Saturday, December 29, 2007

Dallas Morning News Names Illegal Immigrant Texan of the Year

The Dallas Morning News has acknowledged the complexity of the immigration issue by writing a balanced editorial naming illegal immigrants as its Texan of the Year.

Few issues have the intense rhetoric associated with them as the immigration debate. For many Republican voters, it is the single issue that defines their political view. How important this issue is in the current primary campaign is evidenced by how many in the GOP field have tacked to the right on this issue since declaring themselves as presidential candidates.

While governor, Huckabee gained favor with Hispanic leaders by denouncing a high-profile federal immigration raid and suggesting some anti-illegal immigration measures were driven by racism. He advocated making children of illegal immigrants eligible for college scholarships.

Huckabee's Republican presidential rivals have tried to make an issue of the scholarship plan, portraying him as soft on illegal immigration. Huckabee responded this month by unveiling a plan to seal the Mexican border, hire more agents to patrol it and make illegal immigrants go home before they could apply to return to this

From the border fence to the ordinances in Farmers Branch, the immigration debate has held the spotlight all year. In its editorial, the DMN acknowledges that the controversy will be with us for some time to come. But although Texas is projected to be majority Hispanic by 2020, the editorial also makes the observation that Latin America's own demographics may ultimately impact this issue regardless of political strategy.
... though the current immigration flow shows no signs of abating, the Mexican GDP is growing and the national fertility rate has plummeted by almost two-thirds since 1970. That birth rate is nearing the level at which Mexico would need to retain workers for its own economy, thereby shutting off the spigot of immigration into the U.S.
So if the GOP can't put this genie back in the bottle, it will have spent a decade or more alienating what will then be Texas' largest bloc of voters on an issue that may resolve of its own accord. Brilliant strategy, pachyderms. Don't stop on our account.

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