"It’s easier to frame opposition using the bloodless language of the budget than the combustible language of national character and composition," The Washington Post's Ezra Klein wrote this mornin, but the Congressional Budget Office has refuted argument by finding that immigration reform would cut almost $1 trillion from the federal deficit over the next 20 years.
In a way, this already happened, back when the Heritage Foundation released a study showing immigration reform would cost $6.3 trillion, and then The Washington Post's Dylan Matthews discovered that one of the study's authors had claimed the U.S. should let in fewer Latino immigrants because they have lower IQ scores. Here are some of the remaining arguments against immigration reform: Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham, among others, say that immigration reform will merely create millions of Democratic voters. "The polling data is clear: 70 percent of the Hispanic voters are gonna vote Democrat no matter what," Limbaugh said last week. If the point is to drown out conservatives, why would Republicans sign on? Members of the GOP establishment want "scamnesty" because they "fully intend on reducing the influence of grassroots conservatives/libertarians in the party by overcoming them with an influx of more 'government Americans,'" according to Iowa evangelical Steve Deace.
Sure, America has seen waves of immigrants before, but the Latino immigrants of today are different, Rush Limbaugh said in January.
"In the early days of the twentieth century, the massive immigration that occurred pre-World War I all the way postwar through post-World War II, people were fleeing tyranny and oppression and bondage... They wanted to be Americans with a capital A. That's not what's happening now. What's happening now is the Balkanization of our culture. On the illegal side of immigration, we've seen an evolution, to the point now that a good percentage of the illegal arrivals are not interested in assimilation. They're not interested in this distinct American culture."
In fact, it's the immigration advocates who are the real bigots, Glenn Beck said this week. Noting that immigration supporters had held a candlelight vigil at the home of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who supports self-deportation, Beck said on Tuesday, "I believe that this is the same exact tactics used by the Klan in the 1960s... And they're doing it in the name of civil rights. But make no mistake, you are on the right side. You are the new civil rights movement." There are laws against what the immigration supporters did, Beck said:
"They're called the Klan laws... They're a set of laws that say you cannot intimidate an official by trespassing his property or threatening violence, you cannot intimidate an individual by threatening violence so that they don't vote or they don't exercise their civil rights. And arguably both of those might apply here because they were trying to intimidate me as an elected official to change my point of view, and certainly they don't like what I've been saying for years and doing for years to stop illegal immigration."
In June, Iowa Rep. Steve King warned that immigration advocates "are salivating over putting their imprimatur on history and changing the character and the culture and the direction of the civilization of America." This came out of nowhere, he said. King told a little tale to explain his shock that Washington is debating immigration when the whole 2012 election was about the economy:
I said to them yesterday in an immigration meeting inside the Republican Study Committee, which had a panel there of House and Senate to talk about immigration--some of them experts--that I feel like Rumpelstiltskin.
The story of Rumpelstiltskin is that he went to sleep under a tree, and he was clean shaven, and when he woke up, he had this long, long beard that had apparently grown over a century or so. The culture shock that he got after having taken a little nap was what the narrative of the story of Rumpelstiltskin was about.
This is actually not the story of Rumpelstiltskin. The guy who took the epic nap was Rip Van Winkle. Rumpelstiltskin is hideous imp who helps a girl spin straw into gold so she escapes being executed by a king -- and in return, he makes her promise to give him her first-born child. Rumpelstiltskin was not a victim, but a monster.
But in a way, this is an apt mistake. The House passed King's amendment to deport the young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.