1. I basically agree with this National Review editorial on the Gang Of Eight proposal. It is a compromise between Democrats who want the widest possible amnesty (including for illegal immigrants who have already been deported - think about that) and Republicans representing employer-interests that want the maximum amount of low-wage/no leverage labor. The rest is mostly misdirection to deflect the attention of those who might disagree with one or both of the above agendas. That’s where we are.

2. I’m for some kind of amnesty. To pick one population, there are young adults in the US who were brought here as small children. They only know the US and have only modest language skills in the language of their parents’ home country.  There should be an amnesty that includes them.

3. In the short-term, there might be enough Republicans in the House of Representatives to beat the Gang of Eight’s something with nothing (despite the desperate attempt by elements of the Republican establishment to get Republicans to sign off on any immigration bill.)  In the medium-term, it is up to conservatives who oppose the kind of immigration offered by the Gang of Eight to offer an alternative immigration policy and (this might be the most important part) embed this immigration policy into a wider pro-working-class political agenda and rhetoric. Immigration needs to be part of an agenda focused on improving the life outcomes of struggling working families - a category that includes both current US citizens and noncitizen residents - as opposed to trying to drive down the wages of those American citizens and residents who are earning the least and are experiencing the most disrupted family lives.

More on: Etcetera, Politics

Articles by Pete Spiliakos

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