Pandering on Illegal Immigration Leads to Defeat

By Ronald W. Mortensen on December 27, 2012

Last month's elections in Utah should raise concerns for moderate non-Hispanics in both major political parties who think that they are going to be rewarded by Hispanic activists if they support legislation that benefits illegal aliens.

Luz Robles

Four years ago, Democrat Luz Robles, a former director of the State Office of Ethnic Affairs under moderate Republican Governor Jon Huntsman, went after pro-illegal immigrant Democrat incumbent Fred Fife at the state party's convention and ended his political career.

No matter that Fife had long supported illegal aliens and had voted to give them driver's licenses and in-state college tuition. Nor did his opposition to replacing driver's licenses previously issued to illegal aliens with a driving privilege card save him.

At the time of her nomination, Robles had close ties to many of the highest ranking officials in Mexico. In fact, the perception was that she working closely with the government of Mexico to increase Mexican power and influence in Utah and the United States.

Robles' coup against Fife should have sent a clear message that pro-illegal alien moderates will be tolerated only until such time as they can be replaced by a Latino, but not everyone got the message.

Liz Muniz

So this year, Liz Muniz challenged and defeated Neal Hendrickson, another long-serving, pro-illegal immigrant, moderate Democrat legislator in a primary election. No matter that Hendrickson was the longest serving Democrat in the legislature – 22 years.

And no matter that Hendrickson voted consistently in favor of in-state tuition and driver licenses for illegal aliens, or that he opposed replacing driver licenses issued to illegal aliens with a driving privilege card.

Even voting twice for Utah's unconstitutional amnesty law, HB116, which gives illegal aliens the right to work in Utah, coupled with Hendrickson's successful efforts to kill E-Verify legislation by keeping it bottled up in the House Rules Committee weren't enough to save him.

Celina Milner

In still another 2012 race, pro-illegal immigrant moderate Republican legislator, Johnny Anderson, couldn't escape a strong challenge from another Hispanic Democrat, Celina Milner.

Although, Anderson is a strong supporter of illegal aliens and an ardent opponent of E-Verify, going so far as trying to destroy Utah's current E-Verify law when it came to the floor of the House in 2010, he was not immune from a Hispanic challenge.

Even his active defense of in-state college tuition for illegal aliens and voting twice for HB116 in order to give illegal aliens the right to work in Utah was not enough to spare him from a Hispanic challenger.

Anderson eventually managed to hold on to his seat by a 53-47 percent margin (791 votes) down from the 62-38 percent, 1,563-vote margin in 2010.

Utah Hispanic activists have clearly demonstrated that they will suffer "useful idiots" who support their cause only until such time as they can be replaced. This should be a lesson to those who believe the future of the Republican Party depends on its willingness to pander on the issue of illegal immigration.