The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Immigration Debate

The Democrats needed a reason to sabotage any agreement on DACA and more broadly, immigration reform. After all, allowing Donald Trump to have a major win on immigration where past presidents failed (notably the sainted Barack Obama) is anathema to those with Trump Derangement Syndrome. Dick Durbin gave the Dems the reason they needed by reporting that Trump used the word "sh**holes" to characterize the broken countries of origin of some immigrants. "Racist," the Dems screamed, over and over and over again. You'd think there was method to their derangement, and there is.

Molly Hemingway comments:
Democrats claim to want amnesty for DACA recipients. At least some Republicans claim to want to fix the problems that lead to never-ending streams of non-citizens clamoring for amnesty, such as a porous border and irregular enforcement of the law. The Trump administration and some Republicans seek to end an incoherent immigration policy that is unbound to the needs of the country, particularly the needs of the non-elite portions of the country. All of these competing desires make now seem like a prime opportunity for an immigration compromise.

Early last week, President Trump hosted a cordial negotiation that made the compromise seem possible. But is it true that Democrats are willing to work toward a DACA compromise? They were unwilling to offer any concessions to get it — no wall, no drawdown of random visa lotteries, no de-emphasis on chain migration, no move to a Canadian- or Australian-style merit immigration system. In fact, one of their proposals would actually expand chain migration, by which family members can get an easier path to U.S. residency and citizenship than other applicants.
Given their passive-aggressive approach to immigration negotiations and their red-hot hatred of Donald Trump, it appears that the Dems would like nothing better than a government shutdown. Possibly, a shutdown will work in their favor.

But Donald Trump has a way of escaping from the Dems most vicious politics and he just might flip the shutdown on them. The trained hamsters in the media will, of course, blame Trump and the GOP for any shutdown, but with Twitter at Trump's disposal, it might not play the way the Dems and the hamsters expect. We'll see.

The Dems think they have a winner with DACA, a program that is favored by a majority of Americans. But other important immigration issues don't play very well for Democrats. A significant majority of Americans is against open borders, chain migration, and lotteries that have no benefit to our country. Instead, Trump proposes a system similar to many Western countries based on merit as well as need, with limits placed on immigrant who show a high likelihood of demanding a continuing flow of government services and a poor likelihood of assimilating into our culture.

Even the fantasy version of DACA isn't supported by the facts. Victor Davis Hansen writes:
Democrats are so focused on the 800,000 Dreamers — less than 10% of the undocumented population — because they’re politically photogenic and for now seen as the easiest group to exempt from efforts to control illegal immigration. In blanket fashion, the media consistently report that they are model youth, fulfilling their proverbial “dreams” of finishing college and achieving upward mobility.

That narrative lacks subtlety, if it’s not outright deceptive. The average age of DACA participants is now 24. Few after entering adulthood sought to address their known illegal status. Surveys suggest that most are not in school; fewer than 5% have graduated from college. Those employed earn a median hourly wage of $15.34, which means they are forced to compete on the lower end of the wage ladder. Only about a tenth of 1% of DACA youth serve in the U.S. military — fewer than 900 total.

Setting aside the reality of the Dreamer pool, the Democrats’ method of fighting for DACA suggests that they are broadly in favor of letting immigration dysfunction continue apace. Why else would they refuse to give President Trump any significant concessions in the DACA negotiations — no wall, no end to chain migration, no cessation of visa lotteries?

They know that if this generation of Dreamers gets a pass without broader reform, it will be followed by another and another, all expecting the same eventual exemptions.
The Dems accuse anyone who wants true immigration reform of being xenophobic at best and racist at worst. Yet, their tired epithets that Americans are xenophobic or racist aren't supported by immigration statistics. Again, Hansen provides some numbers:
The United States is hardly a xenophobic country. Much less is it anti-Latino. As of 2015, 46.6 million people living in the United States were not born here. That is the highest number in American history — about four times greater than the number of immigrants living in any other nation on Earth. One of four California residents was not born in the United States.
Democrats suggest that if you're against their version of 'immigration reform" you're anti-immigrant. That's typical of their moral preening, but it's also dishonest and cynical.

There's no doubt that immigrants contribute greatly to our country, and immigration is to be applauded, if it is (to use Hansen's words) "legal, measured, meritocratic and diverse." Today, it is rarely all of those things at any one time.