Mike Scruggs

NC Driving Permits for illegal immigrants?

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Special interests trump public interest

By Mike Scruggs –

Having been twice a Republican County Chairman and for many more years a Republican volunteer in many campaigns, I very much regret having to write this article. However, blunt truth is the only remedy I know to stop the Republican Party from committing irrevocable suicide based on political disinformation, analytical negligence, spineless political correctness, and shameless subordination to commercial special interests.

Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection, enhanced by his 71 percent showing among the growing stream of Hispanic voters, has apparently thrown many Republican leaders into mindless panic. The most confused on principle and reality are proposing huge amnesties for unlawful immigrants and massive increases in legal immigration and guest-worker programs as a necessary path to Republican survival—despite the horrific damage such policy actions would inflict on American workers, taxpayers, and many American communities. Yet this gravely miscalculated path to Republican victory is the same path of proven failure that the Republican Party took by cooperating with the Democrats in the1986 amnesty, and which reached steroid levels during the first six years of the Bush Administration.

Rep. Steve King (R, IA) recently stated that the 1986 amnesty allowed President Obama to be reelected in 2012. If weak immigration enforcement from 2001 to 2006 is included, I would agree with his statement.

According to former Attorney General Ed Meese, Reagan was uncomfortable with amnesty but was persuaded by liberal Republicans that amnesty for about one million unlawful immigrants was necessary to get the Democrats to agree to strong immigration law enforcement. The one million amnesties turned out to be 2.7 million, followed by six more amnesties totaling over 3.0 million more. The Democrats blocked implementation of agreed enforcement measures, leaving the U.S. without effective immigration control. According to Meese, Reagan believed signing the 1986 amnesty was the biggest mistake of his eight years in office.

Senator Charles Schumer, chief sponsor of the now pending and much larger Schumer-Rubio amnesty and immigration surge bill, S.744, was also a chief undermining agent of the 1986 amnesty enforcement measures

Regrettably, George W. Bush dropped workplace enforcement to near zero during the first six years of his two terms. Illegal immigration reached its historical maximum and legal immigration more than doubled the reasonable maximum of 550,000 per year recommended by a six-year study completed by the Jordan Commission in 1996. Bush restored some immigration enforcement after the failure of two Bush-backed amnesties and polls indicating his immigration policies were only supported by 28 percent of voters. Bush advisor Karl Rove still claims that Bush got 44 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2004, although the polling firm has since admitted that the exit poll was badly flawed, and the real number was probably only 40 percent, near the consensus of other polls. Bush would have gotten only about 36 percent, if it had not been for an unusually strong turnout of Hispanic Evangelicals.

That the so-called Hispanic path to Republican victory is not only a proven failure but also badly flawed in its assumptions is shown by several voting analysis studies going back to 2001 by the non-partisan Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). A 2013 CIS study by Dr. George Hawley of the University of Houston, also published in the academic journal, Social Science Quarterly. used the 2006 Congressional elections to study the relationship between immigration voting records and Hispanic and non-Hispanic voting support. There were two important conclusions, which closely matched a 2001 study by Karen Kaufmann and James G. Gimpel:

Voting for amnesty and other liberal immigration policies does NOT increase Hispanic votes for Republicans.

Voting for amnesty and other liberal immigration policies, however, significantly diminishes non-Hispanic conservative support for Republicans.

Other studies and polling indicate that when amnestied illegals or other new immigrants with similar education and skill levels become voters, 75 percent or more will favor the Democrat Party because of its generous social-welfare and public healthcare advocacy. Amnesties also create new waves of similarly inclined potential voters. U.S. Senate bill S.744 is essentially Republican suicide.

Yet several Republican members of the NC House have introduced a bill, H786, the Reclaim NC Act, that appears to be an immigration enforcement act but contains two provisions, which would be harmful to North Carolina workers and taxpayers and would be an outrageous breech of faith with grassroots Republican volunteers and voters.

Section 8 of the bill contains a provision undermining the Federal E-Verify law by creating an exemption for short periods of employment. This would result in more cheap foreign labor competing with American and legal immigrant workers.

Section 9 of the bill contains a provision, which would allow illegal immigrants to obtain driving permits, also usable as NC identity cards. Rewarding illegal immigrants with driver permits and ID cards is amnesty. This is virtually laying out a red carpet that will act as a huge magnet for more illegal immigrant workers, who are usually not only guilty of immigration violations, but also social security number fraud, identity theft, or tax evasion. North Carolina would become a de facto sanctuary for illegal immigrants. This is extremely unfair to native workers and legal immigrants competing for jobs. We already have too much unemployment. If North Carolina Republican legislators care about jobs, Section 8 and 9 of this legislation ought to be repulsive to them.

Without going into detail, it is absurd to think, as claimed, that registering and issuing ID cards to illegals will reduce crime. Criminals love stupid government.

Driving permits and ID cards for unlawful immigrants have the strong smell of helping special interest businesses get more cheap foreign labor at the expense of North Carolina workers, taxpayers, and communities. The taxpayer expense of this scheme is essentially a hidden special interest subsidy.

As one with many years experience dealing with and motivating grassroots conservative voters and volunteers, I can safely say that H786, if passed as presently written, will be an ugly self-inflicted wound to Republican grassroots support. It has a strong potential to be a costly embarrassment to all North Carolina Republicans.

H786 sponsors may be found on the NCGA website.

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