New Analysis by FAIR Shows that Support for Illegal Alien Amnesty and Increased Immigration Would Harm, Not Help, Republicans Politically

Oct 24, 2013, 14:54 ET from FAIR

WASHINGTON, Oct. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new analysis by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) concludes that, far from working to Republicans' political advantage, enacting immigration legislation similar to the Gang of Eight bill passed by the Senate in June would decimate the GOP as a national party.


FAIR's analysis, entitled, Republicans Have an Immigration Problem – and Amnesty Won't Solve It, examines extensive economic and demographic data, opinion research, and historical voting patterns of Hispanic voters. The inescapable conclusion of this analysis is that as long as our nation's immigration policies continue to bring millions of poorly educated and poorly skilled immigrants to the United States, Republicans will have little chance to attract new voters.

"The conventional wisdom is that the Republicans' inability to reach Hispanic voters has to do with the party's stance on amnesty for illegal aliens. In fact, the Republicans' problem is rooted in an immigration system that admits millions of people who are heavily dependent upon government subsidies and services," said Dan Stein, president of FAIR.

"The reforms that House Republicans are being pressured to adopt would exacerbate the party's political problems. More importantly, such policies would be devastating to America's embattled middle class. Republicans in the House have a unique opportunity to do what is right for the nation and what best for their own political interests by refusing to accede to special interest demands for amnesty and massive increases in immigration," Stein said.

Among the data highlighted in Republicans Have an Immigration Problem – and Amnesty Won't Solve It:

  • By a 75% to 19% margin, Hispanics in the U.S. favor "big government" over smaller government. That margin is even greater among first generation Hispanics.
  • Household income for foreign-born is significantly below the national norm. 37.7% of all immigrant households fall into the bottom 25% of all wage earners in the U.S.
  • 29% of illegal aliens – the people who would gain amnesty under Senate legislation – have less than a 9th grade education.
  • Gov. Romney's share of the Hispanic vote was consistent with that of other Republican presidential candidates. However, the growth of the Hispanic electorate has vastly increased the gap for Republican candidates.
  • Supporting amnesty does not gain Republicans Hispanic votes. After the Republican-sponsored amnesty of 1986, George H.W. Bush lost the Hispanic vote to Michael Dukakis by almost the same margin as Romney did in 2012. Similarly, John McCain, a long-time advocate for amnesty, failed to gain Hispanic support in his 2008 presidential bid.
  • Hispanic voters place amnesty and "immigration reform" low on their list of political priorities.

"Today, President Obama reiterated his political objective of enacting an amnesty bill before the end of the year. If they are not prepared to reject these calls because of the impact they would have on struggling American workers and taxpayers, Republicans must at least face up to the reality that heeding the sirens' call would lead to their own  political demise.

"The American people – including American Hispanics – want Washington to focus on dealing with the serious issues facing our economy, the crisis faced by workers in this country, the solvency of our government, and other issues that affect their day-to-day lives," said Stein. "Our nation cannot afford a bitter and divisive battle over rewarding immigration lawbreakers and satisfying business's insatiable demand for more foreign labor, while these important issues are allowed to fester.

"Instead of amnesty for illegal aliens and increases in immigration, what are needed are immigration reforms that help American who are shut out of the labor market to reenter it and become upwardly mobile. Such policies would obviously benefit American workers, including Hispanic Americans," Stein concluded.

About FAIR
Founded in 1979, FAIR is the country's largest 501c(3) immigration reform group. With over 250,000 members nationwide, FAIR fights for immigration policies that serve national interests, not special interests. FAIR believes that immigration reform must enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.