Republican Candidates Push Pocketbook Pitch on Immigration

Central American migrants, taking part in a caravan heading to the US, queue to receive a meal at a temporary shelter in Irapuato, Guanajuato state, Mexico on November 11, 2018. - The trek from tropical Central America to the huge capital of Mexico is declining the health of the migrant …

Some Republican candidates are learning how to use pocketbook politics to trump the bipartisan establishment’s don’t-mention-the-money narrative on migration.

“Our Mayor and our Governor are incentivizing illegal immigration,” New York Rep. Nicole Malliotakis told Fox News on Wednesday, adding:

You have the Mayor putting up people in fancy hotels — upwards of $700 a night — costing the taxpayers $300 million. You have our governor providing free health care to illegal immigrants when you have senior citizens who are struggling to pay for their Medicare. You have payouts — $2 billion in stimulus checks [to illegal migrants, but] when you have a single mother who has three children [and is] earning $9,000 who got no stimulus check from the government.

Then [Gov.] Kathy Hochul tells New Yorkers — she tells her taxpaying citizens — “If you don’t like it, move to Florida!” That’s how disgusting it has become under one-party Democrat rule at the city, state, and federal level.

The impact of drugs and migration has been “hugely negative” for Ohioans, Senate GOP nominee J.D. Vance told Fox on Wednesday:

This is one of the things that really bothers me about [Democratic candidate] Tim Ryan. He says he stands for the working man. But what about millions of illegal migrants coming across the border and competing with working people for their jobs? What about the fact that Ohio is the third leading state when it comes to opioid overdose deaths?

These guys say that we’ve got to show compassion for illegal migrants — and of course, we do — but let’s show some compassion for our own citizens. Let’s actually secure the border so that we don’t have 100,000 Americans dying of fentanyl overdoses … We can’t run away from the border issue because it’s making our country poor.

Numerous polls show that Americans want to like immigrants and immigration — but they also prioritize their fellow Americans who lose jobs and wages to cheap labor migration. That populist attitude is helping to bring more Latino voters into the GOP coalition, despite the influence of pro-migration GOP donors.

These candidates’ focus on pocketbook damage of migration has slowly emerged because the establishment and its subordinate media have been hiding the economic damage behind an investor-friendly, pro-migrant, pro-business narratives.

This establishment narrative insists that both legal and illegal migrants deserve the homes, jobs, careers, and middle-class status that would otherwise go to young, better-paid, American families.

For example, the GOP-aligned Koch network joined with National Immigration Forum to tout a push poll on August 30 that supposedly shows that most Americans want Congress to begin “working together this year on reforms that could help lower food prices by ensuring a legal, reliable workforce for America’s farmers and ranchers.”

The skewed poll was quickly used to justify op-eds in regional media outlets, such as The op-ed tried to shame the vast majority of Americans who do not want their friends and families to be shoved aside by corporate hiring of cheap foreign labor:

Amid deep worries that Ohio’s foodbanks will run out of supplies this winter, a top official last week said that the labor shortage among food workers is particularly acute — and an irrational fear of immigrants isn’t helping.

… “We’re lacking is labor,” said the official, Ohio Association of Foodbanks Executive Director Lisa Hamler-Fugitt. “We’d rather demonize the people who plant our food, grow our food, pick our food, and bring our food to our grocery stores. Those are our migrant workers who do the work that most Americans have clearly demonstrated they can’t or won’t do.”

The Democrat-affiliated Immigration Hub posted a similarly skewed poll on August 24.

Voters “reject the GOP’s extreme anti-immigrant agenda [and] continue to strongly support pro-immigrant solutions, including protecting our nation’s Dreamers, farm workers, TPS holders and undocumented immigrants,” claimed Sergio Gonzalez, the director of the Hub group, which is funded by Laurene Powell-Jobs, who inherited the Silicon Valley fortune created by Steve Jobs and Apple.

Democrats need to pose as the noble champions of migrants victimized by hateful Republicans, according to the group’s statement:

Several aspects of their immigration record are deeply concerning to swing voters and should be highlighted.

Republicans support separating immigrant families and putting children in cages. (67% very serious concerns)

Republicans are trying to deport law-abiding immigrants who have lived in and contributed to the United States for many years. (60% very serious concerns)

This statement shows how pro-migration business groups and pro-migration progressives are testing narratives to minimize public opposition to the mass migration that is shifting wealth and political power from ordinary Americans.

Critically, the reports and polls produced by the bipartisan establishment almost never mention the money, despite the public’s deep solidarity with the economic concerns of other Americans.

The establishment’s pressure on Americans to ignore the money was spotlighted this week by a donor-funded trip by GOP candidates to the border.

The script for the trip urged GOP sympathy for migrants victimized by President Joe Biden’s border — and silence towards the economic worries of the voters victimized by the establishment’s easy-migration policies:

“Women and children who have been enticed into making the dangerous journey to our country are experiencing untold cruelty and suffering,” [Annie] Dickerson said in an exclusive statement to Fox News Digital ahead of the trip. “The women on this trip — from all different backgrounds and from all across the country — are linking arms to give these victims a voice and demand accountability,” she added.

Democrats are also trying to create narratives that exclude Americans’ concerns about money and jobs from their own immigration debate.

In April, a Democrat narrative creator described six “deep narratives or value frameworks that we believe would help to activate a pro-immigrant majority.” Jeff Chang continued:

Those are interdependence, belonging, abundance, dignity, safety, and the freedom to thrive. And if we are able to move people on one or two into an adoption of all of those deep narratives, then what we think we’ll do is be able to get people to a worldview in which immigrants are welcomed … We call that a narrative system, a narrative system of six deep narratives that we want to activate long-term in our narrative work.

Chang runs the Butterfly Lab for Immigrant Narrative Strategy at Race Forward, a progressive group with deep ties to wealthy foundations.

“The [progressive voter] base for immigrant stories … tends to be focused on community [because] they care about caring,” said Riki Conrey, the science director at Harmony Labs. The group was also created by wealthy progressives — including a co-founder of Buzzfeed — to help manipulate Americans’ media networks.

She continued:

We tested like 18 different pieces of creative [ideas] from like eight different creators from the advocacy stuff to the artist stuff, and virtually everything worked to activate the [Democratic progressive] base.

“We found that some things worked outside the [progressive] base and those things tended to feature things like freedom, striving, and responsibility,” said Conrey.

“We tested a positive narrative around refugees. It worked for our core [progressive] audiences, but it didn’t motivate the [swing-voting] stretch audiences, the folks on the edges. What they needed to hear was actually a story of pain of people sacrificing their lives for the U.S.,” Chang said.

“The fundamental thing that we need to move people toward, is a belief that not only does America have a future, that we can have a really great future that involves change and innovation, diversity, tolerance, and all of the things that are fundamentally small-p progressive,” said Conrey.

This wealthy investors’ determined denial of economics in politics also controls Chang’s understanding of the issue. For example, he described the immigration issue as a “culture war” when venting his frustration at Americans’ refusal to put migrants and investors first:

What we know definitively is that a large part of the culture wars has been organized around anti-immigrant narratives, and that we have, especially in the last decade, been very much losing the battle around immigration reform, around systematic change in immigration because of anti-immigrant narratives.

But economics is central to the politics of immigration — as shown by the pro-American, economic narratives pushed by Malliotakis and Vance.

Extraction Migration

It is easier for government officials to grow the economy by immigration than by growing exports, productivity, or the birth rate.

So Washington, DC, deliberately extracts millions of migrants from poor countries and uses them as extra workers, consumers, and renters. This extraction migration policy both grows and skews the national economy.

It prevents tight labor markets and so it shifts vast wealth from ordinary people to investors, billionaires, and Wall Street. It makes it difficult for ordinary Americans to advance in their careers, get married,  raise families, or buy homes.

Extraction migration slows innovation and shrinks Americans’ productivity, partly because it allows employers to boost stock prices by using stoop labor and disposable workers instead of the American professionals and productivity-boosting technology that would allow Americans and their communities to earn more money.

This migration policy also reduces exports by minimizing shareholder pressure on U.S. companies to build up beneficial and complementary trade with people in poor countries.

Migration undermines employees’ workplace rights, and it widens the regional economic gaps between the Democrats’ cheap-labor coastal states and the Republicans’ heartland and southern states.

An economy fueled by extraction migration also drains Americans’ political clout over elites, alienates young people, and radicalizes Americans’ democratic civic culture because it gives an excuse for wealthy elites and progressives to ignore despairing Americans at the bottom of society, such as drug addicts.

This economic strategy is enthusiastically pushed by progressives who wish to transform the U.S. from a society governed by European-origin civic culture into an economic empire of jealous identity groups overseen by progressive hall monitors. “We’re trying to become the first multiracial, multi-ethnic superpower in the world,” Rep. Rohit Khanna (D-CA) told the New York Times in March 2022. “It will be an extraordinary achievement … We will ultimately triumph,” he boasted.

But the progressives’ colonialism-like economic strategy kills many migrants. It exploits the poverty of migrants and splits foreign families as it extracts human resources from poor home countries to serve wealthy U.S. investors.

Progressives hide this extraction migration economic policy behind a wide variety of noble-sounding narratives and theatrical border security programs. Progressives claim the U.S. is a “Nation of Immigrants,” that migration helps migrants, and that the state must renew itself by replacing populations.

Similarly, establishment Republicans, media businesses, and major GOP donors hide the skew towards investors by ignoring the pocketbook impact and by touting border chaos, welfare spending, migrant crime, and drug smuggling.

Many polls show the public wants to welcome some immigration. But the polls also show deep and broad public opposition to labor migration and the inflow of temporary contract workers into jobs needed by young U.S. graduates.

This “Third Rail” opposition is growinganti-establishment, multiracial, cross-sex, non-racist, class-based, bipartisan, rational, persistent, and recognizes the solidarity that American citizens owe to one another.


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