In our Daily Caller column last week about immigration, we focused on policy and aggressively argued the case that America should import 100 million more immigrants of all types, including science PhDs and the working poor. Doing so would grow our economy, strengthen our position relative to China, and showcase America’s values.
Today, we focus on principle.
For the good of America and its own viability and credibility, the GOP should embrace the Tech Guys’ immigration proposal and lead America forward.
For background, we gave and raised a significant amount of time and money to John McCain’s 2008 presidential bid, starting in the summer of 2007 when Senator McCain was dead last in the primary field. We were inspired not only by McCain’s service to country, but also his unwavering confidence in immigration as an American strength and an American value.
In mid-2007, Charles attended a Young Republicans for McCain fundraiser in Washington, DC. McCain and his friend Senator Lindsey Graham had just returned from one of their many trips to Iraq. McCain told a story about how the day before he and Graham were in the Baghdad Green Zone serving as the masters of ceremony congratulating 102 US soldiers who were receiving citizenship. As you likely know, immigrants in America receive an accelerated path to citizenship as compensation for military service.
As McCain shared that day, of the 102 new citizens-to-be, only 99 showed up because three were killed the day before the ceremony in an IED attack. If Charles remembers correctly, two men and one woman were killed.
McCain explained to the crowd that it wasn’t his support for the Iraq war and the (then unpopular) surge which might cost him his nomination. It was his support for comprehensive immigration reform, in partnership with President George W. Bush.
In mid-2007, in front of a few dozen people willing to support McCain’s long-shot bid for the presidency, Senator John McCain, our nation’s premier living war hero, declared that he understood that his political career was probably over due to his embrace of immigration reform.
More importantly, he also declared that he will be damned if the country that he loves so much and if the political party of which he is a leading member disgraces the memory of those three brave soldiers who died — one day before two US Senators could welcome them as official US citizens.
We understand why John McCain adjusted his position on immigration in order to win his 2010 primary in Arizona. But the Tech Guys aren’t seeking office. And neither are most of you.
So, we ask you to think about what America really stands for. We ask you to think about what the GOP really stands for. We stand for self reliance. We stand for equal opportunity. We stand for a country where a child of dirt poor parents of foreign birth can change the world, whether his name is Marco Rubio or Alexander Hamilton.