How the Democrats Lost Their Way on Immigration (OR: How the Dems sold out the American working class for votes and favor from corporations)

The whole “open borders” stance with the Democrats is new – as is documented in this excellent if ultimately wrong headed article in The Atlantic. When I was growing up it was conservatives – of the economic sort primarily – who called for more immigration. (This was always a point of conflict with socialcons however.) Why restrict human capital as we sought to unleash other types of capital? If there are jobs at a certain wage level why not let people cross the border and fill those jobs? It is an argument that I basically agree with to this day but it is an argument that works best sans a large welfare state like we have now.

Immigration isn’t a “problem” if people want to come and hustle for work and other people, not on welfare now, will not take the jobs because the wages for the “immigrant jobs” are either too low or there are other jobs, or likely both. Immigration in this alternate universe sorts itself out relatively easily.

Unfortunately we do not have a free market economy and as such immigration becomes a much stickier wicket.

If the American welfare state is freely doled out (in various ways, healthcare, minimum wages, services, in some cases welfare [with fraud]) this creates an incentive for people to come and exploit the system. It’s perfectly natural and rational. Try being a poor Guatemalan kid with absolutely no prospects. What would you do? I know what I’d do. I head for the Rio Grande and points north.

So we have created incentives for illegal immigration. We have also contributed to creating war zones in parts of Latin America thanks to our boneheaded drug policy. Essentially creating a refugee situation. 

Then add that large parts of American industry have long relied on cheap immigrant labor and have done everything industry can to keep the borders essentially open, and it is easy to see that we can only blame “ourselves” for our current immigration challenges.

And they ARE challenges. It is now politically incorrect to say that we face real challenges because of immigration – which is one of the key points of the attached article – but it must be said. A language barrier, on a large scale, inside of the USA is indeed a problem. It is. It makes things harder. This is a fact. I speak Spanish but I wonder how many English only speakers get by with those who ONLY speak Spanish. That is a challenge and we should be able to say that it is a challenge without the reconquista types flipping out. (They are going to flip out regardless anyway I suppose.)

So we’ve identified 3 things (there are many others just to be clear) that have driven illegal immigration in the USA. Free money. The drug war. And the need for cheap (and tolerated) illegal labor.

Now add in a Democratic Party that thinks it can turn all of these illegal immigrants, illegal immigrants that are used to political graft and el jeffe politics in their homelands, into Democrats and finally dislodge the GOP from places like Texas and Florida. Once and for all the Democrats believe they will be be able to run roughshod over anything approaching “limited government.” The Democratic Party hopes that it can extend the type of politics that infects places like Chicago, Detroit, LA (and La Ciudad de Mexico, Puebla, and Veracruz) and elsewhere across the nation from sea to shining sea.

But in order to do that the Democratic Party has to give the finger to a huge swathe of “working class” natives. And that’s what it’s been doing.

You, the UAW guy with a hunting rack in the back of your truck in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, West Virginia, you are no longer welcome in the Democratic Party.

So “adios” REDNECK. The Dems don’t need your kind.

At least that’s what they think.

It must be said in parting that I have the greatest respect for people who come to this country to try to make a better life for themselves. 

A month back I watched a crew of Latino guys working on the sloped roof of a 4 story apartment building until the very last bit of light while I sipped a beer and cooked up a couple of steaks. I worked a little bit of construction in college. A little bit. But enough to know how hard the work is. These guys probably would be up and working again at first light. I don’t know many people who have that kind of work ethic. And I get to sip beer and grill steaks. Respeto. 

(From The Atlantic)

As the Democrats grew more reliant on Latino votes, they were more influenced by pro-immigrant activism. While Obama was running for reelection, immigrants’-rights advocates launched protests against the administration’s deportation practices; these protests culminated, in June 2012, in a sit-in at an Obama campaign office in Denver. Ten days later, the administration announced that it would defer the deportation of undocumented immigrants who had arrived in the U.S. before the age of 16 and met various other criteria. Obama, The New York Times noted, “was facing growing pressure from Latino leaders and Democrats who warned that because of his harsh immigration enforcement, his support was lagging among Latinos who could be crucial voters in his race for re-election.”

Alongside pressure from pro-immigrant activists came pressure from corporate America, especially the Democrat-aligned tech industry, which uses the H-1B visa program to import workers. In 2010, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, along with the CEOs of companies including Hewlett-Packard, Boeing, Disney, and News Corporation, formed New American Economy to advocate for business-friendly immigration policies. Three years later, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates helped found FWD.us to promote a similar agenda.

This combination of Latino and corporate activism made it perilous for Democrats to discuss immigration’s costs, as Bernie Sanders learned the hard way.

Click here for the article.