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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Emanuel's Immigration Report Card

Rahm Emanuel, a former aide to President Clinton and Obama’s pick for chief-of-staff, will come back to the White House with a failing record.
During his first year in Congress, the Federation for American Immigration Reform gave Cong. Emanuel (D-IL) a 0% rating – with the number reflecting the percentage of time that Emanuel voted FAIR’s preferred position. Other restrictionist organizations that track congressional votes have confirmed FAIR’s assessment that Emanuel is irredeemably liberal when it comes to immigration reform.
NumbersUSA, the organization that spearheaded the grassroots mobilization against the Senate’s 2007 immigration reform bill, gives Emanuel a failing lifetime position. He flunked the NumbersUSA test, receiving an “F” on his “immigration-reduction report card.” U.S. Border Control gave Cong. Emanuel an 8% rating, indicating his “open-border stance.”
In other words, Emanuel, picked to exert control over Obama’s team and its policy agenda, is about as bad as you can get. He has, after all, cosponsored the McCain-Kennedy reform proposal, voted no on building a border fence, and even cast a “no” vote on a bill that would require hospitals to notify immigration agents when treating illegal immigrants.
But immigration restrictionists aren’t particularly worried. That’s because Emanuel, after the drubbing that immigration reform received in mid-2007, let it be known that the Democratic leadership in Congress wouldn’t be pushing comprehensive reform in 2008 or even in the first term of the next administration.
Calling immigration the “third rail” of American politics, Emanuel began backing away from comprehensive reform in 2007, even as he continued to oppose overly restrictive immigration and border bills.
Emanuel has come under fire from Latino columnist Ruben Navarrette for keeping immigration reform off the table this year. “House Democrats, under orders from Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., kept the controversial issue off the legislative agenda in 2008. Why? Organized labor. Democrats' slavish adherence to unions required that they derail any proposal that includes guest workers, as any bill with a chance to win Republican support would have to do,” wrote Navarrette. At the annual convention of the National Council of La Raza, Juan Salgado, board chairman of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, shocked participant, stating: "Congressman Rahm Emanuel said to me two weeks ago, there is no way this legislation is happening in the Democratic House, in the Democratic Senate, in the Democratic presidency, in the first term.” Emanuel’s office confirmed the congressman’s position. Emanuel’s spokesman Nick Pappas told the Washington Times: “Congressman Emanuel has worked hard to make comprehensive reform a reality and that work continues. However, President Bush and congressional Republicans’ failure on this critical matter has set back efforts to enact real reform.”
In turn, Salgrado said, “I was caught off-guard by the statement. I interpret his comments as a lack of courage on what they know is right. Listen, we’re here at the NCLR conference, and what it’s to take is not the attitude of Rahm Emanuel, if this is a second-term issue. What it’s going to take is boldness by the president.”

1 comment:

Pete Murphy said...

Rampant population growth threatens our economy and quality of life. Immigration, both legal and illegal, are fueling this growth.

I'm not talking just about the obvious problems that we see in the news - growing dependence on foreign oil, carbon emissions, soaring commodity prices, environmental degradation, etc. I'm talking about the effect upon rising unemployment and poverty in America.

I should introduce myself. I am the author of a book titled "Five Short Blasts: A New Economic Theory Exposes The Fatal Flaw in Globalization and Its Consequences for America." To make a long story short, my theory is that, as population density rises beyond some optimum level, per capita consumption of products begins to decline out of the need to conserve space. People who live in crowded conditions simply don’t have enough space to use and store many products. This declining per capita consumption, in the face of rising productivity (per capita output, which always rises), inevitably yields rising unemployment and poverty.

This theory has huge implications for U.S. policy toward population management, especially immigration policy. Our policies of encouraging high rates of immigration are rooted in the belief of economists that population growth is a good thing, fueling economic growth. Through most of human history, the interests of the common good and business (corporations) were both well-served by continuing population growth. For the common good, we needed more workers to man our factories, producing the goods needed for a high standard of living. This population growth translated into sales volume growth for corporations. Both were happy.

But, once an optimum population density is breached, their interests diverge. It is in the best interest of the common good to stabilize the population, avoiding an erosion of our quality of life through high unemployment and poverty. However, it is still in the interest of corporations to fuel population growth because, even though per capita consumption goes into decline, total consumption still increases. We now find ourselves in the position of having corporations and economists influencing public policy in a direction that is not in the best interest of the common good.

The U.N. ranks the U.S. with eight other countries - India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Uganda, Ethiopia and China - as accounting for fully half of the world’s population growth by 2050. The U.S. is the only developed country still experiencing third world-like population growth, most of which is due to immigration. It's absolutely imperative that our population be stabilized, and that's impossible without dramatically reining in immigration, both legal and illegal.

If you’re interested in learning more about this important new economic theory, I invite you to visit my web site at OpenWindowPublishingCo.com where you can read the preface, join in my blog discussion and, of course, purchase the book if you like. (It's also available at Amazon.com.)

Please forgive the somewhat spammish nature of the previous paragraph. I just don't know how else to inject this new perspective into the immigration debate without drawing attention to the book that explains the theory.

Pete Murphy
Author, "Five Short Blasts"