Maybe it’s because it was a holiday week and most of the editors were on vacation. Or, perhaps, it is because the establishment elitists have been scared you-know-what-less by the primary defeat of Rep. Joe Crowley, a powerful establishment Democrat at the hands of a novice self-identified Democratic Socialist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Whatever it was, some intelligent thought on immigration managed to find its way into an opinion piece by The New York Times’ in-house columnist, Bret Stephens.
In his July 7 column “Democratic Socialism Is Dem Doom,” Stephens warns that the radical wing of the party that the establishment has been working to appease is not only a danger to the country, but the Democratic Party. One of the radical positions, championed by Ocasio-Cortez, that is gaining traction among the Democratic Party’s far left base is a demand to abolish ICE, the agency designated to enforce U.S. immigration laws.
Stephens notes the obvious – a point that FAIR has been making for many years – abolishing immigration enforcement is not only a dangerous and unpopular idea on its own merits; it is also incompatible with virtually every other domestic policy priority the party champions.
“Today’s social democracy falls apart on the contradiction between advocating nearly unlimited government largess and nearly unlimited immigration. ‘Abolish ICE’ is a proper rallying cry for hard-core libertarians and Davos globalists, not democratic socialists or social democrats. A federal job guarantee is an intriguing idea — assuming the jobs are for some defined ‘us’ that doesn’t include every immigrant, asylum-seeker or undocumented worker,” writes Stephens.
In case the Democratic establishment still doesn’t get it, Stephens lays out the clear choices the party’s leaders need to reckon with. “Want to preserve the welfare state? Build a wall — or, in Europe’s case, reinstate border controls. Want more immigrants and amnesty? Lower the minimum wage and abolish the closed shop. But please choose. It’s one or the other.”
As for the Democratic Party leaders who still have jobs (and want to keep them), Stephens warns of the dire consequences of trying to have it both ways. “Democrats who aren’t yet sick of all their losing should feel free to embrace them both.”
It’s so obvious, even the opinion page of The New York Times gets it.