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FW: Immigration Position Statement

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  • Jeff Palmer
    Pursuant to a discussion about whether the RLC should take a more explicit position on the issue of illegal immigration, I ve been asked to forward the
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 20 11:56 AM
      Message
      Pursuant to a discussion about whether the RLC should take a more explicit position on the issue of illegal immigration, I've been asked to forward the following from the RLC-National eGroup:
      + + + 
      Here is some historical perspective on the RLC's immigration position statement...
       
      The following was our "plank" on the immigration issue from our Position Statement passed at our 1996 (Arlington, VA) convention:
       
          "Recognizing that our country was built by people from other nations and that welfare is damaging to the productivity of both citizens and newcomers, immigrants should be afforded the opportunity to live and work in the United States, but without the assistance of welfare or other benefits."
       
      This statement, like the overall 1996 Position Statement, was approved with an inspiring degree of professionalism, collegiality, harmony, and unity.  I believe it appropriately expresses the libertarian principle of "free markets/free people" while also addressing the concerns of those concerned about the burden upon society of unrestricted immigration by also expressing the libertarian principle of "personal responsibility".
       
      The statement above was removed when the 1996 Statement was being prepared for re-adoption in 2000 (Atlanta) to avoid divisiveness within the organization.  (It has always been a priority of the RLC to maintain a high degree of unanimity when expressing such positions; our *ultimate* objective, after all, is not to prevail amongst ourselves in espousing one or another point of view but to collegially work together to *build the organization and *win elections*.)  A direct statement on immigration remained out of our 2004 re-write of the 2000 Position Statement (again, due to diverging opinions within the organization) although the following appeared under our statement on Foreign Relations:
       
          "Peaceful diplomatic relations, free trade and open borders enhance the ability of citizens to travel, engage in international commerce and support the pursuit of liberty everywhere in the world."
       
      Although (or, more likely, because) they dodge the more specific issue of illegal immigration, I believe we would all agree with either our earlier statements on the issue above, and I would recommend that we accept our current statement and get on with our higher priorities of organization building and winning elections.
       
      That said, given the current momentum of the discussion on this eGroup, I have little doubt that we will head down that road and will, no doubt, have an extended, divisive debate on all of our eGroups, divert our energies and resources away from our higher priorities, and present a first impression of tedious acrimony to any newcomers who may visit our eGroups.  I urge that while we pursue this effort, we keep the discussions harmonious and concise, and that we not forget that our higher priorities are to build the organization and win elections.
       
      If we *must* more explicitly state a position on the immigration issue at this time, I would suggest the following combination of language from our 1996 and 2004 statements:
       
          "Peaceful diplomatic relations, free trade and open borders enhance the ability of citizens to travel, engage in international commerce and pursue liberty everywhere in the world.  Welfare programs, taxpayer-funded schools and other taxpayer-paid benefits which attract immigrants who are unwilling or unprepared to shoulder the responsibilities of citizenship should be curtailed. We oppose efforts to restrain immigration which undermine the liberty of American citizens."
       
      Here again, the libertarian virtues of "free people & free markets" are recognized - while also addressing the reasons for concern about unlimited immigration by simultaneously addressing the libertarian virtue of "personal responsibility". 
       
       * * *
       
      In a subsequent posting, Phil Blumel adds that, "...this proposed language is great.  It has historical continuity within the RLC and is positive. It makes clear that we support legal immigration, but not without reservations regarding the welfare state. I think it captures the nuggets of commonality among the different views we've expressed on the subject in our Yahoo Groups and cuts away the issues we argue over about. Its language fits the existing RLC Position Statement document and the traditional."  Others suggest that we should be more explicit about expressing something along the lines that "we have a right and, in fact a duty to our taxpayers, to restrict immigration until the welfare programs are curtailed; that we have a right and a duty to attempt to keep out those who wish to come here to do us harm...".
       
      Any thoughts?

      Jeff Palmer - jap@...
       * * *
      Quote of the Week:  “Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy.” -- Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead, 1943

      -----Original Message-----
      From: rlc-national@yahoogroups.com [mailto:rlc-national@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jeff Palmer
      Sent: Tuesday, April 18, 2006 5:03 PM
      To: rlc-national@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [RLC-National] RLC Candidate Endorsements / Tancredo

      We had a good position statement on immigration from our national convention in Washington (c1996?).  I'll dig it out.

      Jeff Palmer - jap@...
       * * *
      Quote of the Week:  “Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy.” -- Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead, 1943

      -----Original Message-----
      From: rlc-national@yahoogroups.com [mailto:rlc-national@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of westmiller@...
      Sent: Tuesday, April 18, 2006 3:35 PM
      To: rlc-national@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [RLC-National] RLC Candidate Endorsements / Tancredo

      <SNIP>
         At the next RLC National Convention, we may consider a Position Statement or Resolution on immigration, but to
      date, none have been drafted or proposed. Comments on that possibility are also welcome.
       
      Bill

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