In a move that may signal a conservative shift for the organization, Turning Point USA has awarded Brian Kolfage, the founder of We Build The Wall, the Patriot of the Year award at their annual Student Action Summit.
With the move, Charlie Kirk, the leader of the Republican group at the center of a recent public relations nightmare pitting America First conservatives against TPUSA on the topics of immigration policy, freedom of speech, and conservative values, has seemingly expressed willingness to debate America’s failed immigration policy and may be reexamining his stance on the controversial topic.
The news is likely well-received among conservative Trump voters and border hawks across the country who have seen little progress on the issue that was unmistakably Donald Trump’s signature campaign plank.
While President Trump has pledged that over 500 miles of wall will be complete by the end of his first term, the president is now calling for almost unchecked legal immigration, and is bolstered by many establishment Republicans in Congress.
Jarome Bell, an America First U.S. House candidate running to replace a vulnerable Elaine Luria in a Virginia Beach area district, took to Twitter to give Kirk credit.
— Jarome Bell (@JaromeBellVA) December 22, 2019
Recent events have seen TPUSA playing defense against accusations by other conservative groups that their stance on immigration was reminiscent of members of the Republican Party establishment, who claimed the border crisis was “manufactured,” a talking point repeated by CNN as evidence that Trump was highlighting a contentious but empty issue to pander to his base.
This award seems to prove that immigration, at least as far as the southern border wall is concerned, remains a topic of importance to conservative voters. To some, it also indicates that TPUSA is listening to Trump’s conservative base, and is now is moving rightward.
As previously reported by National File, “TPUSA head has come under fire for directly echoing a left wing talking point on immigration: that we should be “stapling green cards to the diplomas” of foreign students, allowing them to live in the United States and poach jobs from native Americans.”
As is evidenced by Kirk’s recent op-ed in American Greatness, the TPUSA founder appears to be demonstrating a willingness to shift his policy positions based new information:
“Here are some immigration policies I do support: building the wall as a first priority; ending birthright citizenship; establishing English as the official language of the United States; ending chain migration and the visa lottery; lowering overall legal immigration levels; and dramatically increasing enforcement of E-Verify and visa overstays.”
Prior to the op-ed, Kirk had shocked conservatives by suggesting the United States “staple a green card” to the back of every diploma earned by an immigrant, and by pushing the idea that the country needs more, not less, immigrants.
Kirk also frustrated cultural conservatives by continuing to push gay and transgendered identity politics.
While widely publicized government labor statistics show a strong workforce, those Department of Labor and media reports often neglect key statistics, such as the vast number of Americans who have simply left the workforce altogether.
Similarly, the number of Americans who, after having their industries decimated by off-shoring or labor imports, have ultimately succumbed to addictions and other coping mechanisms, often goes unreported as well.
National File will continue to track the development of Kirk’s immigration policy and the ongoing ideological tug of war between establishment and America First conservatives.