Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Mainstream Conservatives On Immigration

Power Line has closed its immigration poll. Here's some of the stats, and the first graph of John's conclusion:

With nearly 13,000 votes cast, here are the results:

Strengthening control of our borders to prevent possible terrorists and criminals from entering illegally: 45% (5,843)

Erecting a wall and stricter border controls to stop non-English speaking immigrants who are not interested in assimilating: 33% (4,251)

...These results don't demand much commentary. They show overwhelming support among mainstream conservatives for the policy of "Enforcement First." The highest priority, by an overwhelming margin, is getting control of our borders. Conservatives are relatively evenly split on whether the more important purpose is to keep out terrorists or to protect our society and culture against those with no wish to assimilate, but either way, the policy preference is the same: restore the significance of our borders. There is also considerable support for a crackdown on employers, which many see as the most effective way to reduce the lure of illegal immigration.

As John goes on to mention, this is a message from the base that has to get to the GOP legislators in congress. With the mid-term elections coming up in Novemeber, now could not be a more crucial time to come out as a party with a unified immigration policy, and one that plays to what the base wants.

If winning elections is a major GOP goal --which it should be-- then adopting a stance on immigration that recognizes the views of its base voters should be non-negotiable. If Republicans are serious about winning, and if they care about national security, then they must get their arguments right about immigration, and they need to do it soon.