Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Democratic Party and Immigration

Really good long-read article in the New York Times Magazine by Robert Draper on immigration and the Democratic Party. The party has done a poor job of addressing immigration reform. The reasons:

  • Fear that it will turn off voters, many of whom falsely believe that immigrants are taking jobs, committing lots of crimes, etc. In this view, voters see immigration as a major issue.
  • Meanwhile, others believe voters really are focused on jobs and therefore do not want to send the message they are focused more on immigration.
  • Across the board, the Democratic leadership said the right things while either doing nothing or, in the case of Barack Obama, deporting record numbers of people.
  • The Republican Party repeatedly boxed Democrats into a corner by forcing resolutions or other votes intended to splinter them.
  • Alienating both activists and immigrants through inaction.
So nothing gets done, even when Democrats have majorities. There has never been a time when they are willing to expend sufficient political capital on it.

Abolishing ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) is a nice slogan but has no real meaning. You have to change the nature of the machine itself.
From the article, that is clearly the view of many Democrats. But this is something I am still really chewing on. The dilemma is that criticizing the idea contributes to more inaction, but pushing it makes it sound like you want no immigration controls of any kind and dooms the bill. In fact, what you really want is change the nature of the bureaucracy itself, its programming in the machine analogy.

In the midst of this, the President of the United States is lying in ever more profound ways. Just today:

Today’s Democratic Party is for open-borders socialism. This radical agenda would destroy American prosperity. Under its vision, costs will spiral out of control. Taxes will skyrocket. And Democrats will seek to slash budgets for seniors’ Medicare, Social Security and defense.
The argument is too absurd to really comment on, but having a president say it gives it meaning to a lot of people. Even more importantly, it makes it impossible for any congressional Republican to accept even a tepid bill because he or she would have to go head to head with the president. Trump desperately does not want any bipartisan work to occur.

All that's left is winning elections. The president has to spearhead changes to the executive branch bureaucracies and use executive authority to direct them. Congress needs to make immigration reform a priority and explain why it is good for the country. That's when real change is possible, though even then it's not guaranteed.


  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP