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Worried About Inflation and Pocketbook Concerns? GOP Anti-Immigrant Nativism Makes It Worse

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Washington, D.C. – Today’s news about an inflation spike and larger household economic concerns underscores an important point. While Republicans’ politicized falsehoods and scare tactics about the border are in overdrive, their nativist economic policies and refusal to modernize our immigration system are having dire economic consequences for all Americans. As two observers highlight today, the GOP’s hypocritical efforts to keep out and kick out immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers is one of the factors behind the inflation spike and is dampening our economic potential.

As Catherine Rampell writes in Washington Post column, “Democrats are missing the bigger immigration issue”

The United States is experiencing inflationary levels not seen in four decades. Americans are unhappy, and they are more than five times as likely to cite “inflation,” “cost of living” or the economy in general than immigration as the nation’s biggest problem. These economic concerns are, however, rooted at least partly in immigration policy.

…There are about 1.8 million fewer working-age immigrants in the United States today than would be the case if pre-2020 immigration trends had continued unchanged, economic researchers Giovanni Peri and Reem Zaiour estimate. Unsurprisingly, they also find that industries that had a higher percentage of foreign workers in 2019 — such as hospitality and food services — tend to have higher rates of unfilled jobs now. These immigrants, legal and otherwise, are “missing” because of a combination of Trump policies, covid-19 (which the Trump administration cited to justify imposing even more immigration restrictions) and Biden’s foot-dragging.

…A border surge is infinitely more telegenic and attack-ad-friendly than backlogged paperwork. But the missing immigrant workforce is what more directly affects voters’ pocketbooks — and, by extension, Democrats’ political fortunes.

Meanwhile, Arizona Republic columnist Elvia Díaz writes, “Do candidates who scream ‘border invasion’ really want an America without immigrants?” 

The folks screaming “border invasion” don’t really want immigrants gone – legal or not. Why? Because they need us and they know it. 

The Make America Great Again leaders and their foot soldiers know this country would go hungry, get filthy and get messy without immigrants.

…No matter the alarm bells from immigration experts and economists. The Make America Great White Again crowd will keep pounding their “border invasion” tune through Election Day while enjoying the fruit of immigrant labor. 

Oh, how I wish these people would have their wish of not just “A Day Without a Mexican,” but an America without immigrants.

According to Douglas Rivlin, Director of Communication for America’s Voice:

Immigrants are essential for the American economy. Always have been and always will be. At a time when employers can’t fill jobs – which leads to higher prices and diminished productivity – we need more immigrant workers, not fewer. Americans want the country to start addressing immigration by legalizing the hardworking undocumented immigrants already living, working and contributing to our society, most of whom have lived here a long time. Moving forward, a modern immigration system that is orderly and fair is required to meet our economic needs and moral leadership in the world. In the meantime, Americans’ economic concerns – from worker shortages to inflation concerns – are made worse by Republicans’ nativism and hostility to immigrants and immigration.

Check out ongoing examples of Republicans’ anti-immigrant ads at the America’s Voice GOP Ad Tracker: http://gopadtracker.com/