IMMIGRATION: The reform debate and mixed alliances

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The immigration reform debate has always created alliances uncommon in regular domestic political battles, as illustrated in this LA Times story.

So moderate and upper-class Republicans and liberals join together. Working-class Democrats and working-class Republican often band together in opposition, joining many of those who live in the area most impacted by the smuggling of illegal immigration — Arizona of late.

It’s all about who is harmed and who is hurt by immigration, seems to me.

I know that it’s fashionable to call those opposed to immigration reform racists or bigots. I don’t see that. I think that’s specious, bogus and facile — an ad hominem attack that mostly reflects someone wanting to silence someone else, not address a point of view.IMG_9784

I’m quite sure there are some racists out there. But really, your feeling on immigration reform corresponds most strongly to whether you perceive yourself bearing costs or reaping benefits from immigration.

Working-class black Americans seem, from my vantage point, particularly opposed to more immigration from Mexico and Central America. That’s not surprising, as those immigrants take jobs that those black Americans might well have had — and I’m not referring to fast food work, but to jobs in other, slightly higher paid sectors: truck driving, for example. Construction and landscaping are others.

Another group with some opposition to Mexican and Central American immigration — and for the same reason — are working-class Mexican-Americans. I’ve had fascinating conversations with some Mexican-Americans, whose relatives came here in the 1920s, about what they termed the “invasion” of Mexican immigrants who took the jobs in their neighborhoods (restaurant, car wash) that Mexican-American kids usually considered theirs.

IMG_7969When the LA Times publishes an immigration story (of any kind) the comment section quickly fills with illiterate, trashy, bickering comments. This one is interesting, though:

“I am a working class democrat.

I have wanted less immigration for years.  Immigrtaion hurts the environment. depresses wages, steals job opportunities, reduces civic involvement, and creates divisions where none existed before to create a distraction from the rich at the top pitting black against brown against white, and left against right while those globalists Americans in name only at the top plunder the country.

For wanting less immigration I am called a racist,xenophobic,nativist, anti immigrant white supremacist bigot in order to shut me up.

The author of this article says it is an odd alliance pushing this new immigration bill . It is not odd that the elites want to import a new electorate more easily duped and more compliant and cheaper and younger workers for the open border cheap labor anti American worker lobby . It is merely a word the author is afraid to say if he has actually studied the situation and been able to put two and two together. It is simply called ¬†TREASON.”

2 Comments

Filed under California, Global Economy, Los Angeles, Migrants

2 Responses to IMMIGRATION: The reform debate and mixed alliances

  1. P

    Interesting point of view, but some of the statements in the reader comment have been proven already false by academics in the field of immigration. The supposed damage to the environment, I found absolutely ridiculous coming from citizens and residents of cities and states who have been champions of pollution for decades regardless of the percentages of immigrants, and the insignificant effect they may have in the overall problem. Another point could be that some people think that proclaming themselves “working-class democrats” exclude them from being racist or xenophobic. Really interesting, and revealing, also, the statement about immigration creating divisions that were non-existant before, that simply reminds me of the “I want my country back” mantra coming from a very specific and identifiable segment of the electorate after Barack Obama’s first election. Come on, you can disguise it anyway you want, you can use any argument you chose, but the fear, despise, rejection, incomprehension of “the others”, have been the foundation of any anti-immigrant movement any where, any time.

  2. Alexis Rhone Fancher

    As always, Sam, a thought-provoking article. No black or white just unlimited greys, unlimited chances to f it up. Thanks for the many facets.

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