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How Immigration Topples GOP Incumbents

The Wall Street Journal editorial page called it the “Throckmorton thumping [1].” Utah Republican Congressman Chris Cannon, a supporter of guest workers and “comprehensive immigration reform,” beat primary challenger Matt Throckmorton—“who made immigration the central issue of the campaign”by 16 points.

According to the Journal, the outcome was “noteworthy because national anti-immigrant activists—a motley band of population-control zealots and nativists—were hoping to make an example of Mr. Cannon.”

That was in 2004. Two years later, Cannon lost at the GOP state convention but held onto his House seat by winning the primary. Finally, in 2008 he was actually unseated by an anti-amnesty challenger, current Congressman Jason Chaffetz, who won 60 percent of the vote in the primary. No “Cannon thumping” editorials ensued.

This trip down Republican memory lane seems necessary in light of the commentary following House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s shocking defeat in last Tuesday’s Republican primary. When even timorous supporters of amnesty for illegal immigrants win elections, it is said to be a validation of the winner’s immigration stance. When they lose or do worse than expected, immigration is said to be irrelevant to the result.

change_me

So it is unsurprising to see the conventional wisdom emerging that immigration had virtually nothing to do with Cantor’s loss, even though the winner Dave Brat ran hard against amnesty. A Public Policy Polling survey purports to show [2] immigration was essentially a non-issue. The Atlantic contrasted [3] Cantor with victorious South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, known to his detractors as “Grahamnesty”: “Graham ran on immigration, while Cantor ran away from it.”

First, even if you believe pollsters can successfully recreate the Cantor-Brat primary electorate after the fact when so few of them correctly predicted what it would look like at the outset—this isn’t an exit poll—such polling tends to be flawed. The wording frequently gives respondents choices that don’t accurately reflect the debate actually in play and assumes much of what is in doubt. (That’s definitely true of the Public Policy Polling survey [4], commissioned by the liberal Americans United for Change.)

Most self-described amnesty opponents don’t believe that either the Obama administration or recent immigration legislation will actually meet the conditions said to differentiate “earned” legal status from amnesty. Most of them don’t view mass deportations as their preferred policy outcome. And many would be open to some form of legalization after a sustained, measurable reduction in the illegal immigrant population is achieved.

“The question isn’t whether we should grant unauthorized immigrants some kind of legal status; the question is when we should do that and what other policy changes should go along with it,” writes the policy journalist Robert VerBruggen in a more extensive criticism [5] of recent immigration polling.

Graham’s showing in South Carolina is consistent with Cannon’s in Utah four years before he ultimately lost to an anti-amnesty challenge (in fact, it’s slightly worse): 44 percent of Republican primary voters cast ballots against him. Immigration was part of a cluster of issues motivating them.

Note that virtually nobody running in a Republican primary accepts the characterization of their immigration plans as amnesty, including not only Graham but also candidates as safe from conservative challengers as George W. Bush in 2004. Note that Graham floated [6] a constitutional amendment reforming birthright citizenship when he was trying to sell his immigration plans to conservatives he acknowledged weren’t pleased with them [7] and himself balked [8] at advancing a bipartisan bill when doing so would have been injurious to his friend John McCain’s reelection prospects.

That year, McCain flipped on immigration [9] in fairly dramatic fashion to win a Republican primary against anti-amnesty foe J.D. Hayworth. This was a repeat of when he pledged to oppose [10] his own immigration bill in order to win the party’s presidential nomination—a bill that nearly tanked his campaign [11] but was, fortunately for Arizona’s senior senator, a distant memory by the time the primaries rolled around.

Acquiring the pro-amnesty label is pretty clearly a net negative for most Republicans during the primaries. That’s why underfunded anti-amnesty challengers without much else going for them routinely break 40 percent against established GOP incumbents like Cannon, Graham, Renee Ellmers, and Jeff Flake [12].

Immigration is usually not enough to take down an incumbent by itself, however. Think of it as the political equivalent of an illness that only kills people with weakened immune symptoms. Perceived immigration impurity is even an obstacle that must be overcome at the presidential level, as McCain did and Rick Perry didn’t. (The jury is still out on Marco Rubio.)

Cantor had the underlying illness of not being terribly well liked in his district. Brat’s campaign was able to use the concern that the majority leader was about to double-cross grassroots conservatives on immigration to drive free media [13] from the likes of Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, and Ann Coulter (not to mention Mickey Kaus [14]).

The challenger smartly tucked his anti-amnesty stance into a broader critique of the two parties’ fealty to corporate interests at the expense of ordinary Americans and excelled at the kind of retail politics Cantor bizarrely eschewed. (Sean Trende’s analysis of all this is hard to beat [15].)

None of Graham’s six challengers succeeded in distinguishing themselves from each other, much less the incumbent. (State Sen. Lee Bright came the closest.) Thus none were in the position to benefit from the kind of earned media a Levin or Ingraham could provide. Even if a challenger had broken away from the pack, Graham might still have won—an anti-amnesty candidate backed by talk radio failed to force a runoff in neighboring North Carolina and a cash advantage goes a much longer way in a statewide race—but a Brat-like upset would have at least become theoretically possible.

House Republicans currently seem poised [16] to replace Cantor in the leadership with someone with similar immigration views. [17] If history is any guide, amnesty skeptics need to persevere through a few thumpings—and benefit from a little luck—to come out ahead.

W. James Antle III is editor of the Daily Caller News Foundation and author of Devouring Freedom: Can Big Government Ever Be Stopped? [18]

Follow @jimantle [19]

33 Comments (Open | Close)

33 Comments To "How Immigration Topples GOP Incumbents"

#1 Comment By EliteComInc. On June 16, 2014 @ 3:33 am

Comparing Congressman Cantor to the legacy of Sen. Phil Graham just ignores the power of building a relationship with one’s constituents for 18 years verses 13 years for Rep. Eric Cantor.

Six of those years were very hard on republican reputation.

#2 Comment By William Dalton On June 16, 2014 @ 3:47 am

“Most self-described amnesty opponents don’t believe that either the Obama administration or recent immigration legislation will actually meet the conditions said to differentiate “earned” legal status from amnesty. Most of them don’t view mass deportations as their preferred policy outcome. And many would be open to some form of legalization after a sustained, measurable reduction in the illegal immigrant population is achieved.”

This may have been a reasonable position to take, say, in 2004, when Throckmorton received his “thumping”. But it does no good for America, much less the immigrants whose status is in question, particularly those who, children ten years ago are now adults needing post-secondary schooling and jobs to support themselves and their families, to pretend that giving them legal papers can wait until “our borders” are made “sufficiently secure”. You might as well wait for George W. Bush to declare an end to the “War on Terror”. Our borders were never made more secure, nor could they be, from the inward flow of illegal immigrants, than it was by the Great Recession which followed the Financial Collapse of 2008, in which job opportunities dried up in the United States for everybody, citizen, legal immigrant, and “illegal” alike. The fact is the United States has only two “enforceable” borders – the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, which form an impenetrable bulwark against any boat or aircraft incapable of surmounting their distances, making the task of interdicting the few that can a manageable function for law enforcement. The borders with Canada and Mexico are not so defensible. The fact that Canada has an economy very similar to that of the United States means that defending that border, at least against illegal immigration, is not a problem. If the resources now being dedicated to “border enforcement” were instead applied to building up the economy, and its employment opportunities, of Mexico to the strength of Canada’s, we would have no more reason to worry about our southern border as well. Legalizing marijuana, without which the multi-billion dollar enterprise of smuggling weed over the border will continue, would have the most salutary effect, far greater than building fences and hiring more border guards, towards reducing the number of illegal immigrants but also cutting off at the knees the criminal gangs which traffic in humans as they do in drugs.

I see no reason for responsible conservatives to run away from the term, “amnesty”. Since what is proposed is legalizing the presence of a certain portion of immigrants now here illegally, removing from them the threat of prosecution as well as deportation, “amnesty” is a fair word to describe what is being offered. It was certainly fair to use it, as it was, when Jimmy Carter granted “amnesty” to Vietnam War era “draft dodgers”, who then were able to return to the United States. Conservatives complained about that “amnesty” at the time, too. But I don’t hear anyone complaining about those granted that “amnesty” now. Any politician who says he opposes amnesty but who proposes, supports, or votes for measures which will give legal status to anyone now in the U.S. illegally, can be justly charged with being deceptive, if not outright lying, and deserves to be defeated on grounds of duplicity alone. No, Republicans, particularly the ones who are conservative and to whom the integrity of words should mean something, should take the bull by the horns and say, yes, I favor granting “amnesty” to these classes of immigrants because I believe doing so is better for the United States, its economy, its security, and the rule of law, than continuing to allow and make these persons live in the United States undercover and the easily victimized pawns of unscrupulous employers and criminal gangs. Then, set out the case for reaching that judgment.

#3 Comment By aj On June 16, 2014 @ 7:07 am

“national anti-immigrant activists—a motley band of population-control zealots and nativists”

Or maybe just informed citizens who are aware that the U.S. already exceeds its carrying capacity (overpopulation) and thus radically increasing immigration is a terrible idea and makes the goal of sustainability impossible to achieve. But keep condescendingly dismissing such folks with ad hominem attacks.

#4 Comment By Derek Leaberry On June 16, 2014 @ 8:01 am

I fear that Graham feels emboldened by his victory. I would not be surprised if a lame-duck Congress doesn’t pass something close to the Senate bill and slap Cantor’s name on it as tribute.

#5 Comment By code blue On June 16, 2014 @ 9:59 am

Believe it or not, Cantor was so out of it that he was actually preparing a House vote to INCREASE the number of H1-B visas for his friends on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley.

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The liberal billionaires of Silicon Valley and the phoney “conservative” GOP establishment epitomized by Cantor turn out to have a lot in common when it comes to screwing Americans out of jobs that were supposed to be the bedrock of our “new economy”.

#6 Comment By Fran Macadam On June 16, 2014 @ 10:25 am

The immigration issue is driven by angst about the declining economic and employment prospects for voters. Anyone who can be seen as taking your livlihood away isn’t going to be viewed very generously in that existential crisis. The Republican Party as well as the Democratic, though less vociferous about it, are thoroughly committed to defending corporatist interests that want to see employee costs reduced in order to remunerate themselves even more. Rather than attack the situation where a society is no organized structurally and economically around efficiency for concentrated capital alone, rather than opportunities for all of society, it is convenient to demonize a cohort of society that is on the bottom and without rights or political power, in order to preserve the status quo that donorists seek.

#7 Comment By Majumder On June 16, 2014 @ 12:02 pm

Anti-amnesty sentiment works very well against Congressmen, but not so well against senators.

Because, congress-people are selected by smaller number of voters than senators are as senators are selected by the voters of an entire state in each instance.

For example, Sen. Ditch McConnell and Sen. Lindsey Graham are both for amnesty as well as for non-stop foreign military interventions; but, both of them were selected by voters against their more conservative opponents.

#8 Comment By Rossbach On June 16, 2014 @ 12:13 pm

“The question isn’t whether we should grant unauthorized immigrants some kind of legal status; the question is when we should do that and what other policy changes should go along with it.”

This is the approach to “immigration reform” that helped to create today’s massive illegal immigration problem. Amnesty (by any name) can never be a solution to the problem of illegal immigration, as was shown by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. We granted amnesty to 3 million illegal aliens and their number today has nearly quadrupled.

When reform is predicated upon allowing lawbreakers to keep what they broke the law to obtain, the very basis of law itself is subverted. That is why amnesty didn’t work then and won’t work now.

#9 Comment By collin On June 16, 2014 @ 12:48 pm

House Republicans currently seem poised to replace Cantor in the leadership with someone with similar immigration views.

Of course that Representative is from California which is an outlier to conservatives views on Immigration Reform. Unfortunately the rebranding of the Rs to win minority votes is going even worse than expected and the cries of Prop 187 are only growing louder. (In all reality the impact of Prop 187 of turning Cali blue is greatly exaggerated. It’s impact was only after Prop. 187 victory when Pete Wilson and 187 became the historical symbol.)

It was clear the key to Brat’s victory was amensty and the right wing radio support and the extreme right wing radio (Ingraham & Coulter esp.) is not going to win minority voters in the long run.

#10 Comment By RadicalCenter On June 16, 2014 @ 12:57 pm

Almost all of the Republican “leadership” in Congress needs to be defeated in primaries. In fact, that goes for a majority of the entire Republican caucus in both houses, IMHO.

Cantor should be just the beginning.

#11 Comment By Jim Evans On June 16, 2014 @ 12:58 pm

‘No amnesty!’ is a populist position that crosses party lines. The Democratic Party leadership has made amnesty a high priority (even though it is not a high priority among Hispanics or working class people in general) with the promise of increased “political power” for the Democratic Party — and somehow that increased “power” will help Hispanics and working class people, down the road.

This rationale has kept many working class Democrats in-line with the leadership, but if amnesty is a clear election loser — the whole rationale fails and the natural self-interest of working class people will re-assert itself.

That is why Democratic operatives are downplaying illegal immigration as a factor in the Brat – Cantor primary, they face a mutiny in their own party at the grass-roots level.

Also, seeing ‘no amnesty’ as a successful populist political plank will attract more supporters across the political spectrum.

The real signal of change: Democratic Party candidates also running on ‘no amnesty’ and meaning it.

That might be a lot closer than the political “smart set” realize.

There is a tree branch ready to be sawed-off.

#12 Comment By Wagonhurst On June 16, 2014 @ 1:44 pm

I loved Cantor’s evasive performance on the Sunday talk shows, pretending that his resounding defeat was somehow caused by his “principled stand on immigration”.

More likely that his other questionable, generally anti-middle class positions had a lot to do with it. Such as:

– Wall Street over Main Street (TARP, bailouts and bonuses for his Wall Street buddies)
– Votes for huge deficitis to pay for wars that his constituents didn’t want
– Votes to outsource American jobs
– Votes to import cheap foreign H1-B visa labor to compete with American workers
– Votes for spectacular “fails” like the F-35 sinkhole or the NSA’s program to spy on the communications of American families.

There were plenty of little “Marie Antoinette” touches, too, like spending more on steakhouses than Brat spent on his entire campaign, or his habit since becoming Majority Leader of taking freshman US congressmen on mysterious all-expenses-paid trips to Israel, where they seem to have gotten drunk and gone skinny dipping instead of doing the business of the American people.

Cumulatively, these things don’t sit well with Virginia voters, or indeed with any American voters. In Richmond people had been paying attention and they were angry. They turned up in record numbers for a primary and send Mr. Cantor packing.

#13 Comment By William Dalton On June 16, 2014 @ 2:46 pm

Rossbach:

“This is the approach to “immigration reform” that helped to create today’s massive illegal immigration problem. Amnesty (by any name) can never be a solution to the problem of illegal immigration, as was shown by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. We granted amnesty to 3 million illegal aliens and their number today has nearly quadrupled.”

Amnesty worked very well when granted in 1986. Those to whom it was given have continued to contribute to the nation’s economy and the payment of the burden of its taxes. The continued flow of illegal immigrants is the outcome of Congress’ failure to provide for legal immigration sufficient to meet the growing demand for unskilled labor in the 90’s and early 21st Century, particularly in low-paying fields of agricultural production, poultry processing, housekeeping and other physically demanding work. After amnesty for working “illegals” already here, the first piece of immigration reform which needs to pass is one which will allow U.S. employers to import any foreign workers they are willing to post bond against damages due to criminal wrongdoing and to indemnify taxpayers for the costs of any welfare or other public benefits paid to such workers. That will allow the demand for workers to be filled without unfair competition given the domestic workforce, and will assure such immigrants not become a burden on the public fisc.

#14 Comment By ThomasH On June 16, 2014 @ 4:46 pm

Republicans politicians failed to support GWB’s immigration bill out of fear of a few opponents. That only encouraged opposition and the party will continue to pay for this mistake for a long time.

#15 Comment By Ed On June 16, 2014 @ 5:54 pm

I think Chuck Todd, ironically enough provided the best analysis I’ve heard to date about Cantor’s loss. He said it was due to the children rushing the border and Drudge/Ingraham/Levin hammering the issue.

I think if this story continues into the fall even the Dems will begin to feel the heat.

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#16 Comment By M_Young On June 16, 2014 @ 7:07 pm

“Amnesty worked very well when granted in 1986. Those to whom it was given have continued to contribute to the nation’s economy and the payment of the burden of its taxes. ”

You have absolutely no evidence for that. In California, the most illegal (and legal) immigration impacted state, we have had a 40+ percent increase in sales taxes since 1991, when the amnestied started legalizing. The vast majority of Mexican immigrant-headed households receive some form of federal aid. This means they are not paying enough taxes to cover the costs they impose.

#17 Comment By M_Young On June 16, 2014 @ 7:09 pm

“Republicans politicians failed to support GWB’s immigration bill out of fear of a few opponents. That only encouraged opposition and the party will continue to pay for this mistake for a long time.”

LOL. It wasn’t a ‘few opponents’, it was a massive, grass roots effort directed on a shoestring budget (esp. compared to the plutocrats arrayed for amnesty). And you know what, Pete Wilson won on a tough on illegal immigration platform twenty years ago (despite ‘the narrative’ that would have you believe he lost).

#18 Comment By M_Young On June 16, 2014 @ 7:13 pm

“The continued flow of illegal immigrants is the outcome of Congress’ failure to provide for legal immigration sufficient to meet the growing demand for unskilled labor in the 90′s and early 21st Century, particularly in low-paying fields of agricultural production, poultry processing, housekeeping and other physically demanding work.”

Are you daft?

The way to a high value economy is not to import unskilled workers. Agriculture and poultry processing can be automated, and when it can’t in shouldn’t be done here (Mexico has fertile land and enough water, as well as labor).

Kids can flip burgers, throughout the country men mow their own lawns and women clean their own floors. We don’t need to import servants — you might notice that countries with a large servile class are generally crappy places to live.

#19 Comment By Glaivester On June 16, 2014 @ 8:58 pm

The continued flow of illegal immigrants is the outcome of Congress’ failure to provide for legal immigration sufficient to meet the growing demand for unskilled labor in the 90′s and early 21st Century, particularly in low-paying fields of agricultural production, poultry processing, housekeeping and other physically demanding work.

Maybe if there were less unskilled labor, those fields would not be low-paying.]

Admit it, Dalton: you want American to be Brazil, with a wealthy elite and a huge mass of peasants.

The fact is the United States has only two “enforceable” borders – the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, which form an impenetrable bulwark against any boat or aircraft incapable of surmounting their distances, making the task of interdicting the few that can a manageable function for law enforcement. The borders with Canada and Mexico are not so defensible.

Oh, bah. The reason we have a hard time defending our borders is that any effective measure is derided by the media as racist (see SB 1070 in Arizona).

If we are to believe that we can combat climate change by making changes in our energy generation and use, I see no reason why somehow immigration must be considered an unstoppable force of nature. The truth is, you pretend it’s unstoppable because you don’t want to stop it.

But it does no good for America, much less the immigrants whose status is in question, particularly those who, children ten years ago are now adults needing post-secondary schooling and jobs to support themselves and their families, to pretend that giving them legal papers can wait until “our borders” are made “sufficiently secure”.

As you can see from what is happening on the border now, even planning to grant legal status to illegal aliens causes more of them to come. Even if amnesty were wise, to do it before the borders are secure is simply to invite an invasion of more illegal aliens. To claim that it “can’t wait until our borders are secure” is basically to argue against ever securing them, as after they have amnesty, there will be no attempts to secure the border then.

#20 Comment By Winston On June 16, 2014 @ 11:32 pm

US is mirroring what happening in UK. Here its the Latinos;there its the Eastern Europeans.
One should ask why are immigrants blamed? Are they the fall guy for the real problem?

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Here’s where all those middle-class jobs went
[23]
Middle-Skill Jobs Lost in U.S. Labor Market Polarization

#21 Comment By Barry On June 17, 2014 @ 9:24 am

A few comments:

First, the Wall St Journal editorial page is a pack of lies.

Second, ‘Note that Graham floated a constitutional amendment reforming birthright citizenship ‘ means a partial repeal of the 14th Amendment. Now, I know that this is popular among Confederates Patriotic Americans, but it ain’t going to help the right.

#22 Comment By Barry On June 17, 2014 @ 9:25 am

“The continued flow of illegal immigrants is the outcome of Congress’ failure to provide for legal immigration sufficient to meet the growing demand for unskilled labor in the 90′s and early 21st Century, particularly in low-paying fields of agricultural production, poultry processing, housekeeping and other physically demanding work. ”

Meaning ‘low wages’, period. It’s never meant anything else.

#23 Comment By Francis On June 17, 2014 @ 9:55 am

Illegal immigration is a red herring used to distract certain voters from issues of real impact to them that candidates have no intention of changing. Many have been mentioned:

* H1-B visas that rob Americans of high-paying jobs.

* Real Wall Street reform.

* Deficits fueled by foreign wars and a bloated defense industry.

* Domestic NSA spying.

William Dalton makes a very said point. By not increasing the number of visas for low-skilled workers, Congress effectively creates a divisive problem. Coupled with the number of high-paying tech jobs filled by foreign workers, how many Congressmen really put the interests of the American people first?

#24 Comment By FLgeezer On June 17, 2014 @ 12:50 pm

Never mentioned in all these comments is the fact that Cantor was an ardent Israel-Firster. I believe that America is wising-up and that Cantor’s fate will be that of any politician who subordinates America’s interests to those of Israel. Hope springs eternal…

#25 Comment By a Zook On June 17, 2014 @ 6:02 pm

@ Fran Macadam
You hit it right on… well said. In the days after Cantor’s defeat, I listened to these conservatives railing against immigrants for taking our jobs away…(apparently ignorant that illegal immigration has declined) Sorry but the GOP business class, Wall St (and some Dems as well) have brazenly and shamelessly driven jobs overseas – for the benefit of that small group of people and to the hurt of many. Why conservative/independent blue-color and the working poor in america can’t see this and start voting in accordance with that knowledge is interesting: it’s evidence of one of the greatest swindles of our time.

#26 Comment By a Zook On June 17, 2014 @ 6:09 pm

This “we have to secure our borders” ie make it an Iron Curtain…sounds a lot like past paranoid nations…like the USSR… Hmmm. So what if our gov becomes truly tyrannical (unlike the faux one now) and you guys want to get out? “oh s__t, my grandpappy spent his life making that wall unbreachable…now what are we going to do?”

#27 Comment By Vox Populi On June 17, 2014 @ 6:53 pm

“Republicans politicians failed to support GWB’s immigration bill out of fear of a few opponents.”

‘A few opponents’???

They broke the Senate switchboard. The Senate had never seen anything like it. That’s how ‘few’ there were. And that’s why the legislation didn’t happen.

#28 Comment By Rossbach On June 17, 2014 @ 7:46 pm

Mr. Dalton:

Amnesty only worked well for those who received it and for the cheap-labor employers who want more illegal immigration. It did absolutely nothing to address the problem of illegal immigration, which was its stated intent. How can anyone doubt that rewarding 3 million immigration scofflaws with green cards simply encouraged more illegal immigration?

The contention that the US has a labor shortage that requires mass importation of low-skilled labor is belied by the fact that we already have high rates of unemployment among workers with low levels of education and lack of marketable skills. Wages among this class have been declining for decades. If there were a shortage of unskilled labor, we should see wages rising, not falling.

The suggestion that illegal immigration is the result of insufficient legal immigration is also wrong. The US has the most generous immigration system in the world. We take in more immigrants than all other receiving countries combined. The argument that restricting immigration causes illegal immigration is like saying that housebreaking is caused by too many people locking their doors.

After another amnesty, it won’t matter what kind of immigration “reform” occurs. We will have permanently lost the battle to control our borders. There would be another demand for amnesty probably within a decade, and a much bigger one, too.

#29 Comment By M_Young On June 18, 2014 @ 11:42 am

“One should ask why are immigrants blamed? Are they the fall guy for the real problem?”

No, legal immigrants should not be blamed. After all, they are just taking advantage of bad US policy. Illegal immigrants certainly should be blamed. Surprising though it is to their supporters, they are human beings with enough intelligence to have agency, and the vast majority know that what they are doing is contrary to our laws.

But the policy of mass immigration should be blamed, and those that support it, such as the Chamber of Commerce and ethnic/racial pressure group types.

#30 Comment By M_Young On June 18, 2014 @ 11:45 am

“Illegal immigration is a red herring used to distract certain voters from issues of real impact to them that candidates have no intention of changing. Many have been mentioned:

* H1-B visas that rob Americans of high-paying jobs.”

You will find that there is a large overlap in those that oppose illegal immigration and those that oppose H1-B visas. And vice versa.

Having said that, many ‘high paying jobs’, or jobs that were formerly relatively high paying, are done by illegals. Construction is one. Line cook is another. Not every American is going to be able to code, and we should be looking out for those who aren’t.

#31 Comment By M_Young On June 18, 2014 @ 6:35 pm

“Sorry but the GOP business class, Wall St (and some Dems as well) have brazenly and shamelessly driven jobs overseas – for the benefit of that small group of people and to the hurt of many. Why conservative/independent blue-color and the working poor in america can’t see this and start voting in accordance with that knowledge is interesting:”

I really don’t get this…are you lefties so “anti-racist” that you don’t get that mass immigration and alleged job exportation are two sides of the same coin? That immigration is intimately tied to [24]? And that of those two sides, mass immigration is far worse?

It is worse because mass immigration often impacts those occupations that are difficult or impossible to export. Construction is one — these jobs are monopolized by Mexican ethnic networks in the Southwest and, apparently, in the DC metro area too. Your non-academically inclined nephew might have seen his $25/hr factory job exported, but absent mass immigration, he would be able to turn to a job as a framer, or heck, as a gardener at $15 an hour. With mass immigration, he’s working for $10.00 at Walmart.

And that isn’t even mentioning the burdens on infrastructure and public finances that immigrants — the driving force of exploding populations — impose.

#32 Comment By Annek On June 19, 2014 @ 11:39 am

Francis:

” … how many Congressmen really put the interests of the American people first?”

Yes, and how many business people put the interests of themselves ahead of the well-being of their country? I can’t understand how anyone as wealthy as Mark Zuckerburg or any of the others who support unfettered immigration can put their own personal interests ahead of our country and their fellow countrymen (and women). What’s truly shocking is the lack of regard these presumably intelligent individuals have for how these immigration policies will most likely play out down the road.

#33 Comment By oldredeye On June 19, 2014 @ 10:21 pm

Let me clue a few of you in on what’s going on out here in the hinterlands….

flat wages
shrinking real wages
a tight job market
low morale in the workplace
high unemployment rates (especially for young people and minorities)
Employment insecurity

And just what are Washington’s ideas?
Continue to increase inflation w/ QEinfinity
Flood labor market with cheap labor
More student work visas to depress seasonal wages
Reject development opportunities like Keystone pipeline

Now if any of you still don’t understand congresses record low approval rating, there’s no helping you