Just as we saw after seven years of empty promises about repealing Obamacare (whoopsies, there goes another one!), the Republican Party, although completely in charge of the federal government, continues to obstruct the Republican agenda. Just hours after President Trump unveiled his support for promised immigration reform (drafted by two Republican senators), or what is called the Reforming American Immigration for a strong Economy Act (RAISE), two other Republican Senators, Lindsey Graham and Ron Johnson, came out in full force against it. Jeff Flake cannot be far behind.
Here is part of Graham's statement:
Unfortunately, the other part of this proposal would reduce legal immigration by half, including many immigrants who work legally in our agriculture, tourism and service industries.
South Carolina’s number one industry is agriculture and tourism is number two. If this proposal were to become law, it would be devastating to our state’s economy which relies on this immigrant workforce.
[W]e need to make sure we have an immigration system that allows enough people into this country to make sure that we can staff manufacturers and dairy farms and all of our organizations that grow our economy.
As Alex Clark points out, both Republican senators are big-time proponents of mass migration, of importing foreign workers, even the low-skilled workers who compete directly with American citizens for the kinds of starter jobs that can do a young person enormous good.
Moreover, this unending flood of the unskilled manipulates the labor market in a way that decreases wages. And this of course benefits big business which in turn benefits the politicians in both parties who receive campaign contributions from big business.
Naturally, Senate Democrats are already declaring the bill DOA. They want the business contributions and the votes.
According to the Migration Policy Institute, in 2015 some 1.38 million foreign born immigrants came to the United States. This does not include the flood of illegal labor. This is legal immigration. As you can see from this graph, legal immigration has more than tripled over the last 50 years. Meanwhile, our overall population in that same amount of time has not even doubled. Per capita, we are taking in a whole lot more legal immigrants than normal. Moreover, we are also dealing with millions and millions of illegal immigrants.
This influx of cheap and illegal labor has been devastating, primarily to black teens, who suffer unnaturally high unemployment rates in the 30% range — almost twice the national average. Keep in mind that this unemployment rate only counts those actively looking for work, not the untold numbers who have given up. The most recent statistic I could find for the labor force participation rate among black youths is 42.7%, compared to 56.5% for whites.
No one opposes intelligent legal immigration. Hell, I'm married to a Mexican immigrant. But when nearly 30% of black youths are actively looking for work and cannot find that work, is it not time to slow the unskilled labor down a bit?
When, during this spike in legal immigration, middle class wages have been stuck in the doldrums for decades, is it not time to readjust?
On top of that, the RAISE Act would end the madness of what is known as chain migration, where anyone allowed into the country can eventually bring along their entire family regardless of skill level or ability to self-support, and well beyond spouse and children (which the RAISE Act would of course still allow). Then there is the madness of the 55,000 visas handed out annually in a lottery for "underrepresented countries," another program that has nothing to do with skill level or ability to self-support.
The stupidity of these laws not only doubles legal immigration for no practical reason and floods the unskilled labor market, it puts massive pressure on our social service institutions, including the public schools and the welfare rolls.
Why would any sane country open their doors to welfare recipients? (Refugees, of course, are a different story.)
Lindsey and Ron and the MSM and Democrats might be able to and probably will kill the RAISE Act but these long overdue, common sense reforms are popular with an American populace that for years has lived through little-to-no wage growth and watched American cities burn, primarily at the hands of black youths who see no opportunity for opportunity.
Win or lose the political debate, Trump will have a powerful message to bring to the working class, most especially in the inner-cities. During the presidential election Trump ventured into America's inner-cities on more than one occasion promising, among other things, the immigration reform that would increase employment opportunity and wages. RAISE gives Trump another very powerful argument against a Democrat Party that has failed our inner cities for decades.
Sadly, our very own Vichy Republicans will aid and abet this madness every step of the way.