The Corner

Never Get Involved in a Land War in Asia, Immigration Edition

A liberal-ish reader comments on my home-page piece on the political fallout for the GOP of passing an amnesty/mass immigration bill:

I’m reading “American Hubris” by Peter Beinart, in which he tells new (to me) details of the familiar story in which Kennedy and Johnson got the U.S.  into the Vietnam War in spite of their strong reservations, out of fear that the Right would blame them for “losing Vietnam.” (Turns out they even feared impeachment.) One of the points was that a major obstacle was ignorance among American officials of the culture and history of Vietnam (again a familiar story, but interesting new details).  Of course, the result was catastrophic.

It occurred to me that the current immigration debate is in many ways analogous.  The assumption that Latino and Asian voters will go Republican if only the Republican Party shows itself to be pro-immigration is just absurd, and again, shows an appalling lack of understanding of the psyche of those groups.  And yes, I believe that CIR, at least in the Senate bill’s form, would indeed be catastrophic.

That “undocumented Democrats” line is wicked clever, but it fails to bring out the ugly fact that the Democratic Party and its allies (e.g. SEIU) are selling out their own putative constituency–the poor, often racial minority, working class.  So that brings up one more Vietnam metaphor, the U.S. general’s infamous statement that “We had to burn the village to save it.”

Mark Krikorian — Mark Krikorian, a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995.

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