Rep. Steve King is a conservative Republican congressman from Iowa. He’s described as an “immigration hawk,” a term implying that determining the policy under which we allow immigrants into this country is a type of warfare.
There was indeed a time when the immigration issue was synonymous with warfare to certain Americans who now live on reservations, but we digress. The important point here is that King — being from Iowa, a state so lily-white that you can adopt a xenophobic attitude to your political benefit — has a cynical basis for his views. He says that legalizing immigrants and giving them a path to citizenship would mean “political suicide” for his party. The moment they’re given the right to vote, he avers, they’ll vote Democrat.
That’s a pitiful reason to deny the aspirations of an entire group of people who are willing to follow whatever rules and pay whatever price necessary to become Americans. Our ancestors were no different than they, except that our developing nation welcomed them, their labor and their skills in order to realize its manifest destiny.
The flaw in King’s position is that although we may be fully developed now, the nation still needs immigrants to man the engine room of its economy, and to sustain its vitality so it won’t fall into atrophy. Evidently, King’s constituents don’t see this flaw.
The rationale behind the resistance that Florida Gov. Rick Scott and the state’s Attorney General, Pam Bondi, have shown to the legalization of medical marijuana is identical to Rep. King’s on immigration. If anything about pot appears on the ballot in November, they reason, hordes of drug-crazed Dems will crawl out from whatever rock they live under to vote in favor of it, and deep-six hapless Republican candidates in the process.
If that happens, tough. Floridians with illnesses whose misery could be alleviated by legalization continue to suffer. The Supreme Court has spoken. Scott and Bondi would do well to drop their partisanship and start tending to their credentials as human beings.