From Toggle panel: Excerpt Excerpt
Democrats Will Have to Solve Immigration to Win
Recent polls continue to show that immigration ranks as the number-one issue for most Americans. A Gallup poll in July showed 27% of us identified immigration as our number-one concern, with government/leadership coming in second at 23%. Whoever gets immigration right, without either racist fearmongering or blind expressions of political correctness, will probably win the next election.
Trump’s fearmongering about illegal immigrants as rapists, terrorists and criminals is blatantly racist. Certainly, criminal elements are to be found, as in any population, but the vast majority are either legitimate asylum seekers escaping the chaos of Central America or economic migrants looking to work hard and improve their lives. On the other hand, many leftists condemn any attempt to limit and regulate immigration as inherently racist, which is simply ridiculous.
Many Americans on both sides of the partisan divide oppose illegal immigration because it violates an innate sense of fairness. When there are thousands of people from all over the world waiting in line to follow the laws and immigrate legally to the U.S., illegal immigration, or folks butting in line, can seem downright wrong.
I have yet to hear this from any candidate so far, but what should really be the number-one issue—climate change—has to be tied to immigration, because the two are intimately linked. Climate change is already wreaking havoc in Central America with droughts and crop failures, which cause political instability and migrant caravans. This is happening all over the world now and will only get worse without some kind of remediation.
The Democrats must also tie immigration to U.S. foreign policy. After NAFTA was enacted, the big American agriculture giants began exporting subsidized corn and other grains to Mexico, bankrupting some 2 million farmers who had no alternative but to head north to seek work. This is when illegal immigration from Mexico really took off. Good for U.S. corporate profits, but bad for Mexicans.
And then we have the long history of American interference south of the border. Often, when a socialist or reformist government has taken power in the “banana republics,” promising to rectify the grotesque income disparity in those countries, we’ve sent in the Marines, the CIA or “economic hitmen” to overthrow those governments, and incited devastating civil wars, Honduras being only the latest example. All this is another reason caravans head north.
Liberals need to focus on the root causes of illegal immigration, not just the various Band-Aids proposed to alleviate it. The Republicans are certainly not going to educate the public, so it’s up to Democrats to come up with comprehensive policies to address immigration, then educate Americans regarding those policies.