Progressive Policy Institute’s (PPI) Dane Stangler admits in an op-ed for Real Clear Policy that President Trump’s immigration agenda to decrease foreign competition against America’s working and middle class is popular with voters.
Stangler, PPI’s Director of Policy Innovations, suggested in the op-ed that Democrats, including Joe Biden, are in a bind on the issue as the Chinese coronavirus crisis has led to overwhelming support among Americans for pauses to all immigration:
Politically, the restrictions are fairly deft and put Democrats in a bind. What is former vice-president Joe Biden, the presumptive nominee, supposed to say? What are any Democratic candidates for Senate supposed to say? They can criticize the restrictions all they want but, so far, Trump’s immigration “pause” appears to have support.
Any calls by Democrats to reopen the borders will be fairly unpopular. They would be met with inflammatory social media activity. That is not a reason to refrain from criticizing the president — but Democrats need to have a smart alternative at hand. This alternative must grapple with the complications of immigration policy while also demonstrating a vision of a functioning immigration system. Moral outrage at the president is warranted, but if it isn’t accompanied by something constructive, Democrats will be left vulnerable to accusations that they simply want to throw open the borders. [Emphasis added]
Stangler cited two polls, the latest Washington Post/University of Maryland survey which revealed that about 65 percent of Americans want all immigration halted and a PPI survey from February which found that voters in battleground states said immigration was their second biggest issue.
Democrats, Stangler wrote, will be “playing defense in the months leading up to the election — and on the losing end of immigration” if they do not propose policy fixes that “marry enforcement and security with aspiration and economic benefit.”
Trump’s executive order halting less than ten percent of immigration could be expanded within the coming weeks to suspend the entry of thousands of foreign visa workers as 30 million Americans file for unemployment.
Thus far, Democrats’ presumptive 2020 presidential nominee, Joe Biden, has proposed freeing migrants into the U.S. in the midst of the coronavirus crisis and halting all deportations — a reversal of Trump’s border policy that has swiftly returned migrants to their native countries so to protect American citizens from potential infection.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.