David Brooks Makes Conservative Case for CIR24 Jul 2013
Comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) is not quite circling the drain yet, but there’s no doubt it’s in troubled waters. Unless a large contingent of House Republicans suddenly change their minds and decide they can live with immigration reform, down it goes. The chance of this happening grows ever slimmer as the summer wears on, and members start looking ahead to what they’ll be doing next year at this time: running to keep their jobs, yet again.
Yet there is no compelling reason why conservatives should not support the Senate -i.e., comprehensive – version of CIR this year, writes David Brooks of the New York Times. In fact, Brooks argues, there is a solid conservative case for immigration reform, and he says it would be “a tragedy for the country and political suicide for Republicans, especially because the conservative arguments against the comprehensive approach are not compelling.” [See Pass the Bill! by David Brooks, New York Times, 11.Jul.2013.]
So why should conservatives support CIR? According to Brooks, it gives conservatives four key things they want:
- Economic Growth – Brooks points to Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that project a 3.3% increase in GDP by 2023 and a 5.4% increase by 2033, if the Senate CIR bill becomes law.
- Debt Reduction – Citing government sources, Brooks says the Senate CIR bill would cut the federal deficit by $850 billion over 20 years and lop a half-trillion dollars from the 75-year Social Security shortfall.
- Reduced Illegal Immigration – The CBO calculates that the Senate bill’s border security provisions would cut illegal immigration by 33 to 50%.
- Avoidance of a “European-style demographic collapse” – Brooks argues that “without more immigrants, and the higher fertility rates they bring, this is what we face.”
Brooks goes on to demolish four conservative objections to the Senate approach, concluding that Republicans have a stark choice: support CIR and shape the multi-ethnic future of our country, or face oblivion. It’s a fascinating article, and well worth reading in its entirety.
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