Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY, has been making waves in the media lately, as he continues to try and bridge the gap between liberty-minded folks and minorities. He has been casting a wide net and gaining a lot of support from unlikely places, including young college students at Berkeley University, one of the most liberal colleges in the country. Now Paul is focusing his attention on reaching Hispanic voters, calling for Republicans to move beyond deportation or else risk losing this much needed demographic. Rand Paul and his stern rebuke stings like two hand smacks to the face, but it could be what conservatives need to hear in order to rethink immigration reform.
The Kentucky senator clearly grasps the importance of having the minority vote, which is why he continues to broaden his circle and reach out to Hispanics and other people groups. Rather than try and pretend to play politics, the approach Paul continues to take is one of open ears rather than flapping gums, meaning he is focusing on listening to these groups about the issues that effect them, rather than making promises and talking a big game.
At a recent speaking engagement, Rand Paul stated that if Mrs. Garica’s nephew is not going to be deported, then Hispanics would be more likely to look at the solutions presented by Republicans. What Paul is getting at is that the Republican Party has set themselves up to look hostile and racist to the Hispanic community, which has dissuaded them from wanting any involvement with conservatives. That statement is an obvious exaggeration, but certain elements due seem to ring true. While most conservatives who argue for tighter and more strict border control are not prejudiced in the slightest, some of the banter on social media demonstrates that there are still many who speak of securing borders with far less grace, and more vitriol than can really be justified.
As if the first round of ideological hand smacks on immigration reform were not enough to rouse the cranky, old grizzly known as the GOP, the solution that Rand Paul proposes for dealing with the issue will certainly rub the establishment the wrong way. Sen. Paul stated that the best way to handle immigration was to simply normalize immigrants, give them a work visa, and make them taxpayers. This will surely ruffle a few feathers, seeing that Paul voted against the Gang of Eight amnesty bill, which many believed would cause a significant drop in wages for American citizens. Paul said that illegal immigrants were not going home, and asked any who might be opposed to the idea of normalization what their plan for dealing with the problem would entail? Would they be calling for putting illegals on buses, in concentration camps, or sending them back home? It is almost a guarantee that his remarks will definitely put him out of the good graces of a few prominent individuals in Congress.
The senator’s solution tends to be one that is more in line with libertarian ideology than conservative principles. While one cannot lump the whole of libertarian thought or philosophy into one basket, one of the primary ideas for dealing with illegal immigration is not tighter security, but open borders. There are two reasons libertarians support this idea. The first is that open borders do not infringe on the natural right of people to live where they choose. Second, the government has failed to protect and seal borders, so why trust them to continue doing so if they are going to keep failing? The open border solution would be feasible if not for the bloated welfare state that enables many who enter the country illegally to get entitlements and benefits, placing a huge burden on the shoulders of taxpayers. In order to make this work the welfare system would have to be completely abolished.
It seems the best solution is tighter border control and security, perhaps provided by private security companies rather than government agencies, which have proved inept at keeping people from getting inside the country. As far as Paul’s idea of normalization, it does not appear that there is enough support to get the measure passed, but at this point, it may be a step that should be taken in order to win support from Hispanics and other minority groups. It will be interesting to see how Republicans respond to the smacks delivered by Rand Paul on the current party platform regarding immigration reform, as it may impact who decides to support and endorse the potential 2016 presidential candidate in the future.
By Michael Cantrell