Immigration Debate Takes A New Twist
It’s become an almost boilerplate response to the issue of illegal immigration, from both sides of the political aisle, to emphasize that the problem isn’t immigration; it’s illegal immigration. But what happens to the debate when you take the illegal out of illegal immigration?
We might be about to find out.
The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), one of the larger and more influential policy advocacy groups in political circles and cycles, recently launched a campaign that focuses on the nation’s high unemployment rate tied directly to immigration – period – with a clarion call to “slow legal immigration until Americans are working again.”
From the group’s Fair Chance at Jobs website:
We have a job crisis in this country and our national leadership is making it worse every day, every month, every year. If we don’t do something, a million more foreign workers will be allowed to come to the U.S. again this year and take good jobs. These are jobs Americans want and can do. It is going to happen if Americans don’t hit the STOP button.
A series of ads the group has begun airing are equally strident, and it’s likely not a coincidence that they target battleground states that will carry significant weight in November’s election.
“Our leaders are all set to allow another million immigrants to enter the United States this year and take jobs again in places like Ohio,” informs a voice-over in one of the spots. “They’re taking good jobs and disrupting lives because Americans can’t find work. Shouldn’t Ohio’s jobs go to unemployed Americans?”
And FAIR isn’t the only one asking. NumbersUSA, another influential immigration policy group, bought upwards of $100,000 worth of ads that pushed the same theme in South Carolina during the run-up to that state’s GOP primary:
“Jobs, jobs, jobs,” says a voice-over in the ad. “Everybody talks about creating jobs, but who will get the jobs? Not one candidate is talking about why the government is ready to bring in another one million legal immigrants this year to take American jobs.”
“Legal doesn’t make it right when there are millions of jobless Americans,” it continues. “Ask the candidates who should get new American jobs, unemployed Americans or will they bring in another million immigrants?”
With no signs of a strong economic or jobs recovery on the horizon, watch for the stop-immigration-period movement to become an emerging issue on the campaign trail. And watch candidates squirm in response.
Exit question: Are the ads from FAIR and similar groups, well, fair, or irrational fear-mongering? Thoughts?
Short URL: http://pundithouse.com/?p=8532