03/20/2007 10:53 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Immigration & The GOP - It's Not Just About Illegals

Adam Nagourney of the NY Times takes a long look at the Dan Riehl Vote (also known as the Bill Cutting Vote) in Iowa and how anti-immigrant sentiments are shaping the Republican primary. For those who have defended Republican discussions of immigration policy as being circumscribed to illegal immigration, note that most Republicans want to reduce all immigration, not just the illegal kind.

The poll found that 31 percent of Republicans said immigration into the United States should be kept at its current level, 14 percent said it should be increased and a majority, 51 percent, said immigration should be decreased.

This is an unmistakable reality of the Dan Riehl Vote -- it's about closing off our borders to all comers, legal or illegal, but most importantly brown. Whichever candidate can best ensure that America won't be sullied by any more brown skinned people will win their adoration.

Nagourney observed, "Mr. Brownback stood for 30 minutes at a breakfast with Republicans as question after question -- without exception -- was directed at an immigration system that Iowans denounced as failing. [Emphasis added]" Until they succeed in getting the Republican Party to embrace the policies of Hunter and Tancredo, anti-immigrant voters, particularly in Iowa, will focus their attention and Republican candidates' time on their fears of immigrants. The net result is that Republican candidates will be forced to inch their positions on immigration policy closer and closer to the expectations of the Dan Riehl Vote, particularly if they want to perform strongly in the Iowa caucus.

Cross posted at The Right's Field