So Damon Linker has penned a one-eyed-liberal-in-the-land-of-the-blind piece on how cultural elites have brought opposition to immigration (and Donald Trump) upon themselves by their failure to enforce border controls.
These institutions have been sluggish to respond to this discontent because two (sometimes overlapping) factions of our political and economic elite strongly support high levels of immigration — or at least oppose doing very much to stop it.
One of the factions — the business class and its neoliberal champions in government, think tanks, and NGOs — believes in a free-flowing international labor market that treats borders as superfluous.
The other faction — liberal lawyers, activists, intellectuals, journalists, academics, members of the clergy, and (once again) NGO staffers — has a deep-seated moral suspicion of nations and political boundaries in general. Why should an American count for more than a Mexican who crosses the border into the United States? Shouldn’t a refugee fleeing violence in North Africa enjoy full political rights upon setting foot in the European Union? Don’t all human beings deserve to be treated equally under the law? Isn’t opposition to such equality an example of bald-faced racism?
He’s not entirely mistaken, as these things go, but he’s leaving out one important factor: crass self interest.
Univeralism is all well and good as an explanation, but it’s crass self-interest that underlies most of the opposition to enforcement of existing immigration laws. Yes, crass self interest from business lobbies who want cheaper labor, but also crass self interest from left wing parties to construct a new electorate more to their liking. Tony Blair’s Labour Party did precisely this in the UK.
The Democrats believe (probably correctly) that a legalizing a massive influx of illegal aliens from Mexico and points south can help make them a permanent majority party, which is why they continue to support Obama’s unconstitutional and deeply unpopular illegal alien amnesty. It is this crass self interest that is why the Obama Administration refuses to deport illegal aliens who are taking entry level unskilled and manual labor jobs from the poor black and white Americans that used to make up their base. Indeed, for the Democratic Party it’s a twofer: they get a new voter from Mexico and they make an American more dependent on the big government welfare statism that is the bread and butter of their business model.
Illegal aliens may be bad for America, but they’re good for the Democratic Party. And that’s why Democrats in general, and the Obama Administration in specific, refuse to enforce border controls.