I thought I came from America, but now I know better.
— The White House (@whitehouse) May 8, 2013
That’s their new grassroots-mobilizing gimmick in support of the Gang of Eight’s amnesty bill. Rewarding illegals with citizenship flows as naturally and logically from having legal immigrants as ancestors as expanding background checks does from a school shooting committed by a lunatic who stole guns purchased legally by his mother. Follow the link in the tweet and share your “story” to remind Congress that basic border enforcement is for nativist trolls.
Here’s a story. Once upon a time, millions upon millions of immigrants came to America and paid their own way because there was no welfare state. Dan Foster:
[P]ro-amnesty Republicans should admit that their anti-amnesty colleagues raise a legitimate concern, and they should use the debate as an opportunity to strike a compromise: Amend the Gang of Eight bill to include means-testing, market-like competition, and block grants for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, respectively, along with a gradual scaling-back to pre-recession levels for food stamps, unemployment benefits, and the like. Allay the Heritage crowd’s concerns by trading amnesty for significant entitlement reform.
Such a move would for sure bring more Republicans on board, while helping relieve Marco Rubio from the Chuck Schumer–shaped albatross around his neck. It might, it just might, stop the melee on the right long enough to shift the pressure to the Senate Democrats by forcing them to assess their own priorities. And it would revive “grand bargain” talks in a creative and unexpected way, a way that precludes talk of tax increases altogether.
Of course, there is probably one chance in 10,000 that such a “grand bargain” could become law. Likelier, stapling amnesty to entitlement reform would doom “comprehensive immigration reform” entirely. But for those of us who think there is currently more bad than good in the bill, and who prefer a piecemeal approach, that’s quite an acceptable loss.
Right. Ted Cruz is sponsoring an amendment that would permanently bar legalized illegals from receiving welfare, but there’s not a prayer that Mediscare-fearing Republicans would push hard for broader entitlement reform as a condition of amnesty. Remember, the whole point of this grand immigration pander from the GOP’s perspective is to ingratiate itself with Latino voters, and Latino voters tend to support entitlements even more than much of the rest of the entitlement-loving American public does. We’re stuck with the welfare state in its current form (at least until people stop loaning us money), which is one big reason to oppose amnestizing lots of illegals. Justin Green:
[R]ecent arrivals are considerably less educated than they need to be to achieve the American dream. They, their children, and likely their grandchildren will disproportionately rely on the benefits a strong welfare state can provide. In addition, by bringing in these workers, the wage floor for low-skilled labor will remain low, meaning more native born Americans will also need to rely on the welfare state.
Unlike the 20th century, today’s workers will need a college degree — or some other form of advanced training — to attract the lifetime earnings required to raise a family without strong state assistance. That’s not because they’re lazy or indolent. It’s what the market increasingly deems worthy for someone without advanced skills. By bringing in further low skilled immigrants, we’ll only exacerbate an existing problem.
And shockingly, those newly legalized immigrants and their native born low-skilled counterparts are not going to be with you on the crusade to slash the welfare state.
One possible solution is to demystify college degrees as a de facto prerequisite for decent-paying jobs, but The One himself has talked up education beyond high school for all Americans. DrewM asks a good question too: “If low skill workers are the key to prosperity, why do we spend hundreds of billions dollars a year on educations and training programs?” Middle-class American parents spend 18-21 years terrorized by the thought that their children might not finish school and end up with thankless, low-paying jobs — and now they’re being told that bringing in millions of people in that exact situation is nothing but upside for America. You won’t see that story on the White House website.
Here’s the poor sap who got stuck being Team O’s new messaging prop. Better him than five-year-olds, right?