Turning Over A New Leaf?

September 5, 2010

I’m always sceptical of open-borders politicians who suddenly have epiphanies related to immigration the minute their careers are imperiled. Such is the case with Senator John McCain, who’s decided to call out President Obama for his administration’s indifference to border issues.

As absurd as it may seem for someone who was the chief co-sponsor of the last major effort to enact amnesty to damn anyone for being insufficiently tough on border issues,  Senator McCain does deserve, at the very least, a golf clap for his efforts. Call me cynical, but something tells me that this hawkishness on the border will evaporate once he is comfortably re-elected. However, if he does decide to stick to his newly acquired convictions-again, an unlikely proposition-he wouldn’t be the first person to have changed course in recent years.

Bill Kristol-a man rightly criticized for his open borders stance in the past-has opposed recent attempts at enacting amnesty by men like Senator McCain, and has even gone so far as to endorse SB 1070 publicly.  Bill Bennett, one of the leading opponents of Proposition 187, has blurbed a brilliant book written by Mark Krikorian, the head of the Center of Immigration Studies, something that would have been unthinkable even a few years ago.

I think the salient point here is that people can and do change their previously held positions on hotly contested issues-such as mass immigration and securing our borders-even if doing so lends itself to charges of hypocrisy or political opportunism. In Senator McCain’s case, I do think his recent reversals on immigration are due almost exclusively to the recent electoral scare he has experienced. That being said, we should be willing to embrace anyone who sincerely reconsiders his or her open borders opinions.


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