“Rubio Republicans”—How Different From The Old Hispanic Republicans?

In the 111th Congress,
which will formally conclude at the beginning of next
year, there were only four Hispanic Republicans in the
House of Representatives: Devin Nunes of California and
three Florida Cubans: Mario Diaz-Balart, his brother
Lincoln Diaz-Balart, and

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

In the Senate, with the
much-welcome retirement of Florida`s

Mel Martinez
to assume his very unwelcome tenure as
RNC chief, there were none.

All these Hispanics were all among
the worst Republicans on immigration. Of the 198
Republicans in the House of Representatives,
Ros-Lehtinen and Lincoln Diaz-Balart was tied for the
second

worst grade from Numbers USA
, Mario Diaz-Balart was
the next worse, and
Nunes
was two places behind. They clearly stood with the left
wing Democrats on immigration. (So the

Republican consultants
who say they want a different
tone on immigration are wrong on this too.)

In the 112th Congress,
just elected, another five Hispanic Republicans will be
seated in the House, plus one in the Senate. And one
Hispanic Republican has been elected governor of New
Mexico.

As you can expect, the usual
multicultural Republican boosters are celebrating the
new, diverse GOP. [6
GOP Hispanics loosen Democrats` grip on Hill
,
By
Sean Lengell, The
Washington Times,
November 15, 2010] Still, this new
crop is certainly more patriotic on immigration than the
Diaz-Balart brothers—at least in their initial rhetoric.

John Fund of the
Wall Street Journal calls
them
“Rubio Republicans.” According to Fund:


“Republican candidates can talk
tough on immigration and still do well with Hispanic
voters if they can convincingly promote a message of
economic opportunity”
.

Fund continued:

“Republicans know that hardline immigration positions seen as
insensitive to Hispanics can cost them votes among a
growing share of the electorate. On the other hand,
candidates can talk tough on immigration and still do
well with Hispanic voters if they can convincingly
promote a message of economic opportunity.”

Fund cites the disappointing
defeats of

Tom Tancredo
and

Sharron Angle
as counterexamples of how not to talk
about immigration. (Needless to say, he didn`t mention

Jan Brewer
,

Rand Paul
,

Nathan Deal
, Rick Stott,

Lou Barletta,


Kris Kobach
,

etc. etc.
) [Rubio
Republicans
, by John Fund,
Wall Street
Journal
, November 9, 2010]

Yet a look at the
Hispanic
Republicans
shows that rather than taking a
“hardline immigration position”, they simply mouthed a few

empty platitudes about opposing amnesty
while doing
little to assure Americans that they will actually crack
down on illegal immigration—much less, needless to say,
curbing legal immigration.

My conclusion: These people need to
be watched.


·       



Marco Rubio,
U.S. Senator, Florida

Ipso facto the
poster boy for the Rubio Republicans is

Marco Rubio.
Yet he is perhaps the most suspect of
the bunch.

In 2008, Rubio blocked a number of
patriotic immigration bills in the Florida legislature.
The Miami Herald
reported:

“Florida lawmakers looking to
pass bills targeted at curbing illegal immigration faced
one major hurdle this session—convincing South Florida
legislators, who hold key leadership positions in the
House and Senate, to support their cause. Without the
backing of House Speaker Marco Rubio, the first
Cuban-American to hold the position, the bills failed to
get any major play in their committees. Six weeks into
the session, a three-hour workshop was held on the six
House bills, but even that failed to produce its desired
intent of combining the bills into one larger committee
bill.

“`Speaker Rubio outlined the
priorities of the session and this didn`t fall under
that list,` said

[Rep. David]
Rivera, one of Rubio`s lieutenants.”


[VDARE.com note:


At the time, David Rivera was a state Representative, but now he`s

one more Hispanic Republican in Congress
.]

[Miami-Dade
lawmakers stymie immigration bills
, by Laura
Figueroa, Miami Herald, April 17, 2008]

When Arizona enacted SB 1070, Rubio
wrote:

Arizona`s
policy shows the difficulty and limitations of states
trying to act piecemeal to solve what is a serious
federal problem… I think aspects of the law, especially
that dealing with `reasonable suspicion,` are going to
put our law enforcement officers in an incredibly
difficult position. It could also unreasonably single
out people who are here legally, including many American
citizens.”

Rubio eventually
flip-flopped—after the

conservative grassroots embraced Arizona.
But he
still made sure to qualify that we need
“a legal
immigration system that works”

(a.k.a.
more

legal immigration
) and that we must
Understand
that what Arizona is facing is different from anything

Florida has ever faced
… Frankly, very few states
in the country can imagine what that`s like
.” (i.e.
no other state should consider enacting a similar bill.

[Exclusive:
Rubio Clarifies Critique of Arizona Law
,
by
Jason Mattera, Human Events, May 6, 2010]


  • Francisco
    Canseco, Texas 23

Canseco beat out a Hispanic
Democrat,

Ciro Rodriguez.
The

23rd Congressional district
covers over
half of the Texas-Mexico border, so border security is
an important issue.

To his credit, Canseco`s platform
on immigration was headed:
Securing Our
Borders and Targeting Criminal Illegal Aliens
. He
stated:

“Beyond the
threat of

terrorism
, our security is also threatened by
illegal immigrant gangs, drug cartels, and

human smugglers.
We must make it a top priority to
provide the funding, equipment, and personnel necessary
to identify, apprehend, and incarcerate or deport these
criminals. It will send a message that we are serious
and we are coming after them.

“For those who
wish to come to our country to seek a better life and
make America their home, they must do so by obeying our
laws and complying with our rules. Amnesty is simply NOT
AN OPTION.”
[VDARE.COM links added]

At first glance this sounds good. But using the
phrase
“targeting criminal illegal aliens” and “top priority” is suspicious: these are the Obama
Administration`s favorite euphemism for not doing
anything about the millions of illegal aliens who are
not
rapists
or

gang members.

I have not found any more detailed
information on Canseco`s immigration stance. So we`ll
have to keep an eye on him—and hope for the best.


  • Blake
    Farenthold, Texas 27

Assuming he withstands a recount,
Blake Farenthold`s victory over Solomon Ortiz could be
one of the most gratifying results of Election 2010.
American immigration patriots certainly

will not miss Ortiz,
who sponsored the

latest mass amnesty bill.

Farenthold (who says in spite of
his name that he`s Hispanic) is certainly an
improvement. But we shouldn`t expect too much from him:

“The GOP challenger said he`s happy to have tea party support but added
that `a lot of the hard-core Republicans may actually
see me as soft on immigration` because he supports `a
path to U.S. citizenship` for illegal immigrants.”
[Anti-incumbent
sentiment makes inroads in South Texas
, by Will
Weissert, Associated Press, October 28, 2010]

After this AP piece came out,
Farenthold attempted (not surprisingly) to
“clarify” his
position:

“I oppose amnesty (sometimes called a path to citizenship)…I do,
however, support allowing in more people in who can pass
a background check and can show they have a job lined
up. This could take the form of a guest worker program
or be a system that eventually leads to citizenship.”

In other words, he
does support
a “path to U.S. Citizenship”!! [AP
story Gets Immigration Wrong
, Blake Farenthold
for Congress, October 29, 2010]

After Farenthold was elected,
Congressional Quarterly profiled him. It reported:

“He backs tougher employer sanctions and tighter border security. He
also supports a

guest worker program
that would bring more people
into the country if they have jobs waiting and says that
such a program could include a path to citizenship. But
he argues that those who arrived in the United States
illegally must go to the `back of the line` in terms of
seeking permanent residency.”

[112th
Congress: Leading at Press Time: Blake Farenthold,
R-Texas (27th District
), John Bickell,
CQ Politics,
November 3, 2010],

My conclusion: hmmmmmmmmmmm.


  • Bill Flores,
    Texas 17

Flores defeated white Democratic
incumbent Chet Edwards who had a C-rating from Numbers
USA. Edwards was pretty bad, but (unlike

John Boehner
) he voted for the

Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal
Immigration Control Act
in 2005.

Flores answered NumbersUSA`s survey
perfectly, including indicating support for reducing
legal immigration and ending

birthright citizenship
.

However, his platform left much to
be desired:

“Enforcement First – On the issue of illegal immigration, I will never
support any program which grants unilateral amnesty to
those who have broken our laws. Solving our illegal
immigration issue and the billions of dollars of costs
associated with it starts by fully enforcing our laws.
For those who wish to come to our country, they must do
so by obeying our laws and complying with our system. I
fully recognize we need to
improve the path
to citizenship
, just as we need to value the hard
work of folks who become American citizens legally.
Right now, however, it is important we focus on securing
our borders, enforcing our laws, and targeting criminal
illegal aliens who threaten our neighborhoods and
safety.”
[Emphasis added—WW]

“Enforcement
First”
? The late, great

Terry Anderson
called


“First” the
“F-Word”
—because it may as well mean, I`ll
support amnesty in a few years. When it comes to illegal
immigration, what`s needed is not
“enforcement
first”
—it`s
“enforcement period”
.

Bill Flores has reiterated his openness to amnesty
more recently. He told the
Waco Tribune:

“I believe we
cannot address those who are here illegally until we

secure the border. 
For the 10 million to 12 million
illegal aliens in our country today, an illegal act
cannot create a legal right. We need to find out who is
here illegally, where they are, what they are doing and
begin to process them through existing laws.”

Additionally, Flores qualified his support for
E-Verify: “We
must greatly improve the speed and accuracy of the
E-Verify system.”
[District
17 Q&A with Chet Edwards, Bill Flores: What should we do
with the 10-12 million illegals in the U.S.?

Waco Tribune, October 22, 2010]

E-Verify literally takes minutes to get a response
back, and is virtually flawless.

I can only think that Flores made this qualification
so that he could oppose mandating E-Verify until it is
“improved”.

A bad sign.


·        



Raul Labrador: Idaho 1

Puerto Rican immigration attorney Labrador defeated
Democratic incumbent Walt Minnick—who actually ran to
his right on immigration. As I explained in a previous

column
, Labrador`s platform advocated that we
"offer illegals an incentive to come forward”
.
He is already planning to go on the Immigration
Subcommittee.
[Raul
Labrador`s Position on Illegal Immigration
,
Labrador for Congress, August 24, 2010]

Labrador
somehow managed to get
Joe
Arpaio`s
support during the election. And answered
all of NumbersUSA`s questions perfectly, including those
about reducing legal immigration (although he left
birthright citizenship blank).

Perhaps
Labrador will keep those promises. But I`m not holding
my breath.


  • Susana
    Martinez, New Mexico Governor

Immediately
after her election, Martinez appeared on Univision and
was she was asked if she supported Arizona`s SB 1070.
She replied: "No,
no, I don`t want that for New Mexico."
[N.M.
governor-elect says `no` to Ariz.-style immigration law
,
BY USA Today
November 8, 2010]

And according to Politico.com:
“While Republicans in Washington want to
reopen debate on Birthright Citizenship guaranteed by
the 14th Amendment, Martinez opposes changing the
amendment.”
[GOP
hopeful faces immigration bind
, by Simmi Aujla,
Politico.com, September 3, 2010]

But
Martinez subsequently talked tough on CNN, challenging
President Obama to secure the border:

"I don`t support amnesty… there has to be some
other way of dealing with the issue…It may be we
identify individuals but we cannot just have a path to
citizenship created when there are people in line
already doing the proper things.”

[Governor-elect`s
message for Obama
, Gabriella Schwarz, CNN,
November 10, 2010]

The
gestalt of this statement is that Martinez is open to
some sort of legalization of illegal aliens—yet she does
say she opposes amnesty.


  • Brian
    Sandoval, Nevada Governor

Of
all the new Hispanic Republicans, Sandoval seems perhaps
the most promising. He campaigned to the right of

incumbent governor Jim Gibbons in the primaries
and
supported

Arizona`s SB 1070.
 

Like all
of the new crop of Hispanic Republicans, except

possibly
Martinez, Sandoval is

ethnically white.
When he was asked by
Univision
if he was worried about his kids being racially
profiled, he replied with endearing artlessness:

“My children
don`t look Hispanic.”

Of
course, this is also true of

everyone on Univision
, every single Hispanic
Republican—and (for that matter) the majority of
Hispanic Democratic politicians. Still, the usual

suspects expressed outrage
.

Sandoval
initially denied saying it. But when the video came out,
he responded:
"If I did say those words, it was wrong and I sincerely regret it. I am
proud of my heritage and my family."
[Nevada`s
Brian Sandoval catching fire for comments on his kids
and Arizona`s immigration law
, By Andrew
Malcolm, LA Times,
July 30, 2010]

Apologies aside, this exchange may
be telling. Perhaps Sandoval does not view himself as
“Hispanic”
(and why should he? It`s an entirely bogus census
category). He may not feel compelled to support the
organized Hispanic Agenda.

That
said, Sandoval has made some very questionable
statements on immigration. The
Las Vegas Sun reported on an exchange about driver`s licenses for
illegal aliens at a debate:

“`It`s an issue
that I would strongly consider,` he says, after being
asked about it by a woman who says she represents
Hispanic insurers. `Folks who are gonna be out driving
anyway, we should know who they are, they should be
insured. That protects everybody.`

“He is then asked
again if he favors the idea.

“`I would
consider it, yes.`”

Sandoval then
“clarified”
his position:

“As a former
judge, I normally consider all the arguments on most
issues…I did consider the arguments on this issue, but
the potential of legitimizing illegal immigration would
outweigh the civil protections of mandatory insurance or
data collection. Therefore, I would not support driver`s
licenses for undocumented immigrants.”

[After
back and forth, Sandoval says no to driver`s licenses
for undocumented immigrants
, by J. Patrick
Coolican, Las
Vegas Sun
, April 7, 2010]

If Sandoval makes his first act as governor to demand
that the legislature pass a SB 1070 style piece of
legislation, then I`ll be willing to give him the
benefit of the doubt.

So what should we make out of these new Hispanic
Republicans? With the exception of Labrador, everyone
one of them is better on immigration than the Democrat
they defeated.

Assuming they even keep half of their campaign
promises, they are all better than the current crop of
Hispanic Republicans. But we knew that Mel Martinez and
Solomon Ortiz were terrible on immigration.

Ominously, these new Hispanic Republicans who pretend
to be with us are already being championed by the
Politically Correct conservative Establishment—what
VDARE.COM has called the
Righteous
Right
—as the future of the party.

Open Borders Republican columnist

Ruben Navarrette
quotes Hispanic political
consultant Frank Guerra:
“We haven`t
solved the problem (of alienating Hispanics) but we`re
on the right track”
and adds himself,
“if the GOP is
smart, it`ll let a new crop of Hispanic Republicans lead
the way.”
[March
of Hispanic Republicans
, by Ruben Navarrette,
November 7, 2010]

My conclusion: do not be surprised if we start
hearing Rubio or Labrador telling us that they too
oppose immigration, but we need to change our “tone”—and
that certain issues such as Birthright Citizenship and
cutting legal immigration, are
“off-limits”.

Let`s hope that these new
“Rubio
Republicans”
keep their promises on border security
and amnesty.

But let`s not expect

that they are really on America`s side.

"Washington Watcher" [email
him
] is an anonymous source Inside The
Beltway.