The desperation of the high-immigration Right is palpable. Like the Left with Obamacare, they fear that if voters and lawmakers actually engage, in detail, the specific issues at hand, their cause will be defeated. This is why, again as happened with Obamacare, they insist on a “comprehensive” amnesty bill, a 1,000-page monstrosity that no congressman could even skim before voting on, as a way to reach their goal of not only amnesty but also effectively unlimited future immigration.
That desperation comes through in the rhetoric of participants in the smear campaign. Aguilar, for instance, told the Washington Post that “if these groups can be unmasked, then the bulk of the opposition to immigration reform on the conservative side will wither away.” You always want opponents to believe their own press releases, but this smells like over-compensation; I can’t imagine anyone could be that dim regarding the concerns that conservative (and many moderate and even liberal) voters have over immigration.
These conservative supporters of the Obama immigration agenda are even using material produced by their leftist allies to denounce immigration skeptics as leftists. For instance, Lopez, the author of the Human Life Review article, distributed this flyer at a recent Norquist meeting. One side of it is produced by the National Immigration Forum, a left-wing open-borders group that has included on its board and staff some of the most odious figures in American political life this side of Bill Ayers. The following week — after I pointed out the origin of his material — Lopez was invited by Rubio’s staff to distribute his flyer at a meeting of conservative Senate staff; the National Immigration Forum content had disappeared.
But there are many prominent conservatives who are opposed to the Obama/Rubio agenda, and who have worked closely with various low-immigration groups and activists for years. From the perspective of those launching this smear campaign, there would seem to be only two explanations for the continued opposition of conservative immigration hawks to this agenda: They are either so obtuse that they have no ability to judge the people they’re working with, or they’re actually part of the vast abortionist conspiracy.
So, I’d like to ask Norquist and his ilk what they think the explanation is. Do they think Phyllis Schlafly is stupid, or evil? Do they think Senator Jeff Sessions is stupid, or evil? Do they think Senator Ted Cruz is stupid, or evil? Do they think National Review is stupid, or evil?
It’s got to be one or the other, from their standpoint. Which is it?
— Mark Krikorian is executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies.