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Tea Party Patriots admit immigration "isn't an issue for us" (Mark Meckler)

One of my major complaints about the Tea Party is that they're ignoring immigration to concentrate on issues that are much less popular, much less important, and much less vital. See all the examples in the posts on the tea parties page, and the leader of a major Teaparty group has now explicitly confirmed that his group isn't really all that concerned about an issue that's more important than spending. In an article [1] featuring a Hispanic activist claiming - contra almost all evidence - that the teaparty movement as a whole is pushing anti-illegal immigration bills appears this (bolding added):

Leaders of the largest national Tea Party groups have insisted their official platform is focused on cutting the federal budget and shrinking government.

Mark Meckler, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, one of the largest national groups of its kind, said immigration "isn't an issue for us." He acknowledged that the organization's roughly 3,500 chapters take up a wider range of issues affecting their communities. He said he didn't know of any local affiliates that advocate on immigration policy.

"At the national level, the only position we've taken on immigration is that the borders should be secured," Meckler says. "Once we secure the borders, we can have more legitimate discussions about those other issues."

See the link above for a list of several issues that are more important than spending, all of which are completely or almost completely off the radar of not just the Tea Party "Patriots" but other similar groups. If you realize how vital controlling immigration is, the teaparty leaders aren't on your side and the teaparty base isn't exactly on your side either for being gullible enough to follow leaders like Meckler.

And, see secure the border for a discussion of what Meckler might be supporting: some form of legalization program after the borders are secure. It's not clear exactly what he'd do after the borders are secure, but he's definitely not supporting attrition or something like that.

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[1] NRR: npr.org/2011/07/12/137772212/the-tequila-party-hopes-to-stir-latino-voters
This is yet another article featuring the thoughts of DeeDee Garcia Blase, the one-woman press release factory behind the "Tequila Party" and "Somos Republicans". Neither group appear to have many members, but because her positions are very mainstream media-friendly she's continually able to use the media to obtain more leverage than others.

The article also contains this:

However, smaller Tea Party groups in Arizona, North Carolina and other states have publicly placed immigration enforcement high on their advocacy lists. And many Tea Party-backed Republicans in Congress are leading the crackdown on illegal immigration, such as Rep. Steve King (R-IA), who has introduced a bill to eliminate automatic citizenship for children born in the U.S. to illegal immigrants.

King was strong on illegal immigration years before the teaparty annoyingly burst on the scene, and while some smaller teaparty groups have placed more of an emphasis on immigration, they haven't gotten national support from the teaparty movement as a whole. While many politicians who are concerned about the impact the teaparties could have might be cowed into supporting conservative positions, and might incorrectly think that opposing illegal immigration is just a conservative issue, that's more of a side effect than the effect of anything the teaparties have done. See the tea parties page and posts for several examples of this just not being an important issue for them.

Tue, 07/12/2011 - 15:18 · Importance: 4