In praise of the RAISE Act, Part Two

In praise of the RAISE Act, Part Two

A friend and long-time Power Line reader has this to say in response to my post in praise of the RAISE Act — the immigration reform proposal of Sens. Cotton and Perdue that President Trump forcefully endorsed yesterday:


Yesterday on my drive home, I listened to a long NPR radio story about the bill’s introduction. As the story ended, I drove past a large apartment complex that is being built at the south end of Alexandria. The construction workers’ day had just ended and a large number of workers were exiting the job site. Without exception, every one was Hispanic.


I worked construction for five summers here in the D.C. area in the late 60’s and early 70’s. At that time, the construction crews were made up predominately of whites, mainly from Appalachia, and African-Americans, with the occasional Hispanic or “college boy” like me thrown in.


Like most higher-income folks in the U.S., I benefit from the cheap labor provided by low-skill immigrants, but I can’t help think of the plight of all those once-proud men that we don’t see any more and who are so easy to just not think about.


The stock answer to this is there are just a lot of jobs that Americans won’t do anymore. I challenge anyone who believes that to drive through middle America where you find non-immigrants doing construction, cleaning hotels, driving taxis, doing agricultural work, or the host of other jobs we are told, “Americans just won’t do.”


I have appreciation for and empathy with every hard-working immigrant who has come here and helped us make America into a great country. But a large extent, those are the same folks who are most damaged by unfettered immigration.


The RAISE Act is good public policy and likely a significant winning political issue for Republicans if the GOP is willing to embrace it.