Thursday, August 16, 2007

US-Overkill on illegal immigration could cost GOP the Presidency

According to the Washington Times Mitt Romney and Mayor Giuliani are adopting a very tough stance on illegal immigration. Exchanges are becoming increasingly sharp. It is time for Republican candidates to take stock.

"Two other potential Republican candidates, former Sen. Fred Thompson and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, also have stepped up their emphasis on the issue. Mr. Thompson penned a Web column calling for stricter enforcement, and Mr. Gingrich tossed his prepared speech to the Iowa Republican straw poll this weekend to instead deliver remarks calling on the president to force through Congress a bill to end sanctuary cities that protect illegal aliens.
The Republican Party's national chairman scolded his party's two top presidential candidates this week for their tough stance on illegal immigration, even as both men moved to try to one-up each other in calling for stricter enforcement.
Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida, President Bush's handpicked choice for party chairman, chided former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani for opposing and mischaracterizing the Senate immigration bill Mr. Martinez helped craft.
"It's about leading on the tough issues," Mr. Martinez told the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce in comments first reported in yesterday's St. Petersburg Times. "It was easy to say, 'This wasn't good enough, this isn't right, I don't agree with Martinez.' ... But at the end of the day, what is your answer? How would you solve this?"

It is necessary for the US to stamp out illegal immigration. Unprotected borders provide a gateway not just for poor Latinos but also for terrorists. Terrorists from countries with known al-Qaeda connections are changing their Islamic surnames to Hispanic-sounding names and assuming false Hispanic identities. They are learning to speak Spanish and pretending to be Hispanic immigrants. GOP candidates are correct to emphasise the necessity to stamp out illegal immigration. However their tone is often too strident and can be interpreted by law abiding Hispanics as an attack on them. There are approximately 44 million Hispanics in the US. This is a powerful voting block. The GOP must win a large slice of this support. GOP candidates must be cognisant of the fact that it is pointless winning the nomination on the illegal immigration issue if the whole Hispanic community is galvanised to support Hillary Clinton.

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