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Wall Street Journal to Immigration Hardliners: Face reality, or Extinction

by Paco Fabian on 12/02/2008 at 3:06pm

Goode lawn signsToday’s Wall Street Journal blog featured our Immigration08.com election analysis in a post entitled, “More Immigration Losers.”

The byline? 

GOP hardliners need to face reality. 

Or extinction. 

Let’s pick reality for a minute- that would mean owning up to the fact that immigration hasn’t worked as a wedge issue, that GOP immigration rhetoric has alienated the fastest-growing voting bloc in the country, and that deportation-only platforms fall flat with swing voters looking for solutions to the toughest issues facing our nation.

According to the Journal’s blog:

Virginia Republican Congressman Virgil Goode’s narrow loss to Democrat Tom Perriello became official last week, and it caps another bad showing for immigration restrictionists. For the second straight election, incumbent Republicans who attempted to turn illegal immigration into a wedge issue fared poorly.

Anti-immigration hardliners Randy Graf, John Hostettler and J.D. Hayworth were among the Republicans who lost in 2006. Joining them this year were GOP Representatives Thelma Drake (Virginia), Tom Feeney (Florida), Ric Keller (Florida) and Robin Hayes (North Carolina) — all Members of a House anti-immigration caucus that focuses on demonizing the undocumented.

According to a review of election results by America’s Voice, an advocacy group, Republican restrictionists had especially weak showings in “battleground” races.” Nineteen of 21 winners advocated immigration policies beyond enforcement-only,” says the report. “This includes 5 of 5 Senate races and 14 of 16 House races listed in the ‘toss-up,’ ‘leans Republican,’ or ‘leans Democratic’ categories of the Cook Political Report.”

Mr. Goode, a 12-year incumbent, had made a name for himself in Congress as a seal-the-border advocate. Among other things, he has called for mass deportations and amending the Constitution to deny U.S. citizenship to children of illegal aliens.

The pro-immigrant blog Citizen Orange has a good analysis of what made Virgil Goode a hardliner on immigration. 

Virgil Goode is essentially arguing for “the right of blood” an
antiquated concept whereby nationality is not determined by place of
birth, but by ancestry.  It’s the equivalent of a feudal philosophy
whereby your privileges are passed onto you by your parents.  Not only
does it undercut a central tenet of U.S. citizenship, but it also
undercuts the idea that everyone should be born equal.

I go into this explanation, because I don’t think people realize what a
radical affront to the United States people like Virgil Goode are. 
These are not people on the lunatic fringe.  H.R. 1940 or the “Birthright Citizenship Act of 2007” claims 104 co-sponsors
in the House of Representatives (that’s out of 435 for those that are
counting).  This act would strip the children of migrants from their
right to citizenship.

Congressman like Virgil Goode like to claim that they are for enforcing
the laws that are on the books.  In reality they are in favor of a
radical reordering of judicial philosophy of the United States as we
know it. 

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