Remember, Republicans were not anti-immigrant during the Elian Gonzalez episode. They championed the family who wanted to keep Elian in America. But Democrats, who tend to be in favor of immigration, reversed themselves and were so intent on returning Elian to Cuba they sent a SWAT team after the six-year-old boy.
Now the parties have reversed positions again regarding those crossing the American border.
Why is this? Because the two parties are pragmatist parties. They don’t follow essential principles, just whatever will achieve the political goal of the moment.
Although today Ann Coulter is unfortunately siding with the anti-immigrant Republicans, her analysis of the Elian Gonzalez story in her book, “How to Talk to a Liberal,” is sharp as a razor.
First the Clinton administration said, the Courts will decide. Then the Courts decided Elian should stay in America. So the Clinton administration said, the Courts have no jurisdiction, we must follow the law. But “the law” meant whatever Janet Reno’s whim happened to be. She decided to send people with machine guns to capture the boy and send him back to the dictatorship in Cuba. Why? Because the Democrats love Castro. Democrats still think Communism is a noble idea.
The Democrats suddenly discovered “family values” for the first time, as a reason to send Elian back to his birth father. But Elian’s birth father was not married to Elian’s mother when Elian was conceived nor when he was born, nor after that time (only long before). No law gives custody rights to the father of an illegitimate child. So “the law” is not what the Clinton administration followed at all.
What really drove the Democrats to favor Elian’s return to Cuba was their political love of Castro and wish to pretend a Communist dictatorship is a nice place for a boy — perhaps as a step towards their effort to end the US sanctions against trade and tourism activity with Cuba. And what really drives the Republicans’ current wish to send other immigrants back to Mexico, is their fear of immigrants becoming citizens and voting for Democrats. It’s all pragmatism over principle.