The presidential election of 2016 would have been a coronation for the Republican nominee. The average voter being at the end of their rope with the lawless Obama administration and the virtually no-growth economy. A coronation, that is until Donald Trump, et al misdirected the Republican electorate away from every other issue that is plaguing this nation except illegal immigration. Not that illegal immigration is not a problem for this country, however, it is an issue, more than any other I have seen, which has been dominated by emotion displacing reality.
Real debate about solutions to this nation's illegal immigration problem has been replaced by invective doled out by the Trump-ites aimed at anyone who disagrees with anything short of mass deportation of upwards of 11 million persons. Every other well intentioned position is characterized as amnesty by those who are too politically simplistic or intellectually lazy to engage in an honest analysis of the problem and consider any other action but the aforementioned mass deportation.
The Kato Institute (a well respected Libertarian think tank) has recently completed an exhaustive study on the illegal immigration problem. Their findings will, I am sure, earn them the ire and acrimony of the deport-them-all crowd. But one of the tenets of conservatism is a pursuit and respect for the truth, whether that truth supports the conservative ideology or not. The Kato Institute's findings are in opposition to some of the fanciful rhetoric being spread like manure by a particular Republican presidential candidate and his votaries. But as someone once said, "You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts."
Kato has found that even with the well publicized child migration of some 15 months ago, the illegal immigrant population in this country has actually decreased in the last ten years. That, by the way, was the last time we had an economy growing at more than the pathetic 2% it has been since President Obama was inaugurated. Kato has found that the illegal immigration population has shrank by several million in that period.
Further findings of the Kato study show that the illegal immigrants who are in this country have a lower unemployment rate, and rate of welfare use, than those persons actually born in this country. Poking more holes in the delicate fabric of the deport-them-all crowd's argument for such an action. Many illegals, almost half, entered the country legally and have simply overstayed their visas. Many more have been here for more than a decade and have jobs, have raised families, and even own property.
Kato has also found that the incarceration rates for illegal immigrants is actually lower than for those who were native born to this country. Further alienating the deport-them-all crowd from the actual facts. I do not intend to suggest that illegal immigration is not a problem, only that the fallacy that binds the argument of the deport-them-all crowd has caused them to be zealots against those on their own side of the aisle with respect to 80% of the other issues facing this country.
The cancer of extremism clothed in misconceptions, manufactured realities, and downright lies is eating away at the Republican Party like a cancer. If not stopped, and some reason brought to the discussion, we will not only lose next November's election, but very possibly any opportunity to recover the nation from the oppression of Socialism in which we have been sinking evermore quickly.