While I didn't seem to think that the illegal immigration debate wouldn't come up till after Sotomayor was nominated or not it seems that Obama is intent in doing some serious multitasking. Libertarians for the most part are divided on this issue but this division will come back to bite us if we don't put up a common front.
As most of us know the illegal immigration debate is divided into the following groups:
1. Grant amnesty, keep immigration flowing
2. No amnesty, restrict immigration 2a. no immigrants period 2b. no immigration from non-white countries
3. No amnesty, keep immigration flowing but eliminate the red tape
Conservatives who fall in the second category are attempting to paint Libertarians as apart of the open borders left. I saw a video from the Cato Institute that had Jim Harper discussing on how our immigration policy should be structured and the Fox News anchor tried to pin him in the same league is Nancy Pelosi. Interesting enough Sarah Palin said before the election that she didn't believe in mass deportation of illegal immigrants but that barely made a peep among conservative voices.
The stereotype that Libertarians don't believe in the rule of law has been used like a billy club by conservatives especially on this issue. We have to get the message out there that we support a third option in the illegal immigration debate. Contrary to what the left and right tell say more people would support the third option than the first or second. It's not like we don't have a voice in the media who supports the third option. Lou Dobbs of CNN is on tape saying that he is very pro-legal immigration but is against amnesty, he is someone we can work with despite being an economic protectionist.
During the height of the swine flu "scare" the national party issued a statement for Obama to close the border with Mexico until the "scare" had passed. I didn't think much of it until I got an email from the local libertarian group that the national party was supporting xenophobia. I had emailed them back supporting national's decision to do that because at the time it was a national security issue, never got a response back by the way. I can understand why some Libertarians would see this move xenophobic since xenophobia and bigotry is very anti-liberty but we also should remember that complaining about bigots only gives them legitimacy. Sadly the left has yet to learn this lesson. Yes there is no denying the fact that racist and/or anti-immigrant groups (neo-nazis, kkk, coalition of conservative citizens, minutemen, etc) have used the illegal immigration debate as a cover to spread their bigotry. There is no denying of this fact but in addition to acknowledging them keeping the issue open only makes their cause stronger. If and when illegal immigration is solved the correct way these groups won't have anything to stand on (for the time being) and will self expose their true colors when they no longer have a banner to hide behind.
The illegal immigration issue is another great chance for us to inject our influence into the Republicans and/or the Democrats. We cannot let the ultra nationalist Paleoconservatives, other anti-legal immigrant groups and the pro-amnesty left win this fight. We must stand for liberty and the rule of law.