The Washington Post finally prints a positive immigration story [gift link]
Immigration has propelled the U.S. job market further than just about anyone expected, helping cement the country’s economic rebound from the pandemic as the most robust in the world.
That momentum picked up aggressively over the past year. About 50 percent of the labor market’s extraordinary recent growth came from foreign-born workers between January 2023 and January 2024, according to an Economic Policy Institute analysis of federal data. And even before that, by the middle of 2022, the foreign-born labor force had grown so fast that it closed the labor force gap created by the pandemic, according to research from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
They pair it with a piece about angry Arizona Democrats who don’t like Biden’s immigration message (worth a read, gift link).
“It’s not just Republicans. Democrats, too, like to push the narrative that we’re being invaded — and as a registered Democrat, it’s really hurtful to see because my parents came here wanting to seek a better life,” Villafan, 23, said just a three-hour drive north from Arizona’s shared border with Mexico.
Anyway, AOC was on MSNBC the other night
and here’s her immigration message:
But the idea that Republicans, in order to win an election, say we need to hermetically seal the border when they know it is economic self-sabotage to the U.S. economy, and they are saying, ‘Let’s do it anyway.’ And to compensate for the negative effects, we are going to allow and throw peoples’ kids into factories. This is what they are doing in rolling back child labor laws while being as xenophobic and anti-immigrant as they are. […And] by them blocking and preventing any legislation that will provide not just a path to citizenship, but a path to work papers, a path to allowing people who want to work to be paired with American businesses who need people to work. […] There is no moral calculation. There is no economic calculation. There is no logical calculation. There is only a political calculation, and that political calculation is: we are going to keep whining about it. We are going to keep pretending this is a crises while contributing to actual problems. And we are going to block the solution so that we can campaign on it over and over and over. And we can call it caravans, we can call it migrant crisis, we can call it family separation. And they will just recycle it over and over and over again in order to gin up so much animosity and destruction in this country. And racism in this country. Because that’s the only thing that the Republican Party even is standing on at this point.
AOC also says that Democrats need to “grow a little spine” over immigration, so run to your fainting couches and clutch your pearls if that kind of talk offends you. It doesn’t offend me, because trying to fund border security at the level Republicans want isn’t a position on immigration that does Democrats any good. Pointing out that immigration helps the economy, that it helps businesses that have jobs non-immigrants don’t want, and that some kind of reasonable work permit program is far more constructive than more walls, barbed wire and border cops, is messaging that is true and doesn’t alienate a good portion of our base.
Final point: a good part of the white, rural MAGA base knows damn well that immigration is essential for our economy, because they live near slaughterhouses and packing plants that need immigrants to do the dangerous, backbreaking work on offer there. They’re more than happy to have their town benefit from the presence of a large number of immigrants — they just want them to be non-voters who are scared every time a cop drives by.