If President Obama has an arch enemy on immigration, it may just be Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama. Sessions has been one of this administration’s fiercest critics, particularly on the subjects of border security, amnesty, and Obama’s deportation policies. In a new column written for the Washington Post, however, Sessions is widening his criticism. Not only is he calling for an end to illegal immigration, he wants America to take a careful look at scaling back its legal counterpart as well.
Harvard economist George Borias has estimated that high immigration from 1980 to 2000 reduced the wages of lower-skilled U.S. workers by 7.4 percent – a stunning drop – with particularly painful reductions for African-American workers. Weekly earnings today are lower than they were in 1973.
Sessions argues that by lifting immigration caps in the 1960s, America brought about its own economic malaise, burdening the middle class with an influx of foreign workers willing to work for less. While this plays well for businesses who want to save on wages, it has had a detrimental effect on the average American citizen for more than three generations. An effect that is only growing worse.
It is not mainstream, but extreme, to continue surging immigration beyond any historical precedent and to do so at a time when almost 1 in 4 Americans age 25 to 54 does not have a job.
Sessions argues that we need “immigration moderation” until we can clear the welfare rolls, raise wages, and let our culture settle from the shock of unrestrained migration.
By leaping past the controversy over illegal immigration, Sessions is going out on a limb. And while it will take some time for propositions like this to gain political ground, it is a brilliant strategy. After years of watching liberals move this country to the left by starting at the extremes and working backwards, at least one Republican has finally decided to adopt the tactic. Good for him. The best defense, as they say, is a good offense.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that he’s absolutely right. America has all the immigrants it could ever want or need. Until someone can explain the factual benefits of inviting more of them in, it’s time to have a serious discussion about why we’re so eager to loosen the restrictions. Between an exponential population boom, an economy that has probably passed its peak, and a federal government intent on banning our natural resources, something’s got to give. Unless we want to start passing child-limit laws like they have in China, we’d probably better start with the border.
Sessions wisely keeps his argument purely economic, but there is more at stake here than the middle class. This idea that “diversity” is America’s greatest strength is one of the most unexamined facts in the popular zeitgeist. We are in danger of losing 200 years of tradition, culture, and principle because we’re so afraid that we’ll look like racist xenophobes if we fight the tide. We are letting historical shames inform our present. Not because we’re learning from past mistakes, but because we feel too guilty and uncomfortable to speak the truth. To hell with that. Slap a KEEP OUT sign on the Statue of Liberty. It’s time for Americans to look out for America.