Dick Morris says, Immigration: The Pivotal Issue For the GOP

Written on:September 27, 2011
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Rick Oltman

SF Immigration Examiner
September 24, 2011

(But, we in Arizona already knew this.  We all should be pleased that this issue has come to the forefront)

Dick Morris says that, the dominating issue for the GOP primaries has now become immigration. Not jobs.  Not the economy. “Immigration.”  And it’s not a moment too soon for Republican voters to let their candidates know how important the immigration issue is to them.


I subscribe to Dick Morris’ Lunch Alerts!  They are usually 4 – 5 minutes long and are worth watching.  Today’s was titled Immigration: The Pivotal Issue For the GOP! and is Morris’ response to the 9.0 earthquake which rocked Rick Perry at Thursday night’s FOX News-Google debate.


Note the title:  Not “A” pivotal issue, “The” pivotal issue for the GOP.   So, I am going to analyze the analyzer on immigration.  Please watch Morris’ video.




  • “I want to talk a little bit today about the immigration issue and why it is so potent and why it has really taken over the Republican Primary.  Immigration is like one of those Freudian blank screens where everybody projects on to it their view of what the most important problems are.  If you think jobs are the most important problem you’re worried that immigrants are taking away your jobs.  If you believe that the cost of college is the major issue you’re focused on in-state college for illegal immigrants.  If you believe that crime is your biggest concern you’re worried about the fact that a third of the people in federal prison are illegal immigrants, not for immigration violations but because of actual violent crimes, for drug crimes.  And no matter what you think, if you’re worried about traffic you’re worried about immigrants crowding the streets.  Everybody kind of projects the issue that they are most concerned about as the key issue on immigration.  So it it’s an issue on which everybody has an opinion and everybody has an opinion that they feel strongly about.”

What Morris is saying here is what we have known for years.  Whatever issue you are concerned about, illegal immigration touches it.  And usually the result is bad for your issue.  I don’t know about a “Freudian blank screen onto which you project your point of view.”  I just think it is very basic for most Americans.  It’s line-of-sight.  When you see massive illegal immigration being reflected in increased crime, damaging your children’s education, overwhelming healthcare facilities like Emergency Rooms and illegals working in every job…everywhere, you are going to say something about it if given the chance. 

The FOX-Google Republican Debate was a chance to say something, and it was amplified by FOX News’ clever use of the “Word Cloud” which showed everyone that ILLEGAL immigration is on Republican voters’ radar and they want to know what the candidates for president are going to do about it.


  • “What they hate to be told is that this is a compassion issue which is what Perry was saying in the last debate.  Because they believe in compassion they just believe in doling it out to the people here legally or to real  citizens and they believe in sort of putting America’s needs first.  It fundamentally taps into a strain in American thinking that has gone back for decades. ”

Absolutely right.  Americans resent being lectured to when we are the most generous people in the world, and Republicans are the most generous Americans in the country according to charitable giving studies. 

And, not everybody knows this but, America has the most generous LEGAL immigration system in the world.  Every year we let in almost more LEGAL immigrants than the rest of the countries of the world combined,  over 1 million legal immigrants a year.  And, LEGAL immigrants from Mexico are at the top of the list.  So, to all those dunces who continue to say our immigration system is broken, I ask; just how many more LEGAL immigrants do you think we should let in? 


  • “And, I think that everybody really understands the fundamental answer to illegal immigration is to stop the jobs magnet. People who come to the United States are not coming here because there are better beaches.  They’re coming to the United States because they want jobs.  And until you turnoff that electromagnet so that it no longer attracts people across the border, they’re go through heaven and earth to move across the border.  If there is a fence they will jump it, if there are guards they will duck them.  If they have to tunnel they will do it.  Because they are after jobs to try to help their families.”

Absolutely right.  Employment is the hinge on which all legal and illegal immigration swings.  ‘Nuff said.


  • “And the best way to deal with that is a three part program.  The first part is; enforce sanctions on employers.  Now Obama has been doing a pretty good job of that. He’s had these sort of silent immigration raids when they don’t touch the workplace they just go through the records and a fine employers for illegal immigrants and illegal immigrants get laid off.  You need a massive program of stopping employers from hiring illegals.  Key to that is a bill pending in the Congress right now to require employers to use the E-Verify system, which is a federal system that uses the Social Security and the IRS databases and works on identifying people, Social Security databases, not IRS, and focuses on people who either legally or illegally.  You need a simple test that employees can run.  Put in a finger print, it comes up green or red and then you know what to do.”

Here is where Mr. Morris needs a little help.  Yes, employer sanctions is a key, but I haven’t heard anything about these “silent immigration raids”  known as “compliance audits.”  If anything they are window dressing to promote the “enforcement myths” of Janet Napolitano.  The “finger print” comment will be dealt with below.



  • “Secondly you need a guest worker program.  Canada has 150,000 immigrants who are not admitted to Canada they come in as a guest worker every year and then they leave every year.  Ours would have to be closer to a million but the idea of these guest workers is that you supply our labor needs without having to grant them the rights of citizenship or put them at the head of the line.”

We already have guest worker programs.  H1B (high-tech), H2A (farmworker) and L-1 (employees of an international company with offices in the U.S.)  Over 1,000,000 guest workers currently live in the U.S.  And, there is a bill in the House of Representatives, HR 2847 The American Specialty Agriculture Act, which would allow 500,000 more guest workers, per year!  So we already have a plethora of guest worker programs while unemployment is officially over 9%, is probably 12 – 15% in reality, with over 14 million unemployed American citizens.  And, all these foreign workers who are taking jobs that Americans would do are usually working for less and thus are holding down wages for all workers.

And, in the past 25 years it has never been proven, ever, that we need foreign workers.  Never.

How would we know if there was a worker shortage?  Wages would be going up in the areas where there was an actual shortage.  As employers competed for the pool of workers, they would raise wages to attract them.  Supply and demand.  And the market place is not signaling a worker shortage, wages aren’t going up anywhere.

Even Pew Hispanic estimates the number of illegals doing farmwork is only about 24%.  To hear the “crops are rotting in the fields” crybabies, one would think that all of our farmwork is being done by illegals, it isn’t.  Not even close.  Pew Hispanic reported in 2005 that “unauthorized migrants”, aka illegal aliens, accounted for 24% of all workers employed in “farming occupations.”  Now, “farming occupations” includes a lot of jobs that aren’t field work, but let’s just leave it at 24%.

Now, if we should ever need foreign workers, I’ve always said, let’s get ‘em.  There is no shortage of people trying to come to America and if it was proven that we needed 100,000 widget makers, for example, then I say let’s get them.  Let’s use our LEGAL immigration system of over 1,000,000 legal immigrants per year, to get whomever we want to keep our country competitive.  And we can raise the bar of qualifications as high as we want, we don’t need to be importing poverty, which is what we are doing now.  Let’s get them if we need them, but…let’s see the proof that we need them, first.

Back to Morris:

  • “And finally you need an easy national ID card, like a drivers’ license, so you are not in any way harassing existing legal people who come from Latino countries who could be stereotyped as potentially illegal.  Very simple series of solutions and something that I really think can be done.”

Here Morris really leaves the reservation.  The concept of a “national ID card” is anathema to almost all Americans.  It smacks of a “papers please” police state and is the sure poison pill of any debate, on any issue, anywhere, at any time. 

And, the “finger print” idea is almost as bad.  While it doesn’t generate the powerful visceral reaction that “national ID card” does, the “biometric” idea, combined with the growing level of distrust of government, is opposed by most Americans including the Tea Party, which is currently the strongest voice in American politics.

And we don’t need a national ID.  Americans shouldn’t be required to give up some of their rights because illegal aliens are breaking our laws. 

If we made E-Verify mandatory for every employer in the United States, the pressure on our borders would ease and illegals currently inside our country would begin to leave. 

And, if we made E-Verify mandatory for applying for, and renewing, a driver license, or for any taxpayer funded service or benefit, it would eliminate many an ”electromagnet,” to use Morris’ term.

Morris concludes:

  • “So in when Rick Perry says that he opposes the border fence.  Or he says that he opposes letting the states enforce the immigration laws.  Or that he favors in-state tuition to be given to illegal immigrants he is making a serious mistake and he is violating one of the core principles that animate the Republican Party.  I think you have to admire him for not backtracking from the stuff he wrote in his book.  But on the other hand we are watching a guy destroy his presidential chances on that particular rock and it’s a shame.  Thanks for watching.”

Well, Rick Perry was at the helm.  For him to not know that he was in dangerous waters says something too.  Doesn’t it?

It is clear that most Americans understand that a border fence is part of the solution.  And, the in-state-tuition issue is also a metaphor for all taxpayer funded benefits that illegal aliens shouldn’t get, but do…all the time.

I like to listen to Dick Morris, not because he is right all the time, he isn’t.  Nobody is.  What I want to know is why Morris thinks what he thinks.

And you can bet that his organization is polling the heck out of Republican voters, and Democrat voters and independent voters nationwide to get their opinions on illegal immigration and how the issue will play out during the campaign. 

I can confidently predict that today, with 2,500 cities suffering from illegal alien drug gangs, he is going to find a majority of voters of almost every persuasion who want our immigration and employment laws enforced.

We already know that candidates who support enforcement of our immigration laws can win, and have won elections.  The Ultimate Poll is Election Day.

Maybe, just maybe, we have entered a new era in the immigration enforcement debate. 

Now more than ever let your voice be heard. 

Pile on.

Go to public meetings, write letters to the editor and Op-Eds, blog on political websites and most importantly call local and national radio talk shows and say in the clearest possible way that you will support a candidate who will commit to enforcing immigration and employment law, and you will not support one who won’t.  And keep calling.

And while you’re at it, throw in that you oppose amnesty of any kind for illegal aliens.

After two decades our voices are being heard at the right time by the right people.

Go to it.  And help preserve this great country that has given us, and the world, so much hope and so much opportunity.

Together we can win.


Go to - And, post on his blog about illegal immigration. 


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