Jay Nordlinger of NRO recently interviewed Jeb Bush, whom we wish did not possess the last name that he does. Anyway, he paraphrased what it was that Bush thought was needed to be done to turn this country around and the third point really grabbed us.
And No. 3 — this one is controversial in conservative circles. We have to get our act together on immigration. We have to control our border — stop illegal immigration. That’s not controversial, of course. But this is: We then have to welcome people who can help us.(italics, ours)
We’re a country that can absorb people from all over the world. The contract is, basically, “You share our American values, we allow you to pursue your dreams.” This fosters a vibrant, dynamic society.
So, again, control the border — any great country does. Any country worth its salt does. But then recognize that, if we’re going to grow at 4 percent a year, we have to have young, aspiring people to create that dynamism, and we can’t do it with our existing demographics. We have to bring in people who want to pursue their dreams in our country.
In the conservative circles we run, we are not aware of a single person that is anti-immigrant and we certainly don't know a single person in those circles that is opposed to the outlines of an immigration policy that Bush is describing.
So, what is going on here? We think what is going on here is Bush is essentially giving into the media narrative of not being content with branding conservatives as merely anti-illegal immigration but rather broad- brushing conservatives as anti-immigration all around. It seems to fit better with the broader nativist, bigoted and, you know, terrorist narrative for conservatives.
Perhaps, we conservatives that are concerned with illegal immigration have done a poor job of communicating the fact that we are indeed in favor of young, bright, hard-working foreigners who hold American values dear and who want to come here to pursue the American dream. It's hard, though, being on anything but the defensive and yes, even reactionary to a degree when the other side constantly brings up "comprehensive" immigration reform and everybody... everybody knows that's simply thinly-veiled code-speak for "amnesty".
And this is compounded by the fact that the Beltway's ruling elite boots-on-the-ground in the immigration debate hold some of the most virulent anti-American, anti-free market and pro-Third World socialist views. Yes, that can cause a rather vociferous response among conservatives that would be easy to twist as nativist or bigoted by the other side.
Simply put, we pro-legal immigration types need to do a better job of communicating our desires to see an immigration system that favors those who we would love to have as neighbors, the kind of immigration system that rewards those who want to contribute to the exceptional spirit of America and an immigration system as described by Jeb Bush.
Perhaps, that attitude and sentiment should be our going-in position before we get around to the "Hell, no!" that the open-borders set almost always elicits.