Last week, Sal Russo, a co-founder of the Tea Party Express, declared his support for amnesty for illegal aliens in the United States. Naturally, he doesn’t call it amnesty in his column posted on Wednesday at Roll Call, but instead uses RINO-speak to say the same thing. Reading his article, you might think it was written by a Democrat, if you didn’t know any better. He opens his column, “Conservatives Need to Fix the Broken U.S. Immigration System,” with this:
The U.S. immigration system is flawed and broken. Conservatives should be at the forefront of reform so the law reflects the just interests of the United States, not misty-eyed ideals of some of the liberal do-gooder reformers. What is good for America should be the sole criteria for immigration reform.
Our laws today are unenforced and citizens and companies who play by the rules are undermined by bad actors who do not. This undermines our rule of law and slows our economic growth. In today’s global economy, we cannot afford the status quo.
Congress must pass legislation that will fix our broken system.
How sick are we of hearing that our immigration system is “broken?” It’s not broken! Our immigration laws are not being enforced by Washington! Mr. Russo agrees they’re not being enforced, but then he turns around and says we need more laws, because of it. How does he imagine more laws will make the federalistas follow the ones they currently won’t? It’s the same reasoning employed by pushers of a convention of the states to amend the Constitution: since the crooks in Washington will not obey the laws of the Constitution, let’s pass more laws, and surely they’ll obey those. It’s ludicrous.
Mr. Russo goes on to repeat the “we need more worker visas” sentiment. He says that there are not enough people to pick the fruits and vegetables we grow in the United States. Is it really because there are not enough workers? Or is it because our bloated welfare system does not encourage people to go out and work, but instead to sit home and collect taxpayer money handouts? How many more workers would there be if we ejected the able bodies from the welfare trough and forced them to work for a living?
He claims that if we do nothing now, then businesses will be hurt. Yet, with our economy in the gutter and unemployment in the sky, I truly don’t see how legalizing who-knows-how-many millions of criminal aliens (many of whom will further drain our welfare system) will help anything, much less businesses.
Near the end of his column, Mr. Russo does indeed call for amnesty, but not “unbridled amnesty,” as he calls it:
Finally, we need to make the 11 million people who are here illegally obey the law, pay taxes and come out of the shadows. We have to get them right by the law in exchange for legal status, but not unbridled amnesty. This should include penalties, background checks to root out criminals, and the requirement that they learn English, understand the Constitution and be committed to our basic freedoms. We must ensure there is no special pathway to citizenship that puts them in front of people who waited in line.
These are the same vacuous arguments we heard back in 2007 when the American people rose up with intense outrage and helped kill the McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill. I would advise Mr. Russo that since 2007 we have not changed our minds about amnesty for illegal aliens. We are also sick of the empty promise that the border will be secured before anything else happens. We know that is not the case, nor will it be the case, especially as long as Barack Obama (or whatever his name is) remains in the White House.
Mr. Russo’s pro-amnesty position comes as no surprise to those familiar with his history as a consultant to establishment Republicans. In the Conservative HQ column, “Exposing Tea Party Express Co-Founder’s Amnesty Ties,” Chris Chmielenski of Numbers USA does just that as he writes of Sal Russo:
In the 1980’s, he started a political consulting firm in California where he helped his “close friend” Jack Kemp during his 1988 presidential run. That’s the same Jack Kemp who advocated for both the 1986 and 2006 amnesty bills. It’s the same Jack Kemp who had Cesar Conda, Marco Rubio’s chief of staff, serve on the board of his think tank, Empower America, that employed Paul Ryan. If that’s not enough, Russo also consulted John McCain during his 2008 presidential run. Russo’s open-borders, pro-amnesty ties run far and wide.
Mr. Chmielenski also notes:
Another principle of the Tea Party Express is to restore American prosperity, which to many Americans likely means individual prosperity. But Russo joins the business elites, the GOP establishment, the Gang of Eight, Pres. Obama, and 99% of the Democrats in Congress by calling for increases in foreign worker visas. When scoring Schumer’s amnesty bill, the Congressional Budget Office found that its increases in foreign worker visas combined with amnesty would depress wages for American workers, increase unemployment, and reduce GDP per capita over time. Is that the kind of American prosperity that the Tea Party Express and Russo stand for?
Not likely. Yet, the fact remains that a co-founder of the Tea Party Express is an establishment globalist who is an advocate for the poison pill of amnesty. It’s a shame that this man associates himself with the Tea Party movement, because you would be very hard-pressed to find anyone in the Tea Party who approves of amnesty for illegal aliens. Why? Because we already see the detrimental effects of illegal immigration on our economy, schools, hospitals, our crime and disease rates and more. Amnesty would fix all that, how exactly?
No sane nation allows unfettered immigration. No rational country just throws up its hands—and it sovereignty—and tosses a blanket of “legality” over border crashers, but that has effectively been what the U.S. done for years, and the last thing we need is amnesty, labeled as “immigration reform.” We need to stop this insanity by enforcing our laws, securing our borders and slowly but surely expelling those who are here illegally.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.