September 12, 2012
The Republican National Committee reformed its immigration platform this month to favor a new guest worker program. Unfortunately, the party still seems unwilling to accept permanent low-skilled immigrants. These workers are critical to America’s future competitiveness, yet they have received little GOP attention compared to high-skilled workers from Asia to whom Mitt Romney is promising green cards. The disparate treatment stems from a fundamentally flawed view of the economy.
Many people view low-skilled immigrants as an economic burden because they produce few income taxes. But it’s not just these immigrants—almost half of all Americans had no income tax liability in 2011. In other words, according to the logic of immigration’s opponents, America’s economy would benefit from deporting half the country’s population. Despite its absurd implications, no other argument against immigration receives more attention from Congress and the media.