Immigration & Green Card Law Firm, Lawyers, Attorneys: San Franscisco Bay Area to San Jose: The Presidential Candidates: Why they don’t care about Immigration?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Presidential Candidates: Why they don’t care about Immigration?

Dear Readers,

This is a simple and straightforward question. And the answer is quite simple. No. Why?

First and foremost, non-citizens don’t vote. Although President Bush sought the Hispanic vote for the Republican party by pushing comprehensive immigration reform, he didn’t come to grips with or understand the ability of ‘anti-immigrant’ advocates and radio/tv personalities to mobilize people to want the deportation of 20 million illegals. They also appealed to the “we must shut down our borders immediately” types. Except for Nativists such as Patrick Buchanan who want a “pure” America, few are against legal immigration - but most voters in the country are willing to wait to deal with our broken system until the problem of illegal immigration has been handled; of course, few seem to understand that the solution of illegal immigration inevitably involves and is tied to “comprehensive reform”, that is, taking away the incentive to come here illegally.

All that said, why are our politicians against even talking about immigration? The answer is simple. I’ve been practicing immigration law, mostly on the employment-based side, for over 25 years. Our economy and this anti-immigration wave of rhetoric are tied together. When good, immigration is off the table, when we are in a recession, or the economic realities are perceived in trouble by citizens, then “here it goes again”. Nothing really changes. Each time we are in a down cycle, recession or not, we look for a scapegoat. Immigrants are that scapegoat. Many years back it was the Jews who emigrated from Eastern Europe, the Italians, the Irish during that same time period. Ellis Island and all that. Now it is the low skilled Mexicans crossing the border in search of jobs, as well as the Indian and Chinese H-1b Engineers needed here in Silicon Valley. Besides the refrain “They are taking our jobs!”, I now hear “Terrorists”. It is McCarthyism all over again.

Again, how does this answer the question? You got it! Yes, immigrants, legal and illegal, don’t vote. Politicians have one major job, and that is to get re-elected (and they think of that all the time). And that is why you hear virtually nothing about immigration from them. They don’t want to lose. Period.

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