House Republicans Ditch the 2013 Pro-Amnesty 'Autopsy' Plan

House Republicans Ditch the 2013 Pro-Amnesty 'Autopsy' Plan

The House Republicans’ campaign arm has rushed out a report showing Republicans are gaining support from Latino voters because of pocketbook economic policies, including opposition to illegal migration.

“Hispanic battleground voters think Republicans in Congress (42%) can do a better job of dealing with jobs and the economy than Democrats in Congress (35%),” says the February 17 report by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), which also says:

Hispanic battleground voters think Republicans in Congress (44%) can do a better job of dealing with border security than Democrats in Congress (31%).

The report’s release marks the semi-populist GOP’s informal ditching of the establishment wing’s long-standing claim that more amnesty and more immigration is the way to win Latino votes.

The more amnesty and immigration claim was the centerpiece of the controversial Growth and Opportunity Project report pushed by establishment Republicans after Gov. Mitt Romney was soundly beaten by President Barack Obama in 2012. The report was frequently described as the “postmortem” or “autopsy” report, and it described the establishment’s extensive and detailed plan for winning future presidential elections.

But the establishment’s plan did not include a single mention of wages or salaries — and the centerpiece was the implausible claim that Latinos would vote for Republicans if the GOP endorsed the amnesty and more migration policies favored by Wall Street:

We are not a policy committee, but among the steps Republicans take in the Hispanic community and beyond, we must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform. If we do not, our Party’s appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only. We also believe that comprehensive immigration reform is consistent with Republican economic policies that promote job growth and opportunity for all.

The claim was implausible because migration boosts Wall Street by driving down wages, crowding K-12 schools, and spiking housing costs for Latino voters — and every other category of voter who might vote for Republicans.

Of course, the report was praised to the skies by establishment champions in Washington, DC. “The report is controversial and bold, not the usual political pabulum … Most striking is its blunt endorsement of comprehensive immigration reform and its encouragement for a variety of views on social issues,” Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin wrote in 2013.

In 2016 and again in 2020, President Donald Trump and his pro-American, low-migration, higher-wage, populist policies destroyed the autopsy’s plausibility.  He won roughly 28 percent of the Latino vote in 2016, and roughly 38 percent in 2020, far higher than the 27 percent won by Mitt Romney in his failed 2016 race.

And Trump’s populist emphasis on American pocketbook issues is still winning Latino votes. The NRCC February poll shows:

Hispanic battleground voters think Republicans in Congress (42%) can do a better job of dealing with jobs and the economy than Democrats in Congress (35%).

Hispanic battleground voters think Republicans in Congress (39%) can do a better job of dealing with rising prices and the higher cost of living than Democrats in Congress (32%).

Hispanic battleground voters think Republicans in Congress (40%) can do a better job of dealing with crime and public safety than Democrats in Congress (32%).

The survey of 1,000 Hispanic voters was taken by long-standing GOP pollsters, including Public Opinion Strategies and The Tarrance Group.

The summary of the NRCC polling buried the 2013 autopsy’s amnesty-first policy:

Republicans are winning on the issues that matter most to Hispanic voters and are well-positioned to capitalize on Democrats’ extremely unpopular policies. But this isn’t a done deal. Republican candidates need to continue fighting to win over Hispanic voters with a message focused on the economy and why Republicans are best positioned to protect the American Dream so many Hispanics came to this country to achieve.

The GOP, however, has yet to prove itself as a wage-and-jobs populist party — despite major rhetorical steps by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the GOP’s leader in the House.

Few GOP legislators have spoken out in favor of Americans’ pocketbook interests amid the damaged being caused by President Joe Biden’s mass-migration agenda. The GOP leaders and legislators still allow their donors to sideline many obvious immigration reforms,  GOP legislators — such as Peter Meijer (R-MI) — are still asking for cheap imported workers, and the leaders still have not assembled a migration-reform 2023 campaign platform for passage in any GOP-majority Congress during 2023.

For example, the NRCC chairman Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) told Breitbart News in November that immigration is a pocketbook issue for voters.

“Well, the immigration issue is a pocketbook issue … You’re talking about immigration being a kitchen table issue and how it impacts [voters]. The bottom line is that polling showed us this is still a very potent issue for Americans. This is something that, while some people would want to write it off, this is something that Americans care about, and this administration has completely punted on the immigration issue and talk about incompetence.

But in December, Emmer signed on to a letter asking Biden’s agencies to help import H-2A visa workers for his district’s farm sector.

In 2013, when the autopsy report was released, GOP leaders hoped to get some good press for their party from the national media. That part of the plan was a complete success — myriad D.C. reporters and columnists eagerly parroted the establishment’s ethnic-politics claim that Latinos’ ethnic solidarity with future migrants would overcome their ordinary desires for decent wages and good homes for their families.

“The report’s authors had been assigned to diagnose mechanical problems in the party, not policy problems, but they recognized, correctly, that … the hard line on immigration repels Latinos,”‘ the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank claimed in March 2013 when the report was released.

“It’s Not Too Late for Republicans to Win Latino Votes,” New York Times columnist Lynn Vavreck wrote. “The data also make clear that to win support from Latinos, the Republican party must do what the Growth and Opportunity Project prescribed: champion immigration reform. This pattern is clearly seen in an experiment on messaging that Latino Decisions ran in its June poll.”

“The RNC’s report openly begs Republicans to change their [amnesty] position in defiance of the party’s own 2012 platform…  It’s worth stopping a moment to recognize what a huge leap this simple statement represents,” Benjy Sarlin at said.

“It’s an astonishingly frank document that calls for major changes in how the party addresses minorities, women, and its own campaign processes” Garance Franke-Ruta at the Atlantic claimed.

Some progressives accepted the amnesty pitch, but still recognized the pre-Trump GOP’s economic-policy problem: “The Republican National Committee released a report this week by its Growth and Opportunity Project that makes it abundantly clear that: (1) the only thing the Republicans are trying to grow is their vote, and (2) the only real opportunity they are providing is for GOP apparatchiks,” Democrat activist Steve Rosenthal wrote.

Migration moves money, and since at least 1990, the federal government has tried to extract people from poor countries so they can serve U.S. investors as cheap workers, government-aided consumers, and high-density renters in the U.S. economy.

That economic strategy has no stopping point, and it is harmful to ordinary Americans because it cuts their career opportunities and their wages while it also raises their housing costs.

Extraction migration also curbs Americans’ productivity, shrinks their political clout, and widens the regional wealth gaps between the Democrats’ coastal states and the Republicans’ Heartland states.

The economic strategy also kills many migrantsseparates families, and damages the economies of the home countries.

An economy built on extraction migration also radicalizes Americans’ democratic, compromise-promoting civic culture and allows wealthy elites to ignore despairing Americans at the bottom of society.

Unsurprisingly, a wide variety of media-ignored polls do show deep and broad opposition to labor migration and the inflow of temporary contract workers into jobs sought by young U.S. graduates.

The opposition is growinganti-establishmentmultiracialcross-sexnon-racistclass-basedbipartisanrationalpersistent, and recognizes the solidarity that Americans owe to one another.

VIEWER CALL: A woman who works in a Michigan hospital says,

"What I'm seeing is such extreme poverty & infections that are so completely preventable…I'll have to say, the infectious disease doctors are some of the hardest working clinicians, probably in any facility, anywhere"

— Washington Journal (@cspanwj) April 18, 2019

Neil Munro