It was only a matter of time before the open-borders crowd tried to scapegoat the immigration issue in light this week’s Republican defeat. Those who blame an immigration enforcement platform for widespread GOP losses are experiencing a moment of selective campaign recall, as if there was a batch of pro-amnesty/guest worker candidates who surged to victory. In fact, quite the opposite is true.
In districts where pro-enforcement incumbents lost, such as Arizona Rep. J.D. Hayworth’s (note: Hayworth has not conceded) and Indiana Rep. John Hostettler, their Democrat opponents actually campaigned on tough enforcement and border security. Hayworth’s opponent stated that “enforcing our nation’s immigration laws is an absolutely necessary ingredient to securing the U.S.-Mexico border,” and promised to “extend existing fencing in urban areas” along our southern border. Sounds like he’s taken a page out of “Whatever It Takes,” Hayworth’s recent book on combating illegal immigration.
In Hostettler’s case, his opponent, a county sheriff, had this to say about the crisis of illegal immigration: “It’s also not right when an Indiana employer passes over an American for a job only because an illegal worker is cheaper. We need to tighten our borders, enforce the laws we have, and punish employers who break them.” I don’t know that a candidate talking like that could get the Big Business endorsement.
Also in Arizona, pro-amnesty/guest-worker proponents like to point to the Hayworth loss and the loss of pro-enforcement candidate Randy Graf in the 8th District, as a referendum on the immigration issue. However, they fail to mention four immigration ballot initiatives that Arizonian’s passed overwhelmingly, including making English Arizona’s official language (74%), denying bail to illegal aliens (78%), barring illegal aliens from winning punitive damages (74%), and denying in-state college tuition to illegal immigrants (72%). These are impressive numbers for any ballot initiatives, especially considering the supposed “divisive” nature of the immigration debate. Evidently, nearly three quarters of Arizona voters are “mean-spirited.”
As many pundits have already explained, this was an election cycle when Republicans lost across the ideological board, from pro-amnesty Sen. Mike DeWine (R.-Ohio) to pro-enforcement John Hostettler. Clearly, pro-enforcement candidates did not lose based on their support for the rule of law. In fact, by courageously listening to the American people, they shifted the immigration debate to the political mainstream. While the players and party have changed, the will of the American people remains the same: Enforce our immigration laws.