MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

Rush Limbaugh Is More Progressive on Immigration Than Anyone on Capitol Hill. Seriously.

His amnesty proposal is the least draconian plan around right now

Who would have thunk it but when it comes to immigration, the king of conservative talk radio, Rush Limbaugh, might haveRush LimbaughBill Greenblatt UPI Photo Service/Newscom become the most progressive voice in America today. Limbaugh has done more than any human alive over the last two decades to kill any immigration bill that smacked of "amnesty." Yet there was El Rushbo telling Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday that he would be willing to go along with permanent citizenship—not merely legal permanent residency, mind you—for "whatever number" of undocumented immigrants on one simple condition. And what's this condition? Building a border wall? Nope. Enhancing border security by forcing taxpayers to spring for more boots on the ground and whiz-bang satellite surveillance etc? Niyat. Cuts in legal immigration? No.

Banning amnesty recipients from voting for 15-25 years. That's it.

Limbaugh said, "I would be willing right here to support an effort to grant
permanent citizenship to whatever number of illegal immigrants there are in
the country tomorrow if you will make as part of a deal they can't vote for
15 to 25 years. And if they will agree to that, then I'll grant them
amnesty."

This is a far more modest demand in exchange for a far more generous deal than any offered by the four immigration bills that went down to defeat in the Senate Friday. Trump's constant vilification has killed talk of legalizing the entire 11 million strong undocumented population not only among Republicans but also Democrats. Hence, none of the bills even considered handing citizenship to anyone other than the 1.8 million Dreamers—a nickname for those who were brought to America illegally as children.

The Secure and Succeed Act, the brainchild of arch restrictionists like Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) that the White House supported, in theory offered a pathway to citizenship for all the Dreamers. But it put so many conditions on who could qualify that, in practice, Cato Institute's David Bier and National Foundation for American Policy's Stuart Anderson argued, less than 900,000 Dreamers could have availed of it. That plan would have also handed Trump $25 billion to build his big, beautiful wall, killed the diversity visa program and slashed family-based immigration, effectively cutting legal immigration by a good 40 percent. It was the stuff of nativist wet dreams.

Sen. Pat Toomey's bill offered amnesty to no one but wanted to defund sanctuary cities. Meanwhile, the Coons-McCain bill would have offered a genuine pathway to citizenship for all Dreamers in exchange for handing the administration money for enhanced border security.

And then there was Sen. Susan Collins' (R-ME) "Common Sense" plan that would have provided $25 billion for border security and banned Dreamers from sponsoring their parents in exchange for giving them a path to citizenship.

The last bill came the closest to obtaining the requisite 60 votes to move ahead and the Trump-backed one the least, a resounding blow to the nativist agenda.

Indeed, it is thanks to the overreaching by White House aide, Steve Miller, an arch nativist, that Trump couldn't close the deal after Democrats had all but resigned themselves to giving him his beloved wall. He literally snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. So much for deal making and winning "bigly."

Be that as it may, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) is now trying to overcome the impasse by scaling back legalization even more. He is working on a bill that would hand Dreamers a few years of reprieve from deportation in exchange for enhanced border security funding.

But there is no reason for Flake and other Congressional immigration doves to be this timid if Limbaugh is willing to be so bold. Limbaugh is a pretty good gauge of grassroots conservative sentiment on this issue if for no other reason than he is among its chief architects. Indeed, he is the one who—contra Ronald Reagan—turned amnesty into a dirty word by whipping up rank-and-file Republicans against "lawbreakers."

Nor is Limbaugh merely kidding. He actually proposed something similar five years ago. The proposal is essentially an admission that the true reason conservatives hate amnesty isn't because undocumented immigrants are more crime prone, as a recent spate of highly questionable restrictionist studies have tried to show. Nor does it have anything to do with illegals being welfare queens given that no one works harder than an illegal immigrant. Employment among undocumented males is 90-plus percent. Furthermore, illegals by and large shun states with generous welfare benefits flocking toward those with plentiful jobs instead. Nor is this about protecting native jobs and wages because, research has repeatedly shown, immigrants compete with other immigrants, not natives.

In short, anti-immigration animus in the GOP has less to do with ideological restrictionism and more to do with partisan politics. Conservatives oppose amnesty because they fear that immigrants will vote Democratic. (This is a massive misperception at best and a self-fulfilling prophecy at worst. Immigrants aren't congenitally wired to be Democrats given that before the GOP started hating them, they didn't hate it. Indeed, 44 percent of Hispanics and a majority of Muslims voted for George W. Bush in 2000. Asian Americans veered Republican until around 1996 when the GOP experienced an earlier burst of restrictionism.)

Limbaugh's candor about the true motives of conservatives is refreshing. But, more importantly, it opens up interesting possibilities for overcoming the current logjam in Congress.

At this stage, all pro-immigration Republicans would jump at this proposal, of course. But so would Republicans who are towing a hardline on immigration not because they are ideological restrictionists but because they fear the wrath of Limbaugh's foot soldiers. I would wager that this is the source of anti-immigrant animus of the vast majority of immigration hawks. However, with Limbaugh using his firepower to give them cover to do an amnesty bill, they can relax. Heck, they could call the bill Rush's Deferred Citizenship plan if it helps to sell it to his base.

It'll also win immigration advocates. All they've been looking for right now is a poison-free bill that simply legalizes Dreamers. They will surely go for one that legalizes Dreamers' parents as well. Democrats might want voting rights for these folks, but they themselves could care lest about that. They are far more interested in being able live and work openly without fear of deportation than making a schlep to the polls.

In any case, if Democrats resist, their true motives will become clear. They'll be seen as heartless hacks selling out a vulnerable population for partisan gain proving Trump right when he says they don't care about Dreamers, just keeping the issue alive to win elections. And if they don't, they'll be playing second fiddle to Republicans.

Just like it took a security hawk like Nixon to make peace with China, it might take immigration hawks like Limbaugh to get a clean amnesty deal done. Limbaugh might have thrown Republicans a lifeline to pull them out from the hole they've dug themselves into. They should take it—and then run with it.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Let's make a deal.

  • VinniUSMC||

    You're trying way too hard.

  • Ecoli||

    Rush does have a virtual monopoly on the truth.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    His revelation that Republicans are motivated by politics as much as bigotry possesses a certain straightforward charm most wingnuts can't muster.

  • Buddy Bizarre||

    Much like the soft bigotry of low expectations of Democrats.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    No one is more bigoted than a progressive.

  • Fancylad||

    Oh Tony, you're not very good at this yet, are you. Trig Palin was your tell.

  • ||

    That's closer to the heart.

  • sarcasmic||

    Not the worst idea. Though it would never fly. Democrats are counting on those votes.

  • Tony||

    I thought they were already voting.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Some are. Like the ones Hillary had to lay so she could win the popular vote, while still remaining incredibly unpopular.

  • Tony||

    I can't decide if it would be liberating or incredibly frustrating to live in a world where facts are whatever you want them to be. How do you even get out of bed? What if the floor just disappears beneath you?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Past you? Isn't Tony more of a you from an alternate reality where you're a complete retard?

  • ||

    That's actually Rush's point: That Democrats don't give a rat's ass about the immigrants themselves...they just know they overwhelmingly vote Democrat.

    BTW, if it were millions of Mormans coming here illegally, the Dems would be building the wall themselves... Proof of this is how they *used* to talk about illegal immigrants (as recently as 2009 from Chuck Schumer) when they were still caring about the white working class voters and "illegal immigrants are taking your jobs!".

  • Tony||

    Republicans have to be crassly partisan in their policy ideas in order to preempt Democrats who might do the same someday!

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Yeah, 'someday'. But they don't do it now? Your cognitive dissonance is only matched by your fundamental dishonesty.

  • Tony||

    Once we get past basic compassion for human beings and economically sound immigration policy then we can decide if Dems are overreaching in order to ship in more voters.

    God forbid Republicans lift a finger to, like, appeal to brown people. But then they'd lose their base of racist crazies right? A conundrum--no wonder they settled on "cheat to win."

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    "God forbid Republicans lift a finger to, like, appeal to brown people"

    Typical progtard, reducing everything into racial identity politics. Republicans don't do that. You can't understand that as you are a vicious bigoted racist. That your racism is paternalistic as opposed to antagonistic doesn't make it better.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    When Republicans and conservatives stop appeasing (if not embracing) bigotry, their betters will stop mentioning right-wing bigotry.

    Even a half-educated rube should be able to apprehend this.

  • Paradigm||

    > Even a half-educated rube should be able to apprehend this

    I believe it's 'comprehend.' No person who makes a mistake like that should ever presume to tell another person they're "half-educated."

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    If I want to restrict the Scott-Irish from getting in and taking our jobs, am I racist?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Scots-Irish. Ugh. Now I know I'm racist.

  • dave b.||

    Are either Scottish or Irish people a race? I didn't think so

  • Paradigm||

    > Scots-Irish. Ugh. Now I know I'm racist

    At least you didn't say "Scotch-Irish." My mother-in-law, who is a nice person, claims that as her heritage. It's painful to hear.

  • Tony||

    It could just be that you're for workers being sober. Which, busybody much.

  • John||

    Trump made more or less the same proposal. They could all stay and if they didn't get into trouble for 12 years became citizens. The Democrats said no because they want votes. They don't give a shit about whether these people get deported.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    They only care about the "dreamers" insofar as they function as bait to attract still more illegal immigrants. Giving them citizenship while securing the border would be like throwing the worm in your creel, and kissing the salmon goodbye.

  • MikeP2||

    Amnesty won't pass without border control. For those not steeped in extremist open-borders nonsense, some sort of border security is necessary if you plan to reward those who arrived illegally into a social welfare economy. (almost no other country in the world freely accepts those who cross the borders)
    From a libertarian standpoint, the 'wall', is the least statist. Far less impact to civil liberties then ID checks, ICE sweeps, e-verify, etc. etc.

    Most moderates, which Rush is, really don't care much about amnesty....provided that we won't have to do it again, and again, and again. And his suggestion is brilliant, because he knows no Democrat will support it. Dems will lose some of their interest groups with an amnesty, and politically they need the 'new' votes after they alienate portions of the union and AA vote.

  • SKR||

    Some sort of border security? We already have that.

  • buybuydandavis||

    " if you plan to reward those who arrived illegally "

    At least you're honest about your goals.

    Still, I wonder why people want to reward the people who break our immigration laws over those who obey them.

  • Tony||

    What a fuckstain. What public service is being done by banning them from voting for a length of time? Like, what's the point?

    We all know the point.

  • Ecoli||

    Yes, we do all know the point. Give them a generation to assimilate and they might only vote 50% Dem. Obviously unacceptable to progressives, but rational people like the idea. The alternative is to wind up like California.

    Maybe we should be like the Swiss and only grant citizenship to third generation immigrants? I like that idea even better.

  • Tony||

    Is making voting rights law for the single purpose of benefiting a political party even legal?

    I may never understand this "California, what a shit hole" stuff. I mean, we can't all be the thriving advanced civilization that is Mississippi, but come on.

  • Brian||

    You mean "Oklahoma."

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Or Alabama. Or West Virginia. Or South Carolina. Or Utah.

    On the downscalometer, there are plenty of lessers from which to choose.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Utah is actually pretty nice. Have you even been to any of the places you denigrate? Or are you just another progtarded bigot.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Utah is actually pretty nice. And, I suppose, a shit sandwich is very nice if the competition is a poison sandwich.

  • Azathoth!!||

    That's a lot of words to just say 'progtarded bigot' Art--I can call you Art, right/

    Good.

  • Flinch||

    Oh, Last, what have you said? Utah is a god forsaken piece of land, and but for it providing a great place for establishing land speed records, it should be avoided at all times. I often wonder what the people first arriving on horseback thought... great place to kill a horse, no matter the season. At least Death Valley is quasi passable during winter.

  • Ecoli||

    "Is making voting rights law for the single purpose of benefiting a political party even legal?"

    Isn't that exactly what motivates the Dems wrt illegal immigration? Since when do Dems give two shits about following laws?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    "Is making voting rights law for the single purpose of benefiting a political party even legal?"

    Is ignoring the rule of law and having sanctuary cities for the single purpose of benefiting a political party even legal? Actually no, it's not. So you shouldn't have a problem with Rush's proposal, which is based on a similar, but probably legal principle.

    Oh wait, you're a progressive. You have no principals. It's all the history of now, and how your current feelings should be codified into law.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Fucking auto correct. Should read 'principles', not principals.

  • NOVA Lawyer||

    Rush's proposal would, I am pretty sure, require a Constitutional amendment.

  • chemjeff||

    "The alternative is to wind up like California."

    It is funny how California is always held up as the poster child of a state that is "overrun" with illegal immigrants and supposedly turning it into a solid blue state. What about Texas or New Mexico or Arizona? All of those states certainly have as big, if not bigger, problems with illegal immigration than California. One is blue, one is purple-red, and one is deep red. If illegal immigration is the only independent variable that determines whether a border state votes Democrat or not, why aren't all border states deep blue?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Conservatives are conditioned to reflexively hate everything about California - it's just the way they have been imprinted.

  • Mickey Rat||

    In the current California state government, Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown is the voice of reason restraining the loons. Let that sink in.

  • Ecoli||

    Exactly correct, Mr. Rat.

    I live in California. It used to be a relatively nice place to live. Not anymore.

    I plan to move soon.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    California used to be conservative. Then the socialist majority took over with millions of illegals popping out kids.

    It's just another reason why people flee Commifornia now.

    Now that Taxifornia is solid blue, Libertarians and conservatives should give that state a ration of shit. The lefties ruined that state. Fun fact: California used to have one of the best education systems in the USA 40 years ago. Really good basic education and cheap university system that people could work part time and pay their way through college.

    Its getting closer and closer to shithole.

  • Flinch||

    I hear that. You used to be able to be a tradesman and put the kids through college without a loan if careful. Today, if you are a painter, a plasterer, roofer or framer... your wages are so undercut by illegals you can't stay in business AND hire amercans. What that does to the business owner is force them out of bids, and out of business if they are dumb enough to follow the law and stay in the State of Emergency/Land of Disclaimers.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Roughly half of CA's prison population are illegals. I would say that makes a reasonable argument for being 'overrun'.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Commifornia is overrun.

  • Juice||

    Maybe we should be like the Swiss and only grant citizenship to third generation immigrants?

    Or the rich and/or famous, like Tina Turner.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    The point? Keeping trash that think like you do out of national office.

  • Ecoli||

    Close the diversity Visa program loophole.

    Close the chain migration loophole.

    Kill the H1B Visa program, and offer full STEM scholarships for American citizens.

    Police the southern border strictly. No wall necessarily, but achieve the same effect though technology and manpower.

    If the northern border becomes a problem, then take the same measures there.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    I would like to build the wall. Partially because it makes many of the right people completely lose their shit.

  • SKR||

    You think pissing people off is a proper use of stolen taxpayer income? What are you 13?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    That is the approach of authoritarian right-wing bigots of all ages.

  • Flinch||

    Ooh, Arthur! So, you are telling us the man who helped orchestrate the misappropriation of over $70k of taxpayer funds to build a spy room on state property in Sacramento that served ONLY the democrats [not the state or the people] was a right winger? Man... if Willie Brown is a right winger, than chairman Mao must look like a centrist to the loons of the left coast.
    Forget Mexico: maybe it's time to wall off California and kick them out of the union. Charge them 10x the current price for colorado river water/shred the Mulholland agreement, and tell them 'have a nice day'.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    That is the approach of authoritarian right-wing bigots of all ages.

  • sparkstable||

    Much better to use stolen money in a way that hurts feelings of the left than harms the rights of citizens. Waste may be the greatest thing for liberty the state has ever done. Inefficiency is supposed to be a feature, not a bug... sadly we have lost sight of that piece of brilliance in the creation of a state (never mind the obvious LACK of brilliance in creating a state in the first place).

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    "You think pissing people off is a proper use of stolen taxpayer income?"

    It's often a good barometer for whether an idea is good or not. Generally speaking, if something enrages a progtard, it is likely to be decent, prudent, and sensible. All things that are anathema to their kind.

  • MiloMinderbinder||

    Nor is this about protecting native jobs and wages because, research has repeatedly shown, immigrants compete with other immigrants, not natives.

    Or maybe not.

    At major Northwest Side bakery, labor issues pit blacks vs. Hispanics

    https://tinyurl.com/yackxmda

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Maybe immigrants lean democratic now that the democrats are anti free speech, are hostile to nudity and porn and believe women should always have a chaperone.

  • chemjeff||

    Well at least Rush is honest enough to admit it. It's not about pushing any sort of principled idea. It is about "stopping the left at all costs". That is what modern conservatism has devolved into. What happened to the screeching about "rule of law" or "welfare moochers"? All that is gone if it means Democrats don't get more votes (in his view).

  • MikeP2||

    Is it wrong for Rush to recognize why the progs have kneecapped immigration enforcement and reform?

  • chemjeff||

    You mean like how Obama deported more people than any other president had?

  • MikeP2||

    You mean like how that is a cherry-picked 'statistic', skewed by the large denominator of total illegal immigrant flux, and tells us absolutely nothing of value?

  • chemjeff||

    There is no "denominator" for a total number of people deported.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    But there is pretending that people who were turned back AT the border were "deported", which no prior administration did.

  • Paradigm||

    Exactly. Obama just changed the definition of deportation to include turning people away at the border. It's typical of how progressives push policies that the majority hate, but think that changing the name will increase their popularity.

    It's no coincidence that the two leading "minds" of the left are linguists: Noam Chomsky and George Lakoff.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    He didn't deport shit. They altered the way deportation stats are calculated so it would appear to be so. Just the same ads thet switched the U-3 and U-6 unemployment stats to understate the unemployment rate, since the actual jobless rate was still horrific.

    https://tinyurl.com/ncsv2t4

    From the article

    "They manipulated deportation data to make it appear that the Border Patrol was deporting more illegal immigrants than the Bush administration," Dobbs said July 1, 2014. "The Homeland Security secretary had to admit before Congress that was not the case -- that, in fact, they were manipulating the numbers."

  • Rhywun||

    Well, the Democrats are the party of welfare - so it's the same thing in the end.

  • buybuydandavis||

    It's about protecting freedom at all costs.

    That's is what it's all about.

    You'd think that Reason would have some interest in that. Pretending to be libertarian an all.

  • IceTrey||

    A better idea is to make them US nationals which gives them all the benefits but they can't vote or hold office. If it's good enough for American Samoans it's good enough for the Dreamers.

  • Phos||

    Do US nationals pay income tax? I'm pretty sure they don't have it in Puerto Rico.

    If the US nationals don't have to pay income tax, can I sign up? Who's up for trading dubious national representation for avoiding the IRS theft and interference with your life?

  • Phos||

    Also makes more sense as a category. What is a "citizen" of a democracy that can't vote? Calling someone a citizen that can't vote will mess up a lot of existing forms as well as laws. US National is a better fit.

  • chemjeff||

    Rush also implicitly assumes that any amnesty recipients would never vote for Republicans. So he's completely bought into racial identity politics now. He used to preach that conservatism could appeal to everyone because it was so awesome. All that is gone now too, I suppose. I wonder if Rush could do a little bit of self-reflection and ponder why it is he thinks that amnesty recipients, or Latinos more broadly, wouldn't vote for Republicans.

  • Tony||

    Typical authoritarian mindset. They think they're already right about everything, so if actual democracy is an impediment to their power, then it's democracy that has to go.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You heard it here. Democrats want to destroy Democracy.

  • Paradigm||

    > if actual democracy is an impediment to their power, then it's democracy that has to go

    Sounds an awful lot like how when progressives' ideology flies in the face of reality, it's reality that has to go. Repeated attempts to criminalize incorrect use of the 10,000 ever-changing gender pronouns is case in point. You people never just admit that it's a shitty idea and move on when it fails. You ratchet up enforcement.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Fat Rush = White Al Sharpton* - both first rate race baiters

    (*I forgot which poster here first called him that but it wasn't me)

  • Ecoli||

    "Alabaster Sharpton" would be better. I do appreciate a good barb.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Butt: Shut up, moron. All you do is lie.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Actually Jeff, historical trends show that new immigrants tend to vote for welfare and other 'progressive' policies for around two generations, then become more conservative. So it isn't about race, it's about actual documentable voting trends.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Rush also implicitly assumes that any amnesty recipients would never vote for Republicans. "

    Statistical trends are clear.

    I know Lefties think math is sooooo racist, but the numbers are what they are.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    This is a far more modest demand in exchange for a far more generous deal than any offered by the four immigration bills that went down to defeat in the Senate Friday.

    Repealing the 14th amendment is apparently a "modest demand".

  • Tony||

    In RWNJ circles that is a modest proposal. Many of them want to get rid of all the post-Civil War amendments. Occasionally you can get one to admit that there's an agenda to take over enough statehouses to actually have a constitutional convention.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    There is a movement to have a convention of the states. It's no secret. Then we can have a chance at stopping progressive evil and saving the country.

  • Tony||

    So all that jerking off to the constitution all these years was just a big fat lie?

  • Azathoth!!||

    You are aware that this procedure is delineated BY the Constitution, right? They they're following the Constitutional process for calling a Constitutional Convention, yes?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    of course Tony doesn't know. Do you think he has EVER actually read that document? His tongue would burn trying to say the words.

    No, he only knows what Media matters and MSNBC tell him, and allow him to think.

  • chemjeff||

    Yeah I noticed that too. Creating "citizens" who can't vote is pretty absurd.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Naturalizing millions of illegals to pump up the progressive voting rolls to destroy American's freedoms is even more absurd.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The worst part of the 14th to rightwingnutjobs is the Incorporation provision.

  • DiegoF||

    What a bunch of Christlibtardfags!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    2nd Amendment!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Butt: Shut up, moron. All you do is lie.

  • Curly4||

    I would agree with Limbaugh but I have further conditions. That condition is that there is never again amnesty for those who cross the border illegally. Without that in a few years we will have to confront this same situation again. Amnesty was given to those who came into the US illegally during Reagan's time and that was not the first time that amnesty has been used. But as we see we are back at the same place as we were during Reagan's time. So it will be again unless we stop this nonsense. This illegal business can be stopped a number of ways such as open borders so that there is no control who comes to the US for permanent residence or for temporary or even for just a visit. Or it could be done by a completely closed border or somewhere in between where there is a sensible immigration policy with border security to prevent illegal crossing of the border and deportation for all who do enter the US for the first time illegally. For second and subsequent entering the US illegally entering it would be a felony with prison time. Each time the amount of time in prison would double. Illegal immigration has to be stopped one way or another.

  • Tony||

    Back to what same place? How can we do immigration policy when there's never not going to be a time when you people aren't convinced that brown hordes are flooding over the border and ruining society? You all had the same paranoid shtick during the recession when immigration was net 0 (due to the lack of supply of jobs).

    Also it's probably not a good idea to make law that applies to forever.

  • chemjeff||

    " For second and subsequent entering the US illegally entering it would be a felony with prison time."

    That is already existing law.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    There's no way of enforcing such an agreement, one Congress can't bind the next. As soon as the Democrats were in power, the borders would swing wide open again.

    Even a constitutional amendment would be a paper barrier, once they'd replaced a couple of Supreme court justices, and they're already making noises about packing the Court the next time there's a Democratic President.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    As America's electorate improves (less religious, less white, less rural, less gooberish and bigoted), we approach the day at which a backlash against right-wing bigotry produces a robust immigration policy.

    This rush of new blood will provide a needed infusion of entrepreneurship, ambition, intellect, and character among the left-behind, can't-keep-up parts of America (mostly rural, southern) that have been ravaged by generations of bright flight.

  • sparkstable||

    "As America's electorate improves (less religious, less white, less rural, less gooberish and bigoted)..."

    Pot meet kettle.

  • VinniUSMC||

    Once again, Artie shows his complete lack of self-awareness.

    "Less white" is automatically an improvement to totally not a goober, bigot Artie.

  • buybuydandavis||

    " That condition is that there is never again amnesty"

    1986 was supposed to be a one time fix too. We were supposed to get security. Nothing happened but an ever expanding amnesty.

    If they won't enforce the law today, there's no reason to think they will enforce the law tomorrow. What? We'll write a law to make it so?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I also have a condition. For every illegal given amnesty, we expel ten progressives and strip them of all property (to pay for the amnesty and provide reparations to the victims of all their marxist bullshit).

  • Flinch||

    I am not sure that does much, Curly4. Aren't the bulk of illegals in the country people who overstayed their visa? They entered legally. College, disneyworld, then... *poof* off the grid. Almost all know that the only way to get deported is to show up for the hearing, so they change addresses/don't show up, and carry on.

  • chemjeff||

    I think we need to change our entire mindset on how we view immigration.

    For all other exercise of liberty, the burden of proof is on the state on why it thinks liberty ought to be restricted, and we the people enjoy the presumption of living our daily lives as we see fit.

    But when it comes to immigration, that burden of proof is reversed. The burden is on the immigrant to have to demonstrate why he/she should be permitted to come into the country, and the presumption is that the state should have the power to set rules and limitations on who may enter the country.

    What would be so terrible in treating immigration like how we treat every other exercise of liberty? Let immigrants have the presumption that they may cross the border if they wish, and the burden is on the state on why particular immigrants should be forbidden from crossing. Reasons like "he's a terrorist" or "he's carrying a plague" would certainly qualify. But arbitrary, irrational ones like "he's a Muslim" would not.

  • IceTrey||

    But doesn't "he's a Muslim" imply he's a plague carrying terrorist?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    i personally favor a 'hot chicks only' immigration policy. It keeps the country from turning into a sausage fest.

    Gotta watch the ratio.

  • Juice||

    For all other exercise of liberty, the burden of proof is on the state on why it thinks liberty ought to be restricted, and we the people enjoy the presumption of living our daily lives as we see fit.

    Is this what you believe?

  • buybuydandavis||

    "We the People of the United States, in Order to ... secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America"

    The Constitution: by Americans, for Americans and their posterity

    The United States of America was created to secure the blessing of Liberty to Americans and their posterity, not to the whole world. That's why foreigners are treated differently than citizens. They should be.

  • Phos||

    Or as immigration is NOT an enumerated power, turn that back to the states. Who can vote (naturalization/citizenship) would still be under Congress.

    Except for voting in national elections, a legal state immigrant should not miss out on much. After all the bill of rights uses 'person' not 'citizen'.

  • AlmightyJB||

    As long as we keep out the French and the PIGS I'm good. Just the men, women are ok.

  • chemjeff||

    I'd be in favor of relaxing the immigration quotas for hot Swedish bikini models.

  • DiegoF||

    What exactly did their "team" compete in anyway? I remember scouring the coverage every Olympics for that event as a young boy.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    They weren't an actual team, they were made up as part of an advertising campaign for some alcoholic product.

    Spuds McKenzie didn't actually throw wild parties all the time and The Most Interesting Man in the World is actually a total bore.

  • DiegoF||

    Fake news, liar.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Why must you squash my dreams?!

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    They competed for boners generated. And they won.

  • Juice||

    And Norwegians, right? No shithole mumu models.

  • DiegoF||

    Oooh, someone did not have a pleasant family vacation! Don't worry, they meant no disrespect by hitting on your wife and daughter right in front of you like that. They're just friendly. Fuck, they were probably hitting on you too.

  • DiegoF||

    By the way, if you still get this, please note I was not suggesting anything against you; I was just making fun of horndog Mediterranean behavior. I realize it could have come across as saying something about you as a man or something. Bad call on my part. Not at all the intended premise of the joke; sorry!

  • jonnysage||

    This sounds exactly like something Rush Limbaugh would say to tweek the media.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    You misspelled 'twerk'.

  • chemjeff||

    Do NOT google "Rush Limbaugh twerking".

    I repeat, do NOT google "Rush Limbaugh twerking".

  • Flinch||

    How dare you unleash the pink elephant theory on the unsuspecting, chemjeff. You are begging people to dive straight to the bottom of the barrel. I do wonder however... what percentage of people were dumb enough to do it vs. the percentage who would admit it.

  • DaveSs||

    Why do I get the sense that this would be struck down for equal protection reasons if it was citizenship with no voting.

    They would have to create some sort of new form of legal permanent resident sort of thing with citizenship offer at the end.

  • mpercy||

    And the one-trick pony rides along.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    By characterizing Limbaugh's stance as "partisanship", Shikha has revealed herself as a partisan Democrat.

  • StackOfCoins||

    And we are all super shocked by this revelation.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Shikha is a Progressive Libertarian - seriously. A Progressitarian. I thought I was joking when I made that up. No joke so absurd that Reason won't stoop to it.

    Shikha Dahlmia Bio
    https://goo.gl/dCTdEQ
    "She considers herself to be a progressive libertarian"

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I consider her to be a raving moronic bitch. Ship her dumb ass back to India, and replace her with ten hot porn babes from India.

  • StackOfCoins||

    I think it's a good plan. Moves us closer to a Heinlein future where citizens vote, and civilians take welfare and make babies. If you don't want to spill some blood for the country, you don't get to play it's favorite game, sorry. No more Clinton and Trump bozos running this circus every 4 years.

  • XM||

    It's a calculated move on Rush's part, isn't it? It would be honestly better for Democrats to just give Trump his border wall in exchange for instant citizenship and voting rights. And they know it. They've blown more money on more asinine things.

    The dems can't risk moderate possibly warming up to Trump when some sort of amnesty passes. The nation's mood is already improving on a number of things. They'll probably take over the senate anyways, but small gains won't do them too much good, especially since AL voters will likely replace Doug Jones in the near future.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Haha. Lefties will "like" anyone they used to hate as long at it can destroy Trump.

    The Democratic Party is finished. They are losing blue collar workers, Americans, and the Middle Class.

    Its all socialists, illegals, racists, Nanny-Staters, and criminals.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    And if the idiot college progtards keep raging and rioting at an ever increasing rate, they will further alienate regular Americans. With luck it will end up like Kent State, except the students being so toxic that the average Americans cheers on the national guardsman shooting their marxist asses.

  • josh||

    Let's not beat around bush here, Limbaugh is just as concerned about the politics of all this as the Dems. All sides are thoroughly insincere. But there is something to be said for fairness, by which I mean, if you're going to make them citizens, they should get the whole experience. The idea that no one should ever have 3/4 the rights of citizenship is very much a principle that is worth defending, because we wouldn't find it acceptable to deny them other constitutional rights just to get a deal done. That said, if this is what it takes, then maybe we don't think about it too much and just get the damn thing over with already.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Being concerned about preserving Liberty in the US in not "insincere" in at least some of us. I know Reason isn't particularly interested, but many who comment at Reason are.

  • Sam Grove||

    How about a path through military service?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    No.

    That will probably stay an option though.

    Its one thing to let non-American share a foxhole with groundpounders. Its another thing to allow non-Americans to have access to pseudo-classified information and equipment.

  • Henry Barth||

    Michael Savage long ago proposed to let in everyone who wants but they get no benefits for the first ten years.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Banning amnesty recipients from voting for 15-25 years. "

    Rush at least identified the most important issue, but did he explain why it's ok to destroy America in 25 years?

    Because he doesn't plan on being alive by then?

  • StackOfCoins||

    Because he doesn't plan on being alive by then?


    Worked for Nostradamus.

  • EirkKengaard||

    People ought to read and understand Politics by Other Means, The Why of Immigration to the United States, and Immigration and Usurpation: Elites, Power, and the People's Will, both by Fredo Arias-King. Those who are dependent on government are more likely to vote democrat, and democrats are more likely to effect policies that increase dependence.

  • EirkKengaard||

    The realities underlying the immigration debate are that we have more than enough people, more than enough imported poor people (see The Characteristics of Unauthorized Immigrants in California, Los Angeles County, and the United States by Karina Fortuny et al; the February 9, 2006 report by the California Legislative Analysts Office (LAO) on efficacy of border police; the Analysis of the California 2001-02 Budget Bill by the LAO), and more than enough imported criminals (read about Jamiel Shaw, Kate Steinle, Juan Francisco De Luna Vasquez, ); consider the disproportionate medicare fraud, food stamp fraud, and mortgage fraud by recent arrivals from cultures in which crime and fraud are normal - look up Glendale medicare fraud).

  • Praveen R.||

    As someone who is more liberal on the soft libertarian spectrum, I will admit Democrats pander too much to illegal immigrants south of the border. Having said that, what is the point of granting citizenship if these people cannot exercise the right to vote ??? Just give them legalized residency. I would also make them pay an extra fee to get legalized.

    So those conservatives who want to accuse democrats of voter politics, isn't Rush indulging in the same crap when he says "oh not only should we legalize them, give them citizenship too as long as thy dont vote". THat is not public policy, that is partisan politics.

  • Phos||

    The constitutional maximum tax/fee for immigration is $10. [Article 1, Sect 9] So yes, charge them extra [up to $10] to immigrate.

  • Praveen R.||

    What about if they frame it as a fine?

  • Flinch||

    Dream on Phos. The current naturalization scheme is set up to put prospective citizens on the hook for roughly $5,000 worth of fees and costs. It appears the set cost expired in 1808, as did some of the administrative powers once enjoyed by individual states, which ceded to congress.

  • Flinch||

    I have to agree, Praveen. Without the right to vote, people staying here are effectively permanent resident aliens, and can't be called citizens - that's a joke. They should be issued a special green card indicating their date of citizenship status, where they can turn that in for a US passport when the day arrives.

  • Jury Nullification||

    If I remember correctly, Rush qualified that proposal by saying that Dims would never go for it because they would not get the desired partisan electoral advantage fast enough. Dims have extreme difficulty with delayed gratification.

  • DonHonda||

    http://www.troyrecord.com/opin.....s-fool-you
    Ruben Navarette: Dreamers: Don't let Dems fool you

    "Dreamers, this is your wake-up call. Democrats want you to think they're in your corner. But it's not so.

    The Democrats failed you. Don't let them fool you."

  • Curt||

    This comments section is the perfect example of how H&R is going to shit. The whole section of comments is nothing but liberals and conservatives yelling at each other. Ignoring what each other is saying and simply hoping that, by repeating their mantras the loudest, somehow they'll magically win the argument.

    If I wanted to read moronic arguments between republicans and democrats, I could go... well... to any other website on the internet.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    The obvious lack of libertarians at an ostensibly libertarian site says something about libertarians, or this site, or perhaps both.

    Maybe the faux libertarians -- authoritarian, stale-thinking right-wingers in silly libertarian drag -- are holding the genuine libertarians hostage?

  • Flinch||

    It's not so much that Rush is progressive, I think. His "offer" is a method to call out the left to see if they really give a damn about 'dreamers'... or if they are just naked vote getting. I believe the left is dedicated only to the latter, and lunch means more to elected office holders. I expect he would stick to his offer if accepted as a matter of his word, but the game is to restore assimilation, which is of utmost importance regardless of how immigration occurs. Our problem of open borders has real physical security concerns in this age of terrorism, but our real problem stemming from the Reagan amnesty is assimilation: without it, we will become Venezuela: broke, tired, and rioting for food after progressivism has unfettered primacy. Making voting conditional on a 20 year wait assures maturity, and a broad exposure to real American ideas. With that in hand, they are not going to swallow the bumper sticker logic of the dnc on balance the moment it gets served up. But first... we have to deal with motor voter, and force states to indicate citizenship status on drivers licenses. In our present condition, an amnesty group gifted future citizen rights will just check off whatever boxes they need to vote - true or false. We must be able to generate process crimes for registrars accepting forms from illegals - a drivers license currently only needs a small investment in valid SS number, often on sale outside your local dmv.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    It's not so much that Rush is progressive, I think

    I guess you can't fool some right-wingers, no matter how far back in the sticks they are.

  • Devastator||

    You don't know anything about the Left in this country. You entire argument is built on a house made of match sticks with not a single bit of reality. Talk about building up a straw house to blow over during your argument.

  • arm||

    Rush trolled you big time. He has been saying this for years as everyone who listens to him knows. He says it for two reasons... 1) It shows that dems do NOT care about these people, they only care about votes, and every single one of them would vote no. 2) Less than 24 hours after this is passed there will be 30 million lawsuits filed stating this is unprecedented and you cannot deny a new citizen the right to vote for 25 years.

  • Devastator||

    Don't be the dittohead that believes democrats don't actually believe in their platform. Don't confuse dem politicians with democrats. You are completely wrong. Dem politicians do whatever it takes to stay in office just like Republican ones. Look at the current bootlickers that are spending money like drunk Democrats just because Trump gave it the okay. Tribalism is ugly in all it's forms.

  • Devastator||

    Meh, Trump will be lucky to stay out of impeachment before the final year of his final, current term.

  • NOVA Lawyer||

    "if Democrats resist, their true motives will become clear"

    Um, this seems precisely backwards. That Rush Limbaugh favors citizenship for Dreamers so long as they cannot vote for 15-25 years, indicates quite plainly that he doesn't actually believe any of the other Republican objections to legalizing Dreamers have merit (objections such as: incentivizes future illegal immigration, will result in higher crime, will impact current citizen's job prospects, will cost more in federal money, etc.).

    On the other side, there are many reasons Democrats might object to citizenship-lite other than they expect to gain voters. Most importantly, two classes of citizenship probably cannot be accomplished by legislation given the Constitution. See 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

  • Devastator||

    You know what they say about broken clocks as well.

  • james roe||

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online