By George Rodriguez –
When is “a path way to citizenship” not amnesty or a reward? Over the past few weeks, I have been criticized by some conservatives and Republicans for “confusing” the two terms. I have expressed my concern that some Texas Tea Party groups, like the San Antonio Tea Party, may have bought off on the idea that there is a difference between a “path way” and amnesty.
However, in my opinion, anyone who willfully entered the country illegally should not be eligible for citizenship…ever. My reasons for this hard position are these.
First, unless there is a severe and costly penalty to willful illegal entry, the problem will continue forever. This second “adjustment” for the millions of illegal immigrants will only lead to a third, and fourth, and so forth, because there is no absolute penalty for illegal entry.
Second, conservatives seem to be falling into the trap where liberals keep moving the goal post in this game. Instead of staking a position and holding strong, conservatives and Republicans are moving left and accepting a “path way” which will lead to higher taxes for social services.
Third, conservatives and Republicans do not understand the impact Univision and Telemundo is having on Spanish-speaking immigrants. Both TV networks routinely make MSNBC and other liberal media look conservative in the manner they report on immigration issues. Their reporters pander to their Spanish-speaking audience and portray them as victims. Furthermore, they always refer to conservatives as “anti-imigrante” as if everyone who wants to secure the border is anti-immigration.
This constant biased reporting is raising a generation of Hispanics that will distrust anyone or anything conservative or Republican, and will vote accordingly. If conservatives and Republicans think future generations of Hispanics will vote for them if they provide a “path way”, they are very mistaken.
Finally, there is the fear of the “Hispanic Vote” that seems to be driving conservatives and Republicans to compromise, and they seem to be falling headlong into compromise with the left. Fear should never be the motivation behind public policy or political action.
I was recently told by a friend in the San Antonio Tea Party leadership that my position on disqualifying anyone who entered the U.S. illegally after 1987 was “unreasonable”. He feels a “path way” is necessary. I have also been told that my suggestion that foreign countries should pay us for their citizens who illegally here by forfeiting their foreign aid is “unreasonable”. I guess I’m an unreasonable person when it comes to the law and taxes.
However, I feel conservatives, particularly Tea Party-types, should stand by their principles and not react to liberals’ efforts to control the argument. There are many conservative Mexican Americans who oppose amnesty in any form and they should be heard. Yes, I believe we can have a guest worker program, and yes, we need to fix the entire immigration process, but we should not reward illegal entry into the U.S. with any form of amnesty or citizenship.
George Rodriguez is president of the South Texas Alliance and can be followed on Facebook at “El Conservador”.