Immigration is a subject that I’ve mostly neglected, while I’ve devoted most of my time to railing against idiotic U.S. trade policy. In the wake of the first weeks of the Trump administration, however, the time seems right to interject a little perspective into the debate.
Over the past half century or so corporations, and their deep pockets used to fund political campaigns, have turned the subject of immigration into a growth industry. They have used a tidal wave of immigrants to bolster their balance sheets by providing a surge in consumer demand for products and a surge in labor supply that has suppressed wages. Legal immigration has exploded and illegal immigration has gone from a criminal activity to practically being a human right. Americans were once almost unanimously opposed to illegal immigration and both parties opposed it, the right more than the left.
Today, it’s completely different. The political left advocates “open borders,” and the right is almost at that point as well, barely distinguishing itself from the left with a thin veneer of support for some kind of legal process. Against that backdrop, Trump looks downright radical now and the political left’s reaction to his early attempts to reign in illegal immigration have bordered on hysteria.
So it’s worthwhile to take a look back at Bill Clinton’s State of the Union address in 1995. In this excerpt from his 1995 State of Union address, Clinton calls for exactly the kind of crack-down on illegal immigration that Trump has now begun to execute.
Too bad that Trump didn’t use this clip in a campaign commercial. Nothing further needed to be said, other than “I’m Donald Trump and I approve this message.”
More perspective on immigration will soon follow.