Opinion

Shaler: Arizona doesn’t need more immigration

By Pat Shaler
Posted 10/16/20

On Oct. 6, Republican Senator Martha McSally debated her Democratic challenger, Mark Kelly, in the first of a series of head-to-head confrontations in one of the nation’s most closely watched …

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Opinion

Shaler: Arizona doesn’t need more immigration

Posted

On Oct. 6, Republican Senator Martha McSally debated her Democratic challenger, Mark Kelly, in the first of a series of head-to-head confrontations in one of the nation’s most closely watched races.

McSally shouldn’t shrink from reminding Arizona voters of the stakes: a Democratic Senate would enable a potential Biden administration to implement the most radical immigration policies in U.S. history.

Biden has promised to provide amnesty for the 11 million illegal immigrants in the country. He has embraced the “sanctuary cities” that refuse to turn violent criminals over to federal law enforcement. And his immigration platform would flood the country with low-skilled immigrants, even though Americans are still reeling from the economic devastation of COVID-19.

If Biden takes the White House — and Mark Kelly helps Democrats clinch a Senate majority — this future is all but guaranteed.

Democrats claim to care about working-class Americans. Yet they want to expand low-skilled immigration that depresses blue-collar workers’ wages.

Consider the gulf between the two parties on issues such as the “Diversity-Visa Lottery.”

The program, which was originally created to attract more immigrants from Ireland, Great Britain, and Canada, grants green cards to eligible applicants who “win” a visa lottery. From an original limit of 5,000 “winners,” the lottery has ballooned to 55,000. Ironically, Canadians and Britons have become ineligible.

Now, anyone from a country which has sent fewer than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the last five years is eligible.

No rational person would decide who gets to legally immigrate to the United States by essentially drawing names out of a hat. Yet that’s the system we have — one that Joe Biden enthusiastically defends as part of America’s “core values.”

By contrast, Martha McSally co-sponsored a bill to eliminate the lottery in 2018. Her bill would have also restricted “chain migration,” the process by which recent immigrants sponsor their extended family members for green cards. Many of those extended family members have limited skills — and therefore compete with vulnerable American workers for jobs.

The latest State Department figures from November 2019 show more than 3 million applicants on the family-sponsored waiting list. Studies have repeatedly shown that these largely low-skilled immigrants depress the wages of their native competitors, who are often minorities.

And those studies are hardly surprising. You don’t need a Nobel Prize in economics to understand that inviting millions more workers into the already slack U.S. labor market will drive down wages and make it harder for Americans to find jobs.

Biden also promises to drastically increase the number of refugees allowed to the United States, from 18,000 to 125,000 — higher than during the Obama administration.

Proponents of increased legal immigration argue that migrants help grow the economy by doing jobs “Americans won’t do.” And on his website, Mark Kelly echoes this rhetoric, claiming that immigration “provides for the workforce we need.” But Arizona workers still climbing out of the economic downturn — they don’t need additional competitors.

With a Democratic Congress, a potential Biden administration will be able to enact its immigration policies regardless of how many Americans are desperate for jobs. Keeping the Senate in Republican hands is the surest way to stop this radical agenda.

Editor’s Note: Pat Shaler is a citizen activist from Scottsdale who served as spokesperson for the Scottsdale Tea Party.

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