Monday, June 24, 2013

Keep Moving, Folks. No Ethnic Consideration Here

Sy Mukherjee of Think Progress sets out to refute Senator Bob Sessions (R-GA), who on Face the Nation Sunday stated

Bob, Hispanics are here today by the millions. They’re working in the $20,000-$40,000 income level. Their wages will be impacted adversely. Their ability to get a job and retirement benefits and health care benefits. Somebody needs to speak up for them. And I really believe that the numbers in the bill, the lack of enforcement effectiveness in the bill, puts us in a position where it will impact all Americans that are out there working today adversely, and the C.B.O. has said, that the Federal Reserve in Atlanta has said that. Harvard economists have said that. There’s little doubt about that. And so I think we appeal to — we move away from ethnic politics and we try to appeal to all people based on what’s best for America and for them.

Mukherjee quotes The Hamilton Project alleging  “immigrants create average wage increases of between 0.1 percent and 0.6 percent for American workers.”

"Immigrants create," claims the Hamilton Project, though the figures clearly were not derived from an analysis of the pending comprehensive immigration reform legislation.  That would create additional H-1B visas, though the average number of jobs created in STEM in one year already  is exceeded by the number of H-1B visas granted annually. The idea that passage would result in wage increases for American workers in jobs requiring a great deal, a moderate amount, or little education is highly speculative and counter-intuitive.

When the unabashedly globalist Hamilton Project was launched in early 2010, Politico's Ben Smith noted "along with Rubin and Altman, other key Clinton Wall Street allies, including New York bankers Steven Rattner and Blair Effron, serve on the Hamilton Project's Advisory Council. (The council also includes two Wall Street supporters of Sen. Barack Obama, Mark Gallogly and Eric Mindich.)"   It appears to be a group which is geared in part to advance the interests of Wall Street and of Barack Obama, who lauded the group at its launch when he stated

We all know that the coming baby boomers’ retirement will only add to the challenges that we face in this new era. Unfortunately, while the world has changed around us, Washington has been remarkably slow to adapt twenty-first century solutions for a twenty-first century economy. As so many of us have seen, both sides of the political spectrum have tended to cling to outdated policies and tired ideologies instead of coalescing around what actually works.

Oh, yes, those annoying baby-boomers again, the men (and mostly women) who refuse to die and make things easy on the rest of us who are cool with the global, "twenty-first century economy."  Still, we can adjust, the idea goes, by discarding "outdated policies and tired ideologies"- perhaps like Social Security, Medicare, and middle-class wages.

But Mukherjee appears particularly exorcised about Sessions' suggestion that ethnic politics infuses the haste to enact immigration legislation and that "we appeal to — we move away from ethnic politics."   The blogger charges "Sessions’ claim that reforming America’s immigration system is 'ethnic politics' doesn’t add up, considering the broad-based support for immigration reform across the racial spectrum."

Responses to questions about immigration reform are determined by what specifically is queried and how it is queried.  That goes doubly for questions about a bill that is 1,075 pages long and which one group contends weighs 24 pounds.  But even if most people fully knowledgeable about a bill many Senators are not and were as supportive as Mukherjee imagines, there would still be no legislation to consider were it not for the authors of the bill, the Gang of Eight.   And one of them, Lindsey Graham (R-SC) maintained eight days ago on Meet the Press

[If]f we don’t pass immigration reform, if we don’t get it off the table in a reasonable, practical way, it doesn’t matter who you run in 2016.   We’re in a demographic death spiral as a party and the only way we can get back in good graces with the Hispanic community in my view is pass comprehensive immigration reform. If you don’t do that, it really doesn’t matter who we run in my view.

And yesterday, Graham said on Fox News

If (immigration reform) fails, and (if) we are blamed for its failure, our party is in trouble with Hispanics. Not because we're conservative, but because of the rhetoric and the way we've handled this issue."

The Hispanic community is very close to our values but we have driven them away over this issue.

Uh, well, it is not "very close to our values"- but never mind.     This is no back-bencher but Lindsey Graham, without whom there may have been no bill awaiting a Senate vote, saying: Get it off the table.  A demographic death spiral.  Get back in good graces with the Hispanic community. If immigration reform fails and we are blamed for its failure our party is in trouble with Hispanics.

If this is not support based on ethnic politics, what could be?

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