Since Republicans didn’t write a party platform this year, we don’t know where they stand on immigration. Shame on them.
Democrats showed more courage, and their party platform is clear. Democrats want more: more legal immigration, more foreign workers, unskilled and high tech, and more refugees. They propose expanding refugee eligibility to millions of new people: victims of domestic violence and gender discrimination. When our immigration courts are already overwhelmed, and only half our STEM graduates are landing jobs in STEM, support for such a huge expansion is surprising.
On enforcement and border security, Democrats want less. They want to defund Trump’s wall, and stop putting children into the cages built by the Obama administration. Two good ideas. But there’s no mention of punishment for employers who recruit and hire illegal workers, colluding in document fraud and tax evasion. No mention of requiring employers to use the free E-verify system for work eligibility. Democrats want to stop the ICE raids, which opened up thousands of jobs in chicken plants and slaughter houses. And they have no plans for stopping future illegal worker hires.
In the midst of an economic crisis for the working class, with 30 million people on unemployment and economists predicting many fewer jobs in the near future from automation and downsizing, the Democratic platform says, “It is long past time to provide a roadmap to citizenship” for millions of “undocumented workers.”
The first amnesty or mass legalization scheme appeared in 1986. It was supposed to be a “one time only” amnesty along with robust enforcement. Congress delivered on legalization but watered down the enforcement provisions. Illegal immigration and document fraud exploded. Six more legalization schemes followed. We now have at least 10 million more expecting their legalization. And economists scratch their heads: Why aren’t wages going up?
This 30-year soap opera is described by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jerry Kammer in “Losing Control: How a left/right coalition blocked immigration reform and provoked the backlash that got Trump elected”.
Reading the Democratic Party platform, it would appear that Democrats want open borders, but they won’t say it. And the press is very reluctant to open a discussion of immigration policy.
Mainers for Sensible Immigration Policy