The republicans have a problem when it comes to immigration in general and they really have a problem when it comes to illegal immigration.
Huge numbers of them, that would be the blue collar, hourly wage earners, who have caved into their xenophobic instincts, are driven into raving fits when it comes to the vast Hispanic population. They don't even need to see an illegal immigrant to be pushed over the edge. Resentment and anger bubble to the surface every time they stop at an ATM machine and have to choose between a screen in Spanish, or English. They rant about jobs being stolen and a whole culture being swallowed up by foreigners. Their perception is that Latinos don't want to become Americans, they want to be Mexicans, or Hondurans, or Costa Ricans living in America. They see these people fleeing failed governments and economies, but then trying to impose many of the same bankrupt ideals here.
The republican establishment desperately needs this angry crowd at the polls in November. Without them they are staring down the shot gun barrel of an Obama second term.
Unfortunately, though they'll never admit it in public, or will at least dance around it, these same movers and shakers in the party--the business owners, the industrialists, the restaurateurs, the corporate farmers all want and need as many illegal immigrants as they can lay their hands on. If you own a construction company it is a hell of a lot cheaper to operate with immigrant labor than it is with home grown talent. Not only do you not have to pay them as much, but things like insurance and medical liability become non factors. In most instances you no longer have to worry about a union and if your accountant is good enough and you don't mind cutting a few legal corners you can even pay them under the table. At that point you don't have to worry about the feds getting involved in your life. Well, at least not until you get caught.
And if you are a consumer this all slides down to you. Think how much that western omelet and home fries would run you if the guys in the kitchen hadn't just climbed out of the windowless van from Vera Cruz. Picture the cost of that new roof if the company actually employed native tradesmen, rather than those hombres from Guatemala.
Yes, as a party the republicans are completely schizo on the issue of what to do with illegal immigrants.
That is why, other than one dude from Texas, they really didn't go into a frothing fit when the Supreme Court struck down large parts of Arizona's illegal immigration legislation today.
Curiously, the court left alone the part that says a police officer stopping someone is required to make efforts to verify that person's immigration status with the Feds. In most parts of the world this would be known as profiling. Somehow I doubt if an Arizona cop stops me outside of Tempe he, or she will try to make sure I'm not an illegal from Canada.
They did strike down the state requirement that all immigrants must register with the feds. And, in order not to take that profiling thing too far, the supremes declared it unconstitutional for state and local police to arrest people without a warrant even if the officer has probable cause to believe a person is illegal. In other words they can't run you in just because you speak Spanish, but not English.
They also struck down the statute--and this is my favorite because it is so perfectly republican--that makes it a crime for an illegal to either work, or seek work. Yes, lets not limit the labor pool here. After all, those heads of lettuce must be harvested at just the right moment.
The republican hierarchy is on a very thin rope here. They have to keep the lid on their lynch mobs when it comes to things like illegal immigration. Racism as an ideal is a fine thing, but you can't let it cut into the bottom line. Profits, after all, are everything.
The big boys have grown addicted to the tea party types. Watching them try to work with them is like watching a complete dipsomaniac trying turn away from the bar after one drink.
The lesson they are learning is simple: You can't live without them and sometimes you just can't make them shut up.
Cerveza por favor!