Christopher Ruddy's Perspective
: The recent Supreme Court ruling upholding the most significant part of the Arizona law cracking down on illegal immigration and the strong support the law has received from the public prove that Americans demand a secure border.
Despite lacking overall public support, President Obama’s recent decision to offer amnesty to the children of illegal aliens who meet certain criteria and are in the country in good standing, which could apply to 800,000 people, is a deft political move that may help him keep the White House — unless his GOP rival Mitt Romney acts decisively.
Even if the courts eventually rule that Obama did not have the power to grant such amnesty, his move has further solidified his support in the Latino community. The Hispanic vote will be crucial in this election and may decide our next president.
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In light of this, Gov. Romney should be bold and outflank Obama with a strong immigration program that wins over Latino voters.
In the 2004 presidential election, George Bush barely beat out John Kerry while garnering a record 40 percent of the Hispanic vote. Four years later John McCain lost to Barack Obama winning only 32 percent of the Hispanic vote. Polls show that Romney is behind where McCain stood among Latino voters.
One survey, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, showed Obama with a more than 30-point lead over Romney, 61 percent to 27 percent.
Appearing at a June 21 meeting of the influential National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials in Florida, Romney said that he wants to help the children of illegals as well. But he needs to do much more.
One way he could outreach to the Latino community would be to pick a vice presidential running mate with a Hispanic background. Sen. Marco Rubio is a favorite of conservatives and would be a historic choice for Romney, one that would demonstrate in a very powerful way a desire to bring Hispanics into the Republican Party and a future Romney administration.
Romney urgently needs to create a plan for dealing with illegal immigrants, a hot-button issue for Latino voters.
Any Romney plan should start with the basis that border security is his top priority, and until the border is secured, nothing will happen in terms of amnesty for illegals already in the country.
A Romney plan could lay a framework for completely securing the border and reducing the flow of illegals into the country. And once the borders are secure, we can begin the process of registering more than 10 million illegals currently in the country.
There are good reasons to do this. First, we want to document and fingerprint those aliens who are in the country for security reasons and crime prevention. Second, we need to tax the millions of off-the-book workers and the companies that employ them.
Much of the hostility toward illegals is generated by the belief that illegals come here, pay little or no tax, and enjoy the benefits of our society, including our educational system.
After beginning the process of registration and imposing taxes, a Romney plan could offer illegals a 10-year window during which they could register and apply for green card status, and then eventually citizenship. Part of the plan could include the payment of a fine in restitution for their illegal entry into the United States. At the end of the day this process could be a revenue enhancement program for the government.
If Romney were to offer such a plan, he could make the argument with Hispanic voters that he, not Obama, can bring home the bacon on an immigration deal. Obama has a poor record when it comes to working with Congress, and only a Republican president can seal a deal with a RepublicanHouse, Romney would maintain.
Obama has clearly demonstrated that he is unable to work with a Republican Congress. And when he did control Congress during his first two years in office, he never offered an immigration plan, despite promising to make it among his administration’s highest priorities.
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Of course, any program dealing with illegals should also include a comprehensive immigration policy, one that I believe would bring the “best and brightest” into the country from around the world, allowing for new talent and much-needed capital inflows. Today illegal immigration is dominated by the lowest socioeconomic groups and we have no coherent immigration policy.
By offering a strong, bold proposal Romney could remind the American people that the Republican Party is an inclusive one that lives up to our national motto E Pluribus Unum.
Christopher Ruddy is CEO and editor of Newsmax Media Inc. Read more Christopher Ruddy Insider articles — Click Here Now.
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