What if Romney had Won?

By Dave Gibson
Volume 23, Number 2 (Winter 2013)
Issue theme: "Moving forward"

On October 1, 2012, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said that he would not only honor the work permits which President Obama has been issuing to illegal aliens as part of his executive order DREAM Act amnesty, but will make it even easier for foreign nationals to come here despite the current unemployment crisis.

Romney told the Denver Post:

The people who have received the special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year visa, should expect that the visa would continue to be valid. I’m not going to take something that they’ve purchased. Before those visas have expired we will have the full immigration reform plan that I’ve proposed.

I actually will propose a piece of legislation which will reform our immigration system to improve legal immigration so people don’t have to hire lawyers to figure out how to get here legally. The president promised in his first year, his highest priority, that he would reform immigration and he didn’t. And I will.

Of course, this announcement should have come as a surprise to no one....

A few hours after President Obama announced his executive order shielding potentially millions of illegal aliens from deportation as well as making them eligible to work in this country legally, back in June, Romney was asked for his reaction to this unprecedented and possibly illegal act. The former Massachusetts governor’s words were, well — less than inspiring:

I believe the status of young people who come here through no fault of their own is an important matter to be considered and should be solved on a long-term basis, so they know what their future would be in this country. I think the action that the president took today makes it more difficult to reach that long-term solution because an executive order is, of course, just a short-term matter — it can be reversed by subsequent presidents.

I’d like to see legislation that deals with this issue, and I happen to agree with Marco Rubio as he looked at this issue. He said that this is an important matter, that we have to find a long-term solution, but that the president’s action makes reaching a long-term solution more difficult.

If I’m president, we’ll do our very best to have that kind of long-term solution that provides certainty and clarity for the people who come into this country through no fault of their own by virtue of the action of their parents.

Translation: Romney agreed that millions of illegal aliens should receive amnesty, but was disappointed that Obama would be the one to get credit for it, instead of himself along with the Republican Party.

Further evidence of Romney’s lily-livered approach to this issue came during a press conference on May 8, 2012, when the Republican National Committee’s Director of Hispanic Outreach, Bettina Inclan, told reporters that Romney was yet to make a decision on how to deal with the important issue of illegal immigration.

Inclan stated: “My understanding is that he is still deciding what his position on immigration is.”

Less than an hour after making this damaging admission, Inclan sent out a tweet, saying: “I misspoke; Romney’s position on immigration is clear.”

However, the horse had already left the barn at that point, and the apprehensions that many conservatives had about the former Massachusetts governor were given more credence.

It’s not just Romney

In April 2012, Florida Republican Senator and much-hyped vice-presidential hopeful Marco Rubio announced that he was crafting his own version of the DREAM Act which would grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens.

That announcement disheartened much of the Republican faithful, and threw a big bucket of cold water on any chance of a conservative groundswell of support for Romney.

However, the signs have been there for anyone who cares to see them…the GOP will not defend our borders any more vociferously than the Democrats will.

For more than a year, the Obama administration, through executive order, has been implementing one disastrous move after the next which, when completed, will add up to a blanket amnesty for all of those currently inside this country illegally.

While the anger among conservative activists and law-abiding Americans toward Obama’s lawless actions has been palpable, the silence coming from the national Republican Party on these policies has been deafening.

• On June 17, 2011, the Obama administration issued a memo announcing immigration officials no longer have to deport illegal aliens if they are enrolled in any type of education program, if their family members have volunteered for U.S. military service, if they have filed a civil rights lawsuit, or even if they are pregnant or nursing.

The policy known as “prosecutorial discretion” was also quietly announced on a Friday afternoon, and completely ignored by the mainstream press.

• In August 2011, the Obama administration announced that they would now only deport illegal aliens who have been convicted of crimes in this country. More than likely, that means only those convicted of felonies. Perhaps, even more devastating, the administration will also reportedly distribute work permits to those illegal aliens allowed to stay, even as U.S. unemployment remains very high.

• On January 6, 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services announced the agency’s proposed rule change, which will allow illegal alien spouses and children to stay in this country while seeking legal residency status, rather than waiting for a green card back home.

Under the new rule, they will supposedly have to return home to visit a U.S. consulate for an interview. However, this will be but a formality.

The federal government would issue hardship waivers to the illegal aliens so that they can easily re-enter the country.

While Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) has never failed to issue a statement condemning each one of Obama’s aforementioned actions, rhetoric is where the GOP leadership begins and ends on the subject of illegal immigration.

In fact, Congressional Republicans were more than likely, very relieved by Obama’s actions, because now the issue is effectively over and they do not have to risk alienating Hispanic voters by calling for strict enforcement, while telling conservatives that the matter is now beyond their control.

No good deed goes unpunished

In January 2011, it was announced that Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA) would head the House Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement. The California Congressman was chosen for the top job, even though Rep. Steve King (R-IA) was the ranking member of the subcommittee when Democrats controlled the House.

Rep. King has consistently been the loudest voice in the U.S. Congress calling for strict border enforcement, and at times seemingly the only one on Capitol Hill who is concerned about the public safety crisis caused by illegal immigration.

In 2006, King released the results of a study which found that 12 Americans are murdered daily by illegal aliens, and 13 are killed by drunk illegal alien drivers every day.

That same study also determined that eight American children become victims of sexual abuse by illegal aliens every day, translating into 2,920 child victims annually.

King once said: “Members of Congress that vote for a guest worker plan...will be supporting an amnesty plan and they should be branded with the scarlet letter ‘A’ and pay for that amnesty in the ballot box in November [elections].”

In the past, King has introduced legislation which would deny birthright citizenship to the children of illegal aliens.

It seems it is that same outspoken nature and no-nonsense attitude that sunk him with the Republican elitists, anxious to please their Chamber of Commerce benefactors.

The chairmanship rightfully belonged to King, but just as in the past, the GOP has placed more importance on pandering to Hispanic voters than on the rule of law — it would appear that they are now running headlong down that destructive path again.

We must not forget that only a few years ago, it was the Republicans who were championing amnesty for illegal aliens. President Bush wanted it, and Sen. John McCain wrote the bill.

In the lead-up to the 2010 midterm elections, we heard tough talk on immigration from the Republicans, but that was when that party found itself farther out-of-power than it had been in nearly a generation.

Even Texas has surrendered?

In June, the Texas Republican Party held their 2012 Convention, and in doing so adopted not only softer language in regards to illegal immigration, but softer policies as well.

The party approved a platform which among other things accepted Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s assertion that there are only “11 million undocumented individuals (not illegal aliens) in the United States today,” and that their deportation “would neither be equitable nor practical.”

Perhaps, most troubling for Texas conservatives was the party’s call for a so-called “temporary worker program,” which delegates dubbed “the Texas Solution.”

The platform also merely encouraged non-English-speaking students attending the state’s public school system to learn English within three years. In the past, the party’s platform called for no bilingual education at all after three years.

However, the convention delegates also approved language calling for citizenship to be granted only to those born to U.S. citizens, as well as denying welfare benefits to illegal aliens.

Of course, birthright citizenship is protected by the 14th Amendment and can only be changed by Congress, and though the welfare system is widely abused by illegal aliens, it is technically already illegal for them to receive taxpayer-funded benefits, thus making these two actions symbolic at best.

Delegate Fermin Ortiz, Llano County Republican Party chairman, told the Houston Chronicle: “The Republican Party of Texas has stepped to the fore in leading a realistic approach to solving America’s immigration problem. Due to our vast border, it is our responsibility to lead a compassionate and humane resolution to this important issue.”

This platform was nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to woo Latino voters, as the Texas Republican Party, like the National Republican Party, now clearly believes that the majority of Latino-Americans have very little respect for the law and do not want our border with Mexico secured.

Delegate James B. Cardle of Lakeway, explained that Latinos worked “to make the platform some would say more Hispanic-friendly, but really what it is, is more Texas-friendly, to encourage hardworking citizens to be able to be productive citizens without all the extracurricular baggage that we hear in the debate.”

Whatever that means…

The GOP will become but a distant memory

Unfortunately, it would appear that for those of us who want to see the rule of law enforced and priority given to unemployed Americans over foreign nationals when it comes to jobs, there not only was no candidate to choose from in this past this election, but it appears that there may never be again from either of this country’s current major political parties.

As Republicans try more and more to remake themselves in the image of their Democrat counterparts, and go back on their word to Americans eager to see our immigration laws enforced, they will continue to lose elections. Conservatives will eventually find what they are looking for in a third party and leave the GOP behind forever.

Professed opposition to the Roe v. Wade decision and commitment to “family values” will simply not be enough to continue to sway conservative and independent voters as this country begins to closely resemble a Third World nation.

About the author

Dave Gibson, a former legislative aide to a Virginia state senator, is a freelance writer. His work has been published in many newspapers and magazines, including the Washington Times.