OK, Republicans, you now know that the pending immigration-reform bill drastically reduces the deficit without raising taxes, boost economic growth, improve the finances of the Social Security and Medicare systems, help private-sector employers, and begin to repair the damage between the GOP and Latino voters -- the fastest growing segment of the American electorate. Every argument you've floated thus far has been discredited, and you're out of excuses.
And yet, many of you still intend to kill the popular, bipartisan legislation.
The trick, at this point, is the difficulty in explaining why. "Because we hate immigrants" probably won't cut it. "Because our base hates immigrants" isn't any better. Your challenge is to come up with new talking points, and to do so quickly. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), maybe you have an idea on how to counter the fact that immigration reform will boost economic growth?
"This increased GDP will be at the expense of poor and working-class Americans. The benefit will go to the business owners while the wages of U.S. workers -- which should be growing -- will instead decline."
Right. So, according to Sessions, who has never expressed the slightest interest in looking out for low-income Americans, immigration reform will do too much to benefit the folks Republicans like to describe as "job creators." Business owners, he says, will benefit -- and for the first time in Sessions' adult life, he thinks that's a bad thing.
Maybe Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has a different approach that might be more compelling?
Well, it's at least different.
...Cruz, on the Senate floor [Wednesday], made the argument that we should oppose immigration reform for the sake of undocumented immigrants. He stood before a blown-up picture of a graveyard as he solemnly eulogized on behalf of unnamed souls who had been killed crossing the border:"No one who cares about our humanity would want to maintain a system where the border isn't secure," Cruz said, noting that "vulnerable women and children" are being preyed upon by drug dealers and are being "left to die in the desert."
So Cruz opposes the legislation backed by immigration advocates because he's so deeply worried about undocumented immigrants.
I'm afraid the GOP will have to do quite a bit better than this if they hope to (a) persuade others their opposition has merit; and (b) avoid blame if the reform effort collapses in the face of Republican opposition.