Two Views on the Politics of Immigration

Handing out flags at a naturalization ceremony in Oakland, Calif., in 2013. (Reuters photo: Robert Galbraith)

Chris Hayes argues that the “plain fact of immigration politics in this country is that the Steve King/Stephen Miller wing of the GOP, a small minority of the country, has a total veto on it”—and has had one for the last 13 years. The majority of the country favors the kind of comprehensive immigration reform that Congress took up in 2006, 2007, and 2013. They were defeated each time by a “hardcore opposition [that] is driven by demographic and racial panic” rather than by concerns about “border security or lawfulness.”

I think this argument goes wrong from the first, with its reading of public opinion. Raising the level of legal immigration was a feature of those comprehensive bills. And while support for that policy has been rising, it’s still a minority view. In 2017, only 24 percent of respondents told Gallup they favored it. If you ask Americans the absolute number of immigrants they…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.