Legalization without citizenship: The worst of all worlds on immigration reform

Just a reminder that this clever position isn’t, as some have charged, the Worst of Both Worlds for Republicans. It’s the Worst of Four Worlds. They are: 1) Vitiates the border: By legalizing those who crossed illegally before finishing the job of securing the borders, it virtually guarantees that job won’t be finished (as it wasn’t after the 1986 amnesty). Will immigrants who make it across in future years be denied another amnesty? No. We’ll be locked into serial amnesties; 2) Issue so not off table: It will be weeks, not years, before Republicans are again tarred as disrespectful of hard-working Latinos. After all, why else would they relegate the newly legalized illegals to second-class, non-citizenship (“Juan Crow”) status? Winning full, equal citizenship for these new legal residents could become a winning Democratic cause for decades. 3) Low wages: There’d be more competition, especially for unskilled Americans (and legal immigrants) from a) legalized illegals freed to move into new occupations, b) new illegals attracted by the near-certain prospect of Amnesty III, and c) the millions of new low (and high) skilled legal immigrants created by a rough doubling of visas. Tight labor markets boost wages. This is the opposite. 4) Long term Republican decline: Eventually those legalized will be given the vote. Result: By 2036, 17 million potential new voters for Republicans to lose 60-40. That doesn’t even count their children. Why would a majority of the GOP majority go for this quadruple disaster? Corporate lobbying money. Don’t answer that.

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