Friday, November 30, 2007

Ron Paul's nativism

-- by Dave

Greg Sargent at TPM has put up a Ron Paul flyer being distributed in South Carolina (naturally) on the immigration issue. The above image was especially bizarre.

I'm not sure how "amnesty" is "trampling the Constitution," but I do believe that trying to take away children's traditional constitutional rights, enjoyed by generations of Americans, as an answer to it in fact tramples those rights.

And how, exactly, is the issue of "amnesty" associated with birthright citizenship anyway? How would taking that citizenship right away affect "amnesty" -- unless you just see the prospect of giving any Latinos citizenship at all noxious, and see amending the Constitution as part of a larger program to deny them?

Paul isn't just being anti-illegal immigration here -- he's being generically anti-immigrant. Check out the sixth step of his six-part plan:

It's not just allowing illegal immigrants to obtain a path to citizenship they oppose -- it's any expansion of immigration at all, even the logical expansion of immigration to accommodate labor and other economic demands that would make the system actually function properly instead of creating a permanent underclass of "illegal aliens."

Note also: the "60 million" figure that Paul cites reflects immigration over a 20-year-period; considering that the total U.S. population by 2030 is projected to be 363 million, that's only about 17 percent of the total population. Given the relatively flat birth rates in the U.S. in recent years -- a trend likely to continue, at the least -- it's clear that immigration will play a significant role in future economic expansion and competitiveness. Paul's program essentially calls for gradual economic suicide.

It is, as Sargent suggests, classic nativism. But then, we knew that about Paul already.

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