Time was, Republicans could appreciate how people would be so determined to enter the Promised Land that they would ignore the law. It was the GOP iconRonald Reagan who in 1986 supported and signed an immigration bill offering absolution to nearly 3 million undocumented foreigners.
“I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though some time back they may have entered illegally,” he declared unashamedly.
The Dream Act once had considerable Republican support.Robert Gates, George W. Bush‘s defense secretary, endorsed it. Texas Gov.Rick Perry defended it in presidential debates.Richard Lugar, the longest serving U.S. senator in Indiana history, signed on as the chief GOP sponsor. When it came up in 2007, it had the support of a dozen Republican senators.
But that was before anti-immigrant fever infected the party. Lugar is facing a primary challenge from atea party favorite endorsed by the Americans for LegalImmigration Political Action Committee — which has called undocumented foreigners “Nazis” who “have set up ethnic cleansing zones.” So the usually steadfast Lugar dropped the bill like a hot stove.
Why yes. Once upon a time, Republicans kept the racists in the basement, chained to the walls, while everybody had their nice cocktail party upstairs. Now, those same people who for years voted Republican to keep the browns in their proper place actually have the temerity to demand to be seen in public with the politicians they support, and it’s having ACTUAL CONSEQUENCES.
Scandalous. IF ONLY SOMEONE HAD SAID SOMETHING.