A Split in the Republican Party?

by Barbara Anderson

The three Republican candidates for governor have had to declare their positions on illegal immigration. This came about largely by Ron Saxton throwing down the gauntlet in his position against “guest worker” (read amnesty) status being given to the estimated twelve to twenty (Bear Stearns estimate) illegal aliens already in this country. He was on the Lars Larson show and Lars let all three candidates discuss their positions.

It soon became evident that Jason Atkinson had an imperfect idea of what “guest worker” really means. When Lars pointed out that it was, indeed, amnesty, Jason was indignant and said that was not so. Agitated words followed. After that, Atkinson’s campaign manager called in to clarify his candidate’s position. He did no better than Atkinson in convincing Lars of his position. Finally, after Lars had been insulted by being told he had been bought off, Lars asked if the manager had read the president’s proposal. He had not. Lars began to read from the proposal, pointing out logically that you can call it anything you want to, but it is amnesty. There is little or no punishment connected with having broken into this country (against the law), living here (against the law), and even working here (against the law).

The show was a perfect microcosm of what is confronting the Republican Party.

This issue threatens to split the party. President Bush no longer has to run for office and get the base’s support, but all other Republican candidates do. Without that base, these candidates will lose the worker bees of the party, those who do the grunt work and reach the most people. If the Republican Party is no better than the Democrat Party on this vital issue, why bother working for it? Those who do not understand the depth of feeling on this issue are doomed to be left wondering what went wrong, come November.

The Republican Party has always stood for respect for the laws of the country. They also see their schools being overrun with illegals, thereby having to cut out sports, music, art and TAG programs. They see their hospital emergency rooms filled with non-citizens who use the hospitals as primary care facilities and who are taking advantage of care provided by taxpayers.

They see their prisons overflowing with lawbreakers and their courts filled with people who can’t speak English and require translators, all at taxpayers’ expense. They are understandably angry at the legislators who allow this to happen. Many will either vote for another party or just sit on their hands at the mid-term elections. The party has some soul searching to do. Does it want cheap labor and the possibility of pleasing a certain racial constituency or does it value the people who have always supported it?

Barbara Anderson is a lifelong Republican. She writes for CaliforniaChronicle, NewMediaJournal, capitolhillcoffeehouse, and WebCommentary.

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Posted by at 09:48 | Posted in Measure 37 | 13 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • (*”does it value the people who have always supported it?”*)

    I would suggest that the business and religious community (the major forces behind a guest worker program) have a much richer (and electorally significant) tradition than “Run Pat Run!” and the isolationist wing. If you’re a candidate for Republican Congress or Governor … who would you prefer to have in your camp?

    I’ll take business every time!

  • Marvin McConoughey

    One of the most ancient and valued powers of government has been to safeguard the borders. Our nation was built on a revolution that determined whether Americans were to control our land or a far away country. No personal greed can justify weakening our border control to the point that on one enjoys the protection of a secure border.

    We now import far more oil than we produce. Import more goods than we produce, and face increasing water shortages. Illegal immigration did not create those problems, but does make them worse.

    Rising population from illegal immigration fuels drug trafficing, fosters crime, increases the financial burden on Americans to build and staff prisons, and worsens the challenge of providing enough schools and education.

    Economic research shows that large amounts of money paid to illegal immigrants does not stay in this country but instead is repatriated to other countries, primarily Mexico.

    The illegal population is proving resistant to assimilation and shows little affinity for the customs and mores of our country.

    It is bizarre indeed that anyone should expect law compliance by native citizens yet offer up excuses for deliberate flouting of our laws by illegal immigrants. Mexico would not allow it, and neither should we.

  • Richard Brown

    Barbara Anderson much as wears here “life long Republican Party “as a badge of (dis)honor, she dose not represent the whole of the Republican party. I only wish there are more people like me willing to stand up to Lars and other loud, restrictionist, nationalist, and /or down right racist activist. I do support Jason Atkinson for his bid for governor. I only wish he had more of a back bone and just admit how he true position immigration. There is noting wrong to say one supports amnesty.

    I am a Republican but I am a deeply devout Christian. I confess Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, the same God who our founding fathers acknowledged the sours of our rights and a God who transcends the borders and couture of men. Our church has opened our doors to the Hispanic community in order to reach them for Christ. We only have one service half our service is in English half in Spanish. Many of the Hispanics are my bothers and sister in Christ. I have heard their testimony; they are not invaders, rapist or disease carriers. Because of my faith I believe the alien among us should stay. When providing for one family became a crime?
    I am a Republican PCP in my district. I have considered leaving the Republican Party and reregistering as a democrat in protest of the conservative statist policies toward immigration. But I decide not to go Buchannan. I decided to remain an active Republican as our only hope to speak on behalf of my Hispanic Bother and sisters and prevent the Restrictionist from driving our party off the cliff.

  • Illegal is Illegal

    For someone to bend a thoughtful guest worker program into amnesty is laughable. Guest worker programs mean we allow people to come visit but not stay. It is a very Oregonian and Tom McCall thing to do. It means we stop the flow of illegals by ensuring we provide foreign citizens the opportunity to come assist our ag community with harvest but then go back to their native land. There is no incentive to stay because we will likely let them come back the following season as guests. In turn, they are not trying to use our human services and other tax resources because we provide them safe passage back home rather than leave the here held hostage to smugglers and drug trafficers.

    Illegal is illegal.

  • Michael Armstrong

    Thoughtful guest worker program, now that’s laughable. Put a dress and lipstick on a pig and it’s still a pig. Give legal guest worker status to the estimated 20 million illegals residing here, is in fact amnesty period. A recent report by the Pew Hispanic Research Center, shows that 60% of the illegals here, work in jobs other than argiculture. the 3 million President Reagan gave amnesty to, once they recieved their Green Cards, bailed from ag. jobs. Oh, by the way the problem with guest workers is that they never leave; yet I’m sure you are confident once they get their amnesty(“Guest Worker” status) after living here 3-10 years, while having little anchor babies, will leave when their cards expire.

  • bear

    Former German Chancellor, Helmut Kohl, has admitted to the world that the “multi-culturalism” and guest worker programs in Germany have been “a disaster.” Why reinvent a broken wheel here?

    • I would love to see this quote … I don’t mean any disrespect but I think you’re taking his words out of context. I would suspect he is talking about the failures of old Europe (France, Germany, etc.) to integrate former African colonialists and Muslims into German culture. Thankfully, the segregationist policies of old Europe’s immigration practices are completely different that the ones we practice. In fact, I think the failures of Europe point to a need mainstream immigrants and give them chances to the American dream. But this would be a thread very different than the one proposed by Barbara so I’ll stop now.

  • There is a reason that so many people are saying this is THE issue that could split the party and it’s not because there are just a few of us “isolationist” wackos being loud.

    The part of this that really make me mad is not only are Republicans giving up their base, they are also giving up a huge cross section of many demographics that want our border secured and immigration laws enforced.

    But this is not about election politics for me, and if it is to you, if you are willing to sell out America so that the Chamber of Commerce gives you a smile, then you are a sellout American.

    Are you willing to ignore our laws, dillute our culture, incur huge costs in education/health care/corrections just so farmers don’t have to find a more modern way to do business? (mechanize)

    Or how about relaxing child labor laws/regulation/minimum wage rules instead of fighting for a foreign workforce that sends half their paycheck out of this country and out of the local economy anyway. Isn’t that what Republicans are supposed to be for?

    • I must admit … calling Americans that support and work with the business community “a sellout” really really pisses me off.

      You wonder why people think of y’all as a fraction? Calling the business community sellouts … referring to farmers as lazy … might have something to do with it. Not exactly a team player are you? Thankfully, you avoid insulting the religious community’s involvement in this thread. (But I wouldn’t be shocked if you had a hatred for the Catholic Church’s involvement in immigration?) Why don’t you try going after the gun community, Reagan, and Lincoln next? Come on … I think you’re smart enough to insult everyone in our big tent.

  • William Hatch

    President Bush, the Senate, Business, and all of the other elitists and globalists pushing for amnesty of illegals and open borders, are totally out of touch with the great majority of average Americans. These elitists do not have to face the problems of crime, social destruction, economic disasters that the rest of us face. They are secure behind their body guards, eltronic protections, and enclaves which keep out the illegals. Those of you, who supercilliously think that you are so morally superior to the rest of us in encouraging the violation of American law and attacking the morality of those resisting illegal amnesty, are really more to be pitied than attacked by the “restrictionists.”

  • Marvin McConoughey

    I support the business community with money and patronage. And neither the business people nor the farmers I know are lazy. Far from it. But that has nothing to do with the clear and present existence of high levels of illegal immigration. Trying to convert this mass violation of American law into racism or anti-business sentiments is unworthy of all Americans, including those who resort to this overheated language.

    We live in a system of laws. Advocates of mass immigration by person who are not now legally entitled to live in this country have the opportunity to come to Congress, directly or through their representatives, and say honestly what changes to our laws they desire. Expect some tough questioning as Americans grow increasingly concerned about illegal immigration.

  • Publius

    Give up your sanctimonious talk about respecting the laws of this country. If you are serious about that, you’d be serious about, literally, THROWING BUSINESS OWNERS WHO HIRE ILLEGALS IN JAIL.

    Being tough on immigration is a little more difficult when it requires throwing white business owners who don’t respect the laws of the land into the pokey, isn’t it?

    Business is driving the demand for immigrant labor. Folks who cross the borders are coming over because businesses are willing to pay them wages higher than what they’d get in their own countries.

    This talk about getting tough on “illegals” is a bandaid, and it will do very little to control immigration. If you really wanted eliminate illegal immigration you’d focus on the real problem, which is the incredible gravity of relatively high wages that draw immigrant workers here.

    By focusing on the folks crossing the borders and not what’s driving them to cross the borders, so-called “conservatives” are acting like the liberals we criticized for decades. You know, the liberals who wouldn’t admit that welfare policies were creating incentives to leach off the government.

    I believe that Atkinson supports a program requiring workers to go to their home countries and get documentation to come back to work. That ain’t amnesty.

    Unless you really want to trainwreck the economy over some halfhearted notion of “respecting the laws of the land,” (when it applies to brown-skinned immigrants, but not when it applies to the real culprits, their white bosses) you would support this approach, too.

  • Marvin McConoughey

    Publius (post 10) holds that if I am serious about respecting our laws that I would be “serious about, literally, THROWING BUSINESS OWNERS WHO HIRE ILLEGALS IN JAIL.”

    I am serious about respecting our laws, though there are some exceptions that fail court scrutiny, but I do not advocate a blanket action of responding to every business violation by throwing them in jail. We are a more nuanced society than that. In some extreme case that I cannot now imagine, perhaps a court would order a jail term. Typically, less extreme remedies would be better.

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