President Obama told the Des Moines Register last week that if he wins a second term it might be because the GOP and Mitt Romney have done such a good job alienating Latino voters on immigration. He is absolutely right, notes Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia in Bloomberg View, especially given Obama’s own sordid record on the issue. But restrictionists, an increasingly influential wing in the GOP, have come up with one bad argument after another as to why America needs to close the borders. The recent revival of one trope -- that immigrants are bad for the country because they use affirmative action -- however suggests that the party might have finally hit the bottom of the barrel. Notes Dalmia:
The affirmative-action argument exposes that restrictionism is an obsession in search of a rationale. It isn’t animated by an appeal to fairness or excellence or economic prosperity or any other similar lofty goal that conservatives tout. It is about opposing immigration for its own sake. This pushes Hispanics into the arms of Democrats, a political wave that some Republicans then want to stop by shutting the border, not by abandoning their anti-immigrant tirades.
Read the whole thing here.