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The Wall Street Journal Takes Donald Trump To Task Over Immigration

August 18, 2015

Two themes on this blog merge here in this post.

First, a long time pondering of mine concerns the short-sighted thinking of the Republican Party when it comes to immigrants and immigration reform. I have strongly supported the bi-partisan immigration reform bill that passed the U.S. Senate and have decried the racist and xenophobic actions and language used by conservatives over the years. The changing demographics in the country are simply a fact and it puzzles me why more within the GOP do not understand their plight as a party if they do not adapt.

The second and newer theme I repeat is that the establishment wing of the GOP will undo Donald Trump. He is a walking buffoon or as I have termed it here on this a blog nothing more than a son-of-a-bitch. He gets no regard on this blog for how he has treated all sorts of people from President Obama to people who work for cable TV shows.

Today both those themes merged in a stinging and powerfully written top editorial in The Wall Street Journal. I think the newspaper is going to tackle Trump and spit him out in due time. Last week I posted a story about the need for workers in this country and how immigrants are needed in the labor pool. Today the WSJ continued with that theme on their Op/Ed page.

Are his police going to search from door to door to arrest 11 million people? How else will they be rounded up?

Mr. Trump says he would keep families together, which would at least spare the scenes of tearful mothers hauled away from their crying children. But Republicans may want to think twice before becoming the party responsible for piling onto buses entire families who are stitched into the fabric of communities. This is not a good political look.

Republicans may also want to ask whether Mr. Trump’s proposals fit with free-market principles. Mr. Trump insists that Mexico will “pay for” the wall he wants to build on the southern U.S. border, but even he seems to realize no sovereign state would do this.

Mr. Trump’s flight from economic sense includes increasing the prevailing wage regulations for temporary legal H-1B visas—that is, he’ll instruct private businesses how to compensate their workers. So will we now have a Republican version of the Davis-Bacon Act for immigrant employees?

For a man who has succeeded in business Mr. Trump seems to know little about labor markets. Thousands of U.S. employers depend on the flow of temporary seasonal workers. Mr. Trump seems to think that if those workers aren’t allowed to enter the U.S. employers will simply raise wages. But the Journal reported last week that crops across the West are rotting in the fields for lack of farmhands, despite offers of $17 an hour with benefits for U.S. workers.

A Guatemalan picking strawberries in Washington state doesn’t mean a native-born worker has lost a job. The increasingly integrated North American markets are not zero sum, and the most likely result of the U.S. immigration standstill is moving factories, businesses and farms overseas where labor is cheaper. Or some services will simply vanish in the U.S. as too costly to sustain.

The last time Republicans tried this, in the 1920s, they alienated immigrant groups like the Irish and Italians for decades until Ronald Reagan won them back. If they want to lose in 2016, they’ll follow Mr. Trump’s anti-immigrant siren.

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