Zach Dexter of Carolina Review points out that when it comes to immigration, today’s liberals embrace the worst aspects of the issue which are in fact, completely at odds with each other.
In a July 1st, 2010 speech, President Obama said that a “steady stream of hardworking and talented people has made America the engine of the global economy and a beacon of hope around the world.” But the immigration policies that President Obama and his Democrat allies in Congress have supported helped shut the border to skilled and unskilled workers who want to enter the country legally.
No one should be surprised that leftists like President Obama oppose immigration; we should expect their inconsistent left-wing ideology to lead to mutually exclusive policy proposals. Paul Krugman admitted as much in a March 27, 2006 column: “Immigration is an intensely painful topic for a liberal like myself, because it places basic principles in conflict. Should migration from Mexico to the United States be celebrated, because it helps very poor people find a better life? Or should it be condemned, because it drives down the wages of working Americans and threatens to undermine the welfare state?” Two incongruous claims illuminate this conflict.
First, leftists claim that open borders hurt workers by forcing union workers to compete with immigrants, sparking a “race to the bottom” for wages. So they propose that we severely cap legal immigration. Second, leftists insist that it is racist or unfair to enforce laws that require people who enter the United States to obtain permission first. They say that many people who cross the border illegally are just looking to earn higher wages and positively contribute to society by filling “jobs Americans won’t take.” So they propose that we grant amnesty to illegal immigrants.
The latter proposal would simulate the economic effects of mass legal immigration because formerly illegal workers would enter the market for legal labor. Immigration cannot both raise and lower the wages and living standards of working Americans at the same time, so the two leftist claims are mutually exclusive.