Trying to appeal to Hispanics with amnesty would be like trying to win over baseball fans by shouting “Go Yankees!” at a Mets game. Except that would at least capture some baseball fans.
It’s not clear that amnesty wins any Hispanics, apart from the ones who can’t vote (because they’re illegal) and their ethnic “spokesmen,” whose power increases as the Hispanic population grows.
So why do Hispanics vote Democratic? Like most legal immigrants since Teddy Kennedy’s 1965 Immigration Act, Hispanic immigrants are poor. The poverty rate of second-generation Hispanics is lower than the first — but the third generation’s poverty rate is higher than the second.
Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that Hispanics have the highest illegitimate birthrate in the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2010, for every 1,000 unmarried Hispanic women, 80.6 had children out of wedlock, compared to 65.3 for unmarried black women and 29 for unmarried white women.
If Republicans think we can have mass amnesty for millions of government-dependent immigrants and become a more libertarian country, they’re crazy.
This isn’t because of a failure to “reach out.” Republicans can’t beat Democrats at the government assistance game. From single mothers to corporate subsidy-takers, they want your money and the Democrats promise to give it to them.
Instead of trying to compete with the ethnic lobbies, welfare schemes and racialized politics of the Democrats, perhaps Republicans should allow our immigration system to admit more immigrants who won’t immediately go on government assistance, as 60 percent of new immigrants do now.
Putting 12 million to 20 million of them on a “path to citizenship” won’t make them like Republicans; it will make Republicans lose.
Ann Coulter is an author and political commentator.