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Sen. Tom Cotton: Immigration In The National Interest

On September 18, 2017 Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) delivered the address at Hillsdale College’s Eighth Annual Constitution Day Celebration. His address “Immigration in the National Interest” is one of the most powerful analyses we have seen of why President Trump won the election and why Americans have finally rejected rule by the self-appointed elite governing class.

In Senator Cotton’s analysis, “They did this, I believe, because they’ve lost faith in both the competence and the intentions of our governing class—of both parties! Government now takes nearly half of every dollar we earn and bosses us around in every aspect of life, yet can’t deliver basic services well. Our working class—the Senator Tom Cotton“forgotten man,” to use the phrase favored by Ronald Reagan and FDR—has seen its wages stagnate, while the four richest counties in America are inside the Washington Beltway. The kids of the working class are those who chiefly fight our seemingly endless wars and police our streets, only to come in for criticism too often from the very elite who sleep under the blanket of security they provide.”

What Senator Cotton nailed was the same point that President Trump made in his speech in Monesson, Pennsylvania that helped make Trump believers out of many CHQ readers: This is not some natural disaster, it’s a political and politician-made disaster. The destruction of America’s middle class, wrought over the past two decades and continuing today, wasn’t caused by some inevitable, pre-destined economic force – it was caused by the leaders we elected and entrusted with our government.

And one of the most improvident choices America’s leaders have made over the past two decades is to open America’s borders.

Said Senator Cotton:

For years, all Democrats and many Republicans have agreed on the outline of what’s commonly called “comprehensive immigration reform,” which is Washington code for amnesty, mass immigration, and open borders in perpetuity.

This approach was embodied most recently in the so-called Gang of Eight bill in 2013. It passed the Senate, but thankfully we killed it in the House, which I consider among my chief accomplishments in Congress so far. Two members of the Gang of Eight ran for my party’s nomination for president last year. Neither won a single statewide primary. Donald Trump denounced the bill, and he won the nomination.

Senator Cotton went on to point out that, “No one captured this sensibility better than President Obama, when he famously called himself “a citizen of the world.”  With that phrase, he revealed a deep misunderstanding of citizenship. After all, “citizen” and “city” share the same Greek root word: citizenship by definition means that you belong to a particular political community. Yet many of our elites share Mr. Obama’s sensibility. They believe that American citizenship—real, actual citizenship—is meaningless…”

Then-candidate Donald Trump rejected this formulation saying, “This globalist mindset is not only foreign to most Americans. It’s also foreign to the American political tradition.”

They think because anyone can become an American, we’re morally obligated to treat everyone like an American. If you disagree, you’re considered hard-hearted, bigoted, intolerant, xenophobic. So the only policies that aren’t inherently un-American are those that effectively erase our borders and erase the distinction between citizen and foreigner: don’t erect barriers on the border; give sanctuary cities a pass; spare illegal immigrants from deportation; allow American businesses to import as much cheap labor as they want. Anything less, the elites say, is a betrayal of our ideals.

But that’s wrong. Just because you can become an American doesn’t mean you are an American. And it certainly doesn’t mean we must treat you as an American, especially if you don’t play by our rules. After all, in our unique brand of nationalism, which connects our people through our ideas, repudiating our law is kind of like renouncing your blood ties in the monarchical lands of old. And what law is more fundamental to a political community than who gets to become a citizen, under what conditions, and when?

Senator Cotton went on to point out that:

…we shouldn’t be surprised when politicians fail to understand fully the implications of their actions. Take the 1965 [Immigration] Act. That law ended the national-origins quota system, and at the time its importance was minimized. When President Johnson signed it into law, he said, “This bill . . . is not a revolutionary bill. It does not affect the lives of millions. It will not reshape the structure of our daily lives, or really add importantly to either our wealth or our power.”

How wrong he was.

The economy we’re living in today is in no small part a result of the 1965 Act, which opened the door to mass immigration of unskilled and low-skilled workers, primarily through unlimited family chain migration. And that’s not an economy anyone should be satisfied with.

Today, we have about a million immigrants per year. That’s like adding the population of Montana every year—or the population of Arkansas every three years. But only one in 15—one in 15 of those millions of immigrants—comes here for employment-based reasons. The vast majority come here simply because they happen to be related to someone already here. That’s why, for example, we have more Somalia-born residents than Australia-born residents, even though Australia is nearly twice the size of Somalia and Australians are better prepared, as a general matter, to integrate and assimilate into the American way of life.

In sum, over 36 million immigrants, or 94 percent of the total, have come to America over the last 50 years for reasons having nothing to do with employment. And that’s to say nothing of the over 24 million illegal immigrants who have come here. Put them together and you have 60 million immigrants, legal and illegal, who did not come to this country because of a job offer or because of their skills. That’s like adding almost the entire population of the United Kingdom. And this is still leaving aside the millions of temporary guest workers who we import every year into our country.

Senator Cotton’s answer to these problems is the RAISE Act: Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy.

The RAISE Act will correct the flaws in the 1965 Act by reorienting our immigration system towards foreigners who have the most to contribute to our country. It would create a skills-based points system similar to Canada’s and Australia’s. Here’s how it would work. When people apply to immigrate, they’d be given an easy-to-calculate score, on a scale of 0 to 100, based on their education, age, job salary, investment ability, English-language skills, and any extraordinary achievements. Then, twice a year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services would invite the top scorers to complete their applications, and it would invite enough high-scoring applicants to fill the current 140,000 annual employment-based green-card slots.

The RAISE Act would also eliminate the diversity lottery that allowed Uzbek terrorist Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov to enter this country with virtually no vetting.

Senator Tom Cotton’s address to Hillsdale College’s Eighth Annual Constitution Day Celebration is worth reading in its entirety, not only for its incisive analysis of why immigration was a defining issue in the 2016 presidential election, but also for its excellent analysis of the history of immigration legislation and how choices by America’s governing elite have ignored the economic and national security interests of working Americans.

To read Senator Tom Cotton’s “Immigration in the National Interest” click the link to go to Hillsdale College’s Imprimis website.

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immigration in the national interest.

The issue of immigration in the national interest is an interesting way to put this into the public discussion.
Just what does one persons views on public interest mean as opposed to another persons views on the subject. The definition can take on different connotations.
For instance the definition that the agriculture industry might use is much the same as that used by other members of different industries across the spectrum. Perhaps the agriculture industry can be put aside for the discussion of this issue of "immigration in the national interest". After all we do have a program for temporary workers in the agriculture industry already. I am sure that other industries would like the same programs as well.
Is it in the national interest to bring in millions of foreign workers in order to provide cheap labor to the business community when at the same time this would result in lower wages for the citizen/workers of our nation?This would also result in the unemployment of our own citizens putting them in the welfare system.
This issue of immigration in general has to be viewed not only as to what the business community believes is in their best interests but also what is good for the American citizens.
Are we a Sovereign Nation or just an employment office for the worlds cheapest labor force. If we are just that employment office then what does it say about the meaning of citizenship, does it have meaning or are we just to be swept aside for the next group of immigrants to take our place.
What kind of nation will we be if that is the case. Perhaps this is the next step in that one world government, the new world order that the first Bush President spoke of and that many of the political elite support.
No borders, no citizenship survival of the fittest, that is the result when people lose the patriotic spirit and love of ones own country over all others. Money before country that is the worst of all beliefs.