Cutting Through the Bull on Immigration Reform

The tactics employed by the fringe few opposed to any immigration reform (other than mass deportation) are hardly different than the dishonest efforts of far-left action organizations. In seeking to mischaracterize and demonize those with whom they disagree, these fringe few are ascribing positions to their opponents that they’ve never actually taken. They’re not too unlike President Obama who implies that supporters of the 2nd Amendment somehow support school shootings and / or gang violence. It’s a reprehensible short-circuiting of the public policy process, purposefully drowning out real, issue-based discussions in a sea of hysterical statements.

Long-PromoAnyone who has listened to “Common Cents” or has ever participated in a forum our policy foundation – the Palmetto Conservative Alliance – has hosted knows that our commitment to consistently conservative fiscal and social principles. That’s why having my, and our, integrity impugned by fringe anti-immigration groups is not only frustrating; it’s downright offensive.

Intentionally deceptive statements have been put forth as Gospel truth, in an attempt to discredit our conservative credentials ahead of an event the Palmetto Conservative Alliance is hosting in conjunction with the SC Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, April 17th at North Greenville University.

A few local anti-immigration zealots have launched an effort to rally support against our upcoming “New American Generation” immigration conference by claiming that it is “stacked with open border proponents.” It’s laughable, because nothing could be further from the truth. There is not a single speaker in our line-up, myself included, who has ever advocated an open borders immigration policy wherein border security isn’t an element of reform.

Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Dr. Frank Page, Evelyn Lugo from the SC Hispanic Chamber and I have all be consistent in claiming that border security must be an essential part of any comprehensive immigration legislation. Furthermore, each of us has voiced support for requiring those who came to America illegally to pay back taxes, learn English, pay a fine and apply for citizenship behind those who have already applied legally.

This is hardly an open-borders amnesty.

My position on immigration is two-fold:

  1. uphold our nation’s commitment to the rule of law while
  2. affirming our national heritage as a nation of immigrants.


Immigration has always been controversial in American history, with folks worrying that each successive wave of immigrants would fundamentally alter the American landscape and our national values. Each time, the desire to make it in America has proved this fear unfounded, as Germans, Italians, Poles, and Russian Jews assimilated into America in both language and values. Some of the most ardently conservative voting blocs in America today include Americans of Italian and Germanic dissent. One hundred years ago, opponents of immigration said that these folks would never succeed in America, would always speak German and Italian, and always be dependent upon the state. All such fears proved unfounded.

The only way America’s values, and by extension her culture, will ever be lost is if Americans abandon them, because immigrants aspire to the American Dream. I have never supported undermining our national commitment to the rule of law, and I have never wavered from our commitment to remaining a welcoming nation for new immigrants.

A responsible immigration policy will promote both, and ensure a common language and culture that will help us remain, as we have always been, “E. Pluribus Unum – Out of Many, One.”

The real battle is between two diametrically opposed viewpoints – one, a quintessentially American view that our rights are from God, economic strength through freedom and hard work, and culture from our families and communities; and the other, a collectivist notion of the Left that claims rights are from the government, security is from the state and economic prosperity from central planners.

That’s the real debate, and in that battle, new immigrants will prove allies in the fight to preserve a free and strong America. I, for one, intend to keep my eye on the ball and fight for the values that lead to freedom for all, not divide Americans with incendiary rhetoric on an emotional issue.

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16 Responses to "Cutting Through the Bull on Immigration Reform"

  1. Rev. Joseph says:

    You may be conservative on economics but you are far too liberal on immigration.

    • Rev. Joseph: I would say that I’m both a fiscal and social conservative. I don’t just stand for a libertarian, government-hands-off approach to our free economy. I also stand for the natural definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman, for the protection of life for all citizens, especially pre-born babies in the womb. In short, I believe in building a strong culture and a strong economy, at the same time; they build upon one another. All-in-all, I am a Reagan – Rubio kind of Republican.

      My stance on immigration is not inconsistent with these conservative principles. I have outlined a very tough, though fair, immigration solution. I don’t see another option that doesn’t alienate and single-out Hispanic Americans, with whom we have shared values. I don’t believe it’s a conservative value to hold a “deportation-only” position, which is the only possible position you could hold and call my stance liberal.

      Thanks for your feedback.

  2. Justin Alexander says:

    I haven’t personally heard the “open border” comments, but I’ll certainly take your word for it. Misrepresenting someone’s position is dishonest in the extreme.

    I think a lot of people see it this way: even though you go to the back of the line for citizinship, pay a fee, pay back taxes, learn English, people who came here illegally would get to keep what they want most of all – to remain in the US. Maybe they go to the back of the line for citizenship, but they still jump way, way ahead of those people overseas who are waiting years to be admitted legally.

    If a person doesn’t plan on spending the rest of their life here, if they want to work here for a few years then return home, why would they want to pay a fine, pay back taxes, etc., especially when we constantly hear how we “can’t deport 11 million people”. Say 4 million people come out of the shadows and “normalize” their status. What do we do then?


    • That’s an excellent question, Justin! Everyone now in the country illegally, under Rubio’s proposal, must declare their status. Even if certain folks don’t want to become citizens, they must declare their status to even receive a work permit. Expanding e-verify and intensifying employer penalties for non-compliance will preclude the possibility of an undocumented individual trying to remain in the nation illegally and unaccountably, regardless of their citizenship desires

    • Tim Houghtaling says:

      The history of ‘immigration reform and control’ overflows with examples of unintended consequences – and unplanned response to practical economic decisions EXACTLY like you consider – those made by economic refugees simply in need of a job. (Did any of the pressure groups bother to ask the millions what their desires are? – lots of talkers claim to speak for the hordes, but do they?)

  3. Tim Houghtaling says:

    You might consider reading: A Bible Study on Illegal Immigration


    • Tim, you know that I am a believer, which is why you would throw up a World Net Daily (a website increasingly on the fringe)Bible study to try and “correct” me on immigration. I am not an open-borders amnesty advocate, in spite of Roan Garcia Quantina’s assertions (speaking of on the fringe).

      I don’t believe you would be one of these people, but there are folks who twist the Holy Scriptures to support a radical redefinition of marriage as same-sex marriage, and who tried to support slavery and segregation with similar twistings of God’s Word.

      The Scriptires are clear on love for the orphan, the widow and the immigrant. I appreciate your feedback, but my position is neither liberal, nor unscriptural.

  4. Todd says:

    Josh, you state that:
    “My position on immigration is two-fold:
    1.uphold our nation’s commitment to the rule of law while
    2.affirming our national heritage as a nation of immigrants.”

    If you uphold the nation’s commitment to the rule of law, why do you support allowing amnesty through this gang of 8 proposal. These 8 senators are Neocons, RINO’s, whatever you want to call them. You said it yourself, your a Rubio kind of republican. That kind of republican is a neocon. You support the end result of allowing these millions of illegals to stay here. This means taking away jobs from millions of Americans who didn’t do anything illegal. Why do you support this? Can you give a direct answer to this question?

    Back to Rubio… He supports amnesty for 17 million ILLEGAL immigrants.
    Rubio made the case for American military might around the world, vowing that the U.S cannot “retreat” from international conflicts, must encourage democracy and continue spending money overseas aimed at bolstering the country’s image.

    Now why is it that those today who promote a humble foreign policy who seek to avoid foreign entanglements considered “isolationists”? The neocons love to use this argument against the people who support this very same idea which our founding fathers promoted. This idea is NOT new, and is NOT called isolationism like the unconstitutional neocons like to call it. It is the belief and position of our founding fathers, our TRUE principles, and one that Christians should embrace, not ridicule.

    People do not HATE us because of our freedom, they hate us because we go around starting wars, invading, occupying, causing death, suffering, and never minding our own business. Even most AMERICANS disagree with our current foreign policy and to be involved in the UN and other international groups means we are throwing away our sovereignty. Our founding fathers warned us of these things for a purpose. Do not let these “terror” attacks trick you or divert your attention away from the big picture. Beware of these people who repeatedly call themselves Christians who constantly go around promoting these neoconservative unchristian principles…

    • Todd,
      I am not a NEOCON, as you state, nor do I believe that Senator Marco Rubio is a NEOCON. I do not believe in just “going around starting wars,” nor do I believe that we need to have massive standing armies in outposts all around the world. I do, however, believe in building the American Military to the point of being beyond challenge, lest our weakness invite aggression. That is not a NEOCON position, that’s just a common sense.

      As to immigration, I have not supported an amnesty. That is the rhetorical resort of anyone who refuses to have a rational conversation about immigration reform. To folks who hold a certain persuasion, anything short of mass deportation is “amnesty,” and that’s just an irrational standard.

      I have spent my entire life as a conservative in the fight; I have consistently supported auditing the Federal Reserve, ending the practice of printing money to pay our debts, school choice / educational freedom, a balanced budget and pro-life and pro-family policies. To accuse me, or Senator Rubio, of being a NEOCON, RINO, what have you is intellectually dishonest and downright deceitful. People like you, sir, are the greatest threat to the conservative movement because you’re willing to cannibalize conservatives who dare take a different view on any issue than you. That is the height of narcissism and irresponsibility.

      There are NEOCONs, RINOS, etc, out there. Neither Senator Rubio, nor I, are among them.

  5. Justin Alexander says:

    “they must declare their status to even receive a work permit”. Again, if they don’t? What keeps us from being in the same place in 20 years?

    Expanding e-verify and intensifying employer penalties for non-compliance will preclude the possibility of an undocumented individual trying to remain in the nation illegally and unaccountably.

    I think it’s far fetched to say e-verify and employer penalties would “preclude” (stop) the possibility of trying to remain here. Not everyone is in the work force. We have laws against illegal entry, with penalties attached, but this doesn’t, hasn’t, and logically couldn’t preclude anyone from attempting to remain illegally.

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