Up | February 02, 2013
>>> so, aaron, you switched party after all this real anti-immigration backlash. why?
>> like the rest of the country, my state is becoming more polarized. democrats are becoming more liberal. republicans are booking more conservative. i was always the target of the liberal wing of the democratic party . and my values, which are business friend ly, socially conservative , were more in line with the republican party . this is where the work really is. this is where i can make a difference in my lifetime. so i'm very comfortable with my decision. i've never looked back. i think that hispanic republicans can make a difference. ber literally the liaisons of two different communities. there's certain words that offend us. anchor babies , we were having a discussion about that. that is an offensive word. it takes away from the issue that needs to be debated. when you use terms that are offensive. or when you talk about deporting my grandmother.
>> it's not the words, yes. but it's the words that are there because there's a constituency that feels that way. it's not just the people that use anchor babies . all of this is channelling a feeling about invasion, besiegement, impurity. a future that looks nothing like the past. that is a deep feeling of many people in the republican base, and i think sometimes for really nefarious reasons. global capitalism , et cetera . those are real feelings. it's not just the words of there. those words are attached to sentiment in the republican base.
>> i think that, when i think about republicans, i think of the changing demographics within, for example, the chamber of commerce , with the local business communities that are starting to reflect and be more open about talking about immigration in a way that is more humane and that actually helps both sides. i get the business part of it, but i think there has to be more humility. i think that some of the chambers at the local level are doing a better job, and they need to educate the washington, d.c. chamber, who says they represent everybody and is really myoptic in terms of how they view immigration reform .
>> i have to say something. it's more ignorance for most people. i think very few percentage of that number that you're talking about of the anti-immigrants actually feels that way. i think for the rest, it's really a lack of knowledge about who is who. and this is what dreamers did. before dreamers were dreamers, they were just illegal immigrants , they were just illegal students. and when we introduced ourselves into america , and america recognized that we're not criminal, we're not dangerous, then we were embraced by america . it's the same thing that hasn't happened with our parents yet, and that's the work that needs to be done throughout this debate. that humanizes people, and that moves away from this notion of these people are all dangerous, and they're taking over our country.
>> jim, here's someone who, my sense is opposes the pro proels, the gang of eight proposal. this s. the is there a way to make that argument in a way that won't be viewed as offensive or viewed as more of the same that will further alienate voters? number two is the consistency of people that are opposed within the conservative movement , within the conservative opinion, how much power do they have? you have david brooks now columnizing in favor of immigration reform . marco rubio is out there. it seems like the momentum is all on that side.
>> i'm not sure david brooks is much of a departure, but certainly mark levine and sean hannity and bill o 'reilly and lou dobbs do mark a bit of a shift on the issue and certainly republicans need to get right on this issue if they're to win future elections. i think a big change was in the 1990s , the face of restrictionism, the face of immigration enforcement was barbara jordan , african american congress woman from texas, a democrat appointeded to an immigration reform commission by bill clinton , and the clinton administration briefly flirted with supporting her proposals, which would have reduced illegal immigration and toughened enforcement. in the last decade, the face of restrictionism has been joe arpaio and that, i think, has produced much less favorable political conditions for what essentially in many respects could -- there are some liberal ends to a stronger immigration position. what you're seeing, a tighter labor market at the lower end of the income scale would benefit an american working class that's disproportionately black and lati latino.
>> the data has been murky and increasingly less murky that the wage effects of our current immigration regime don't hit, for instance, high school dropouts or low skilled workers like in the labor hierarchy that are native born , as hard as previously thought. there are some dissentures in that, and an economist at harvard is one of them. was there any point of interaction that you're not actually hurting native born workers? i can see a political argument in that respect.
>> i want to hear from you what you think about the figure of rubio. he's now the kind of central axis for this whole thing. i think it's fascinating how craftily he's positioned himself as essentially the -- you know, like you said, the liaison between these different worlds and essentially the arc de triomphe of republican moral victory. wait