Amnesty Would Only Make Republican Woes More Dire

Mitt Romney lost Latino votes Tuesday by a 44-point margin, a number that has caused some very principled conservative thinkers to panic unnecessarily.

Premiere Radio host Sean Hannity broke first, telling listeners Thursday: “We’ve gotta get rid of the immigration issue altogether. It’s simple for me to fix it. I think you control the border first, you create a pathway for those people that are here, you don’t say, ‘You gotta go home.’ And that is a position that I’ve evolved on. Because you know what — it just — it’s gotta be resolved.”

Pulitzer Prize-winning conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer quickly followed suit, writing: “For the party in general, however, the problem is hardly structural. It requires but a single policy change: Border fence plus amnesty. Yes, amnesty. Use the word. Shock and awe — full legal normalization (just short of citizenship) in return for full border enforcement. … The other party thinks it owns the demographic future — counter that in one stroke by fixing the Latino problem.”

Hannity and Krauthammer are tremendous talents who have done much good promoting conservative values and ideas. But on immigration and amnesty they appear to have a very short memory.

In 1984, President Reagan won re-election despite losing Hispanics 2-to-1. In 1986, Reagan signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which both tightened immigration enforcement at the border and granted amnesty to 3 million illegal immigrants. In 1988, Hispanics rewarded the Republican party by voting … even more heavily Democratic. President Bush lost Hispanics by 40 points, 70 percent to 30 percent. So much for amnesty as the “single policy change” capable of “fixing the Latino problem.”

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