Why GOP Must Not Be “Party of No” on Immigration

This week, Alfonso Aguilar, Director of American Principles in Action’s Latino Partnership and a contributor to The Pulse, wrote an op-ed for Politico calling on Republicans to use a piecemeal strategy in order to pass immigration reform.

“The debate over immigration has lasted for too long, and it is time for Congress to finally do something to begin fixing our dysfunctional immigration system,” Aguilar wrote. “The American people expect Washington to show leadership on this issue.”

Aguilar highlighted APIA’s five-step conservative immigration plan and covered each step in depth. The full plan can be found here.

The plan would 1.) secure the border, 2.) mandate a federal employment eligibility verification system, 3.) implement a proper biometric exit registry, 4.) create a market-oriented guest worker program, and 5.) provide undocumented immigrants a path to legal status.

Aguilar elaborated on what “legal status” would entail.

“They would be allowed to remain and live in the U.S., but they will not have a special path to citizenship,” Aguilar said. “This does not mean that we would close the door to citizenship to them, but we would require them, if they want to naturalize, to get in the back of the line and follow the process under current law to acquire lawful permanent residency and citizenship.”

Aguilar concluded with a call for Congress to act.

“As this Congress decides to move forward, however, they should not feel that they have only two options: President Obama’s amnesty, on one hand, or Mitt Romney’s self-deportation, on the other,” Aguilar said. “There is a third way, a conservative way, to approach immigration that is based on the rule of law and on the realization that immigration is good for the country and for our economy.

“Republicans cannot just be the “party of no” on immigration. Instead, they should call the Democrats’ bluff on immigration — and lead.”

The full op-ed can be found at Politico here.

Jon Schweppe is Deputy Director of Communications for American Principles in Action.