Rewarding law breakers is not a good idea, whether we’re talking about the securities laws or the immigration laws.

The Gang of 8 plan rewards law breakers.  We’re told that we need to legalize law breakers because it’s the humane thing to do.  But in so doing, whether it results in citizenship or not, we have advantaged those who broke the law to get here over those who respected our laws and wait patiently overseas or across the border.  Bad policy, pure and simple.

That bad policy will be compounded if there is a path to citizenship for law breakers.  At a minimum, never becoming a citizen should be the cost of breaking the law to get here.  (Caveat to all that is children who were brought here at a young age and know no other country.  They don’t have legal or moral culpability, and hence are not rewarded.)

The folly of the Gang of 8 is made even more clear when we consider why this is being done, for some imagined electoral necessity to do better with Hispanic voters.  Doing better with Hispanics and other groups is a worthy goal and should be a focus, but not at the cost of rewarding law breakers.

And it probably would make no difference in presidential outcomes as Byron York points out, Winning Hispanic vote would not be enough for GOP:

After six months of mulling over November’s election results, many Republicans remain convinced that the party’s only path to future victory is to improve the GOP’s appeal to Hispanic voters. But how many Hispanic voters do Republicans need to attract before the party can again win the White House?

A lot. Start with the 2012 exit polls. The New York Times’ Nate Silver has created an interactive tool in which one can look at the presidential election results and calculate what would have happened if the racial and ethnic mix of voters had been different. The tool also allows one to project future results based on any number of scenarios in which the country’s demographic profile and voting patterns change.

In 2012, President Obama famously won 71 percent of the Hispanic vote to Mitt Romney’s 27 percent. If all other factors remained the same, how large a percentage of the Hispanic vote would Romney have had to win to capture the White House?

What if Romney had won 44 percent of the Hispanic vote, the high-water mark for Republicans achieved by George W. Bush in 2004? As it turns out, if Romney had hit that Bush mark, he still would have lost, with 240 electoral votes to 298 for Obama.

But what if Romney had been able to make history and attract 50 percent of Hispanic voters? What then? He still would have been beaten, 283 electoral votes to 255.

What if Romney had been able to do something absolutely astonishing for a Republican and win 60 percent of the Hispanic vote? He would have lost by the same margin, 283 electoral votes to 255.

But what if Romney had been able to reach a mind-blowing 70 percent of the Hispanic vote? Surely that would have meant victory, right? No, it wouldn’t. Romney still would have lost, although by the narrowest of electoral margins, 270 to 268….

Likewise, the white vote is so large that an improvement of 4 points — going from 60 percent to 64 percent of those whites who did vote — would have won the race for Romney.

So which would have been a more realistic goal for Romney — matching the white turnout from just a few years earlier, or winning 73 percent of Hispanic voters?

It’s not an all or nothing analysis.  Republicans should try to improve with all groups, but the folly of thinking that bad immigration policy will win an election is just that, folly.


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