1. Declining Immigration →

    According to the Pew Hispanic Center, more Mexicans exited the United States than entered it from 2005 to 2010. I conclude that aggressive tactics to encourage “self-deportation” work. Deportation (the regular jackbooted kind), border walls, surveillance drones, harassment of brown people with or without suspicious accents, all of it! And recessions. Recessions, too. Recessions mostly, maybe. And maybe not. America’s economic downturn is a big part of the story, but it’s not the whole story. Mexico has an economy, too. And it’s not going so badly there, which is one reason we should not expect Mexican immigration to return to trend as American growth and employment returns to trend.

    Mr Barone goes so far as to argue that, since the era of mass Mexican immigration is over for good, the shape of the immigration debate in America will never be the same. “The key immigration issue for the future”, Mr Barone maintains, “is whether America, like our Anglosphere cousins Canada and Australia, will let in more high-skill immigrants.” I’m not so sure American worries about visits from our Mexican neighbours will fade this much, but it does seem likely that Republicans in this year’s primaries have been fanning nativist embers bound to fade, perhaps at great cost to their electoral prospects.

    Yet Mitt Romney is stuck with debate clips in which he goes on about “self-deportation” and bullies Rick Perry for displaying the compassion and good sense born of his experience governing a border state. Mr Romney needs to improve his position among Hispanic voters; he trails Mr Obama by about 40% in the polls. And, as my colleagues point out in this week’s print edition, Hispanics “account for over 20% of the population in several swing states, including Colorado, Florida, Nevada and New Mexico” and Democrats are looking hungrily at Arizona, which has put in place controversial measures against illegal immigration now before the Supreme Court. So you can be sure Mr Romney is giving this Etch-A-Sketch a good shake. Will it help? Michael Tomasky of the Daily Beast says it’ll help a little, but not a lot; Mr Romney certainly won’t match George W. Bush’s 42% of the Hispanic vote

    Does Romney have any choice but to choose Marco Rubio? The Republicans own misguided policies could cost them the presidential election.


  1. marck0s posted this