Skip to main content
Opinion

GOP is dumber than a box of rocks on immigration

Jun 06, 2023

Share

The pandemic border restrictions known as Title 42 were lifted on May 11, ending a public health policy that allowed authorities to turn away illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. border seeking asylum. Title 42 was put in place under former President Trump to prevent the spread of COVID-19 across the border from Mexico. Many experts — and many Republicanspredicted the U.S. would see a huge influx of immigrants when Title 42 ended, but so far, that surge hasn’t happened. Instead, crossings have hit new lows.

Straight Arrow News contributor Ruben Navarrette explains why he thinks the GOP has been wrong about almost everything related to immigration all along.

Republicans can’t seem to grasp the reality that the U.S.-Mexico border is the most fortified it has ever been, a result of our spending more than $60 billion annually on the Department of Homeland Security.

On his podcast, classic scholar turned conservative pundit, Victor Davis Hanson, heaped contempt and condescension on the migrants at the border, a border that he declared open. Incredibly, Hanson then went on to explain that, “10,000 people were arrested per day.” Look, you don’t need a PhD in Greek mythology to see the contradiction. What kind of lame excuse for a so-called open border snares 10,000 people per day? Don’t look now but the open border is broken.

There are other things that Republicans don’t understand or won’t accept, like the fact that the immigration phenomena is largely demand-driven and fueled by employers, many of whom give campaign contributions to the GOP. Or the fact that much of the immigration debate is driven by racism and nativism and always has been. Or the fact that newcomers bring with them a new blood and a strong work ethic. And that for those reasons and others, America doesn’t need fewer migrants and refugees. It needs more.

Something’s not right … with the right. Isn’t it supposed to be the case that the more obsessed someone is with a topic, the more they talk about a topic why, the more they ought to know about that topic. 

 

By that standard, Republicans should be by now gosh darn experts on immigration. They talk about it, think about it, opine about it, and get worked up about it more than I do. And I’m the most widely read Latino columnist in the country. 

 

If you believe my critics, I’m the one who’s supposed to be obsessed with immigration, not an out-of-date political party made up largely of white men in red caps.

 

But Republicans do not have a very good handle on immigration. In fact, having studied them for the last three decades and having written about immigration for a bit longer than that, believe me when I tell you that the average Republican is, when it comes to immigration, dumber than a box of rocks. Now, with the lifting of Title 42, a portion of US government code created in 1944 to keep foreigners out of the United States, supposedly, to protect public health, Republicans are once again demonstrating just how little they know about a topic they can’t stop talking about. I had some time on my hands the other day, so I made a list. Here are the three things that Republicans don’t get about immigration, or for that matter, about immigrants. 

 

One, Republicans tremble at the sight of thousands of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, even if many of those migrants will ultimately turn themselves in to Border Patrol agents in the hopes that they’ll be allowed to stay in the United States and do jobs Americans won’t do. 

 

Conservative Hugh Hewitt declared the situation at the border “a nightmare’ on his radio show. And that was before the lifting of Title 42. He predicted that the number of border crossings would soar from 10,000 per day, the number before Title 42 ended, to “20 or 30,000.” That didn’t happen. In fact, the numbers of crossings went down. Two, Republicans think immigrants and refugees come here not for economic opportunity and personal safety, but for welfare checks, free schooling and other giveaways. 

 

On his national radio show, conservative host Ben Shapiro recently got tangled up in his own oversimplifications when he suggested that the tens of thousands of migrants currently waiting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border, a group who he described as mostly “young, working-age men who aim to, “get some state welfare benefits” or something. Undocumented immigrants aren’t eligible for welfare benefits, Ben. Is this latest wave, made up of mostly young, working-age men, coming to take jobs away from Americans? Or are these people coming to soak up welfare benefits or something?

 

Time to pick a lane.

 

Number three, Republicans can’t seem to grasp the reality that the U.S.-Mexico border is the most fortified it has ever been, a result of our spending more than $60 billion annually on the Department of Homeland Security. On his podcast, classic scholar turned conservative pundit,  

 

Victor Davis Hanson, heaped contempt and condescension on the migrants at the border, a border that he declared open. Incredibly, Hanson then went on to explain that, “10,000 people were arrested per day.” Look, you don’t need a PhD in Greek mythology to see the contradiction. What kind of lame excuse for a so-called open border snares 10,000 people per day? Don’t look now but the open border is broken.

 

There are other things that Republicans don’t understand or won’t accept, like the fact that the immigration phenomena is largely demand-driven and fueled by employers, many of whom give campaign contributions to the GOP. Or the fact that much of the immigration debate is driven by racism and nativism and always has been. Or the fact that newcomers bring with them a new blood and a strong work ethic. And that for those reasons and others, America doesn’t need fewer migrants and refugees. It needs more.

 

Video Library

Latest Commentary

We know it is important to hear from a diverse range of observers on the complex topics we face and believe our commentary partners will help you reach your own conclusions.

The commentaries published in this section are solely those of the contributors and do not reflect the views of Straight Arrow News.


Latest Opinions

In addition to the facts, we believe it’s vital to hear perspectives from all sides of the political spectrum. We hope these different voices will help you reach your own conclusions.

The opinions published in this section are solely those of the contributors and do not reflect the views of Straight Arrow News.

Weekly Voices

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Monday

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Tuesday

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Wednesday

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Thursday

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Friday

Left Opinion Right Opinion