Providence Journal: Getting Nowhere On Immigration via RCP
This piece from my hometown outlines the problems with both immigration propoosals recently passed through the House and Senate. I agree with the author that illegal immigration is a major problem, because of its devaluation of labor.
When politicians talk about change, they mean getting their opponents out of power and themselves in. However, when voters hear change, we should be thinking about new approaches to problems which are not getting solved.
Illegal immigration is a real problem. It threatens the livelihood of our most vulnerable workers. Illegal immigration reduces the wages of unskilled labor by 10 percent, according to one study. It forces the poorest communities to provide services for people who pay little in taxes. And it creates a climate of disorder and lawlessness.
This problem cannot be addressed effectively in the current climate in the capitol. Lawmakers at the extremes of the political spectrum are the ones getting their messages across. Such extremism only hinders progress.
More open immigration policies and more secure borders are both important and worthy aspirations, but the proponents of these goals must stop being set in opposition to one another.