We Conservative Hispanics find ourselves in a tough spot. We have meetings, make plans and do things to make an impact in our communities. We discuss the issues, spread the word and promote the Party, all in the hopes that when the time comes, our elected officials will be there for us…to help provide a vision for solving our many issues.
The people we talk to have a misconception of our Party, and it’s based on the actions of a few. Our goal is to change their perception and associate the Republican Party with the core values we all talk about.
We’re going through the motions, but apparently, not “connecting” with many in the Party. Those on the “far right,” the “base,” don’t like the talk of Amnesty or Pathway to Citizenship.
They don’t approve of an open border, and they certainly do not like the idea of U.S. Taxpayers funding the lives of illegal immigrants. I don’t blame them, neither do we.
But there seems to be this notion that we want to create an amnesty-style “loop-hole” for undocumented immigrants. That’s not true. What’s also not true is that all undocumented immigrants want to become citizens. Most just want to work.
We’ve heard the mantra, “Everyone here illegally should pack up and head back to their country of origin and re-apply.” Re-apply? As if they’re just getting back in line for a movie?
If they get back in line, wait their turn and ultimately come back, (no guarantee) doesn’t it make sense to bypass the exodus-level chaos and develop a system to allow those here illegally to re-apply and document themselves, thereby contributing fully and being proactive in the solution process?
I’ve written about a plan Lt. Governor David Dewhurst talked about once in a Hispanic Leadership meeting. He suggested a plan to document the undocumented. If an undocumented/Illegal resident paid for thumb prints, criminal background checks, and verification of residence, we could grant them a two year Visa…renewable only if they have not been convicted of a felony and have paid their taxes.
But no, we want to punish them. It’s not enough that they live in the shadows…they must pay the price of entering this country illegally. What’s the price?
Many of our elected officials have calculated the value of the Hispanic vote, and right now, our price tag is pretty low. We’re essentially irrelevant in the Primary. Since our track record shows no substantial voting history during the Primary, the Incumbent thinks, “Well…I could get involved in this issue and try to solve problems and risk alienating my base, or I could keep my mouth shut, pander a little and keep my base.”
Want to guess where that leaves us?
If our elected officials refuse to get involved because they think the “base” will leave them, then they should expect low Hispanic turn-outs and support. Candidates think they can’t win if they appear weak on immigration. With no real dialogue, we have a void, which is being filled by Democrats seizing the opportunity to capitalize on our inability to develop a plan. Like I said…a dilemma.