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In the wake of President Obama's re-election and other Democratic successes in 2012, more and more Republicans in elected office and party leadership are concluding that embracing comprehensive immigration reform is vital to winning elections and attracting a higher percentage of the nation's fastest-growing demographic.
Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., joined the so-called Gang of Eight pushing the latest Senate version of reform. Rising GOP star Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has embraced ways to make illegal residents legal, while stopping short of endorsing a pathway to citizenship. Just days ago, an official Republican National Committee report on the party's 2012 failures specifically urged support for comprehensive reform.
So with support from Democrats, the media and a growing number of Republicans, is it inevitable that this legislation will pass in the near term?
"No it's not, because they left out one major group of people that has to part of the equation. It's called the American people," Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., told WND. "The American people fully understand when you're talking about comprehensive immigration reform, all you're really talking about is legalizing the status of probably 15-20 million illegals that are in this country."
Rohrabacher is one of the leading opponents of placing illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship or any legal status because he says it will only encourage more illegal behavior.
"The American people know that will do nothing but bring in millions more and all the problems of crime, of consuming very scarce education and health care dollars, etc., that this will be a disaster for them. So although there are a few Republican 'leaders' who are giving into this onslaught of propaganda trying to convince them that this is going to help the Republican Party, the average people out there are against it. Republicans will understand that when it starts coming to a vote because the people will rise up against it," he said.
Many Republicans who have changed their positions on this issue have spent more time trumpeting the pathway to citizenship than expressing a commitment to border security. Senators like Rubio and Paul have stressed security first, but Rohrabacher said even that position is worthless if it's accompanied by support of legalizing those who came here illegally.
"First of all, there is no securing the border if you legalize the status, if you give amnesty. You can't secure the border once you have given people a huge incentive to cross the border and come here illegally," Rohrabacher said. "You just can't build a fence tall enough and a ditch deep enough to keep people out if you're going to say, 'You and your family are going to receive a treasure house of benefits, jobs and things like that if you just get across the border.'
"Even Rubio's position is wrong. There is no securing the border if you legalize the status. It doesn't make any difference when you try to say once you strengthen the border then you can do your legalizing of the status. That doesn't go, because as soon as they legalize the status there's more pressure on the border," he said.
Rohrabacher acknowledged that defeating this latest push for what he considers amnesty will be very difficult., and he said victory will depend upon just how passionately the public rises up to stop it.
"It's up to the American people. It really is. They will activate, and they will speak loudly and aggressively on this issue to their elected official. If every time there's a town hall meeting that people are screaming and yelling, being courteous and not cutting somebody off, but raising their voice and saying how important it is then we can turn the tide. But if the American people continue to shrug their shoulders or go along with stupid arguments like, 'Well, first we're going to control the border, then we're going to give the amnesty to these people,' that won't work," he said.
Rohrabacher stressed that politicians, especially Republicans, need to be told loudly and clearly how important this issue is to America and how important it could be to their political futures.
"We have got to make sure that we don't just talk softly and express our opinions with due courtesy and respect. People need to act with outrage. They certainly need to be courteous to people, but they certainly don't need to keep their voices low. The elected officials, especially in the Republican Party, need to hear from their constituents that if they're doing something this detrimental to the American family ... unless people scream out at their elected official, the elected official may not get the word. So that's what we all have to do," he said.
Ultimately, Rohrabacher said it's the American family who must decide what it wants America to be.
"It's up to us. Are the patriots of every race, religion and ethnic group in this country going to step and say that we're part of the same family, we're going to fight for this family or are they going to go along with this effort to bring in a bunch of foreigners to take the jobs and the benefits that belong to Americans?" he asked.