The Corner

The Anti-Amnesty Pledge: a Promising Sign the Republican Party Is Changing from the Bottom Up

For years people such as Mark Krikorian, Senator Jeff Sessions, and the editors at National Review have argued that Republicans need to do more to reach out to working-class Americans. The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) recently issued a new candidates’ pledge that advances that goal. The pledge binds candidates to oppose any legislation that would grant more work permits or expand the already large number of new immigrants and temporary workers into the U.S.

In Georgia, all four top-tier GOP Senate candidates (Representative Paul Broun, Karen Handel, Representative Jack Kingston, and David Perdue) have signed the FAIR pledge. Whoever wins the state’s nomination should showcase this commitment to border and immigration enforcement against his or her Democratic opponent in November. The straightforward argument should be: A vote to elect another Democrat to join Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, and Lindsey Graham (just kidding) is vote for big business, not big opportunity for American workers. Democrats must be forced to explain how they “stand for the little guy” when they advocate for doubling the number of foreign workers allowed in to take the few decent-paying jobs available.

This means fewer jobs and lower wages for American citizens and the legal immigrants who played by the rules to live and work here.

Many Republican “consultants” have urged the party to embrace “comprehensive immigration reform” in order to attract more of the Hispanic vote. The advice is both cynical and silly. In the first place, I think we’d do better among those voters if we could actually show them that our policies would lead to higher standards of living for everyone. Second, the amnesty tactic completely ignores the plight of lower-wage workers, including African Americans. Don’t Republicans need to get out of single-digits with those voters, especially in a state like Georgia which has a significant African-American population? After all, no group has suffered worse from our reckless immigration policies than they have. 

In stunning detail, Peter Kirsanow of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights recently outlined the ruinous effects of Democrats’ “immigration “reform” on African-American workers (audio here). He properly contends that the Democratic party should answer for what it has become — a shill for big corporate interests, including the hoodie-wearing robber barons of the 21st century.

Now is the moment for the GOP to redefine itself and, in the process, change the way it’s perceived by voters from both parties — young, old, male, female, and of all races and ethnicities. 

A positive, more populist approach is long overdue. I sense that people in both parties have grown weary of the identity-politics game. Has it created a single job? Republicans have a historic opportunity to stand with American workers, American families, and the legal immigrants, too. Promoting the FAIR pledge is an excellent place to start.

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