What’s So Bad About Amnesty?

On Monday, Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Jeff Flake and Marco Rubio emerged with an offer of a Republican surrender to Barack Obama.

We will accept amnesty for 11 million illegal aliens, said the four, but you must get serious about securing the border against yet another invasion. Only after an independent commission agrees the border has been secured will the 11 million be given green cards and put on a path to citizenship.

The next day in Las Vegas, Obama, reveling in victory, instructed the four waving their white flags that the defeated do not dictate terms.

Get cracking on comprehensive reform now, Obama instructed Marco and John, or I send my own bill to the Hill, granting amnesty to every illegal alien, with no preconditions. Putting the 11 million illegal aliens on a path to U.S. citizenship should begin not after the border is better secured, but the day the bill is signed.

In a pointed lecture to Rubio, the Great Hispanic Hope of the GOP, Obama said, “We have done more on border security in the last four years than we have done in the previous 20.”

A graduate of the Saul Alinsky school, Obama can smell the defeatism in the Republican Party. And he knows how to treat supplicants begging for a fig leaf to cover the nakedness of their capitulation.

But why are the Republicans surrendering their “no amnesty” stand, which has been party policy since America rallied to the GOP’s opposition to amnesty in 2007, when a national grass-roots uprising routed McCain, Teddy Kennedy, Hillary Clinton and George W. Bush himself?

McCain fears the future. We got 27 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2012, and the reason is our position on illegal aliens, he argues. Until we get this behind us, we will never again get the 40 percent of the vote Bush got. Either we capitulate to Obama and La Raza, or we are doomed.

Why is McCain wrong?

He is wrong on principle. Should a majority of women tell pollsters they are against overturning Roe v. Wade, does the party abandon its pro-life stand and cease calling for Supreme Court justices who might overturn Roe?

What kind of party is that? What kind of people do that?

Who thought in 2007 we could rout the establishment of both parties?

Washington is not invincible. But you cannot rally the people if you are not prepared to lead and fight.

Republican capitulation on amnesty is not going to win Hispanic votes, but it will demoralize the party base. McCain, the amnesty champion today and in 2007, got 31 percent of the Hispanic vote against Obama.

Why is he an expert on what the party should do?

When those 11 million illegals have completed their path to citizenship and become voters, why should they, or the millions more family members they will have brought in by then, vote for the GOP? Hispanics are not small-government people. They believe in and benefit disproportionately from Big Government.

Some 53 percent of Hispanic children are born out of wedlock, and 52 percent of Hispanic families are headed by single women.

Big Government provides their kids with Head Start before school, free K-through-12 schooling, Pell Grants and student loans for college, and two or three free meals a day at school for the kids.

Big Government provides food stamps, welfare for mom and earned income tax credit checks should she work. Big Government subsidizes her housing and provides free health care for the family through Medicaid.

A Pew Hispanic poll found that by 3-to-1, Hispanics would favor a big government with more services to a small government with fewer services.

Why would these folks vote for a Republican Party that promises to downsize the Big Government upon which they depend for sustenance, security and survival? Why would they vote for a party that is going to cut capital gains, income and inheritance taxes they don’t pay?

The 11 million illegals, who came with nothing, are poorer than the Hispanics who are already citizens.

When we make citizens of them and the family members they bring in, our welfare state will explode and the social safety net will sag under the weight of millions of new beneficiaries.

Republicans win between 27 and 40 percent of the Hispanic vote. Add 10 million new Hispanic voters, and Democrats will realize a net gain of 2 to 4 million new voters.

There goes the Southwest, and there goes the presidency, forever.

Amnesty would be the greatest victory for mass lawbreaking in U.S. history. It would reward those who broke our laws and make fools of those who waited in line back home to come to America.

And this is about more than economics. It is about our sovereignty, our security, our national culture and our national identity.

This fight is not yet lost, and even should we lose, is it not better to go down fighting than to ask for terms from Barack Obama?

Pat Buchanan


Patrick Buchanan is a conservative political commentator and syndicated columnist and author of several books, including Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?.

Subscribe to CE
(It's free)

Go to Catholic Exchange homepage

  • Anabelle Hazard, Esq.

    Why is this article on Catholic Exchange? Mr. Buchanan’s opinion is contrary to the USCCB’s Social Teaching on immigration. http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/immigration/ The prolife issue is separate from the immigration issue. And his derrogatory opinion of Hispanics smacks of racism if you ask me.

  • Reasonably Prudent Person, Esq

    Anabelle Hazard,

    Mr. Buchanan’s analysis of the current proposals does not run contrary to the teaching of the USCCB. Read the actual text of the documents.

    The USCCB sets out five principles to guide immigration reform. One principle is that “Persons have the right to migrate to support themselves and their families.” Yet, in the next paragraph, they add another principle: “Sovereign nations have the right to control their borders.” The two have to be balanced (along with the other principles).

    The USCCB concludes that the current balance between those opposing interests has been improperly struck. They argue for stronger protections of migrants, but that does not necessarily mean a path to citizenship. It certainly does not follow that Catholics, like Mr. Buchanan, are obligated to support the President’s (or any politicians’) proposal. See http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/immigration/strangers-no-longer-together-on-the-journey-of-hope.cfm.

    Please back up your assertions with facts, Anabelle Hubbard, Esq. before posting that Mr. Buchanan’s piece ‘smacks of racism.’ Where, exactly, is the racism in his piece?

  • Anabelle Hazard, Esq.

    Reasonably prudent Esq. I am an immigration attorney. I read the documents long before it was an issue. You and Mr. Buchanan are entitled to your own opinion regardless of the Church teaching. But the Catholic Exchange readers/editors should be aware that the Church teaching is this:

    Under the document Migration and Refugee Services/Office of Migration Policy and Public Affairs, The United States Conference of Catholic BishopsJanuary 2011″ states: The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) opposes “enforcement only” immigration policies and supports comprehensive immigration reform. InStrangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope, the U.S. Catholic Bishops outlined the elements of their proposal for comprehensive immigration reform. These include:

    Earned Legalization:An earned legalization program would allow foreign nationals of good moral character who are living in the United States to apply to adjust their status to obtain lawful permanent residence. Such a program would create an EVENTUAL PATH TO CITIZENSHIP, requiring applicants to complete and pass background checks, pay a fine, and establish eligibility for resident status to participate in the program. Such a program would help stabilize the workforce, promote family unity, and bring a large population “out of the shadows,” as members of their communities.

    It is racism to conclude that the Hispanic population of out of wedlock families and women head of households are automatically on Big government help.

    And if you insist on disrespect by misspelling my name and keeping yours anonymous, and so called “Reasonably Prudent”, you can have the last say here. I only engage in legal debates with respectful and intellectual peers.

  • Grizzly Mom

    The truth hurts! I’m sorry we are either a nation of laws or we are not. Teach a man to fish- don’t hand him fish. It’s a shame you have bought into the social welfare system. Give people their dignity don’t make them dependents on the government. What ever happened to subsidiarity which the Catholic Church teaches and has seemed to abandoned and given to the Government to do- Big mistake. Now we all get to pay for abortion- Thanks.

  • catholicexchange


    I feel compelled to jump in here, as I do whenever a reader claims to pronounce official “Church teaching” on a matter and then proceed to do as you have done, which is to give a truncated and insufficient version of Church teaching. I certainly do not doubt your qualifications as an immigration attorney, but Church teaching is clear that “good government has two duties, both of which must be carried out and neither of which can be ignored”: one, to be charitable and respectful to all foreigners, and, two, “to secure one’s border and enforce the law for the sake of the common good.” Any immigration reform policy that favors one duty over the other will inevitably wreak havoc, and I think the USCCB tries hard to strike that balance in it’s “Comprehensive Immigration Reform.”

    Mr. Buchanan, a well-informed Catholic, has attempted in his article to point out what many would agree is a failure on the part of the current administration to meet the USCCB’s criteria on acceptable immigration reform–and, that, to answer one of your previous questions, is why his article is on Catholic Exchange.

  • Anabelle Hazard, Esq.

    I am all for increasing border security. That would indeed be fair to the US. But Mr. Buchanan has not mentioned that point once. He points out losing the presidency, relates it by a stretch to incite the pro-lifers,and makes a derrogatory conclusion about Hispanic women. Had he said the statistics of those on welfare are Hispanic immigrants, I would have believed him. But his statistics are on out-of-wedlock children and Hispanic single mothers. Then he makes the subtle conclusion that they are automatically on welfare. Correct me if I am wrong but this is not the first time Mr. Buchanan has been accused of racism, right? Why don’t you feature articles like the NC Register writes on Archbishop Gomez hailing the immigration reform plan? http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/archbishop-gomez-hails-senate-immigration-reform-plan That would be fair to the first part of the Church teaching, would it not? Incidentally, I also agree with Mr. Buchanan that welfare dependency needs to be decreased by all — immigrants and citizens alike and that can certainly be covered in an immigration reform. Anyway, I have contacted the Migration and Refugee Service of the USCCB. If they want to correct you, that would be good. If they correct me, I do not mind eating a little humble pie.

  • Anabelle Hazard, Esq.

    P.S. I cited the link on ALL the Church documents on migration. I truncated the second link to rebut Mr. Prudent Person’s truncated and erroneous version that USCCB does not advocate for a path to citizenship. I have enjoyed many of Catholic Exchange’s articles (like Hallie Lord’s piece on marriage) but Mr. Buchanan’s shooting down “amnesty” right of the bat was just a bad angle on immigration reform. I don’t know if he knows that the current laws can deny LPR status or citizenship if the applicant has been a “public charge,” a point that should be addressed and tightened in an immigration reform law, in my opinion.

  • catholicexchange

    My purpose in commenting, which I thought I made clear, was not to examine specific details of anyone’s immigration plan, but to raise a flag in response to your pointed announcement that “Catholic Exchange readers/editors should be aware that the Church teaching is this”, followed by an excerpt that many might think, based on your announcement, sums up “Church teaching.” You even characterize your opponents’ views as “opinions”, in contrast to your own position which you equate with “Church teaching.” That makes me uncomfortable. Any representatives of the USCCB you’ve contacted ought to feel uncomfortable, as well–in any case, I’ve written nothing that warrants “correcting” by anyone, and it’s belligerent of you to assume that you and I are in some kind of face-off. I simply object to you (or anyone) plucking out whatever Church document excerpts they need to give their personal agenda the appearance of having divine sanction, to the exclusion of the full, balanced teaching of the Church. And by the way, I also object to anyone who couples this tactic with irresponsible accusations of “racism”, a cheap term which has become extremely overused and yet which can cause irreparable harm to a person’s reputation. I believe you care very much about the dignity and rights of immigrants, as we all do, but you don’t do your position any service by fighting for it in this way.

  • catholicexchange

    But then he’s still made his point. The document itself makes a distinction between “Catholic Social Teaching” as summed up in the Catechism, and the “USCCB position”, and for good reason. The principles found in the Catechism have the weight of doctrine, and universal application; the USCCB proposals are for a specific place and time, based on specific conditions. Therefore, the USCCB has no authority to insist that the “eventual path to citizenship” must absolutely happen, for what if that course were found by competent, legal government authorities to run contrary to the 2nd duty of government, which is to “secure one’s border and enforce the law for the sake of the common good”? This is why I cautioned against announcing the “eventual path to citizenship” excerpt as “Church teaching”. It is a good idea in many ways, and for the sake of those illegal immigrants who live productive lives and who love the United States and want to remain, I’m very glad the proposal is included. But the USCCB makes no claim to be able to authoritatively tell a government exactly how to run its immigration program, and as faithful Catholics we cannot claim that they do.

  • Anabelle Hazard, Esq.

    We are not in a face-off. This is a respectful intellectual debate (or so I thought). I hope you don’t have any hard feelings. I wrote to the USCCB to know their opinion/teaching on this matter. I don’t mind being corrected when I am wrong. Humility is always good. You can ignore their answer if you wish. I thought I’d give you a heads up that I asked a clarification on the matter. I’m always up for learning new things in this field and always look to the USCCB teachings and opinions for guidance, not other columnists.

  • Anabelle Hazard, Esq.

    Okay, I get your point. Social Teaching versus Bishop position/opinion. You explained it better actually and you should have written the article because it was too one sided for me. And no the USCCB cannot run the government. (Never said that but like I said, I look to Bishops for guidance who have a long history working with migrant workers like I do) I just think that its unfortunate when the USCCB was making headway in getting the Obama government to listen to their call for immigration reform, a derogatory inference against our Hispanic sisters would take an already divided Church on immigration issues two steps back. But if the Hispanic women don’t take that as a slight, then neither will I. Thank you for the debate. Like you, I am also seeking a fair and balanced reform.

  • Reasonably Prudent Person, Esq

    Anabelle Hazard Esq.,

    First, I am sorry for misspelling your name as “Hubbard” instead of “Hazard.” It was an oversight on my part and not an attempt to disrespect you. I find it interesting that you are offended by an accidental misspelling of your name, but you don’t take the same care when calling a fellow Catholic a racist. By the way, what’s so bad about the name Hubbard?

    Second, I do not doubt your ability as an immigration attorney. Yet, I do not find this qualification is relevant to a discussion on what amounts to official Church teaching. You are no doubt very qualified, however, in assessing current immigration policy.

    Third, I quoted from the same document you did (Strangers No Longer). That document speaks about “legalization”. I trust that as an immigration attorney, you would recognize that legalization equals neither citizenship nor a path to citizenship. In fact, search for the word “citizenship” and you will see that the document Strangers No Longer uses the word once and not in the context of creating a path to citizenship.

    Fourth, I strongly question your assertion that connecting poverty to government aid is ‘racist’. Maybe this could be characterized as “classism”. You go to far by saying that its racist; Buchanan does not assert that wealthy Hispanics would seek government aid. It thus is not a function of race, but of economic means, and moreover, the incentives that government aid fosters.

    Fifth, I thought you would have a chuckle at the name “Reasonably Prudent Person, Esq.” as the reasonably prudent person is the one whom we always try to identify in the law. It was not meant to be offensive, and I’m not sure why not wanting to put my real name and picture on a public comment box is such a bad idea.

    RPP, Esq.

  • DaveOKC

    Pat Buchanan has boldly defended the Catholic Church against secularists, militant homosexuals, atheists, feminists, communists, and all other anti-Catholic bigots that have attempted, over many decades, to diminish Her light.

    He deserves better than to be smeared with the charge of “racism” simply because he supports his opposition to amnesty with indisputable facts.

    To see this smear hurled by a purportedly educated Catholic is especially infuriating.