front of the line to come to America — regardless of the merits of their need or what they bring to the country.
And these are the immigration issues on which Republicans can successfully put Democrats on the defensive:
➜ Sanctuary cities
➜ Drivers licenses for illegal aliens
➜ In-state tuition for illegal aliens
➜ Voter ID based only on drivers licenses
➜ Opposition to English only
All Republicans really need to do is remain (or become) strong on legal immigration and border enforcement issues and allow Democrats to turn off voters.
Rod Thomson is an author, former journalist and current TV talking head, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.
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