A couple of recent items indicate that the immigration debate could be shifting. Who knows why–maybe because of the pressure on employment from the recession, maybe the increasing fears about the drug war in Mexico, possibly because of heightened fear of terrorism–all legitimate concerns. Item one: In the wake of the Texas legislative session which failed to produce a resolution of the “voter ID” issue, a recently released poll of Texans conducted by the Texas Lyceum Association revealed some interesting results. 71% of Texas voters support voter ID and 54% strongly support it. It has support across party lines, among Democrats (58%), Independents (68%), and Republicans (86%). It also has support across racial and ethnic lines–Anglos 78%, African-Americans 75%, and Hispanics 59%–and only 2% of Texans are undecided. Item two: Houston’s police officers union recently petitioned Mayor Bill White and the city council to, among other things, reverse the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of ignoring immigration status except for arrests for serious offenses. It seems that the police have had enough of officers being seriously injured or killed in the line of duty by illegal immigrants.
Maybe a convergence of these factors and attitudes will soon produce a critical mass of opinion significant enough to dictate that we finally get serious about our borders and our national sovereignty. These anecdotal trends indicate that elected officials should have no fear of backlash from doing so.