At an AEI event on Monday, panelists offered a variety of suggestions for developing and articulating a clear vision of American immigration policy. Alfonso Aguilar of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles argued that the conservative base supports liberalized immigration laws — including what’s commonly called “amnesty” — as long as they include border security. Aguilar made the case that immigration reform is in line with traditional conservative, pro-family, and free-market positions.
Brad Bailey of Texas Immigration Solution addressed immigration from his experiences as an entrepreneur, emphasizing how this led to his involvement with immigration policy. He alleged that there is substantial common ground on immigration, with widespread understanding of the defects of the current system.
Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention then discussed how current immigration policy harms America’s social fabric, arguing that the majority of Americans are people of goodwill who support reform. He argued that policy should focus on implementing secure and meaningful employment verification.
Ramesh Ponnuru stressed assimilation of immigrants as a key goal of American immigration policy, encouraging immigrants to support themselves, integrate into society, and see themselves — and be seen by others— as Americans. Overall, he encouraged both sides of the debate to understand the legitimate concerns of their opponents.
— Daniel Rothschild
After a close election in which a record number of Latinos voted and a Republican primary season from which no consensus on immigration policy emerged, it is clear that conservatives and free market advocates have yet to develop and articulate a clear vision of American immigration policy. A policy consensus that keeps our borders secure while allowing the levels and types of immigration that fill existing economic needs and welcome new entrepreneurs seems a daunting political challenge.
This panel will discuss what a conservative approach to immigration might look like from the perspectives of law enforcement, people of faith, elected officials, and the business community to identify a new immigration policy that encourages an American culture of competition.
If you unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.
Alfonso Aguilar, Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles
Brad Bailey, Texas Immigration Solution
Richard Land, Southern Baptist Convention
Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review and Bloomberg View
Nick Schulz, AEI
Event Contact Information
For more information, please contact Daniel Rothschild at [email protected], 202.862.7155.
Media Contact Information
For media inquiries, please contact [email protected], 202.862.5829.
Brad Bailey is the co-founder and CEO of Texas Immigration Solution. From 2000 to 2011, Brad was vice president of operations for three Bailey family-owned Houston restaurants. In 2006, Bailey was named Restauranteur of the Year by the Greater Houston Restaurant Association and is a former member of the executive committee of the Greater Houston Restaurant Association. Bailey co-founded Texas Immigration Solution and the Hard Word Clean Hands Initiative in 2012, which seek to develop and advance conservative solutions to US immigration policy. Brad also served on the 2012 Platform Committee of the Republican Party of Texas, where he co-authored the Texas Solution immigration-platform plank, the first time any state GOP proposed a solution to fix American immigration policy.
Richard Land is president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the Southern Baptist Convention’s official entity assigned to address social, moral, and ethical concerns, with particular attention to their impact on American families and their faith. He has served in this position since October 1988. Before becoming the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission’s president, Land served as Criswell College’s vice president for academic affairs from 1980 to 1988. He had taught as professor of theology and church history at that institution since 1975. Land is also executive editor of FFV, a national magazine dedicated to coverage of traditional religious values, Christian ethics, and cultural trends.
Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review and a columnist for Bloomberg View. Ponnuru has published articles in numerous newspapers including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Newsday, and the New York Post. He has also written for First Things, Policy Review, The Weekly Standard, The New Republic, Reason, and other publications. He has also appeared on numerous television news programs. He is the author of “The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life” (Regnery Publishing, 2006). He is also the author of the monograph “The Mystery of Japanese Growth” (AEI/Centre for Policy Studies, 1995). He has been a fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs in London and a media fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.
Nick Schulz is the DeWitt Wallace Fellow at AEI and editor-in-chief of American.com, AEI’s online magazine focusing on business, economics, and public affairs. He writes the “Economics 2.0” column for Forbes.com, where he analyzes technology, innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic growth. He is the co-author, with Arnold Kling, of “From Poverty to Prosperity: Intangible Assets, Hidden Liabilities, and the Lasting Triumph over Scarcity.” He has been published widely in newspapers and magazines around the country, including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and Slate.