GOP and Biz Allies Can’t Have It Both Ways: Anti-Immigrant Politics & Strong US economy
Washington, DC – Ahead of the first Republican debate next week and Iowa caucus early next year, candidates continue to contradict themselves when it comes to economic messaging. Today’s GOP demonizes immigrants with dangerous invasion rhetoric, but some recognize labor shortages could be addressed with sensible immigration reform. In pandering to Fox News and white nationalists, Republicans are content to deal in hypocrisy and dishonesty when addressing the economy’s shortfalls and our larger immigration moment.
According to Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director for America’s Voice:
“Republican politicians know full well that dehumanizing migrants who seek lawful entry into the U.S. is a way to score cheap points with their base. They’re willing to continue enacting anti-immigrant policies even though it comes as a detriment to our economy – their favorite issue to posture on. The GOP and their private sector supporters want to have it both ways: demonize immigrants and stop immigration, while declaring they need more immigrant workers. The data shows that immigration – something a majority of voters overwhelmingly support – is an economic building block, yet the GOP refuses to stop dealing in ugly politics. It’s way past time to drop this nonsense and do some actual work in Congress to fix our broken immigration system.”
Two articles best illustrate how immigration holds the key to jump starting labor sectors across the country – particularly in Republican-controlled states.
- A deep dive by Bloomberg explores how Iowa’s labor shortage presents a crossroads for Republican presidential candidates traversing the state:
“With an unemployment rate below the national average, Iowa has what its lawmakers and businesses see as a glaring problem: It needs more workers. That labor shortage has put some of the state’s Republican officials and legislators on a political tightrope, with many voicing a need for reform to ease the hiring crunch at home while not straying too far from the national party line on immigration.
The balancing act is poised to get even more difficult as the GOP presidential candidates ramp up campaigning in the state ahead of its first-in-the-nation caucus in January, courting voters with pledges to tighten control of the country’s southern border. Their messaging could deepen a rift in Iowa’s GOP electorate, with some business-minded, traditional Republicans seeking new workers to fuel economic growth while others embrace former President Donald Trump’s more nativist stance.”
- The Washington Post Editorial Board recently published a piece praising the Biden Administration’s efforts to strengthen the economy and how immigration is a critical part of their strategy:
“The U.S. economy is in the midst of a wonderful — and unexpected — workforce boom. More than 3.1 million workers joined the labor force in the past year, meaning these people started looking for jobs and, largely, are getting hired. Almost no one expected this. It’s a nearly 2 percent expansion of the labor force — something that has not occurred since the tech craze of July 1999 to July 2000 and was more common in the 1970s and 1980s.
…While much of this good news is the result of a tight labor market and an economy normalizing from the pandemic, the large government stimulus also played a role. We were among the skeptics who believed President Biden’s $1.5 trillion American Rescue Plan was too big. And it did contribute to high inflation. But there’s a case to be made that the government spending is helping sustain the job market — and propel growth — now. State and local government hiring has rebounded significantly, and there has been surprising strength in construction (which added close to 200,000 jobs over the past year) thanks to investments in infrastructure and manufacturing. Mr. Biden’s push to increase legal immigration as much as possible has also helped. If Congress would finally act on a comprehensive immigration plan, the benefits could be even larger.”