By Jeremy Beck, December 2, 2021
FY2021 shattered the record for most border deaths, despite also setting a record for the most border rescues. None of that has stopped House Democrats from passing the “largest mass-legalization program for undocumented immigrants in U.S. history,” as The Washington Post helpfully described it after the vote had taken place.
The biggest pull factor in history now moves to the Senate, where Kim Tessier hopes to see a more responsible outcome:
Coretta Scott King, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s wife, warned that “cheap labor” from increased immigration would devastate communities of color. Barbara Jordan, a pioneer in the Democratic Party and the first Southern Black woman elected to the House of Representatives, said it best: ‘It is both a right and a responsibility of a democratic society to manage immigration so that it serves the national interest.’
Considering that almost 5.4 million more Americans are unemployed than before the pandemic, it’s absurd to argue that amnesty serves the national interest. Chuck Schumer might not recognize that. But hopefully, Sinema and Kelly do.”
The Horse Race
Immigration policy is one of the key factors that “have taken their toll on President Biden and Democratic candidates,” according to Thomas Edsall of The New York Times, who spoke with several political observers, including:
- Robert M. Stein of Rice University: “In South Texas, Florida and parts of Arizona immigration policy is hurting Democrats with traditional base voters. This is especially true with Hispanics in Texas border counties, where Trump did well in 2020 and Abbott (incumbent Republican Governor) is making significant gains by appealing to the concerns of Hispanics over jobs and immigration.”
- Gary Jacobson, a political scientist at the University of California, San Diego: “things touching on competence (Afghanistan, border, congressional inaction) are probably the most important” in driving down Biden’s ratings, but “for the future, it is inflation and the general economy that will matter most, I think.”
- Dritan Nesho, the director of civic technology and engagement at Microsoft and a co-director of the Harvard-Harris Poll: “over two-third of voters (68 percent) believe illegal monthly border crossings have increased since Biden took office, 65 percent blame Biden’s executive orders for encouraging illegal immigration, and 68 percent want stricter policies to reduce the flow of people across the border.”
A former advisor to President Clinton was so alarmed by the Harvard-Harris poll that he submitted his own guest essay to The Times, warning that if Democrats continue to pursue policies “which a majority view as an open-borders approach,”in the Build Back Better bill, the Party could quickly find itself back in the political wilderness.
The Expansionists Strike Back?
The conventional wisdom suggests expansionist overreach on immigration will pave the way for at least a Republican majority in the House in 2022, but that’s no guarantee of more reductionist policies. Michael Lind forecasts a restoration of “Bush-style Republicanism,” which favors “cheap-labor immigration, and offshoring of industry to low-wage countries.”
This article was originally published by NumbersUSA.