Sunday, February 3, 2008

On the cam ... Immigration trail: Governor Romney on immigration

A little Romney Q & A on the issue of immigration, legal vs. illegal; what, to Governor Romney's mind, is central to the debate on immigration in this country? In other words, what is it that should determine our nation's policy on immigration according to Governor Romney?:

Avoid chain migration; disallow families from one citizen

Q: There are still millions of children that were born here that at least have one undocumented parent. Do these children have the right not to be separated from their parents?

A: The Constitution indicates that those that are born here do become US citizens by virtue of being born here. But if they're born here from parents who come across the border illegally and bring them here illegally, in my view, we should not adopt, then, these chain migration policies that say, you've got a child here that's a US citizen, and the whole family can come in. That, in my opinion, is a mistake. We are a nation of laws. We're going to enforce the laws. We're not going to cut off immigration; we're going to keep immigration alive and thriving. But we're going to end the practice of illegal immigration. It's not inhumane. It's humanitarian. It's compassionate. We're going to end illegal immigration to protect legal immigration. (emphasis mine)

First, I just love the way this question was framed! As if to say that taking anything remotely resembling a restrictionist position on immigration, will necessarily result, and by virtue thereof, in families being broken apart and destroyed. Once it is established that this is necessarily the case, and the person questioned takes this bait, well, then the central issue is forgotten or ignored and we begin to talk about how unfair it is, how that it is not compassionate, and certainly not American, to tear apart families, which any kind of immigration restrictionism most definately will result in. Now, I recognize that Governor Romney cannot be held reponsible for the way the question was framed. He can, and should, however, be held responsible for the way he answered it.

So, how does Governor Romney respond to this loaded question? By accepting its central premise and agreeing, it is not fair; it is not compassionate; it is not American. Governor Romney's fair, compassionate, American approach to resolving this dilemma is to "end illegal immigration to protect legal immigration." Not to protect America, or Americans, or American children, or America's elderly, or America's identity, or its cultural and religious heritage; not to ensure the survival of America. No!, the purpose of ending illegal immigration, according to Governor Romney, is to protect immigration.

Elsewhere Governor Romney makes it real clear where he stands on the issue of immigration:

Q: You've been accused of flip-flopping on immigration. You indicated that you'd want the national language of the US to be English. However, why are you airing ads in Spanish? Your campaign also provides a Spanish-speaking version of your website with your son also speaking in Spanish.

A: Let me make it real clear--I'm not anti-immigrant. I love immigrants. I love legal immigrants coming to our country. I'm happy to communicate to them, and I hope they vote for me. And I'm happy to have people all over the country, and I'm going to reach out to them in any language I can to have them vote for me and understand why I'm going to support making this a great land.

I very firmly believe that we have to make sure that we enforce our borders, that we have an employment verification system, and that those people who have come here illegally do not get an advantage to become permanent residents, they do not get a special pathway. That's the problem I have with the bill the Kennedy-McCain bill.

That's pretty clear, I'll give 'im that. This is reminiscent of Governor Romney's statement in his famous faith speech where he indicated that his belief is that all religions draw their adherents closer to God. Quite so. And I suppose that all cultures and the celebration of each culture as a culture, with no superior or inferior characteristics, has the effect of drawing the people thereof closer to becoming good ideological Americans too. You want to know why the statement in the faith speech bothered me so much; why it stood out to me, and why I railed against it so fiercely at the time? This is it. He can't believe that statement apart from the foundation of it affecting everything else he believes, including his belief in how great and wonderful, and vital to America, immigrants are. Meanwhile he alienates conservative Americans who care about their country and the huge negative, destructive impact immigration is having on their country, by appealing to the Hispanic voting block in America, stating in no uncertain terms how much he loves and appreciates them and will do all he can as President to keep them coming in droves, legal droves, of course. Then he and others wonder why conservatives aren't head-over-heels in love with this guy. I don't get it; I don't get it at all.

There is, unfortunately, more...

Proposed Z visa allows illegal aliens to stay in America

Q [to Romney]: Sen. McCain has accused you of flip-flopping on immigration. McCain said: "Pandering for votes on this issue while offering no solution to the problem amounts to doing nothing, and doing nothing is silent amnesty."
ROMNEY: My view is that we should enforce immigration laws. And this bill, unfortunately, has at least one provision that's a real problem. It's the Z visa. It allows people who've come here illegally to stay here for the rest of their lives. Not necessarily as citizens; they have to wait 13 years to become citizens. That's not the point. The point is, every illegal alien, almost every one, under this bill gets to stay here. That's simply not fair to get put ahead in the line of all the people who've been waiting legally to come to this country.

It's not fair to who, Governor? What, to Governor Romney, is central to this issue of immigration? Obviously the Governor is referring to immigrants, again, those of the legal variety of course. But the point is, it's all about the immigrants, what is best for the immigrants, what is fair to immigrants, isn't it. Governor Romney, read this, particularly the following paragraph, which was included for this very purpose -- to state emphatically that an American position on immigration reform makes America and Americans and their interests the central guiding principle on which to form proper immigration policy.:

We disagree with the so-called 'comprehensive' approach because we disagree that it's best for Americans. We concern ourselves with what is best for immigrants after, and only after we've determined and secured what is best for Americans.


Vanishing American said...

Terry, thanks for this post.
I am seeing so little examination of Romney's record and his positions, especially on the all-important issue of immigration and borders. Everybody seems to be just blindly trusting that he would be better than McCain, so therefore we have to get behind him. Sometimes I wonder if McCain isn't being touted so much in order to make Romney appear conservative by contrast.

Dan said...

So Romney is not Tancredo, which one of the candidates still running has a better position on immigration?

Terry Morris said...

Dan wrote:

"...which one of the candidates still running has a better position on immigration?"

Dan, I appreciate your perspective'n'all, but the fact is that around here the advancement and propagation of principled conservatism is of primary import. What that means is that whenever a candidate or his supporters tout his non-conservative positions as conservative positions, I'm going to expose them, and I'm not particularly concerned about whether I offend anyone in the process. It's not my goal to offend anyone, but anything I say here is going to offend someone, so I can't concern myself with that.

The question is not which of the remaining candidates has the "better" position, therefore. It is, which of the remaining candidates has, to borrow a phrase, a position representative of something reasonably like conservatism? The only question that matters to me is whether Romney's position is a liberal or a conservative position. And as I've illustrated, it is a liberal, not a conservative position. In fact, Romney's position differs very little from Governor Huckabee's position in principle.