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Friday, October 28, 2016

Republicans are in search of an excuse to do nothing about immigration reform and leave 11 million undocumented workers toiling in the shadows.

The centrist excuse for doing nothing comes from The New York Times‘ Ross Douthat, who points out that immigration remains a low priority for voters, even Latino voters. Providing any form of legalization that allows some of those 11 million to work is essentially “amnesty,” which would be bad for wages and the job market. Even worse — it would divide the GOP and “hand President Obama a policy victory at a time when he looks like a lame duck, and demoralize the right along the way.”

The more bald-faced and craven argument comes from Ann Coulter. Her argument boils down to: Why should people who won’t vote for us be given rights?

And it’s echoed by right-wing firebrands like TownHall’s Kurt Schlichter, who calls reform a “suicide pact.”

Coulter cites statistics that show Latino and Asian voters tend to favor “big government” policies and will help create a permanent Democratic majority. The subtext of this argument is: Because Republicans know we cannot win over voters with our policies, millions of people should live third-class lives.

Both of these arguments are concerned only with the well-being of the Republican Party — which is ironic given that the one piece of advice the party gave itself after Mitt Romney’s loss was to get immigration reform out of the way.

If the GOP is looking for the right time to implement immigration reform, it was 2007 — or last summer. But in both instances the party was being held captive by the same base that pushed for the government shutdown and has no interest in the kinds of policies that actually win national elections.

Here are five reasons the GOP should admit the border is more secure than it has been in decades and act now on immigration reform. Or it can pin its hopes on voter suppression and other tactics that will hasten its long-term demise.

Photo: Fibonacci Blue via Flickr

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  • Dominick Vila

    After years of adding fuel to the fire on the issue of immigration, or more accurately, Hispanic/Latino immigration, it is not easy for the GOP to change course and embrace what Democrats have been clamoring for during the past few years. Their intransigence on this issue, fueled by the expectations of a segment of our population that fears the effects of diversity on our culture, and that looks suspiciously to anyone who looks or sounds different, is bound to have a serious impact on the GOP goal to increase the number of seats they have in the House and get control of the Senate in 2014. Race is only second to abortion for a fairly large segment of the Republican base, and they know it.

    Unfortunately for the GOP, they have no choice. They cannot afford to be viewed as bigots, particularly when a plurality of Americans favor immigration law reform, and they are well aware of the fact that the current law is discriminatory and out of touch with what is happening in most industrialized nations. We either treat everyone the same, or stop preaching equality and freedom to the rest of the world.

    The challenges the GOP is facing are compounded by the fact that legalizing the status of illegal immigrants, even if it does not include a path to citizenship, means that every immigrant in the country will enjoy the protection of our laws, regardless of whether or not they entered the country legally. Paying the former “illegals” the same wages earned by American workers would reduce the profit margin their employers are currently enjoying, may generate inflation, and may remove the incentive to hire immigrants. It may also result in the emergence of a “black market” of sorts with employers telling their immigrant workforce to either accept the wages they are offering, and keep their mouths shut, or look for a job elsewhere.

    • James Bowen

      The opposition to amnesty and immigration increases is far larger and broader than the right wing of the GOP. Officially, the GOP is in favor of amnesty and immigration increases. I don’t deny that some people might have bigoted reasons for this position, but it is far more likely they are concerned about their quality of life. A plurality of the public does not favor this: where the public is engaged on this issue, it is strongly opposed to any legalization of illegal aliens and increases in immigration whatsoever. If you don’t believe me, go to and looked at the web visitation ratings of America’s Voice, La Raza, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and compare them to NumbersUSA. By the way, the U.S. takes in far, far more immigrants than any other nation on the planet, and is only one of two industrialized nations (the other being Canada) that has birthright citizenship. Most of that immigration is from third world nations–hardly discriminatory.

      People who come illegally should have no protection from the law whatsoever. They are not citizens or legal residents/visitors, so they should have no right to any public services, including police and legal protection. Legalizing illegal aliens will legally lock in a much larger labor force, and thereby permanently decrease wages. The effects of supply and demand will far outweigh the effect of any legal protections when it comes to wages, which is why outlaw employers are pushing for amnesty so hard.

      • Dominick Vila

        I don’t know where you got the birthright citizenship information at, but it is inconsistent with my personal experiences during the 30 years I lived, studied, and worked overseas. In Spain, one of the countries where I worked at a NASA tracking station in the early days of the space race, people who can prove that one of their parents or grandparents were born in Spain can apply for citizenship and get it without impediment. The same is true in the UK, where I spent a year studying. Tens of thousands of immigrants, mostly from Commonwealth (present and former) places (mostly from Caribbean Islands) go there to work and live, and have no problem with citizenship matters. Thousands of people from countries like India, Pakistan and other nations that were once under the so-called British mandate have no problem legalizing their status and enjoying the protection of British laws and opportunities. Similar circumstance existed in Venezuela when I lived there. That may have changed as a result of Chavez’s policies.

        • Dominick Vila

          BTW, the amnesty that former President Reagan granted to 5 million illegal immigrants in 1986 did not include provisions barring them from becoming U.S. citizens…

          • James Bowen

            Reagan was a disaster. Supply side economics, massive deficits, and amnesty are his damaging legacy. He had a likeable personality, but his policies were miserable failures.

          • Robert Roberto

            I like to read negative and positive remarks, so we can have both sides of the story.

          • daniel bostdorf

            IBID from my comment at top–poster James Bowen please…ignore him.

          • James Bowen

            No counter-argument yet?

        • James Bowen

          It has been in that last 30 years that industrialized nations have gotten rid of birthright citizenship for non-permanent residents. Canada and the U.S. are the only holdouts left. Ireland actually had a national referendum on the issue in 2001, and its citizens voted to abolish it.

        • daniel bostdorf

          hey dominick–remember—See my comment at top about poster James Bowen please…ignore him. Please don’t feed him…

          • James Bowen

            Still no counter-argument?

      • howa4x

        The only real Americans are the Indians, the rest of the country are immigrants

        • James Bowen

          By that logic, the American Indians are immigrant too. After all, they descend in large part from paleo-Siberian people who immigrated to the Americas near the end of the Ice Age.

    • disqus_fsqeoY3FsG

      How long is the “Pathway” to legalization and what is there status and treatment until that is achieved? Once they have paid back taxes and a fine (to be determined) than they earn the status of “Legal Immigrant”. As a “Legal Immigrant” they will pay taxes, (local, state and Federal), they will be able to join the arm forces and fight, possible die for the U.S. defending Democracy at home and abroad, but they will not have a say in what legislation is passed or our elected officials. They will still be treated and thought as “Second Class Citizens”.

      • Dominick Vila

        I have no idea what is going to be in the bill, if one is agreed upon, but it will not surprise me if there is a request for increased border security, a fine, and verification that those living in the USA illegally did not break other U.S. laws. I am almost certain that there will not be provisions for citizenship, and I don’t have a problem with that. They broke our laws and they should be grateful if we grant them permanent residency status. That’s the least anyone should expect after deliberately breaking our laws.
        I expect a positive outcome on the “anchor baby” issue, if nothing else because our Constitution stipulates that anyone born in the USA is automatically a U.S. citizen. The ability of small children, who entered the country illegally with their parents, to have a path to citizenship is questionable. I favor it.

        • disqus_fsqeoY3FsG

          Normally I share your point of view, but on this one Dominick I respectfully disagree.

  • James Bowen

    The opposition to giving legal status to illegal aliens is far, far broader than the right wing of the GOP. Anybody noticed that immigration is not exactly being pushed hard by the Democrats in the House either?

    It is actually not certain whether something like the Senate bill would pass in the House. It might, but it might not either.

    Also, why has the term self-deportation been so demonized? All that means is that immigration laws would actually be enforced in the workplace and on the ground. This would make it very, very difficult for illegal aliens to make a living in the U.S., and thereby economically incentivize them to leave.

    Finally, Pres. Obama has not deported more illegal aliens than any previous president. The numbers are inflated due to counting apprehended border jumpers as deportees, something that wasn’t traditionally done. Pres. Obama himself admitted this himself in 2011.

    We must do whatever it takes to stop amnesty and immigration increases.

  • howa4x

    The single biggest obstacle to immigration reform was for the GOP to open up the party to the tealiban. Since they are the true believers taking over the primary process was a no brainer. The TP sees this differently than the rest of America. To them it is a fight for survival of the white Christian nation they think they live in and this is why they won’t compromise on this issue. It is also why republicans cynically fire them up on this issue when it suits their interests. The passage of immigration reform in the senate made bases heads spin around like Linda Blair,in the exorcist. Now, how do you get the base to calm down? GOP central will wait till after the primary to place a vote and not make it an issue to bring out the crazies in that phase of the election.. They also want to see who survives the tealiban challenges. This is what I see them doing.

    • daniel bostdorf

      See my comment at top about poster James Bowen please…ignore him.

      • James Bowen

        Still no rebuttal to my posts?

    • James Bowen

      The opposition to amnesty and immigration increases is far, far broader than the Tea Party and the hard core GOP right. Notice that the Democrats in the House are not pushing that hard on this issue. The push for more immigration comes from wealthy interests who stand to profit from more cheap labor. This is not a right wing fringe issue, this is an issue of the working and middle classes vs. the wealthy elite (i.e. the 1%).

      • howa4x

        I don’t know where you live but in NJ there is no hard core opposition to immigrants other than tea party climate denier types. I agree with your point about the 1%. Agra business was the 1st to bring in cheap labor from Mexico and the food industry regularly imported them. They filled a niche since people weren’t lining up to pick lettuce all day. Today mostly they are still in agriculture,restaurant kitchens and as landscapers or as helpers in the trades. It was also the 1% that used illegal immigrants to break the back of unions which republicans and the chamber of Commerce still are working hard at. It was unions that built the middle class and whose children were the 1st to be mass educated and off to college.
        I have a contractor friend who is a framer who advertised for weeks to get an American citizen to work with him and the only applicants that had applied were illegals. My brother in law owns a plumbing contracting company and it is very hard to find young people who will do that hard physical labor as a helper. They are doing distasteful jobs that Americans don’t want to do. Secondly we as a country are out of shape for these jobs. With over 60% of adults being overweight and 35% obese, not many people any more will work construction for 8 hrs a day as a laborer for minimum wage. As a side note the joint chiefs of staff are finding 14% of young people too fat to fight, so we have issues about this.
        Immigration currently is rebuilding the inner cities and that is not only from the south but from Asia and Europe.
        This is how America was built with immigrants moving into run down areas of inner cities. We should encourage this a way to rebuild them since whites aren’t moving there and we need to recapitalize them.
        Republicans are also against immigration because they see the ranks of the democratic party swelling and are afraid if they give a pathway to citizenship eventually they will cease being a national party.
        Lets look at the really big picture for a moment. The baby boom was/is the largest generation to hit the planet. Newer generations are not near as big, and the birth rate is declining. Think of the republican base and what everyone says about them, they are older whites. So who will fund future social security? How will we expand the tax pool? who will pay for future bridges and roads and everything else? Immigrants that’s who. So we have to find a way to get them to pay taxes and SS and all our other needs. It is in our own interest.
        I will answer your other post. A study was conducted over 10 yrs. taking the DNA of 350,000 people from all over the world every country, and it concluded that we all have the same genetic markers from 1 area of Africa. So we all immigrated from there to everywhere on the planet.

        • James Bowen

          Okay, where do I start?

          First of all, saying that there are jobs that Americans won’t do is a vicious and condescending insult to your fellow countrymen. It is also simply not true. Most jobs that are supposedly “jobs Americans won’t do” are in fact done mostly by Americans. The presence of cheap foreign labor has depressed their wages big time, however. Americans will do any job so long as the pay is worth their time and effort. Coal miners in West Virginia are a prime example, not to mention American Marines in southern Afghanistan ((I don’t think it gets much more miserable than that). Businesses which say they can’t find Americans to do their jobs are not looking hard enough. Trust me, with our current unemployment, their are plenty of them. Foreign workers are not superhuman. Americans can do any job that foreigners can (keep in mind that Mexico, not the U.S., is now the most obese nation in the world).

          Let’s look at the really big picture for a moment. America was built by settling and pushing physical frontiers. This is now a totally settled continent, and there is no more room for millions of immigrants. Our unemployment/underemployment, our overused public infrastructure, our national debt, and strains on vital natural resources such as water in the Western states are all testament to the fact that we have too many people as it is in our country. Immigration is the driver of U.S. population growth, therefore it must be reduced to levels that match emigration rates. There are limits to how many people our country can provide for, and we can’t bring in everybody who wants to come. Net zero immigration and sub-replacement fertility would ultimately result in population stabilization in the U.S., which is something that is necessary. Bringing in millions upon millions of people will make our problems unsolvable. Seriously, what are we going to do when those immigrants get old, import 10 billion more?

          Finally, it is not just tea party types who oppose amnesty and immigration expansion. It is also blacks, union members (in spite of the official position of their organizations), politically moderate middle class workers, etc. There is very, very little popular support for amnesty and immigration expansion. Almost all of the support for it comes from the wealthy. If you don’t believe me, go to and compare the website visitation of expansionist groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, La Raza, and America’s Voice with that of NumbersUSA.

  • Bill

    I’m sorry but I feel the minimum wage is a far more important issue than Immigration reform. Raising the minimum wage would help far more people than immigration reform. What I see is both sides playing games with it to get more votes, for once I would like to see congress do something to help the American people because its the right thing to do instead of playing games to get more votes.

    • daniel bostdorf

      Hi Bill–while the article is about immigration…We need to scrap the concept of minimum wage…..we need a guaranteed yearly income based upon Federal poverty statistics by state that links this to jobs created to repair and rebuild this country from top to bottom based NOT upon war and the military….but on peace and taking care of everyone that wants a job and is able to work.

      If this concept is good enough for Richard Nixon back in 1969….it is good enough for us in 2014.

      “Guaranteed Annual Income legislation

      In August 1969, in the eighth month of his presidency, Richard Nixon delivered a speech proposing the replacement of AFDC with a program that would benefit “the working poor, as well as the nonworking; to families with dependent children headed by a father, as well as those headed by a mother.” In case the point was missed, he continued: “What I am proposing is that the Federal Government build a foundation under the income of every American family with dependent children that cannot care for itself — and wherever in America that family may live.”

      From the article:

      “Imagine this headline: “House of Representatives approves proposal for guaranteed annual income by wide margin.” The passage of that kind of social welfare measure sounds wholly implausible today, but, in fact, the House did pass such a bill in April of 1970 by a vote of 243 to 155. The measure, The New York Times reported, “establishes for the first time the principle that the Government should guarantee every family a minimum annual income.”

      Read here about Nixon’s idea:,0

      Back in 1967 Dr. Martin Luther King and highly respected economists both Democrat and Repiublican proposed a guaranteed annual income as the final way to eliminate poverty once and for all.

      Concept is outlined here:

      From the article:

      “Rev. Dr. King viewed the guaranteed income as the way to abolish poverty. It does have that effect, but when prRev. Dr. King viewed the guaranteed income as the way to abolish poverty. It does have that effect, but when properly funded (not touching earned income) and properly distributed (to all people), it becomes more than that — it can be a fundamental instrument of economic justice.operly funded (not touching earned income) and properly distributed (to all people), it becomes more than that — it can be a fundamental instrument of economic justice.”

      This is a no brainer…../A guaranteed annual out of poverty level annual income would eliminate all antiquated social programs and nearly all entitlements. It would make this country the leader in eliminating poverty once and for all. In addition, We need livable affordable housing, and a pathway to home ownership with all the positive economic consequences.


      The article link contains a dollar figure in 1967 as needing 20 billion to do this.

      In 1967 1 million dollars is now $6,978,113.77.

      (7 times factoring inflation:

      A 1000 million is a billion.

      Therefore—we would need only 140 billion. Easily obtainable by transfering that out of existing trillion dollar social programs, and creating a single source for all social programs integrated into a guranteed wage that has a job attached to it.

      Other areas to get the money?

      Policy Basics: Where Do Our Federal Tax Dollars Go? read here:

      The consequences are very clear and far more logical than the entire mess of dozens of social welfare programs: We have those that were once poor, no job, no way up and out of poverty now NOT poor. They are tax payers.

      • Bill

        Good ideas but I don’t see anything like that ever getting through congress. The GOP is so busy protecting the rich that there is nothing they are willing to do for the poor or the economy. I also find that the more complex a plan the less efficient it ends up being. The minimum wage is the best I believe we can hope for and I also believe $10.10 is too low because if it was tied to inflation it would be higher than that. Whenever the minimum wage is increased it is always placed low to make the GOP happy and give it a chance to pass but with the GOP we have now nothing is possible. While I understand the importance of immigration reform I feel we should be doing what will help the most people. Everyone would benefit from a raise in the minimum wage that is tied to inflation so the poor are not always left behind.

        • daniel bostdorf

          Here is a must read about what 410 an hour gets you: $10 an hour, with no way out —
          An 11-hour shift with a Baltimore security guard in Harbor East illuminates how low-wage work turns into a trap


          OK–let us look at $15 per hour because 10.10 an hour is bogus to survive on…

          Lets take a $15/hour “livable wage” scenario:
          (which it isn’t)

          $15/hour is $420 a week 28 hours part time. $21840 yearly . Still poverty level.
          $15/hour full time is $600 a week/ $31200 yearly. Still near or at poverty if you consider family size.

          Federal poverty guidelines here:

          I agree with what you state:
          “I don’t see anything like that ever getting through congress. The GOP is so busy protecting the rich that there is nothing they are willing to
          do for the poor or the economy.”

  • daniel bostdorf

    Once again, as I have warned NM readers before—-I need to point out
    that there is an organization that is pushing discriminatory
    anti-immigration in the guise of population control in California. It
    wants to spread lies and distortions nationwide about what legalizing
    illegal immigrants would do to the USA and its workers…… The group
    is called Californians for Population Stabilization . It is being
    investigated for some questionable positions.

    And the poster”James Bowen, is a personal friend of the organizer of this fascistic propaganda campaign…that is why he continually posts here in an attempt to spread this groups, in my opinion, racist and fascistic ideology about immigrants…

    The original article was posted at huffpost (that I referenced below) that
    falsely suggested legalizing illegal immigrants is somehow wrong for
    this country. The author who wrote this article is Joe Guzzardi, the
    National Media Director for Californians for Population Stabilization

    News story here about Californians for Population Stabilization:

    California org. focused on curbing population growth under scrutiny for
    anti-immigrant stance by Adrian Carrasquillo 12:29 am on 03/23/2013

    From the article:

    “The nonprofit Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) is under
    scrutiny for comments made by a member of the organization who said the
    DREAM Act is dangerous because children of “illegal aliens” may be
    communists or drug smugglers and because of ads against proposed parts
    of immigration reform like legalization or a path to citizenship for
    undocumented immigrants, a dicey area to wade into for a
    nonprofit…Marilyn Deyoung, chairman of the board for CAPS, was
    interviewed by Cuentame, a Latino social media advocacy organization,
    which posted the video on Youtube……“A baby can join a gang and then
    commit a crime, a baby can drop out of school and become a criminal, a
    baby grows up,” she said about immigrants. “The DREAM act is dangerous,
    children of illegal aliens who were brought here under this stupid
    birthright citizenship visa. They’re not getting into the depth of
    whether they’re communist or whether they’re drug smugglers or had
    felonies or had been in prison or anything. They know how to game our
    benefits — they’re on food stamps, they go to the hospital, get free
    education, free medical care.”..

    I caution many here that there is a concerted effort, here at National Memo by James Bowden, to push propaganda and lies about the dangers of legalizing illegal immigrants…this demonization of illegal immigrants
    is UnAmerican and should be seen for what it is…propaganda….and in
    my opinion….the worst form of discrimination against these

    Here is Bowens exchange with me when he was caught in his propaganda and exposed for being a shill of this group:

    James Bowen daniel bostdorf

    • 2 days ago

    population growth is unsustainable, and illegal immigration (and
    illegal immigrant fertility) is a significant contributor to that
    growth. I don’t see what is so questionable about what Joe Guzzardi said
    here. These are valid concerns (at least about them being drug
    smugglers). Rep. Steve King of Iowa expressed similar concerns last
    summer, and was unfairly crucified in the media for doing so. He stood
    his ground.

    my response:
    daniel bostdorf James Bowen

    • 2 days ago

    You need to check out who Guzzardi is. And you are obviously in need of
    fact checking your beliefs about immigration….and…get back on
    topic…so getting back to Decker again…”But a quick examination of
    leadership’s one-page “Standards for Immigration Reform” memo, a draft
    copy of which Politico has published online, suggests plenty of reasons
    to doubt that Republicans are really ready to move on a comprehensive
    immigration reform plan. In fact, such a move may be even less likely
    than it was a year ago…..But as long as the GOP is still trumpeting a
    “border ” security first, citizenship never” strategy, it’s a fair bet
    that Republicans are more interested in appearing as though they want to
    take action than they are in actually doing something.” This is the
    point of the article—what the GOP is willing or not willing to
    do….not anti- immigration reform…

    James Bowen daniel bostdorf

    • 2 days ago

    I am proud to say that I personally know Joe Guzzardi and I often read his columns. They are usually “right on the money”.

    my response
    daniel bostdorf James Bowen

    • 2 days ago

    Then you have just produced the “mea culpa” of being a propagandist for the Californians for Population Stabilization that Guzzardi produces in my
    opinion racist and discriminatory lies about immigrants.

    REPORT: ““This is what these pro-nativism, anti-immigrant groups do,” he says. “They push an agenda predicated on lies, hate and misinformation and when confronted – they backtrack. Say it wasn’t them – like kids, except their words harm people — the real lives of immigrants and Latinos.””

    James Bowen is not to be trusted.
    He needs to be ignored.

    Here is link to other National Memo article:

    and more propaganda by Bowen here:

  • daniel bostdorf

    5 reasons why immigration is good for America:

    1. Immigrants Start Companies and Create Jobs

    President Obama said it himself on Tuesday, “In recent years, one in four high-tech startups in America were founded by immigrants. One in four new small business owners were immigrants.” According to the Kauffman Foundation these immigrant-founded companies produced $52 billion in sales and employed 450,000 workers in 2005.

    2. Immigrants Are Innovators

    The Kauffman Foundation also points out that in 2006 foreigners residing in the U.S. were named as inventors or co-inventors of one-quarter of all patent applications filed from the U.S.

    3. Immigrants Work for the American Dream

    A 2011 Brookings Institution analysis of immigrant skills and employment in the U.S. found that low-skilled immigrants in the country had a higher level of employment and a lower rate of household poverty than native low-skilled populations, despite the fact that employed immigrants earned $5,000 less than employed natives.

    Immigrants have taken the risk to leave home and are focused on finding work and building a better life for their families. A study by demographers at the University of Southern California estimates that by 2030, nearly 70 percent of Latinos who came to the U.S. during the 1990s are expected to own a home.

    4. The Demand for Immigrants Will Rise

    We may not realize it yet in the U.S. but the competition is on to attract young, talented immigrant workers. As the “developed world” grows older we will need younger, mobile workers to spur economic growth and help pay for the benefits of the post-war baby boom generation.

    A recent article in Bloomberg Businessweek by Charles Kenney reminds us that some countries, including the U.K., Australia, and Canada, have already taken measures to ease the visa process for foreign students and innovators. Kenney argues that “given the first-mover advantage (countries that open their doors to migrants from a particular country subsequently attract more migrants from that country), reform is an urgent priority.”

    5. Immigrants Can Help Boost Sagging Fertility Rates and Spur Economic Growth

    As populations get older, they are less productive and more costly to take care of. A young workforce is key to maintaining productivity and economist growth.

    An aging population and sagging fertility used to be a problem faced only by Europe and Japan but since the financial crisis U.S. fertility has dropped below the replacement rate of around 2.1 children born per woman.

    Immigrants can help raise fertility rates not just by having more children but also lowering the cost of child care. A Hebrew University (Jerusalem) studyfound that an important reason for historically large families in the U.S. was cheap child care, much of it provided by undocumented workers.

    Kenney, of the Bloomberg Businessweek, points out that “If low-skilled migration stops, the fertility rate could remain permanently depressed, in which case the long-term “crisis” in entitlement programs, from Medicare to Social Security, that rely on a good ratio of workers to retirees will become an urgent problem.”

    More here: