Over on Earth 2, it’s Trump who tweeted something implying that “merit” and “Latinos” don’t really go together and Ilhan Omar who spent the rest of the day tweeting at him that he’s a racist.
We’re stuck with Ryan Saavedra’s screencap of her tweet, as she flushed the original down the memory hole. Probably after someone pointed out to her that this sounds … not so good.
Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN) just deleted this tweet where she appeared to suggest that Latinos can't measure up in a "merit-based" immigration system. pic.twitter.com/ak9EKVdN0i
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) May 29, 2019
What did Pelosi once say about Omar? That she has a “different experience in the use of words”?
That tweet was pretty different.
Ted Cruz converted the easy lay-up on one of the GOP’s least favorite Democrats:
As the son of a Cuban immigrant whose Dad came to get a math degree & become a computer programmer, I’m troubled that Dems seem to believe Hispanic immigrants can’t qualify for skills-based legal immigration. Bringing in more scientists, engineers & doctors is good for US jobs. https://t.co/iugniZgJtL
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) May 29, 2019
What I think she meant to say, as this later tweet made clearer, is that some supporters of skills-based immigration may themselves be motivated by prejudice against Latinos. She’s not claiming that Latinos can’t clear the “merit” bar, in other words, she’s accusing border hawks of believing that they can’t clear it, citing a recent study published in WaPo. Researchers ran some experiments and found that people who back merit-based immigration “were more likely to penalize a Hispanic immigrant for being low-skilled than a white immigrant,” a useful warning against letting racial bias influence how a skills-based system is administered.
But that’s not why Omar is interested in the study. She’s citing it to try to discredit a skills-based paradigm for immigration altogether, of course. What she wants, like all of the progressives in the House caucus, is an immigration system with fewer (any?) barriers to entry. No skills required, presumably little facility with English or cultural affinity for American civic values required. Old-school socialists like Bernie Sanders remain wary of wage pressures created by importing low-skilled immigrants en masse but the younger identitarian class in Congress seems not yet to have encountered grounds for exclusion that they can support. Presumably Omar would support barring criminals from entry. Beyond that?
Note the bit at the end of her deleted tweet about a simpler pathway to citizenship, too. She’s not just talking about work permits here. And it ain’t just the socialists in the caucus who are preparing to hand out citizenship like candy if they win power.