Steve Chapman on Why the Right Shifted on Immigration


Ronald Reagan didn't so much accept immigrants as smother them with kisses. When he announced his presidential candidacy in 1979, he called for closer ties with Mexico and Canada: "It is time we stopped thinking of our nearest neighbors as foreigners." As president, he said providence had deliberately placed the United States "between the two great oceans, to be found by a special kind of people from every corner of the world." Clearly, writes Steve Chapman, the party has undergone a transformation since his day.