Scalia's take here, as near as I can tell, is this: the democrats looooooove it when the GOP opposes amnesty! They get to paint the GOP as racists! The SMART thing to do would be to pass amnesty - then the democrats can't call the conservatives racists anymore! Silly conservatives, how long are you going to let yourselves be fooled?
You know what, Elizabeth? If the price of opposing amnesty is being called a racist, then alright - I'll pay that price. If running the risk of an election loss and being painted in a poor light by the media is enough to cow you into obedience, a bit of advice: ditch your pro-life views, any criticism of same-sex marriage or even premarital sex, and look into getting ordained while you're at it - but be sure to mention you don't actually believe in all that 'God' stuff. Because ridicule is the order of the day when it comes to most of those things, at least in sizable portions of the culture.
What's that, you say? The price is too high? You're going to stand for what you believe is right, and to hell with the people who attack you or call you names?
If that's the response, congratulations - you now understand why the demand is 'secure the border first - discuss immigration reform later'. And if the cost of that demand is that we cripple the GOP due to their refusal to ever pursue the desires of their constituents on this issue, well then - so be it. Maybe it's time for you to sacrifice your principles and say 'Okay, maybe securing the border first is the way to go after all.'