Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Gerald F. Seib at the WSJ has a provocative new article: Immigration Debate Caught in a Time Warp.
Seib argues that, by focusing on unauthorized Hispanic migration, immigration debate is caught in a "time warp" that misses "the immigration issues that really matter today."
In support of his thesis, Seib notes that China, not Mexico, is the country sending the most immigrants to the U.S. today, border apprehensions are down, and more Mexicans are returning to Mexico than are entering the United States.
Seib quotes William Frey of the Brookings Institution who argues that the real immigration issue is the country's demographic shifts - specifically the slow growth and eventual decline in the country's white population. A new immigrant labor force is, Frey concludes, "absolutely necessary."
[D]iscussion is fixated on securing a southwest border that, evidence indicates, is significantly more secure than it was a decade ago, and on deciding what to do about the 11 million undocumented aliens already here, who, everybody really knows, aren’t going anywhere, unless they choose to leave. Should they be given a “path to citizenship” or a “path to legal status,” and would either of those represent a form of “amnesty”?
Those are important and emotional questions, to be sure—but also more of the past than the future.