Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Trump’s Greatest Achievement

 

Programming note. On this week’s upcoming Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast, Jessica Vaughan, Director of Policy Studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, my former co-author and current friend will tell us about the status of immigration enforcement in America and how things look now compared to one year ago. The podcast will be posted Tuesday evening. Listen in! (Got a question to ask Jessica? Leave a comment below).

The most positive consequence of the Trump Administration so far – and it hasn’t been nearly as positive as it could be – is the widespread reevaluation of illegal immigration, its impact on our economy and culture, and the question of how (and not if) the laws of the nation should be best enforced.

Heretofore the principal argument against enforcing the laws on the books has been that it was an impossible task. The results of ICE and Border Patrol’s conspicuous (though by no means massive) arrest and deportation policies and their influence on the inflow of illegal aliens through the southern border have essentially demolished that argument – and this is before any workplace enforcement has been initiated at all.

Now however, while many Democrats and liberals have swallowed the illegal alien poison pill which, in the body of the rainbow coalition, will inevitably help the body shed much of whatever healthy tissue remains, a few intelligent liberals and a large swath of the GOP establishment appear to be rethinking the issue. Ricochet’s skipsul recently chronicled the transition that liberal columnist Peter Beinart displayed in The Atlantic. Beinart dared to repeat the talking points of liberals from yesteryear (circa 2005) who viewed illegal immigration unsympathetically.

Similarly, a couple months ago, Slate Political Gabfest über-liberal host David Plotz argued (repeating from memory here) that the Trump supporters had, after all, a superior argument on immigration. Weren’t they simply asking that the laws in place be enforced? What was the response to that?

This is heady stuff.

Meanwhile, previously bought and sold Chamber of Commerce Republicans (CoCReps?) have started to recognize that a world exists beyond their donor base composed of voters…lots and lots of voters. They are no longer as cavalier about comprehensive immigration reform as they used to be.

But there are a few canards that remain – mainly among the educated elite of the left – that irk me. I will list two, and list them briefly at that. Tell me, my Ricochetti friends, if I am alone here.

  1. Illegal aliens are doing the jobs that Americans don’t want to do.

We’ve all heard it. We’ve all ridiculed it (haven’t we?). But it is still repeated – actually I have heard illegal aliens in various rallies saying this themselves. I had a doctor tell me the same thing last week.

The claim that illegal aliens are doing jobs that Americans won’t do is a blatant concession that illegal aliens lower wages. There are no (non-criminal) jobs that Americans won’t do for the right price (I know this because there are no jobs that *I* won’t do for the right price). If there are jobs that illegal aliens will do at a given price that Americans won’t, then that is because the job does not pay enough. If the employer is not willing to pay the wage that a legal American would take for that job (e.g. as a housekeeper or a nanny in Northwest D.C.) then the job is economically unfeasible in America. Workers cannot be found for that job at the rate which makes it profitable to employ someone. Economies are filled with such jobs. It does not mean that there is no one willing to do the job. But perpetual dependence on an illegally imported class of people to do those jobs at bargain prices is not a solution…it is a dependency.

  1. We need to force illegal aliens to learn English in exchange for amnesty.

This is, to me, infuriating. The condescending ignoramuses who espouse this tenet of comprehensive immigration reform (cf. Jeb Bush) have fundamentally missed the point. Americans have derided the now prevalent need to “press 1 for English” or the hassle of dealing with people at lunch counters who don’t understand English. The Jeb Bush’s of the world have concluded that the anger of the average American is produced by the inconvenience of having to “press 1” or to have to explain more slowly that you want mustard not mayonnaise.

In fact, the rage that Americans feel about the encroachment of Spanish on our daily culture results from the fact that having to press 1 for English is evidence that more illegal aliens are entering our society and our society, far from enforcing the law, is simply adjusting to the influx. The minor inconvenience is not the point. The point is that no one is doing anything about it.

So, maybe not so short, but what do you say fellow Ricochetti? Are you happier now – with AG Jeff Sessions, for example – than you were a year ago? Do you hold out hope for the future? Do my two irksome points resonate with you too? Inquiring minds want to know.

There are 38 comments.

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  1. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Consider the possibility that the talking points are just made up fluff for emotional appeal, and the real reason is to strategically grow political power.

    Illegal immigrants can vote illegally, and they vote legally by being included in congressional representation, and thus the electoral college. 11 million illegal aliens works out to about 16 congressmen.

    And selective enforcement of laws moves political power from the legislative branch to the government agency.

    • #1
    • June 24, 2017, at 10:06 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  2. JcTPatriot Inactive

    People like Ann Coulter say that Democrats turn a blind eye to Illegals because they want the gardeners and housekeepers at low wages.

    My opinion is the Democrats know that if they can push through another mass Amnesty like they got with Reagan, the 11 million (or more) additional votes will assure them that they will never lose another National election.

    • #2
    • June 25, 2017, at 6:01 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  3. outlaws6688 Inactive

    Can you explain to me why it was considered conservative to support open borders? Was it just the donors like the Chamber of Commerce, was it the churches preaching compassion, was it actually part of conservative orthodoxy from place like NRO, or was it a combination of all of them?

    • #3
    • June 25, 2017, at 1:26 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  4. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    The very notion of open borders is a product of the far left. Those who support open borders wish to “conserve” nothing. They are radicals.

    • #4
    • June 25, 2017, at 2:13 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  5. Hoyacon Member

    I’m thinking the libertarians in our midst need to chime in here since I’m not entirely comfortable speaking for them. But the broad argument is that controlling the border is just another inefficient form of government regulation.

    • #5
    • June 25, 2017, at 2:35 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  6. Bob Thompson Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    I’m thinking the libertarians in our midst need to chime in here since I’m not entirely comfortable speaking for them. But the broad argument is that controlling the border is just another inefficient form of government regulation.

    But that specific inefficiency is irrelevant in a welfare state that is based on general inefficiency.

    • #6
    • June 25, 2017, at 2:52 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  7. Hoyacon Member

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    I’m thinking the libertarians in our midst need to chime in here since I’m not entirely comfortable speaking for them. But the broad argument is that controlling the border is just another inefficient form of government regulation.

    But that specific inefficiency is irrelevant in a welfare state that is based on general inefficiency.

    I have to stop playing libertarian. Hopefully, a real one will show up shortly.

    • #7
    • June 25, 2017, at 2:56 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  8. Bob Thompson Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    I’m thinking the libertarians in our midst need to chime in here since I’m not entirely comfortable speaking for them. But the broad argument is that controlling the border is just another inefficient form of government regulation.

    But that specific inefficiency is irrelevant in a welfare state that is based on general inefficiency.

    I have to stop playing libertarian. Hopefully, a real one will show up shortly.

    Hopeful? Are you thinking a real one will contest my point?

    • #8
    • June 25, 2017, at 2:58 PM PDT
    • Like
  9. Profile Photo Member

    The dream of a Marco Rubio presidency lives on with the NeverTrump faction. Stephen Miller of “The Conservatarians” tweeted yesterday that Rubio would be sitting pretty now “[b]ut he drank water.” Uh no, that’s not why he lost in the primary.

    • #9
    • June 25, 2017, at 2:59 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  10. outlaws6688 Inactive

    BD1 (View Comment):
    The dream of a Marco Rubio presidency lives on with the NeverTrump faction. Stephen Miller of “The Conservatarians” tweeted yesterday that Rubio would be sitting pretty now “[b]ut he drank water.” Uh no, that’s not why he lost in the primary.

    They love amnesty.

    • #10
    • June 25, 2017, at 3:14 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. Hoyacon Member

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    I’m thinking the libertarians in our midst need to chime in here since I’m not entirely comfortable speaking for them. But the broad argument is that controlling the border is just another inefficient form of government regulation.

    But that specific inefficiency is irrelevant in a welfare state that is based on general inefficiency.

    I have to stop playing libertarian. Hopefully, a real one will show up shortly.

    Hopeful? Are you thinking a real one will contest my point?

    Yes. They’re argumentative by nature. I tried out but missed the cut!

    • #11
    • June 25, 2017, at 3:14 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  12. JcTPatriot Inactive

    BD1 (View Comment):
    The dream of a Marco Rubio presidency lives on with the NeverTrump faction. Stephen Miller of “The Conservatarians” tweeted yesterday that Rubio would be sitting pretty now “[b]ut he drank water.” Uh no, that’s not why he lost in the primary.

    Yep, he drank water. That was it. I had just donated the maximum to him when he drank water. After that I threw the maximum to Chris Christie. Then that bridge thing happened, so I had to donate the maximum to Carly. Then someone said she once laid someone off as CEO, and so I had to give the maximum to…

    The point being that if you’re a looking for an excuse that your guy lost, it’s pretty easy.

    Also, remembering the GOP Primaries can cause brain damage.

    • #12
    • June 25, 2017, at 4:16 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  13. J. D. Fitzpatrick Member
    J. D. Fitzpatrick Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Michael Stopa: (I know this because there are no jobs that *I* won’t do for the right price)

    Personal masseuse to Nancy Pelosi? And she gets to bring you around the Capital on a leash?

    Sorry, couldn’t resist. Literally–stopped reading at that point and made the post. ;)

    • #13
    • June 25, 2017, at 6:02 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. Michael Stopa Contributor
    Michael Stopa

    J. D. Fitzpatrick (View Comment):

    Michael Stopa: (I know this because there are no jobs that *I* won’t do for the right price)

    Personal masseuse to Nancy Pelosi? And she gets to bring you around the Capital on a leash?

    Sorry, couldn’t resist. Literally–stopped reading at that point and made the post. ?

    Reminds me of senior slave day in high school. Sounds even worse though. But yes I am shameless. Pay for that condo on Maui, Nancy babe, and I’m your slave.

    • #14
    • June 25, 2017, at 6:14 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. JcTPatriot Inactive

    Michael Stopa (View Comment):

    J. D. Fitzpatrick (View Comment):

    Michael Stopa: (I know this because there are no jobs that *I* won’t do for the right price)

    Personal masseuse to Nancy Pelosi? And she gets to bring you around the Capital on a leash?

    Sorry, couldn’t resist. Literally–stopped reading at that point and made the post. ?

    Reminds me of senior slave day in high school. Sounds even worse though. But yes I am shameless. Pay for that condo on Maui, Nancy babe, and I’m your slave.

    Heh heh. Get up on the table, Madame Speaker, and I’ll get to rubbin’ on ya.

    • #15
    • June 25, 2017, at 6:27 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. HeavyWater Coolidge

    outlaws6688 (View Comment):
    Can you explain to me why it was considered conservative to support open borders? Was it just the donors like the Chamber of Commerce, was it the churches preaching compassion, was it actually part of conservative orthodoxy from place like NRO, or was it a combination of all of them?

    I read National Review Online almost everyday. While each contributor is allowed to express their own view on illegal immigration, when the issue is discussed, most National Review contributors seem hostile to the concept of open borders.

    Rich Lowry and Reihan Salam in particular call themselves “restrictionists” on immigration. In other words, not only are they not in favor of open borders, they also support reducing legal immigration levels to allow for better assimilation of those already legally in the United States.

    • #16
    • June 26, 2017, at 2:00 AM PDT
    • Like
  17. HeavyWater Coolidge

    outlaws6688 (View Comment):
    Can you explain to me why it was considered conservative to support open borders? Was it just the donors like the Chamber of Commerce, was it the churches preaching compassion, was it actually part of conservative orthodoxy from place like NRO, or was it a combination of all of them?

    Even when the McCain-Schumer immigration bill passed the US Senate in 2013, a majority of Republican US Senators voted against the legislation. So, I don’t know if it was ever considered conservative to support open borders.

    Many conservatives think that our immigration system should be more like Canada’s and Australia’s, focused on high skilled immigrants. Many high tech businesses want more access to immigrants with engineering/science backgrounds.

    But in the pork barrel climate of Congress, in order to get 60 votes to overcome the Senate filibuster, this ends up getting paired up with more legal immigration for all skill levels (including low skill immigrants) and amnesty for illegal immigrants.

    I do think that the Chamber of Commerce has a lot to do with this because they do not directly pay the social welfare costs of the new immigrants.

    • #17
    • June 26, 2017, at 2:08 AM PDT
    • Like
  18. HeavyWater Coolidge

    BD1 (View Comment):
    The dream of a Marco Rubio presidency lives on with the NeverTrump faction. Stephen Miller of “The Conservatarians” tweeted yesterday that Rubio would be sitting pretty now “[b]ut he drank water.” Uh no, that’s not why he lost in the primary.

    Rubio’s pro-amnesty move in 2013 not only hurt him with people who would like to see better border enforcement; it hurt his credibility overall.

    Rubio was elected in 2010 on a platform of no amnesty for illegal immigrants. That conservative position on the illegal immigration issue helped him in his, at the time, primary race against pro-amnesty Charlie Crist. But a few years after being elected, in the wake of the 2012 “autopsy,” Rubio flip-flopped towards McCain’s amnesty bill.

    It would be reasonable to ask, on what other issues was Rubio so malleable.

    • #18
    • June 26, 2017, at 2:15 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. Von Snrub Member

    I believe the bulk of the pro-invasion conservatives come from the NYT, WSJ, WPO, and other house conservative publications.

    Fred Bauer’s rebuttal on Bret Stephen’s disgusting “post” on the NYT says it all.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/448751/bret-stephenss-new-york-times-immigration-satire-misguided

    The more the US becomes like latin America, less conservative I become as Latin America is nothing that I feel needs to be conserved.

    In spanish speaking schools across the US students fail to meet basic standards in English, and basic standards in MATH, Science, History (Well of course history), even when taught in spanish.

    I’m not an Anglo American, my heritage is eastern europe, but I’ll take the position every day that Britain is the West. It’s history is the only one worth conserving.

    • #19
    • June 26, 2017, at 6:18 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. I Walton Member

    JcTPatriot (View Comment):
    People like Ann Coulter say that Democrats turn a blind eye to Illegals because they want the gardeners and housekeepers at low wages.

    My opinion is the Democrats know that if they can push through another mass Amnesty like they got with Reagan, the 11 million (or more) additional votes will assure them that they will never lose another National election.

    I don’t think one need look beyond this to understand Democrat party’s position. The Republican and normal Democrats’ positions are more complex and varied. Of course there are many businesses and households who want unskilled and semi skilled workers and in fact, since we pay our own unskilled workers not to work, and many of them wont’ leave the big cities where they became unemployed or where they have never been employed we hire recent immigrants whether legal or not. They show up where there is work and they work. That’s how they became immigrants. Of course in one sense, they drive wages down, but even that is complex. For instance if we wanted to pull our own underclass into the work force we’d have to pay them less, eliminate minimum wages and other hiring costs so they could learn how to work. We must make it worth while for business, farmers and and homeowners to take the risk of hiring them and face our own underclass with the need to learn how to work and to take jobs. If we controlled illegal immigration and got governments, local, state and federal out of the way it would all be sorted out. That’s what markets do that governments can’t.

    • #20
    • June 26, 2017, at 6:29 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. Bob Thompson Member

    I Walton (View Comment):
    We must make it worth while for business, farmers and and homeowners to take the risk of hiring them and face our own underclass with the need to learn how to work and to take jobs.

    Learning how to work a job as an employee of someone who has a business or property in need of the application of labor is a big issue. Hiring and firing at will is an important component in this learning process that has been foreclosed by government.

    • #21
    • June 26, 2017, at 7:25 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  22. Manny Member

    This is definitely a good development but I think it’s not far enough. I don’t believe that even legal immigration is really beneficial to our country, especially immigrants from non-western countries. There was a time when immigration helped a host country. It provided the manpower to perform technologies that could only be done at home. Albeit, immigrants bring along certain offsetting penalties to the economy given a mismatch in cultural values and habits and the host nation needing to support them when they can’t do it themselves. But in a world of a small welfare state, the penalties were manageable.

    Given today we have a large scale welfare state that provides more than generous benefits, the penalties come closer to the positives, and given that now new technology can allow for outsourcing of many labor functions, the benefits to immigration to a host nation – legal immigration – get smaller and smaller.

    There is a cost to a discontinuous culture, and countries like Sweden today are experiencing the negative impact to immigration.

    • #22
    • June 26, 2017, at 7:57 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  23. Manny Member

    outlaws6688 (View Comment):
    Can you explain to me why it was considered conservative to support open borders? Was it just the donors like the Chamber of Commerce, was it the churches preaching compassion, was it actually part of conservative orthodoxy from place like NRO, or was it a combination of all of them?

    Your confusing conservatives with Libertarians. No conservative would ever agree with open borders.

    • #23
    • June 26, 2017, at 8:00 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  24. Z in MT Member

    I think the Trump administration’s actions on illegal immigration are the best thing to come out of it so far (and that includes Gorsuch). All that is happening is that they are enforcing the law.

    • #24
    • June 26, 2017, at 8:01 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  25. Bob Thompson Member

    Manny (View Comment):

    outlaws6688 (View Comment):
    Can you explain to me why it was considered conservative to support open borders? Was it just the donors like the Chamber of Commerce, was it the churches preaching compassion, was it actually part of conservative orthodoxy from place like NRO, or was it a combination of all of them?

    Your confusing conservatives with Libertarians. No conservative would ever agree with open borders.

    Libertarians and Globalists, opposite ends of the governing spectrum.

    • #25
    • June 26, 2017, at 8:03 AM PDT
    • Like
  26. Manny Member

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    outlaws6688 (View Comment):
    Can you explain to me why it was considered conservative to support open borders? Was it just the donors like the Chamber of Commerce, was it the churches preaching compassion, was it actually part of conservative orthodoxy from place like NRO, or was it a combination of all of them?

    Your confusing conservatives with Libertarians. No conservative would ever agree with open borders.

    Libertarians and Globalists, opposite ends of the governing spectrum.

    Perhaps, but Libertarians have this open borders mentality too. Here and here.

    • #26
    • June 26, 2017, at 8:27 AM PDT
    • Like
  27. Bob Thompson Member

    Manny (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    outlaws6688 (View Comment):
    Can you explain to me why it was considered conservative to support open borders? Was it just the donors like the Chamber of Commerce, was it the churches preaching compassion, was it actually part of conservative orthodoxy from place like NRO, or was it a combination of all of them?

    Your confusing conservatives with Libertarians. No conservative would ever agree with open borders.

    Libertarians and Globalists, opposite ends of the governing spectrum.

    Perhaps, but Libertarians have this open borders mentality too. Here and here.

    Maybe you missed my point, I group them together on the open borders issue.

    • #27
    • June 26, 2017, at 8:33 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  28. Manny Member

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    outlaws6688 (View Comment):
    Can you explain to me why it was considered conservative to support open borders? Was it just the donors like the Chamber of Commerce, was it the churches preaching compassion, was it actually part of conservative orthodoxy from place like NRO, or was it a combination of all of them?

    Your confusing conservatives with Libertarians. No conservative would ever agree with open borders.

    Libertarians and Globalists, opposite ends of the governing spectrum.

    Perhaps, but Libertarians have this open borders mentality too. Here and here.

    Maybe you missed my point, I group them together on the open borders issue.

    Sorry, I did miss it. Thanks.

    • #28
    • June 26, 2017, at 9:50 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  29. Doctor Robert Member

    A moment before reading this post, I learned that the SCOTUS unanimously reinstated the travel ban, that Loreeta Lynch is being investigated by the Senate and that THE OTHER Dem candidate from 2016–Bernie himself–is now under FBI investigation.

    Mr Trump is not.

    How indescribably delicious.

    • #29
    • June 26, 2017, at 10:34 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  30. outlaws6688 Inactive

    Spiral (View Comment):

    outlaws6688 (View Comment):
    Can you explain to me why it was considered conservative to support open borders? Was it just the donors like the Chamber of Commerce, was it the churches preaching compassion, was it actually part of conservative orthodoxy from place like NRO, or was it a combination of all of them?

    Even when the McCain-Schumer immigration bill passed the US Senate in 2013, a majority of Republican US Senators voted against the legislation. So, I don’t know if it was ever considered conservative to support open borders.

    Many conservatives think that our immigration system should be more like Canada’s and Australia’s, focused on high skilled immigrants. Many high tech businesses want more access to immigrants with engineering/science backgrounds.

    But in the pork barrel climate of Congress, in order to get 60 votes to overcome the Senate filibuster, this ends up getting paired up with more legal immigration for all skill levels (including low skill immigrants) and amnesty for illegal immigrants.

    I do think that the Chamber of Commerce has a lot to do with this because they do not directly pay the social welfare costs of the new immigrants.

    Conservatives and the right have given amnesty and failed to fix the problem for the last 40 years. What other proof do you need? As far as NRO, they talk a good game but then they fire people like John Derbyshire. I would suggest that most of the tough talk on immigration that comes out of NRO is just that, talk.

    • #30
    • June 26, 2017, at 12:52 PM PDT
    • 3 likes

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