Immigration Reform is Not About Semantics

It seems everyone has some advice for beleaguered Republicans these days, especially when it comes to Hispanic voters and the issue of immigration.

Among the many groups and interests who may or may not have the best interests of the Republican Party at heart is the Hispanic Leadership Network, which bills itself as a coalition of Hispanic Republicans. In an appeal to congressional Republicans, the HLN suggests that the party’s rhetoric on immigration policy is the decisive impediment to winning more of the Hispanic vote.

Click here to read the rest of my op-ed on The Hill’s Congress Blog.

About Author


Dan is the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s President after joining the organization in 1982. He has testified more than 50 times before Congress, and been cited in the media as "America's best-known immigration reformer." Dan has appeared on virtually every significant TV and radio news/talk program in America and, in addition to being a contributing editor to, has contributed commentaries to a vast number of print media outlets.


  1. avatar

    The Hispanic voters is who put Obama in Office,Obama sucked up to then with promises, he will never delivery. To bad the hispanics did’nt know that.The will find out and told lession, beats the hell out of a learned one.

  2. avatar

    Winthrop, you are rude and unpleasant, and are not adding to the discussion but merely criticizing those that have valid opinions. Please go and troll somewhere else.

  3. avatar

    Obama likes to talk about everybody playing by the same rules. Legals must remain in their country of origen until they pass a background check, physical (communicable disease like aids) Which Obama just changed. .. mental exam. and have a US sponsor to pay their expenses. They are not allowed to displace US workers. We have 22 million Amer. out of work, 56 million on food stamps. WE need to send a strong and loud message to Congress that WE will not accept it. We may have to organize protests when Congressmen are back in their states. We should never be an open country without borders!! They also have no way to check people who fly in and never leave. 11 million is not ill. imm., but an invasion. It is the governments constitutional duty to protect us–not illegals. If we no longer have a Const. than the feds can no longer collect taxes.

  4. avatar

    The law is the law, this is Our Country (not the entire world’s), and as this debate has raged for over a decade now, my opinion remains the same: We Citizens have to obey all the laws or we end up in prison. Simple and fair.

    What complete idiot would propose amnesty for 12 million illegals, especially with our country on the verge of bankruptcy, and with unemployment still at record levels?

    Every single time we’ve amnestied illegals another bigger wave of illegals follows: when will we learn?

    I’m sick & tired of hearing our national press wring their hands over the “plight of the illegals”: when are they going to begin wringing their hands over the plight of the struggling tax-paying legal citizens & residents?

  5. avatar

    I don’t understand why Republicans don’t think they can enforce immigration laws and still win voters. When they talk about control immigration and enforcing laws they simultaneously need to talk about how it is protecting all Americans including legal Latinos. It is possible to enforce all laws and still pick up voters. They need to explain how not allowing an amnesty protects the jobs of Latinos as well and not talk with the hate and fear mongering. Then they will enforce laws, protect Americans,pick up votes and still win.

    You do not have to cave in to political pressure in order to win the day.

    • avatar

      Mark, why do others not understand that we have to stand firm with the truth. Illegal persons from anywhere should not be allowed the same priviledges as citizens. Tell them to go to a foreign country and try taking and see how long they spend in prison.

    • avatar

      Mark, your assumption is that corruption in the Republican Party is NOT a factor, when in fact it is. How else do you explain not passing eVerify into law? Heck, Boehner will not even let it come to the floor for a vote. And why would that be? To protect corporate America’s interests of getting access to more and more cheap labor. The whole system is rigged, the Republicans are our best bet and they flat out SUCK! They can’t even elect a candidate that is willing to venture into a black or Latino neighborhood to sell the message of smaller, more efficient government and the reasons why that would be good long-term not just for those minorities, but the entire country’s future. Not that I’m expecting miracles here, we (Republicans) will not win the majority of Latino votes for a couple decades unless something drastic happens to the US economy, but even winning 15% of the black vote or 35% of the Latin and Asian votes would be a MAJOR WIN. No, we elect $250 million dollar Mormons, that only Utahans and CEO’s can related to. One crappy candidate after another…..our beloved GOP. And now they look to become the sell-out party on immigration.

  6. avatar

    What keeps getting lost in the shuffle is AUTOMATIC CITIZENSHIP FOR CHILDREN OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS BORN IN THE US. No matter what happens with “immigration reform,” border secruity, sanctuary cities, etc, bearing or fathering a child here is the easiest way for illegal immigrants to stay. Too many judges will not deport the parents. Then, when the child is 21 (or 18?), he/she can sponsor his/her parents, grandparents, and others for residence.

    • avatar

      “Too many judges will not deport the parents”. Exactly, but then they cry a river about how racist the term anchor baby is, when it describes the situation to a T.

  7. avatar
    LiberalsRCommies on

    How can you trust anyone who’s 1st action upon getting here was Illegal? You cant. They are here to steal what our fathers and grandfathers fought for. Where were the Mexicans when 412,000 American men died in WW2? We paid the price to call the shots in this country. Can you see the enormity of the numbers? Our TRUE HEROES didn’t die so that liars cheats and criminals could steal what they suffered and died for. No Amnesty of ANY KIND. ALL ILLEGAL ALIENS MUST LEAVE AMERICA NOW. Z-E-R-O TOLERANCE FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS AND THEIR CHILDREN.

  8. avatar

    if we have no rule of law–if the constitution is ignored–if the president legislates from his office–if our monetary system is being diluted to the point being valueless–if we have no sovreignty and our borders are being over run–if our country is being run by a marxist thugocracy from chicago–what do we have left? it is enough to put the law abiding, taxpaying few of us into a state of national depression. every day–more infringement of our constitutional rights, gays and lesbians being shoved down our throats so they may have special privileges and more protections for their aberrant behaviour.,our schools , now run by marxist unions who are attempting to and have pretty well succeeded in the dumbing down process and destruction of american cultural values. if elections can be stolen–witness the precincts that had way more than 100 percent of all registered voters voting for the criminal party now in charge. i tell you–by 2016 our country will no longer be a free republic and many will learn what freedom and liberty once stood for–sadly it will be gone forever… i believe the ultimate plan is to turn the workers–the new minority ,aka taxpayers into the slaves of the majority– and of all of the illegal aliens who will soon be given amnesty,.full voting priveleges and full social benefits.

  9. avatar

    I have already sent several e-mails to different politicians promising them I would never vote for anyone that votes for amnesty. Even if it means that I have to leave my beloved Republican party. This is not a threat, it is a promise !!!

    • avatar

      Paul do not waste your time, calls and letters do no work never did only votes and the quantity of them..

    • avatar

      same here – absolutely fed up with debt limit crap & now amnesty. Rubio is the next Obama, really had hopes that he would run until this amnesty turn. Can’t turn the lamestream media on without hearing the progressives singing his praises. We’ll have to work on the legislature & replace the rhinos

  10. avatar

    Mr. Stein

    I fully agree. It seems as though politicians are playing with semantics to fool the public as we’ll; if they can make it more palatable,well, we are more likely to eat up just about anything they propose.

    Incidentally, I see plenty of talk on the outline for pathway, but not much on penalties in the case of breach of contract. Are we to presume illegals will just slip back and crawl into the cracks, fall off the radar, if they realize paying taxes is not for them? I mean, if you think about it, they have managed to get this far without government and suddenly we are all to believe they will become law abiding overnight? Doubtful. What are the penalties, surely Congress must address and thoroughly outline a game plan here over carefully.

    And how do they propose to enforce learning English? Will they withhold welfare checks if they are not enrolled in classes?

    The term illegal is both accurate, reflective and representative of the deed; these people violated federal law. I wrote to Conyers and told him so. Also stated that those immigrants who follow rules, respect the process by entering this country legally must not be lumped in same category. Both cannot be legal. There needs to be a way to differentiate and distinguish among the groups while speaking before a panel or to the public.

    • avatar

      Lynn you are taking this too much of an extreme. If we want to fix that then we have to fix first the 40% or so of Americans that do not pay taxes……………………….

  11. avatar

    Now what is it!! We have to kiss the hispanics’ behind to get there votes? If we send them back there wouldn’t be enough left in the USA to worry about their VOTE.
    They should not be able to protest on our streets as illegals

    • avatar

      Anyone illegal should not have spoken at the Dems convention, and should have been arrested and deported…did you believe that?…They should not be allowed to protest or have US money, and they certainly should not be able to get welfare from every system we have. I want to see all illegals deported including their children. How is it going to work that Rubio is going to address the convention and speak in English and spanish…I thought they were suppose to learn English when they come to this country…just does not sound right to me. This just makes me angrier!
      Also, notify your reps to oppose Diversity immigration visas, they are coming here from the middle east by the thousands …democrats have more visas up their sleeves than we have fingers and toes.

  12. avatar

    Frankly, many people and I agree that this battle is about two agendas. First, it’s a power grab by leftists and they have the media, movie and TV industry along with liberal education to front it. Secondly, it’s to change the balance of America’s demographics from majority white to, what we currently call, minorities. Would there be this political scam if most of the 20+ million ILLEGALS were European or Australian? This is an attempt to ruin this republic by socialism.

  13. avatar
    Steve Paramore on

    No amnesty, no way…no how. Any way it is looked at, it is a reward for being a criminal. We are supposed to PAY fines for criminal violations, NOT BE PAID for committing crimes.

    • avatar

      I fully subscribe to your opinion. Read the NY Time Business Section of February 7,2013. It is about the great many
      laid-off workers who have a very hard time finding jobs. Here is the qoute: “Americans were most likely to attribute high unemployment to cheap foreign labor. Four in 10 also said they believed illegal immigrants were taking Americans’ job opportrunities-which does not bode well for political support for an amnesty program (the NYT’s term, not mine-R.)now being discussed in Washington–Rachel

  14. avatar

    The Open Border Power Groups are Gifted at Side Tracking Us All

    Distracting our eyes from the ball, so we strike out. 5% of the vote [Latino] doesn’t prevent defeat, emphasizing it causes defeat.

    • avatar

      Very good point. Republican leadership is permitting themselves to be held hostage by Latino political groups. We shouldn’t even be talking about citizenship for illegal aliens in the first place; all that’s needed is a temporary green card for them to come out of the shadows. Amnesty will only dilute our voting rights in hieavy Latino areas. But, of course, this is exactly what Democrats want.

      • avatar

        There is no such thing as temporary green card. The green card-holder can apply for citizenship in 5 years
        time. “Temporary” is the wool over the eyes of the Americans. You are right about the Hispanics. Not very many of them vote in the first places, 71% voted for Obama. That did not tip the scale. After the amnesty takes place they would become Democrats anyway. – Rachel

        • avatar

          To get the Hispanic vote you must have commnuicatoin with them and a good explanation of our laws, we cannot expect these people from other cultures to come here and blend right in without knowing what is expected from them other then thier work. They must be well educated into our system. These people come here to better themselves and thier families. But they must learn our laws and follow them.
          Our borders must be secure at all times that is the first they that we do………………

          • avatar

            We educate them now from grade school thru college at our expense. Even in college they get In State tuition that our own legal citizens can not get.So you are wrong in your “They must be well educated into our system” We Birth them,House them,Feed them, provide Healthcare,School and College.They Refuse to speak english,Laugh at us and our laws.Protesting and dragging our flag along the ground,stepping on it ,While waving theirs.THEN have the nerve to cry about living in the Shadows? We owe them Nothing! Our Presiden and Law Makers OWE US,By enforcing our laws that are and have been on the books for Years!

          • avatar

            They know they are breaking the law. that’s why they jump the fence..
            Throw them back over the fence.

            When I was a teacher in a major AMERICAN city, the hispanics had all the free lunches. and said they had a right to privacy.

        • avatar

          Rachel yes there is a temporary green card……………………..if u marry a non US-citizen and apply for a green card before two years… get a temporary green card……………you see you do not know the Law yet you seem to have such an opinion on things…….

    • avatar

      software engineer use your critical thinking…….so far the elections have been pretty close………..since Clinton–..Al Gore so a 10% of the total equation and growing demographics scared the pants off the Republicans……..besides it appears most Republicans are mummies turned into Dinosaurs…….they do no live in the 21 st century