Tom Bevan and Carl Cannon offer bad policy and bad politics on immigration (RealClearPolitics)

Over at RealClearPolitics, Tom Bevan and Carl Cannon offer bad advice, bad politics, and bad policy for the GOP.

From "21 Reasons for Obama's Victory and Romney's Defeat" ( ):

Early in the Republican primary season, Romney proffered "self-deportation" as a partial policy prescription for the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants living in this country. (Mitt Romney)'s rhetoric was aimed at Rick Perry, who had signed legislation granting in-state college tuition to young people brought to Texas as children.

This line of argumentation hurt Perry, but Newt Gingrich criticized Romney for it, as did the president. Obama, by contrast, embraced the DREAM Act, which would grant a path to citizenship for young immigrants, even those in the country illegally, who enlisted in the armed forces or attended college.

After Romney was nominated, the president signed an executive order barring the deportation of illegal minors. It was mostly symbolic (and perhaps not even legal), but it was politically savvy, and Latino voters noticed. Nationally, Obama received a whopping 69 percent of the Hispanic vote -- an even higher percentage than in 2008 -- and, with it, the swing states of Florida, Colorado, and Nevada.

Even more ominous for Republicans: George W. Bush won 40 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2004; McCain won 31 percent in 2008; Romney garnered only 27 percent this year, even as their share of the electorate has grown from 8 to 10 percent.

1. The DREAM Act is an anti-American bill that would let the illegal aliens covered by it deprive some American citizens of college; see the link. Obama and all its other supporter should be discredited for supporting an anti-American bill; Bevans and Cannon present supporting an anti-American bill as a good thing.

2. Attrition - the more formal name for "self-deportation" - is a perfectly valid way to deal with illegal immigration, and it's also a proven plan; see the link. The problem isn't that Romney offered that plan, it's that he only offered it once and then ran away like a scared child when he received pushback from illegal immigration supporters. It's not clear how many would support attrition because the media and politicians tend to engage in the deportations false choice in which they largely ignore attrition. Thus, many or most not realize that it's an alternative to mass deportations or comprehensive immigration reform.

3. Obama's amnesty was hardly "mostly symbolic": around 200,000 illegal aliens have already applied. That number will no doubt rise sharply now that Obama has been reelected. Obama's adding hundreds of thousands of new legal workers to a very weak job market, harming the job prospects of large numbers of American workers (most of them Democrats). If those harmed by Obama's amnesty were the elites, no doubt Cannon and Bevan would present it as bit more than "symbolic". Note also, of course, the Bevan and Cannon aren't too bothered by Obama's amnesty possibly being illegal, just as long as it was a good political move.

4. In the first paragraph, Bevan and Cannon offer a misleading euphemism: Perry's legislation was designed to benefit illegal aliens, not just "young people brought to Texas as children" [1].

5. The phrase "even those in the country illegally" implies that the DREAM Act would involve legal residents, when that's not the case: it's just for illegal aliens.

6. While the final figures aren't in, making the conclusion that Romney's immigration position played a large role in him losing Florida is a bit questionable. In 2010, only about 20% of Florida Hispanics were from Central America and Mexico, while about 55% were from the Caribbean [2]. While some in the latter group might be here illegally, the majority will be from Cuba or Puerto Rico and both those groups are almost always U.S. citizens. Thus, if immigration played a major role, it was because of pan-Hispanic nationalism. If so, would we find Bevan and Cannon promoting pan-European nationalism?

7. The idea that the GOP should make their electoral situation even worse by supporting amnesty was recently discussed here.

Please take a moment and let the two know what you think: @CarlCannon and @TomBevanRCP.

[1] Texas Attorney General letter of July 23, 2009 ( ):

Section 54.052 governs the determination of resident status for in-state tuition eligibility at state colleges and universities in Texas and includes as a resident a person who:

(A) graduated from a public or private high school in this state or received the equivalent of a high school diploma in this state; and

(B) maintained a residence continuously in this state for:

(i) the three years preceding the date of graduation or receipt of the diploma equivalent, as applicable; and

(ii) the year preceding the census date of the academic term in which the person is enrolled in an institution of higher education.

Tex. Educ. Code Ann. § 54.052(a)(3) (Vernon 2006). To establish residency under this provision, section 54.053(3) requires a person to submit information to establish the resident status and "if the person is not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, an affidavit stating that the person will apply to become a permanent resident of the United States as soon as the person becomes eligible to apply." Id. § 54.053(3).