Written by Robert Warden
There is something that many of us may have never even considered, but I think it is part of the long-term Republican strategy of tilting the system in their favor. Not only do they not want nonwhite citizens to vote: They don’t want them to become citizens in the first place.
Last week, my stepdaughter’s fiance, who is from mainland China and has legal residency status, was called in to do an interview to determine whether he can continue to be a U.S. resident. This was all rather sudden and has caused a lot of problems. He wanted to get married right away, before the interview to ensure that he could stay, but Isabella wasn’t ready and there was no planning, so she told him to wait. Meanwhile, advisors said that a sudden marriage before an interview would invoke suspicion. Steven was never bothered about his residency status when Obama was president. (Steven still does not know the results of the interview, as the process may take several weeks.) Such actions are apparently part of a larger plan to limit immigration, legal or otherwise, by wutzizname’s administration and the Republican Party. Of course, it could just be a coincidence that Steven had to justify his presence in the United States so recently, and it could also be a coincidence that our healthcare plan was cancelled shortly after wutzizname became president and we were forced to buy more expensive insurance, but I doubt it.
In fact, the current administration’s immigration proposals, along with those of Republican politicians in Congress, aim to severely limit immigration to the United States — even legal immigration. (So-called president wutzizname does make exceptions for Norwegians and European supermodels like his wife, of course. I suspect that he is mistaking those Democratic Socialist Norwegians for Russian oligarchs or internet trolls actually.) The following article, by Marnette Federis and Lydia Emmanoulidou describes this adminstration’s recent immigration proposal and the conflict that it is causing immigrants, especially Republican immigrants (http://news.wbfo.org/…/immigrant-republicans-trump-s-turn-l…). This plan includes 25 billion dollars for “border enforcement,” which may include the proposed wall along the border with Mexico, and at the same time, limits legal immigration by limiting family based immigration and eliminating the Diversity Visa program, while creating a long 10 – 12 year path to citizenship for DACA recipients. According to Karthick Ramakrishnan (who is a professor at University of California, Riverside, where I did my graduate work) says that there has been a sudden shift toward framing even legal immigration as a problem, since the current administration was formed. If these Republican policies become the law, it is estimated that legal immigration to the United States will be drastically reduced in the coming years, by perhaps as much as 50%. This amounts to many millions fewer immigrants over a period of decades than would otherwise be the case.
In particular, the current administration is striving to reduce immigration of non-English speaking, and non-white peoples of the world to the United States, with the rationale of keeping potential criminals and troublemaking welfare recipients out of the United States, while continuing to allow immigration by people who speak fluent English, along with well educated people who have specific vocational skills that may be needed. Of course, what this really means is “keep the Mexicans and Blacks out” — and limit the Asians to very well educated people such as doctors and other professionals. This is a new twist in GOP system rigging, and not one that goes over very well with some Republicans, who often favor low wage immigrants as employees, or in some cases, are immigrants themselves. However, this fits perfectly with Republican tribalism — that is, nationalist, “nativist,” racist thinking (as though Europeans were really the people who were native to the American continents). So do Trump’s comments to the effect that he favors European immigrants. (It is worth noting here that Trump’s own mother was an immigrant from Scotland, and his current wife (number 3) was a model from Slovenia, while his first wife was a model from the Czech Republic.)
Limiting immigration, especially of nonwhites, helps the Republican Party long term, or at least in theory it should, because of the fact that nonwhites tend not to vote for Republicans (meaning that the ones mentioned in the above article are the exceptions). Once they become citizens, immigrants are often very proud to vote and conscientious about doing so, and usually vote for Democrats. This actually may even be true of immgrants from Europe, which is relatively liberal in recent decades and a bastion of Democratic Socialism, and it is almost certainly true of very well educated immigrants, since people with advanced degrees tend to be relatively progressive in their political views. However, people like wutzizname and his cronies need to make some allowances for legal immigration by people who might be acceptable to his base, so as not to appear totally xenophobic and hypocritical.
Looking farther ahead, it is also known that children of nonwhite immigrants continue their parents’ tendency to vote for Democrats. Realizing this, may cause further alarm among Republicans, and thus make immigration limiting policies appealing to them. Perhaps until recently it has been true that Republicans had been optimistic that they could win over the majority of immigrants and their children, but gradually it has become evident that the opposite is the case.
What we can do about this anti-immigrant push is to reaffirm the values upon which the United States was built, as largely a nation of immigrants, as an open minded society which welcomes people of all backgrounds with open arms as long as they are well intentioned people — even if they come here illegally. We need to insist that our legislators work to make the United States an example of relatively free immigration — not just “free trade” and “economic freedom” — rather than an increasingly closed society both physically and mentally. After all the freedom to live where one chooses is about as fundamental as freedom can be.