Let’s talk about immigration, shall we?
Ever notice that nobody ever highlights the fact that the fastest-growing racial demographic in America is Asian? The Asian population is growing faster than the Latino population. Yes, it really is. Even more interesting is that you never hear the anti-immigration crowd argue that we need to cut legal immigration because Asians are stealing jobs from Black people. What they do is propose racist immigration policies and argue that said policies are in the interest of Black people. You know, because if your racist policy “helps Black people,” there’s no way that said immigration policy is racist. How then can it be racist if it helps Black people, right? See how that works? Notice how they never insert white folks into the equation?
This is what Trump and Republican anti-immigration hardliners are currently doing. Last week they introduced a proposal to reduce LEGAL immigration by 50%. By requiring applicants for permanent residency be English-speaking and we’ll off financially, the door of opportunity will be closed to the perceived undesirables. Think about what this means, people. If you buy into this line of thinking, you’re either racist or an enabler of racism. Which either way, really ain’t a good look at all.
Nonetheless, this type of policy is to be expected. Yes, it’s racist. But look at who is beating the drum for said policy. That would be, they guy who loves taco bowls but not Mexicans. Well, not all Mexicans – only the “bad hombre” types. You know, the ones who have made New Hampshire the “drug-infested den,” that it is currently. Yes, that guy. The perpetual train-wreck currently pretending to be President of the United States.
Immigration Is The “Go To” Play
It might be shocking to some that he is now targeting legal immigrants and not “illegal immigrants” as he has campaigned to do. For me, however, this isn’t shocking. Trump’s disdain for every racial and ethnic minority group is well documented. Besides, this is the same asshole who has surrounded himself with white nationalists like Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, at the White House. Plus, with Trump’s approval rating at 33% and, his support from white voters plummeting – white men, in particular – it’s expected.
“This legislation will not only restore our competitive edge in the 21st century, but it will restore the sacred bonds of trust between America and its citizens,” Trump said as he appeared with the bill’s authors, Republican Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue.
When Trump said that the legislation would “restore our competitive edge in the 21st. century,” the “our” to whom he refers, are white folks. The idea is that by reducing the number of legal immigrants, there will be less competition and an increase in wages. The trouble with that is that many leading economists oppose the proposal. Surprised? No, because everything Trump says is a lie.
This from FiveThirtyEight:
Many critics of the merit-based approach see it as un-American. On Wednesday, CNN reporter Jim Acosta got into a heated argument with White House adviser Stephen Miller over whether the proposal violated the Statue of Liberty’s promise that the U.S. welcomes “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” But the idea also has its defenders, including some economists, who argue that it makes sense to give preference to immigrants who have skills that employers need and who are less likely to rely on government benefits. They note that other countries, including Canada and Australia, already use merit-based systems. (Other economists argue the U.S. needs both high- and low-skilled immigrants, and note that less-educated immigrants have high rates of entrepreneurship.)
There is far less disagreement among economists about the RAISE Act’s other big proposal, which halves the number of green cards issued each year. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s analytics, called the move a “grave mistake” in an interview with The Washington Post. Zandi is hardly alone: In April, nearly 1,500 economists from across the political spectrum signed a letter to Trump and congressional leaders extolling the economic benefits of immigration. They noted immigrants’ high rate of entrepreneurship, a key issue at a time when Americans are starting fewer companies, and emphasized the importance of bringing new workers to the U.S. to fill the hole left by retiring baby boomers.
Research also shows that immigration has a positive impact on the wages of native-born workers. This has been highlighted by the think tank, the Center for American Progress:
Research shows that immigration will positively affect U.S. workers’ wages and employment. How can that be? While overly simplistic views of economic theory might suggest that wages will decline in the short run as the supply of labor increases, this is not the case with immigration […]
[…] immigrants generally do not have a direct negative impact on the earnings of native-born workers, as native-born workers and immigrant workers generally complement each other rather than compete for the same job. Native-born workers and immigrants tend to have different skill sets and therefore seek different types of jobs. Thus, immigrants are not increasing the labor market competition for native-born workers and therefore do not negatively affect American workers’ earnings.
To be sure, there are some instances when immigrants and the native born are similarly skilled and substitutable for similar jobs. Recent research has found, however, that firms respond to an increase in the supply of labor by expanding their business. Thus, an increased supply of labor as a result of immigration is easily absorbed into the labor market as a result of increased demand for labor, without lowering the wages of native-born workers.
Second, research finds small but positive impacts on native-born workers because of the indirect effects that immigrants have on the labor market and economy. As economists Michael Clemens and Robert Lynch explain in The New Republic, “In some areas of the economy, lesser skilled immigrants have kept entire industries alive.” This not only helps native-born workers within the industries but also native-born workers whose jobs are associated or closely connected to those industries.
Immigration Isn’t The Problem
It’s no surprise watching Trump introduce a racist immigration proposal – much like his Muslim Ban – to serve as “red meat” for his decrepit base. After all, surveys show that Trump’s white voters feel like they’re losing ground in America. Enter his proposed attack on affirmative action, and now, the reduction of legal immigrants. In their eyes, making America white again is what greatness is about. What they don’t know, however, is that such a policy is detrimental to the economy. But hey, who cares when there will be less black, brown, and yellow people breathing all that God-given American oxygen, right?
As an immigrant and someone who has written about immigration, I can tell you that immigration isn’t a problem. Immigrants aren’t stealing jobs; and, we damn sure aren’t living on welfare. Like myself, many of us are tax-paying entrepreneurs and homeowners who positively contribute to the economy. The problem isn’t immigration, folks. Inarguably, the protection of the unearned privilege of whiteness, that is the problem.