As Democrat-connected, well-funded professional protest organizations gin up yet another round of faux outrage — this time over splitting up children and parents at the border — it is worth pointing out that it is the Left, not the rest of America, that has rapidly moved to an extreme position on immigration.
Fast and far.
Without going into the nether psyche of the American left, the evidence is overwhelming that Republicans have stayed consistent on immigration while Democrats, and by extension the mainstream media, have lurched lightyears leftward just since 2010.
Facts and history, two enemies of the modern American left, lay this openly on the table.
Left-of-center FiveThirtyEight reports this sharp turn according to numerous polls:
“Democratic voters have become far more liberal on a slew of measurements regarding illegal immigration over the past decade. It was only 11 years ago that a majority of Senate Democrats voted in favor of the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which called for 700 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border. It was just 10 years ago that Sen. Bernie Sanders voted against comprehensive immigration reform.”
In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Obama called for strong border security and illegals going to the “back of the line” behind those applying legally to immigrate.
“Real reform means strong border security, and we can build on the progress my administration has already made — putting more boots on the Southern border…Real reform means establishing a responsible pathway to earned citizenship — a path that includes passing a background check, paying taxes and a meaningful penalty, learning English, and going to the back of the line behind the folks trying to come here legally.”
Neither Bernie Sanders’ 2006 position or Barack Obama’s 2013 position are tenable in the 2018 Democratic Party.
As the chart below shows, Democrat voters were split about 50-50 in 2010 on support for building a fence or a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. A mere seven years later in 2017, only 8 percent supported it while nearly 90 percent oppose. That is a seismic shift in just seven years.
The following two charts show some of the internal changes in thinking among Democrats, and in comparison to Republicans, that might be driving the overall lunge to the left.
The maddening part of these is that pollsters have all but eliminated the word “illegal” in polling on immigration. So most conservatives are trapped. Because we may well think that appropriate levels and types of immigration are very beneficial, while massive unskilled, uneducated, unvetted illegal immigrants are not. But too many pollsters don’t separate the question, which makes their results iffy.
Nonetheless, we can see from these that Democrats have decided that immigration does not threaten American jobs — apparently including illegal immigration because most people don’t really know the levels of legal immigration other than they are tiny in comparison.
It’s an interesting shift because the prima facie evidence is clear that millions of very low end workers illegally crossing the border depress wages at the low end. The common sense in this is indisputable.
Harvard economist George Borjas has incontrovertibly shown this in his book “We Wanted Workers: Unraveling the Immigration Narrative,” while also positing that this phenomena increases wages at the top end — ironically again creating the wage disparity that Democrats wring their hands over.
So this change has been rapid for several reasons, not least of which has been the general radicalization of the Democratic Party. But the fact that President Trump has so strongly embraced immigration security and reform has to have played some role just based on the jaw-dropping response of the left to Trump’s election.
Meanwhile polls consistently show that Republican support for border security and controlled immigration remain at the fairly high levels they have been at for decades. As in so many other issues, it is the left and the Democratic Party that are becoming more extremist.
Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.
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