The Corner

CPAC’s Tent Gets Smaller by the Day

After today’s editorial on CPAC’s exclusion of GOProud and Governor Christie was published, organizers of the annual conservative get-together sent an e-mail announcing more speakers:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Conservative Union (ACU) today announced a number of conservative leaders who will participate on a panel entitled “Respecting Families and the Rule of Law: A Lasting Immigration Policy” at CPAC 2013, the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference. . . .

“We are thrilled to welcome these leaders to the CPAC stage, as they discuss immigration policy reform and its impact on families and the rule of law,” said ACU Chairman Al Cardenas. “I am excited to hear what will no doubt be a lively discussion about a very important policy challenge. Each of these participants will add much value to the larger immigration debate in Congress and throughout the United States.”

“Lively discussion,” huh? Sounds interesting. Let’s see who the the panelists are:

Featured speakers who will introduce what their respective organizations are doing to promote the conservative movement and agenda include:

Dr. Whit Ayers, President, North Star Opinion Research

Dan Garza, Executive Director, The LIBRE Initiative

Helen Krieble, Founder and President, The Vernon K. Krieble Foundation

Jenny Korn, Executive Director, American Action Network

Moderator: Helen Aguirre Ferré, Host, “Zona Politica” on Univision Radio

In case you’re keeping score, that’s five supporters of “comprehensive immigration reform” and zero (0) skeptics. Now, I certainly don’t need to be on this panel, but someone does who’s not on board with the Obama/Rubio/Schumer amnesty plan. And I love the intro: “will introduce what their respective organizations are doing to promote the conservative movement and agenda,” which actually means “what their respective organizations are doing to promote President Obama’s amnesty agenda.”

Heck, even AEI’s dishonest panel on immigration a month back included, along with three lobbyists for amnesty and unlimited immigration, NR’s own Reihan Salam, who’s actually an immigration expansionist, but an intellectually honest one who’s willing to address issues of costs and tradeoffs. CPAC isn’t permitting even that minor degree of ideological deviationism.

And remember, actual conservative voters are hawkish on immigration. When a recent poll asked whether there had been too much or too little immigration enforcement, conservative likely voters answered “too little” by 79 percent to 8 percent. When asked whether they’d vote for a political party that supported enforcing immigration laws as opposed to a party that supports legalizing illegal immigrants, conservative likely voters answered 73 percent to 14 percent. This is yet another demonstration that on immigration, as on a number of other issues, the conservative establishment (not to mention the Republican party establishment) rejects the views of the vast majority of its own voters.

In the spirit of Marcus Garvey’s nickname for the NAACP, maybe we should just rename CPAC Certain People’s Action Conference.

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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