Monday, February 3, 2014

Wa Post:Anti-immigration gang moves goalposts

The anti-immigration crowd, including a couple of prominent dead-tree conservative weeklies, have let the cat out of the bag. When the immigration reform bill was making its way through the Senate, the argument went, “We’re not opposed to any immigration bill, it’s just this one.” The triggers were too weak or the security measures couldn’t be verified. It was always something. Another variation was: “We favor immigration reform, but not a path to citizenship.” It seems they were not being candid or at the very least have moved the goalposts.

With no actual House bill or even agreed-upon principles, the anti-reform gang has declared its opposition to whatever the reform is. In other words, the details don’t matter; any immigration bill that might result in not deporting those here or encouraging legal immigration is now a nonstarter. They go so far as to say that it is inconsistent with the GOP’s new focus on upward mobility. (This is absurd since upward mobility has been static for decades, regardless of the level of immigration.)

This is a Malthusian mindset that believes that there are a set number of jobs, only so many opportunities to move up the ladder and that every immigrant is another mouth to feed through food stamps. Moreover, it is an argument against legal immigration since the competition for jobs and resources would come from immigrants as well.
Many in the anti-reform group have opposed immigration reform because this would be handing Democrats millions of new voters. But wait, we’re talking now about legalization. No, never mind, reply the anti-immigration crowd; it will only lead to citizenship. In other words, you have to round up the people here, kick them out and make sure new people don’t ever come in to boost the Democratic Party’s voting rolls.

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