Democrats fear debate about DREAMers will pivot to one on "chain migration"

Bush and Bolick point out that the lack of an effective and rational work-visa system similar to the one that Canada and Australia use has cost this country in several ways. First, as the Wall Street Journal editorial page points out, it creates an unbalanced immigration flow: “It makes sense to focus on uniting nuclear families with dependent children rather than extended families.” Second, it has contributed to a polarizing immigration debate because Americans can’t accept that a doctor from Greece can’t immigrate here while a cab driver from Guatemala who is someone’s cousin can. Right now, only one in 15 of the more than 1 million immigrants who are admitted every year are given a visa because of their job skills or entrepreneurial ability. And third, the focus on family unification, and the resulting lack of a rational work-visa program, means that for most aspiring immigrants, their only choice is the arbitrary “diversity lottery” whereby visas are awarded randomly to 55,000 foreigners. As Jeb Bush and Clint Bolick point out, “there are roughly 250 applicants for each [diversity] visa every year. The absence of a meaningful avenue of access increases the pressure for illegal immigration.”

It’s because Democrats fear that bringing these facts to light in a debate over Dreamers that they are trying to run away from the term “chain migration.” Media Matters, the pro–Hillary Clinton propaganda group, derides the term as “a misleading nativist buzzword.”

For his part, Representative Luis Gutiérrez (D., Ill.) distorted what critics of “chain migration” are against when on Sunday he accused them, on ABC’s This Week, of wanting “to end legal immigration.” He said the very term “chain migration” was offensive to him as a Hispanic and went on to say that the practice is “really about family reunification. It’s about a mom bringing their children, about children bringing their moms, about husband and a wife, those are the visas they’re going after.” Actually, almost every proposal to reform the system would still allow people to petition to bring immediate family members into the country. Family is the bedrock of our society, and immediate families should be together.