Illegal immigration is so unpopular, even a labor union is weighing in to oppose potential amnesty. Yet this all seems to come as news to some. During a recent panel discussion, the host of CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS conceded that Republicans are winning in the midterm elections by opposing amnesty rather than trying to pander to the “mythical” Hispanic voter.
Zakaria added that though a lot of “well-meaning commentators” assumed that the Republican Party would “compromise” on immigration “because they recognize they need to get Hispanic votes,” the midterm elections are showing that working-class Americans opposed to amnesty legislation will turn out in “much larger numbers” than the “mythical” or “highly unlikely Hispanic voter.”
“They’re doubling down on that bet, and it’s working,” Zakaria opined, before stereotyping Americans who oppose to amnesty as “angry white males.”
Princeton University Professor Sean Wilentz said the strategy makes sense and it is “going to get them back the Senate, most likely,” in a “confederate election” that is “being fought out in the border states and the deep South.” Neither Wilentz nor Zakaria mentioned that Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown in the “deep South/border state” of New Hampshire may oust Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen because of the illegal immigration issue. Brown was trailing in the polls considerably before he, to use Wilentz’s words, started “banging down on that” issue.
CNN’s Gloria Borger implied that Republicans can win the White House only if they pass amnesty legislation–a common argument from establishment Republicans like Karl Rove or Jeb Bush. Zakaria recognized that Americans are frustrated because wages have been holding steady or going down for the last 15 years. A recent Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) report found that all of the net gain in employment during the last 13 years went to illegal and legal immigrants. And the Congressional Budget Office has determined that comprehensive amnesty legislation would lower the wages of American workers.
Zakaria’s observation about working-class Americans being galvanized against illegal immigration certainly is not original. Conservatives have emphasized that appealing to American workers of all backgrounds by opposing amnesty is a winning strategy. But Zakaria’s public admission that the strategy is working is unusual from an elite mainstream media figure on CNN.
An Eagle Forum report concluded that massive amnesty legislation would actually be “suicide” for the GOP, which a recent study of non-citizen voters by two academics at Old Dominion University seems to confirm. Aware of the public’s dislike of his potential executive amnesty, President Barack Obama is delaying any executive action until after the midterms to help Senate Democrats retain control of the Senate. At least three national polls have found that a plurality of Americans are “less likely” to vote for candidates who support giving citizenship to illegal immigrants.
As Breitbart News has argued, “despite the incessant lectures from the mainstream press, establishment Republican politicians, and consultants about the need to pass amnesty legislation to appeal to Hispanic voters, two recent studies of the Latino electorate suggest that Republicans can oppose amnesty and still win elections in the midterms and beyond.”
A Pew Hispanic Research study found that in the “eight states with close Senate races, just 4.7 percent of eligible voters on average are Latinos” even though a record 25.2 million Latinos will be eligible to vote. And because eligible Latino voters are younger than voters from other groups, they are less likely to be registered. In addition, the Latino vote is concentrated in Texas and California–two states that aren’t purple in general elections. A Washington Post analysis also determined that opposing amnesty legislation “won’t put the GOP at much of a disadvantage” in 2014 and beyond.
To Zakaria, these voters are “angry white males.”