Immigration: issues and policy


#1

How did immigration become one of the biggest issues of Republican Party? Let’s discuss.


#2

I’ve been trying to wrap my brain around why folks on the right oppose immigration so passionately and aside from fear, I can’t figure this out, maybe you guys can help.

In 2016, Ramesh Ponnuru for Bloomberg, cites:

  1. Low economic growth. The economic expansion under George W. Bush was weak and ended in a brutal economic crisis, and the recovery afterward has been disappointing. For most people, incomes haven’t been rising as fast as they did in the 1980s and 1990s – and Americans who feel economically vulnerable are more likely to see immigrants as an economic threat.

  2. Demographic changes among Republicans. If Republicans are more concerned than they used to be about the wage pressure that immigration puts on the low end of the labor market, it’s partly because more Republicans work there than in the past. The party has become more dependent over time on white voters without college degrees. These Americans, who are more exposed to competition from immigrants than white voters with more schooling, have seen their economic prospects stagnate or decline.

  3. The growth of the immigrant population. The immigrant population, and its share of the total population, has increased over time, and pockets of immigration have formed around more and more of the country. With more immigrants in more places, more native-born Americans have found themselves in competition with immigrants. At the same time, more Americans have grown unsettled by the social changes that accompany large-scale immigration. (Europe’s difficulties in assimilating Muslim immigrants have probably also played a role in forming American conservatives’ views.)

  4. The unresponsiveness of elites. Only a quarter of Americans favor increased immigration levels, but leaders in both parties have represented this group more than they have the people who want less immigration. In 2013, Jeff Sessions, a Republican senator from Alabama, offered an amendment to cap immigration at 33 million over the next decade. Nobody else voted for it. Republicans who want less immigration and more enforcement of immigration laws have come to feel that politicians aren’t really listening to them on this issue. They aren’t a tiny group of voters, and they resent their relegation to a fringe.

  5. Partisan politics. Immigrants have been voting increasingly for Democrats. Some Republicans think that they should respond by making it clear that they welcome immigrants. Other Republicans, though, have reacted to the same trend by wondering why national policy should keep bringing in more people who support the opposition on most issues.

  6. The progress of arguments among conservatives. Conservative thinkers, writers, and talkers have been debating immigration among themselves for two decades, sometimes bitterly. Respected conservative voices have been on both sides: National Review has argued for restricting immigration, while the editors of the Wall Street Journal have sometimes urged a constitutional amendment enshrining open borders. Over time, conservatives seem to have found the restrictionist arguments more persuasive. Among conservative publications, for example, the Weekly Standard switched sides, moving from open borders toward restriction.
    The economic argument for more immigration, for example, has fallen flat among conservative opinion-makers as the evidence has come in. In 2013, the Congressional Budget Office estimated the economic effects of legislation to give illegal immigrants a path to citizenship and increase legal immigration. It found that in 20 years, per-capita GDP would be 0.2 percent higher thanks to the bill.

  7. Cascading effects. As more and more influential conservatives made the argument for immigration control; as more and more Republican voters found their take-home pay falling behind their cost of living; as immigrants became more and more identified with the Democratic Party: Conservative Republicans found that more and more of the people they generally agreed with on politics and looked to for information about issues were skeptical about a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants and about increased immigration. Those voters who began with no strong opinions on the issue started leaning that way, and those who already leaned that way strengthened their views.


(nina) #3

This is a great article, which does highlight how many variables there are in how to deal with immigration. I would say a combination of all these ideas and rationales.

Yes, economic woes.
Yes, shifting demographics affecting voting for Dems
Yes, identity of the new Rep party, ie Trumpers who are anti-other (than white)
And so on…

Total restriction on who can come in, with these horrid conditions to act as a BARRIER (unjust, and inhuman) is the T and Sessions way.

Shifting conservative perspectives in what was listed here for WSJ and National Review…so no one conservative viewpoint can be determinative.

Immigration is a key issue facing this country and the T admin is shoving it down everyone’s throats.

…family values be damned.


#4

Yes. Why do they support this brand of hardline immigration policy. I should collect some articles and post them on the social and economic facts that support a more open immigration system and why America actually needs immigrants to come to this country. It’s just seems so racial motivated.

Anyone have any great go to articles about how immigration is actually a benefit?


#5

From Wharton, THE EFFECTS OF IMMIGRATION ON THE UNITED STATES’ ECONOMY
June 27, 2016

Key Points:

*While some policymakers have blamed immigration for slowing U.S. wage growth since the 1970s, most academic research finds little long run effect on Americans’ wages.

*The available evidence suggests that immigration leads to more innovation, a better educated workforce, greater occupational specialization, better matching of skills with jobs, and higher overall economic productivity.

*Immigration also has a net positive effect on combined federal, state, and local budgets. But not all taxpayers benefit equally. In regions with large populations of less educated, low-income immigrants, native-born residents bear significant net costs due to immigrants’ use of public services, especially education.


(nina) #6

Because T, Sessions, Stephen Miller, and others (Bannon) operate out of a racist mindset, they pursue these hard line policies that play on very bigotted preferences. Outside of the two coasts, with the most liberal mindset, it is difficult to assume that a white, middle class person wants to have immigrants in their community. Trump defines the immigration problem as inviting dangerous criminals in, and his dog whistling does resonate with his base.

Logic does not serve very well here unfortunately. It is a natavistic approach. Other = bad, criminals, rapists…etc.

Sessions is a southern bigot, always was, always will be.

The irony that T has disdain for immigrants, and yet uses their labor at Mar-A-Lago getting a lot of personnel with the H-2B visas, because he knows he can pay them less and they will work for that to get into the US.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/11/05/trump-who-urged-people-to-hire-american-secures-70-foreign-workers-for-mar-a-lago/?utm_term=.33beeb50d482


(nina) #7

And more on how racist this Administration is…

I know you are asking more about immigration, and R’s refusal to be more welcoming, but I think the Administration in power sets the tone. And of course, the R’s are supine…not giving an inch on it.

Throughout his candidacy, and through his actions as president, Trump has actively used fear to divide communities, encouraged violence against those who would disagree with him, and has advanced racist and xenophobic policies. Here are just a few examples:

Picked Jeff Sessions to lead the Dept. of Justice, a man with a decades-long track record of advancing racist, anti-immigrant, and discriminatory policies
Hired racists and nativists like Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon to advise him on policy matters
Issued a Muslim and refugee ban as one of his first actions as president
Unleashed ICE officers across the country who continue to terrorize immigrant communities with near impunity
Insists on the construction of a useless and costly border wall and ramping up his mass deportation machine
Exploited the tragic death of Kate Steinle in order to go after sanctuary cities
Proposed focusing the Department of Homeland Security’s Countering Violent Extremism program exclusively on Islamic sources—ignoring the dangerous threat posed by white nationalist organizations
Actively weakened and undermined Civil Rights offices within the federal government, which are charged with enforcing civil rights protections for Americans
Has publicly encouraged police brutality and the use of more aggressive methods by law enforcement officers

(nina) #8

And more here…from New Republic…(from 2016)

There are a couple things at work here. First, Republicans are near-pathologically unwilling to level with voters about a range of issues. Easier to channel outrage, biases, and suspicions, than challenge conservatives to make political decisions on factual merits. In that way, immigration denialism exemplifies my old point that critics are sanitizing Trumpism as “economic anxiety” when racism is a huge part of it. If labor competition alone explained Trumpism, Trumpism would be on the wane. Second, amid the Trump phenomenon, conservatives are beset by a desire to attribute his rise to external factors beyond their control. If illegal immigration is surging, it makes sense that working class voters are turning to Trump. If Obama is indifferent to or encourages immigration, Trump is partly his fault.

I imagine many Republicans wish they could take a mulligan—go back in time, pass comprehensive immigration reform, claim victory at the border. But now they’re stuck with this, probably until the next presidential election post-mortem.


(nina) #9

Sorry…last one.

They are citing Ipsos polls - here are two of them.

The poll of roughly 1,000 adults aged 18 and over, and conducted June 14-15, asked respondents if they agreed with the following statement: “It is appropriate to separate undocumented immigrant parents from their children when they cross the border in order to discourage others from crossing the border illegally.”

Of those surveyed, 27 percent of the overall respondents agreed with it, while 56% disagreed with the statement. Yet, Republicans leaned slightly more in favor, with 46% agreeing with the statement and 32 percent disagreeing. Meanwhile, 14 percent of Democrats surveyed supported it and only 29% of Independents were in favor.

2nd Ipsos Poll

Democrats have taken the lead in the generic congressional ballot, with 38% of Americans indicating they would vote for a Democratic candidate and 28% for a Republican candidate if the November 2018 election were held today. Not surprisingly, large majorities of Democrats (81%) and Republicans (84%) indicate that they would support their party in the Congressional election. This week, Independents are split between a Democratic candidate (22%) and a candidate from another party (20%). Republican candidates (9%) have fallen behind among Independent voters in the generic ballot.

Healthcare continues to be the most important issue facing Americans (18%), with terrorism (12%) and the economy generally (11%) in second and third place, respectively. Party lines continue to influence perceptions of major issues, with healthcare (22%) being the most important problem for Democrats, and immigration (22%) continues to be the most important issue for Republicans


#10

Read for the graphs, excellent side by side compassion of how the US immigration system works verses other countries.

From NY Times:

In the United States, the Senate has struggled, unsuccessfully so far, to pass an immigration reform bill. But the debate has put nearly every category of immigration on the table, from smaller, targeted programs such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Temporary Protected Status and the Diversity Immigrant Visa, to big pillars of the immigration system like work-related and family-based migration.

President Trump has called for a shift from what currently makes the American immigration system distinct: its focus on family ties, a framework that accounts for two-thirds of all residency visas, more than any other country. Instead, he and many Republicans would like most visas to be distributed based on employability, with a preference for those who are highly skilled, like doctors, engineers or entrepreneurs.


#11

Good post thanks for this.


(nina) #12

A sweeping House GOP immigration overhaul teetered on the brink of collapse Thursday as lawmakers struggled to move past an issue that has become politically fraught amid the dire images of families being separated at the border.

President Donald Trump’s sudden executive action over the border crisis stemmed some of the urgency for Congress to act. But House GOP leaders still were pulling out the stops to bring reluctant Republicans on board in hopes of resolving broader immigration issues ahead of the November midterm election.

The House GOP compromise bill is the product of hard-fought negotiations between the conservative and moderate factions that dragged on for several weeks. The measure is unlikely to pick up much, if any, Democratic support.

The House will also vote on a more hard-line immigration proposal favored by conservatives. It is expected to fail.


(nina) #13

Yes, the R’s congressional leaders and their lack of integrity with accusations of bait-and-switch when it comes down to final legislation is truly abhorrent.

Starts from the top with empty lies and political posturing.

Trump reiterated that Congress must come up with a solution. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen even told lawmakers during a private briefing that the family separations could resume if they fail to act.

Meadows, Ryan get into heated argument over immigration on House floor

– But, but, but: The prospects for imminent congressional action are looking grim. “A House immigration bill meticulously negotiated by Republicans appeared to be on the brink of failure ahead of a planned Thursday vote after House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and a top conservative leader engaged in an unusually heated floor confrontation,” Mike DeBonis reports. “Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) argued with Ryan in plain view of lawmakers, aides and reporters during a Wednesday afternoon vote — a dispute that Meadows later confirmed surrounded the immigration votes … The typically mild-mannered Meadows could be seen repeating ‘it doesn’t matter’ as Ryan spoke to him, and he walked away from Ryan at one point only to return and continue arguing.

“Speaking to reporters afterward, Meadows accused Ryan and other House leaders of a bait-and-switch — agreeing to a deal on what would be contained in the compromise legislation only to leave key provisions out of the final text. ‘There were things that were supposed to be in the compromise bill that everybody agreed to,’ Meadows said. ‘The talking points do not match the legislative text.’”


#14

This is a great follow up article for those who would like to know more about the EU’s free movement immigration policies.


#15

FACT SHEET
How the United States Immigration System Works
From the American Immigration Council

I’m quoting the portion about asylum seekers, as it seems pertinent to the current national political conversation.

Asylum is available to persons already in the United States who are seeking protection based on the same five protected grounds upon which refugees rely. They may apply at a port of entry at the time they seek admission or within one year of arriving in the United States. There is no limit on the number of individuals who may be granted asylum in a given year nor are there specific categories for determining who may seek asylum. In FY 2014, 23,533 individuals were granted asylum.

Refugees and asylees are eligible to become LPRs one year after admission to the United States as a refugee or one year after receiving asylum.


#16

How the Democrats Lost Their Way on Immigration In the past decade, liberals have avoided inconvenient truths about the issue.
By PETER BEINART
JUN 20, 2017

Liberal immigration policy must work to ensure that immigrants do not occupy a separate legal caste. This means opposing the guest-worker programs—beloved by many Democrat-friendly tech companies, among other employers—that require immigrants to work in a particular job to remain in the U.S. Some scholars believe such programs drive down wages; they certainly inhibit assimilation. And, as Schachter’s research suggests, strengthening the bonds of identity between natives and immigrants is harder when natives and immigrants are not equal under the law.

The next Democratic presidential candidate should say again and again that because Americans are one people, who must abide by one law, his or her goal is to reduce America’s undocumented population to zero. For liberals, the easy part of fulfilling that pledge is supporting a path to citizenship for the undocumented who have put down roots in the United States. The hard part, which Hillary Clinton largely ignored in her 2016 presidential run, is backing tough immigration enforcement so that path to citizenship doesn’t become a magnet that entices more immigrants to enter the U.S. illegally.

Enforcement need not mean tearing apart families, as Trump is doing with gusto. Liberals can propose that the government deal harshly not with the undocumented themselves but with their employers. Trump’s brutal policies already appear to be slowing illegal immigration. But making sure companies follow the law and verify the legal status of their employees would curtail it too: Migrants would presumably be less likely to come to the U.S. if they know they won’t be able to find work.

Schachter’s research also shows that native-born whites feel a greater affinity toward immigrants who speak fluent English. That’s particularly significant because, according to the National Academies report, newer immigrants are learning English more slowly than their predecessors did. During the campaign, Clinton proposed increasing funding for adult English-language education.


#17

@SEPTGUY
I’m glad you found it informative. I think, for a lot of Democrats immigration policy is probably our most over looked platform and clearly this is very important to converative voters. I realize just the other day that I actually didn’t have a personal opinion on immigration, except for don’t hurt people and that the dreamers should have a path to citizenship. Other than that I’m clueless. So on this thread I wanted to post general information as well as current policy and news. The more I read the more I’m for a North American Union of sorts, in which people can migrate legally to find work and we trade freely. I’ve also found that I’m open to compromise, where we crack down on the businesses that employ undocumented workers, hoping to deter undocumented immigration. It’s quite clear that this abusive caste system we’ve created has got to go!

What policies are you guys looking at to solve this immigration pickle we’ve gotten ourselves in?


#18

Living in a state that’s not on the Border I haven’t seen the issues that brings it high on my agenda either. I have seen the increase in the Latino population and a number of small towns around where I grew up that have been taken over by Latino business owners. Some of this is evolving in the last few months, why I don’t know. When I was working full time the company I worked for had a business that was high in manual labor, lower wages and in parts of the country had trouble with being able to properly document the legal status of employees. At that time being able to get SSI numbers was certainly available for a pretty low price. I have no idea how good the E Verify system is today which some employers use.

We need an effective guest worker program, I believe. The Ag industry is and has been very dependent on migrant workers. It bothers me to see T demean the hispanics and the way some of our veterans have been treated is terrible. Many American’s don’t know or aren’t aware that non-citizens can serve in the military and supposedly get fast tracked for citizenship. Many have fought in combat in Afghanistan or Iraq.

I wouldn’t want to wager $ on whether Congress can actually pass an immigration bill.


(nina) #19

See how Ryan’s technique to cater only to T’s needs on this immigration issue. Consensus and compromise are none existent.

But when it comes to immigration, Ryan (R-Wis.) has only one mandate for granting votes on immigration bills: President Trump’s support.

“We’re bringing bills to the floor that, if they got to his desk, he would sign,” Ryan told reporters Thursday morning.

This approach has so far resulted in repeated failure, ensuring that no legislation can actually reach Trump’s desk.

Simply put, the House cannot pass a Republican-only bill that bolsters border security and provides legal stability for up to 1.8 million undocumented immigrants who were brought here illegally by their parents or overstayed visas as children.

On Thursday, a conservative proposal received surprisingly strong support, with 193 Republicans voting yes (and 231 no votes), but it fell well short of majority backing. A vote on a second measure, billed as the “consensus” immigration package, fell apart after Ryan and his leadership team spent weeks working with all corners of the GOP conference.


#20

Vox explainer on the racist history of US Immigration policy.