OCALA, Fla., May 28, 2014 — Jeb Bush is the man-about-town for many Republicans these days.
His open emphasis on granting amnesty to illegal aliens has upset many among the GOP ranks. In spite of this, the former Florida Governor remains popular with establishment Republican pundits and politicos. While it is unlikely that such friends, even though they reside in high places, will be able to make amends with average GOPers, their influence — measured in dollars and cents — stands formidable.
In a presidential campaign cycle, the importance of money is clear.
Even though Bush would probably win no Republican primaries, what he promotes on immigration cannot be discounted. The moneyed class that is waiting for the chance to support someone with his views is not going anywhere. Should he decide not to run, these folks will cast their strings for another puppet.
If they can’t find one who is a registered Republican, some might back whichever open-borders Democrat is most likely to succeed President Obama. For them, higher income taxes would be offset by a spring of cheap labor.
The dismal nature of this situation brings the importance of immigration control front and center.
Last year, Temple University law professor Jan C. Ting, who served as Assistant Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service under George H. W. Bush, told me that “everyone thinks they understand the immigration system because they’re descended from immigrants or know immigrants, or are immigrants themselves, just as everyone thinks they understand the tax system because they’ve been paying and reporting their taxes for years. But they don’t. Both systems are immensely more complicated than ordinary citizens believe or understand.
“We have to choose between either enforcing a numerical limit on the number of immigrants we allow every year or, alternatively, having no limit on immigration as was the case in the first century of the republic. It’s a binary choice. There is no third way, such as pretending we have limits, but then not enforcing those limits and instead amnestying violators of the limits whenever they attain a large number. I respect proponents of unlimited immigration, which is an intellectually coherent position to take. I do not respect proponents of a ‘third way,’ because keeping limits on the books, but not enforcing them, is intellectually incoherent and expensive beyond our means.
“I personally believe that a democratic society is morally entitled to set and enforce a limit on the number of new immigrants admitted each year. I believe we are threatened with overpopulation that endangers the economic and environmental future of the Americans already here. We already have many millions of Americans looking for work who can’t find any. We face a future of advancing technology and robotics that will reduce the number of needed workers. Our population is projected to grow from just over 300 million to over 400 million by 2050, and to 600 million by the end of the century, and that’s if we do nothing to accelerate population growth by enacting an immigration amnesty.
“Where are the jobs? How do we educate the children and provide health care for all? Where will another 100 to 300 million Americans park and drive their cars? How much energy will they burn to heat their homes? What do we do with their litter, waste and greenhouse gases? Virtually all the population growth is due to immigration, with only an insignificant fraction attributable to births to the native population, where the rate of birth is barely at replacement level.
“So my first choice is to enforce a numerical limit on immigration. My second choice is to stop enforcing immigration limits, open the borders, and allow everyone in the world who’s not a criminal or national security risk to immigrate to America and pursue the American dream. That second choice will also save taxpayers billions of dollars now spent on immigration enforcement.”