Really the bottomline of Krikorian’s (Center for Immigration Studies) criticism of Paul is, why did Senator Paul get into the ‘amnesty’ battle when he really doesn’t have the background knowledge on the subject? Paul was on a roll after his fabulous filibuster and his strong showing at CPAC, why didn’t he just stick with what he does best?
He could have easily sat on the sidelines of the immigration war for a while, but he bumbled in unnecessarily and prematurely.
The folks at the Center for Immigration Studies have the data to back up what they say after nearly 30 years of compiling statistics on immigration and immigrants—both legal and illegal.
Here is Krikorian critiquing Paul’s speech at National Review Online:
Rand Paul’s amnesty speech before the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce was a pastiche of establishment cliches. Permit me to select some and respond:
Growing up in Texas I never met a Latino who wasn’t working.
While this kind of flattery is expected when politicians pander to any kind of group, in this case it’s not true. The latest data show that 65.4 percent of U.S.-born Hispanics over age 16 have a job, and 68.4 percent of Hispanic immigrants (legal and illegal) do, compared with 69.3 percent for the country as a whole. That’s not a difference worth getting excited about one way or the other, but it does show that Hispanics are regular people, not toiling supermen.
Republicans have been losing both the respect and votes of a group of people who already identify with our belief in family, faith, and conservative values. Hispanics should be a natural and sizable part of the Republican base.
Oy vey. Hispanics are more negative about capitalism, and more positive about socialism, than even supporters of Occupy Wall Street. By almost four-to-one, Hispanics prefer bigger government over smaller government. Sixty-two percent of Hispanics support Obamacare. The majority support gay marriage. Among the U.S.-born (who make up the large majority of Hispanic voters), 40 percent use welfare and 45 percent have no federal income-tax liability. Outreach is important, but can we finally retire the notion that there’s a conservative Republican inside every Hispanic voter just waiting to come out if only the GOP backs amnesty?
Read on! Then Krikorian concludes with this:
Senator Paul amassed a lot of political capital with his filibuster, even among people who don’t fully agree with him on the drone issue, or foreign policy in general. But I’m afraid he’s just dissipated a lot of that good will with this embarrassing, amateurish foray into a policy area he knows nothing about.
By the way, you may have seen the controversy swirling around an AP story which says Senator Paul supports a “path to citizenship.” Paul did not go that far and was defended yesterday by Erick Erickson at Red State, here. Now Paul will be forced to constantly undo the wrong message sent by AP—just one more example of why he didn’t have to wade into these waters at this point.
For new readers: I criticized Paul here in February on the immigration issue. For a brief time in 2011 he had really gotten tough on our lax security screening when two Iraqi refugees living and working in Kentucky were found guilty of plotting terror attacks and so his recent naive rhetoric on immigration was disappointing.
Update: The radical Leftist union SEIU likes Rand Paul’s amnesty plan.