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Our national debate on immigration policy centers on a paradox. We must become aware of it and deal with it.

The United States needs an immigration policy because a lot of people want to come here. If that weren’t the case, we wouldn’t need an immigration policy.

Why do they want to come? For freedom. And because there is freedom, there is opportunity.

The immigration issue is now a political football because of the political baggage it carries. Both parties want the votes of the Hispanic population, the most rapidly growing demographic in the country. And this is the same population most sensitive to the immigration issue because most of the illegals within our borders are from Latin American countries.

And here lies the paradox. The purported strategies for “winning” Hispanic votes are not about engaging this population on preserving American freedom and opportunity, which is what makes the United States so attractive to those who want to come. The strategies are about how to pander to win its votes.

Realclearpolitics.com has just run a five day series of articles on the theme “Hispanic Voters: Trends and Opportunities.”

One of the articles, under the headline “To Reach Latinos, GOP Must Alter Its Message, Tone,” offers Republicans free advice on what they must do to get the votes of the increasingly powerful Hispanic demographic.

If Republicans are going to continue to “howl at the moon about the evils of “big government,” this column advises, they can kiss these Latino folks goodbye.

“In poll after poll, majorities of Latinos embrace the view that government has a positive role in creating more opportunities for citizens who were not born to privilege.”

America was built by hundreds of millions of immigrants coming here to be free. Yet we are now told that this latest group of immigrants must be offered more government, less freedom.

Latest projections from the Congressional Budget Office predict growth rates of our economy to be two thirds of what it has averaged for the last half century.

Is this the opportunity that big government can create “for citizens not born to privilege?”

The best thing that Republicans can do for Hispanics, and for every American citizen, is to stand guard on America as a free country and land of opportunity.

The worse thing they can do is to pander to the welfare state left and put America’s most precious commodity, freedom, on the auction block to bid for Hispanic votes.

Star Parker is an author and president of CURE,

Center for Urban Renewal and Education.

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