Conservatives and liberals should agree on real immigration reform

Published on May 30th, 2014

Joseph Cotto
May 30, 2014
Communities Digital News

OCALA, Fla., May 30, 2014 — Preserving what has made America the world’s superpower should be the goal of any concerned citizen.

This does not take into account whether one leans left or right. By understanding that economic power is inseparably tied with immigration trends, anybody can take a stand for a more prosperous future. After all, if the American Dream is not about personal success at heart, then what does it pertain to?

Over the last few decades, our economy has been sacked by free trade agreements. While these sent many manufacturing jobs — formerly the base of our labor market — to foreign lands, remaining stateside jobs are often filled by low-cost workers. Quite often, they are here illegally, and even when not, on work visas which give employers the ultimate upper hand.

In the immediate past, this situation has mainly impacted the working and lower-middle classes. Now, white collar folks are beginning to feel the pinch; especially across the information technology field.

Such an obvious problem should be able to unite all reasonable political factions in the search for a viable solution. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

“There are both conservative and liberal reasons for reducing legal immigration and stopping illegal immigration,” Jo Wideman, the executive director of Californians for Population Stabilization, one of America’s foremost groups addressing population-related issues, explained to me last year. “Some reasons for opposing illegal immigration include concerns for sensitive borderlands, the impact of population growth, the effect on schools, downward pressure on wages for low-income workers, terrorism and security, injustice to those who follow the rules, and the lack of respect for the rule of law.

“In today’s polarized political environment, politicians tend to exacerbate their policy differences rather than to seek common ground. 
“While many right-wingers do embrace the cause of immigration restriction, especially curbing illegal immigration and enforcing our nation’s immigration laws, actually, immigration is an issue that has traditionally cut across party and ideological lines. (However, as battle lines have hardened, and wagons have been circled ever more tightly during the past decade or two of struggle, this may be somewhat less the case than in the past.) Many left-wingers in particular have been relentless in demonizing anyone who favors less immigration or more effective immigration enforcement as racist and xenophobic.

“This has tended to silence many centrists and left-of-center Americans who would rather not be so smeared. No less than Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, a Democrat, former two-term Wisconsin governor and three-term U.S. Senator from that state, referred to this vilification as left-wing McCarthyism.

“The fact is that the founders of some of the nation’s leading immigration restriction organizations are environmentalists first and foremost and are deeply concerned about the injurious effects of mass immigration on U.S. population growth and the environment. Groups such as CAPS not only care about the environment but also about the plight of American workers of all ethnic and racial backgrounds faced not just with offshoring in this globalizing world, but also a veritable flood of immigration.

“It is a myth that immigrants only take those jobs that Americans no longer want and therefore do not compete with American workers. Excessive immigration is responsible for unemployment, underemployment, and depressed wages and working conditions, not just for the working class (e.g. janitors, dry-wall hangers, gardeners and construction workers) but increasingly, for high-tech professions, such as IT and engineering, as well.”

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