Much like the Titanic after the icy waters of the North Atlantic breached a terminal number of its bulkheads, the Biden Administration is listing badly. Even its most ardent supporters are struggling to explain away the growing list of its failures. Those who take to the challenge of defending the indefensible are adding a needed bit of unintentional comedy to an otherwise tragic presidential term.
Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell made a valiant attempt recently by seriously arguing that the problem is not that there are too many immigrants coming into the country, but that there are too few. Increasing the influx of foreign nationals, she claims, is just what our country needs to combat runaway inflation.
It takes a healthy amount of chutzpah to make such a claim, especially when facts and reality push so strongly against it. Virtually every metric on immigration from the federal government shows record flows of illegal aliens into the country and a major decline in deportations since Biden assumed the White House. If bringing more bodies into the country is the cure for inflation, then our inflation rate should be at rock bottom by now. In reality, it has soared and currently sits at a whopping 8.5 percent.
The problem isn’t a shortage of workers already in the country. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic’s devastation of businesses and the federal government’s remedies to pay people not to work, many were content to collect government checks, which in some cases exceeded their previous wages. If the government stopped giving away free money and emphasized the importance of returning to work, the workers would be there.
This problem is far more expansive than the tired progressive refrain of “Who will pick the lettuce?” With U.S. colleges churning out graduates with degrees in STEM fields every year, the federal government creates regulations that encourage foreign nationals with H-1B and H-4 visas to come here and take skilled jobs that would otherwise go to American citizens.
Why are those foreign workers so coveted by U.S.-based corporations? It is not because they possess special skills, but because they can be hired at a fraction of the cost of American workers with similar qualifications. American workers are often better skilled, which is why many are now ordered to train foreign workers how to do their jobs so they can be replaced. Our labor laws exist, apparently, to help corporations slash their labor costs by importing cheap workers, not to serve the best interests of American citizens.
The country enjoyed a brief respite from these destructive policies during the Trump Administration, which worked to tighten restrictions on H-1B visas in 2020. The backlash in response to that from corporate grandees was vociferous. Apple chief executive Tim Cook responded by suggesting that opposition to cheap foreign labor is evidence of latent American racism.
Also missing in Rampell’s argument is accounting for the massive burden of ever more accelerated immigration in terms of health, financial costs, and national security. The attorney general of Texas, Ken Paxton, is currently suing the Biden Administration with the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) serving as outside counsel. At issue are the astronomical costs the state faces in addressing the needs of new arrivals infected with COVID-19 and the resulting spread of the illness. In short, Biden’s federal agencies have implemented a reckless border policy, then stuck Texas and other states with the bill for the consequences of that policy. This is a status quo that is simply unsustainable.
In addition to members of murderous gangs like MS-13 that have made it into the United States, our current immigration policies are opening the door for large-scale terrorist attacks. A recent IRLI investigation found that several states are using their sanctuary policies to shield illegal aliens who hail from nations identified by the federal government as state sponsors of terror.
In February 2021, Border Patrol agents apprehended 11 Iranian nationals found illegally entering the United States from Mexico. Panama reportedly stopped 52 people en route to the United States who are on terrorist watch lists and associated with al-Qaeda. The 9/11 hijackers had to go through the effort of applying for student, tourist, and business visas before entering the United States. If the White House has its way, those with similar goals today need only show up at our southern border and prepare to be welcomed in.
Is any of this worth the risk for a theory that flooding our country with even more illegal aliens would remedy inflation caused by other bad policies? We have seen how responsible border protection and an America First philosophy for immigration policy leads to a safer, more economically prosperous nation. The last thing we should be doing is implementing more fringe ideas from the same progressive pundit class that has led us into the ditch where we currently reside.