The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Immigration

The Politics of Immigration

Jose Antonio Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, a documentary filmmaker and former Washington Post reporter that just “outed” himself as an undocumented immigrant. Read his remarkable story, My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant, and check out Define American, a website he founded to attempt to change the conversation on immigration reform.

Did you hear last week that immigrants were to blame for the forest fires in Arizona? Remember the dozens and dozens of Arizonans murdered and decapitated in the desert by immigrants? We’ve all heard (and far too many have bought into) urban myths related to immigrants, so, what the hell, Got A Problem? Blame It On Illegal Immigrants!

And yet even with all of the anti-immigration rhetoric, hysteria and demagoguery, Americans’ views on immigration have stayed relatively steady and relatively positive over the last two decades. Check out the latest Gallup Poll that shows that Americans for the most part manifest a slight preference for lower immigration levels, yet continue to believe that immigration is good for America. Oh, those crazy Americans!

And, finally, demographics often trump negative views of immigration and immigrants in many European countries, where aging populations and low birth rates have created a dearth of workers (i.e., a tax base). With American baby boomers beginning to retire this year, will the United States face a similar situation over the next twenty to thirty years? Wall Street Journal

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