Illegal Immigration and the Defeat of the GOP

As you may know, I get criticized by the right as well as the left, which tells me I'm doing my job -- looking out for you, not some ideology.

There is no question that chaotic illegal immigration has damaged this country. The prisons are full of illegals who have committed terrible crimes, border counties are under siege and the unintended consequences of having as many as 15 million people here illegally can be felt in every part of our society.

While it is certainly true that most illegal aliens are good people just trying to make an honest dollar, the U.S. federal government has failed to uphold the law and has put all Americans at risk. That is the truth.

Enter the Wall Street Journal, which editorialized that Republicans got clobbered partly over illegal immigration, quote:

"Elections seldom if ever turn on immigration, and the GOP restrictionist message so adored by talk radio, cable news and the nativist blogosphere once again failed to deliver the goods… Mr. Bush might yet save his party from losing generations of Latinos... we hope his party lets him, having learned the hard way not to follow Lou Dobbs, Bill O'Reilly and the editors of the National Review magazine down the garden path to defeat."

Wow. It's partly my fault the Republicans lost? Who knew?

Talking Points is simply amazed.

While it's true many Hispanic-American voters resent the harsh immigration rhetoric and turned to the softer Democrats, most voters simply cast their ballot for a new direction in Iraq, by far the most intense issue.

It is hard to believe that most Americans -- even Hispanics -- would object to the feds stopping illegal aliens and drug dealers from entering the country, requiring all aliens already here to register so we know where they are and what they're doing and demanding that employers stop hiring illegals and begin obeying the law.

Are those things unreasonable or demagogic?

My solution to the illegal alien chaos is simple and I've said it before, time and time again: Put the National Guard on the border, issue tamper-proof Social Security cards to all Americans as proof of citizenship, heavily fine businesses who hire people without those cards and finally, give illegals currently in the country a chance to stay here if they are productive, honest people.

Again, is that unreasonable?

So what's the Wall Street Journal talking about? Surely, the paper knows that for 20 years authorities have played a corrupt game with American immigration law. Surely that was not wise, so why isn't the Journal on my side?

The bottom line is this: Republicans lost because of Iraq and because they didn't fix the illegal immigration problem fast enough. And I had nothing to do with it.

And that's the Memo.