Friday, February 2, 2018

Immigration or Stagnation

Immigration or Stagnation

In a recent Washington Post editorial [Immigration or Stagnation, Washington Post, 1-29-18] Fred Hiatt asserts Republicans can be pro-growth or anti-immigration, but not both. Growth, then, needs immigrants, which is why he thinks “we should remain open to immigration.”

In his discussion Hiatt offers four “big, complicated” rhetorical questions about immigration. One is “How much effort should be devoted to tracking down the undocumented, and how much to punishing companies that hire them?” However, I do not believe those millions of undocumented immigrants came to the U.S. for the beautiful view. They came here for a job and so I would like for Mr. Hiatt to cite one case of a U.S. employer charged, prosecuted and convicted of hiring an undocumented alien. May be there are two, or ten or a hundred stacked up against 11 million undocumented immigrants? Does ICE investigate Corporate America?

While I happen to agree with Mr. Hiatt that immigrants have contributed to economic growth, favoring growth would not normally be an immigration issue. Business demands cheap immigrant labor that works for a pittance, and they do not mind them having no legal or voting rights.

Corporate America also knows the Republican Party needs the votes of the hate peddling bigots who want to deport them all. Well, if Republicans cannot be pro-growth and anti-immigration, neither can they be anti--immigration and ethical citizens favoring equality of rights while remaining silent. Corporate America could be pro-immigration and be ethical citizens but so far they let their toadies in Congress and Trump feed the bigotry and look the other way.

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