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EVANGELICALS FOR AMNESTY – THE PERILS OF POLITICAL COMPASSION
July 26, 2013
By Don Feder


       THE REV. Samuel Rodriguez brought his God-hates-borders sideshow to D.C. on Thursday.

       The president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference has spent the last few years building evangelical support for another amnesty, claiming the move is in keeping with the Bible's call to act "justly and mercifully toward the stranger" and "care for the least among us."

       "The United States cannot wait for sensible immigration reform that upholds human dignity, family unity and respect for the rule of law," the Rev. sermonized on Politico on July 23. "We need this middle ground; one that simultaneously keeps our borders secure and creates an opportunity for aspiring Americans to emerge from the shadows, pay appropriate penalties and eventually earn citizenship."
 

       Securing our borders with an amnesty is like promoting chastity with condoms. In 1986, we amnestied 2.7 million to fix our "broken immigration system." Now we have at least 11.1 million. In the mid-1980s, they were coming at a rate of 500,000 a year. Now we're getting a million annually. If this amnesty passes, how many will we be dealing with in another 20 years?

       "Appropriate penalties" and earned citizenship are a smoke screen. The penalties assessed will never be collected. (It's in the left's interest to remove any impediments to citizenship/voting.) Citizenship won't be earned. (How, by memorizing the Gettysburg Address?) It will be bestowed.

       Rodriguez isn't the only one guzzling this particular brand of Kool-Aid. Almost 30,000 have signed up as "partners" in his Evangelical Immigration Table's "Pray for Reform Campaign." At its June meeting, the 15-million member Southern Baptist Convention resolved to "ask our governing authorities to implement, with the borders secured, a just and compassionate path to legal status... for those undocumented immigrants already living in our country."

       Another evangelical leader recently called me "cold" and "mean" for asking why I had to prove to Hispanics that I care about them by backing a pathway to national extinction. "No wonder they (Hispanics) think Republicans are mean," he shot back.

       There are several problems with using biblical authority to justify an amnesty. The Bible differentiates between "a stranger who resides with you in your land… who you shall not oppress," and an "alien" or "foreigner." The stranger (who was usually in the process of converting to Judaism) had permission to settle and did so legally. When the Children of Israel came to Egypt to escape a famine, they asked permission to sojourn there, even though Joseph was the country's viceroy.

       The alien or foreigner did not receive permission to live in the land. The illegal immigrants swarming over our southern border are more akin to the pagan armies which regularly invaded the land of Israel and were repulsed by military force. The Bible is a guide for living, not a suicide pact.

       Based on his misreading of Scriptures, Rev. Rodriguez calls for compassion toward "the least among us," which apparently does not include the citizens preyed on by criminal aliens, or the unskilled worker who loses his job because he can't compete with cheap labor imported from Tijuana.

       Compassion and politics are a volatile mix. In the guise of fighting poverty, 1960s Great Society programs destroyed the black family and gave us an 80% out-of-wedlock birth rate in the inner city.

       Currently, anti-family ideologues are playing the compassion card against those of us who resist the deconstruction of marriage. In his majority opinion overruling DOMA, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy said defenders of the natural family are telling gays that their unions are inferior to ours. No wonder homosexuals think Republicans are mean.

       Compassion was used to sell legalized abortion. Feminists demanded empathy for the victims of biology. "What are you going to do about the 16-year-old who's pregnant? Tell her to carry the baby to term – ruining her hopes of getting an education, having a career, perhaps even marrying? Exposing her to the horrors of a back-alley abortion?" The mainstream media insist that the gender gap is the result of the GOP's mean-spiritedness, designated the Republican war on women.

       Beginning with Roe, four decades of liberal compassion have resulted in 56 million dead babies, not to mention falling fertility and the decline of marriage, to the great detriment of women as well as men.

       If it succeeds, evangelicals' compassion for the stranger (Can I skip the quotation marks?) will result in a Democratic majority in perpetuity.

       In an earlier story, Politico said the Senate bill would "transform the nation's political landscape for a generation or more." Eleven million new Hispanic voters "would produce an electoral bonanza for Democrats and cripple Republican prospects in many states they now hold easily," including Texas, Arizona and Florida. Obama, Reid and Pelosi are salivating at the prospect.

       As much as Obamacare, this could be the president's most enduring legacy. Reflecting that, every Senate Democrat voted for Obamnesty, but fewer than a third of Republicans succumbed, in a body dominated by RINOs.

       Amnesty advocates on the right have taken up the media mantra: Republicans need to fix our broken immigration system (systematically demolished by the left's wrecking ball over the past half-century) and put the matter behind us, otherwise we're destined to lose a growing share of the Hispanic vote, which will doom our prospects forever.

       Republicans might as well try to capture unicorns with butterfly nets as win Hispanic hearts by supporting amnesty. Reagan backed the 1986 amnesty; two years later, George H.W. Bush got a smaller share of the Hispanic vote than the Gipper. Amnesty poster-boy John McCain got 31% of the Hispanic vote in 2008 – only three percentage points better than Romney with his senseless "self-deportation." A bold appeal on border security would have worked better with the American vote.

       In June, Massachusetts held a special election for John Kerry's Senate seat. The Democrats nominated Ed Markey, a welfare-state hack who served in the House for 37 years, and looked like an extra from "Dawn of The Dead." The GOP ran Gabriel Gomez, a former Navy SEAL who said he couldn't wait to get to Washington to make it a Gang of Nine. The son of Colombian immigrants, Gomez addressed Hispanic audiences in fluent Spanish. He lost the election by a 10-point margin. Hispanics voted overwhelmingly for Markey. Can't buy me amor?

       This is a constituency that yearns to breathe free stuff. An April 2012 Pew Hispanic Center poll showed a staggering 75% want more government services, compared to 41% of the general public. Among the public at large, 45% want smaller government, against 19% of Hispanics.

       This preference changes little over time. Big government is favored by 81% of first-generation Hispanics (from which the newly amnestied will come), but 72% of the second generation. By the third generation, it's only down to 60%.

       Some evangelicals have convinced themselves that those on the interstate to citizenship will swell the ranks of social-conservative voters. In the first generation, 58% of Hispanics say abortion should be illegal in most or all cases – slightly less than the 61% among all Americans. But that drops to 48% in the second and 43% in the third generation.

       Ultimately, it's all academic. Hispanics don't vote on social issues. Only one House member whose district borders Mexico voted against Obamacare. In pursuit of government deluxe, newly enfranchised illegals will elect a host of welfare-state Democrats, who will vote predictably on abortion, marriage and judicial nominations. In the name of caring for the least-among-us, evangelicals will end up electing a lot of pro-abortion, anti-marriage leftists.

       The strangers among us include a quarter of all inmates in the federal prison system. With another 297,000 in state prisons and jails, they comprise 16.4% of the country's total prison population. Apparently, murder, rape and vehicular homicide are jobs Americans won't do.

       On March 3 in Brooklyn, Nachman and Raizi Glauber, a Hasidic couple, hailed a cab for a trip to a local hospital. Seven months pregnant, Raizi was experiencing unusual pains. A car driven by Julio Acevedo, traveling at twice the speed limit, smashed into the Glaubers' cab – killing husband, wife and child.

       Two weeks before the fatal crash, Acevedo was arrested for DWI (with a blood-alcohol level that might be mistaken for a distillery), but released without posting bail. In the 1990s, the stranger from the Dominican Republic served 10 years for manslaughter.

       But won't we do background checks on those who apply for legalized status? All 11 million? Really? Will the unicorns help?

       By being politically compassionate, you can get a warm, holier-than-thou glow while sacrificing someone else's income or opportunities.

       It won't be members of the Evangelical Immigration Table who'll lose their jobs if another amnesty is inflicted on us, but the working poor. Steve Camarota and Karen Ziegler of the Center for Immigration Studies found that between the first quarter of 2000 and the first quarter of 2013, the number of native-born employed fell 1.3 million. In the same period, aliens of all types gained 5.3 million jobs.

       With the longest sustained period of high unemployment since the Great Depression, it makes as much sense to import more low-skill laborers as it does to put life-and-death health care decisions in the hands of sympathetic federal bureaucrats – or elect a cyber-flasher mayor of our largest city.

       The Heritage Foundation found that the typical illegal head-of-household has only a 10th grade education. Consequently, most are not employed as geneticists or nuclear physicists. Heritage calculated that in 2010, the average illegal who worked paid $10,334 in taxes, but received $24,721 in government benefits.

       Under family unification, 11 million now legal residents would be able to bring in aged parents and minor children. This would add another 17 million who would immediately qualify for means-tested programs. (It's not as if we had a $17-trillion national debt, after all.) Every amnesty is also a magnet for more illegal immigration.

       Compassion is for families, friends, neighbors, churches and charities.

       Political compassion has resulted in most of the horrors of modernity – from the French Revolution (liberty, equality and fraternity aren't bad things) to communism (to each according to his need), to the destruction of the black family (in the name of a war on poverty) to the war on the family (in the name of equality).

       What the left never learned some on the right are quickly forgetting.

 

Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer who is now a political/communications consultant. He also maintains his own website, DonFeder.com.

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