All due respect to Zmirak, but that's not just nonsense; it's pernicious, ugly, xenophobic nonsense dressed up to resemble pro-life conservatism.
If we were to grant amnesty — the full rights of citizenship, including the right to vote, collect government benefits, and use affirmative action at the expense of (for instance) impoverished white male war veterans — to the estimated 10-12 million illegal immigrants in America, we would be adding at the very least 6.3-8 million liberal, pro-abortion voters. No, these recent illegals need not, by the laws of physics, vote for liberal, pro-abortion Democrats. But that is how they will vote, and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. Anyone who claims to value unborn life, who favors padding the voter rolls with those who will vote to leave the unborn unprotected, is also either lying or simply and doggedly refusing to consider the consequences of his actions. A school bus driver who downs a fifth of Jim Beam before climbing behind the wheel might not have intended manslaughter against his tiny passengers — but when he crashes them into a wall, that is how the prosecutor will charge him.
I do not wish to imply that those who know how amnestied illegals are almost certain to vote and who still favor amnesty are not, in cold fact, pro-life. I would never leave such a statement to mere implication. I wish to say it outright: Those who favor amnesty for illegal immigrants are not, in cold fact, pro-life. That goes for politicians and voters, bishops and priests, men, women, and children, red and yellow, black and white. Such people may be pro-life in theory, as thousands of antebellum Southerners claimed to be inward abolitionists. But those who lobbied for admitting new slave states to the Union knew that their actions spoke louder than words. No one who really believes that abortion is a life-and-death issue will allow any secondary considerations (economic “justice,” “diversity,” or misguided compassion for lawbreakers) to trump the legal murder of a million Americans each year. This amnesty — proposed by a president who, as a senator, fought almost singlehandedly to keep partial-birth abortion legal — will make such legalized murder permanent. End of story.
Jack Smith at the Catholic Key blog says it better than I can:
To be fair, Zmirak doesn't bring up the DREAM Act in his piece at Crisis Magazine which I linked to above; Smith provides the source for Zmirak's disapproval of the DREAM Act in his piece. But what Zmirak does say boils down to the following:
As a DREAM Act supporter, I suppose it accuses me of being “not, in cold fact, pro-life”. So, when I founded a pro-life club in my liberal Catholic high school with no faculty sponsor, collected a string of arrests for blockading abortion clinics across the country, canonically sued my liberal Catholic college for forcing the student union to support a pro-choice group – and got kicked out, ran numerous pro-life campaigns in California, battled squishy priests and chancery rats as editor of the diocesan paper in San Francisco and volunteered at a myriad of direct pro-life ministries over almost every decade of my life, I was merely collecting social capital in Pelosiville. I collected so much social capital in my San Francisco of five generations that I now live in Kansas City. (Thank God!, btw)
Mother Teresa would not meet Zmirak’s pro-life test. But I suppose that’s conjecture – We cannot know for certain whether Mother Teresa would have supported sending the children of illegal immigrants, who know no other country than the U.S., to a homeless existence in a foreign country – a necessary qualification for being pro-life in Zmirak’s world.
- Illegal immigrants, if granted amnesty and full citizenship, will vote for Democrats;
- Voting for Democrats causes abortion to remain enshrined in law, while only voting for Republicans can stop it;
- Thus, allowing illegal immigrants to become full citizens with voting rights will derail all pro-life legislation;
- Therefore, the solution is to create a permanent class of second-class citizens who bear all the responsibilities of citizenship (taxation, etc.) without ever being permitted the most important right of citizenship, the right to vote.
If illegal immigrants, granted amnesty and a path to citizenship, eventually become Democratic Party supporters and voters, whose fault will that be? Remember, there's no guarantee that this would happen; Zmirak seems to be conflating "illegal immigrants" with "Hispanic voters" and further presuming that all Hispanic voters will always vote for Democrats (which would probably surprise, say, the Cuban-American community considerably). But let's just say, for the sake of argument, that the majority of illegal immigrants present in our country today are Hispanic and that they tend to have as favorable a view of Democrats as Hispanic-Americans generally do. Would that be, perhaps, because the Democrats aren't sitting around spitballing about ways to defeat amnesty, create a permanent class of second-class citizens, or otherwise make it harder for illegal immigrants to pursue a path to regularize their situations in this country? And could the Republican Party do more, perhaps, to reach out to the Hispanic-American community especially on the social issues where we have a great deal of common ground?
Of course, that presumes that Zmirak's second point is accurate, and that voting for Republicans will stop abortion. How many Republican presidents have we had since 1973? How many of them have made Supreme Court appointments? How many times has the House, the Senate, or both been controlled by Republicans? How many "moderate" (e.g., pro-abortion) Republicans are in the House and Senate right now, fighting against even the most modest pro-life initiatives?
Sure, at the state and local level committed pro-life Republicans have begun to make a real difference. But is it a given that former illegal immigrants will always vote against these people?
Let's face it. At the national level the two parties are perfectly happy to maintain the present level of detente on abortion. In fact, I would say the goals and aims of the two parties, again at the national level, are very similar; it is only their methods and some other details that differ.
Because what both parties want, ultimately, is to win elections and thus increase their own power, wealth and influence by planned encroachments on private-sector activities. They differ in three areas: the target of encroachment, the speed at which the encroachment is to take place, and the amount of confiscatory taxation that will be needed to pay for it all.
Republicans, for instance, want to increase the size of the military and interfere with citizens' privacy on the grounds that national security demands this; they are also in favor, for another example, of using taxpayer money to bail out huge multinational corporations in times of economic stress. They are more patient then Democrats, mainly because it's hard for them to run as "Main Street vs. Wall Street" candidates if they make their endgame too obvious; and they like being the party of tax cuts, which means that they're willing to slow the rate of confiscatory taxation and create the illusion that they want taxpayers to keep more of our own money.
Democrats, of course, want to run healthcare and interfere with citizens' property rights in the name of the environment. They like to create an aura of urgency (e.g., people will die on the streets of their health problems caused by global warming if the government doesn't fix everything right away), and they are more transparent about their intention to practice predatory taxation for the good of the nation.
Abortion, gay marriage, and other social issues are merely a distraction to the national parties--useful when they can be dragged out to garner support at election time, but otherwise only useful if they happen to overlap an already-existing goal (e.g., taxpayer funding of abortion in government-run healthcare).
Sadly, I suspect that the issue of illegal immigration, amnesty for illegal immigrants, and related issues are also under the heading of "distraction" to the major parties at the national level. In this, too, I disagree strongly with Zmirak when he writes:
We probably should be grateful that the raid that enacted justice on the mass-murdering orthodox Muslim Osama bin Laden did not yield thousands of captives for a parade through New York City — as cathartic as they might have momentarily been. However, the president has not been slow to follow the rest of the pagan precedent, using his surge of popularity to press for special favors that will benefit his faction. No sooner have the crabs done picking the bones of bin Laden than President Barack Obama has announced another push to obtain legal amnesty and citizenship for the many millions of illegal aliens who still reside in the United States — who, as soon as they are legal, will prove ideal recruits for the Abortion (i.e., Democratic) Party.Solving the problem of illegal immigration by creating an amnesty program won't create any new voters in time for the 2012 presidential election; appearing to care about illegal immigration and amnesty programs, however, just might--just as appearing to care about ending abortion once every four years works in favor of the Republicans at the national level. If anyone thinks today's Democratic Party leaders are altruistic enough to want to "fix" the problem of illegal immigration today for some voting benefits that might accrue to them (or, realistically, to their unknown successors) in a decade or so--well, I've got a box full of ballots from a precinct in Miami I can let you have cheaply.
No, I suspect that the Democrats want to "fix" illegal immigration with the same focus and urgency with which the Republicans at the national level have moved for the last 38 years on the abortion issue. Why fix something that's not broken, after all? So long as pro-amnesty voters will succumb to emotional appeals and vote for Democrats, while pro-life voters will succumb to similarly emotional appeals to vote for Republicans (sometimes without even bothering to find out whether the lady with the "R" next to her name is a member of this group or this one), what's there to fix?
What might be a real game-changer would be if some of us who are Catholic and conservative and formed by our Church's social teachings would work for a humane policy that might possibly even permit amnesty for those immigrants here who deserve it, while concurrently demanding exponential increases in punishments and fines for those who hire illegals or bring them here to work in defiance of our laws--all while loudly advocating for the right to life of every person from conception to natural death, a stewardship model for the environment that respects private property but sets sane regulation, a vision of military strength which does not require America to intervene in every "War on Terror" scenario that exists around the world, a realistic reform of health care that respects doctors and patients foremost, and insurance companies and bureaucrats much less...I could go on, but you get the point.
What won't be a game-changer is if we peddle dressed-up xenophobic nonsense as an excuse to oppose the very possibility of amnesty for some out of a nakedly partisan desire to keep the number of people who will vote for Democrats low, as if that is a guaranteed way, or perhaps the only way, to end the evil of abortion on demand in America. A truly pro-life ethos would avoid labeling a whole group of people as "the enemy" from an election perspective, and assuming that they aren't even reachable by pro-life activism; such an amount of disrespect for our brothers and sisters--many of them really our brothers and sisters in Christ--is hardly pro-life at all.