Two very astute readers have responded to my post about Scott Walker’s position on amnesty by arguing that Walker’s bigger problem is his apparent preference for seemingly unlimited legal immigration. Walker has said, for example:
I don’t care whether it is from Mexico or India or Germany or Ireland or anywhere else around the world, if we have people who want to come here and work hard and live the American dream, we should embrace those people.
Taken literally, Walker’s statement obviously goes too far. As Neil Munro has pointed out, a Gallup poll indicates that at least 138 million low-skilled or high-skilled people in China, Latin America, India and Africa want to immigrate to the United States.
The U.S. clearly cannot welcome this many immigrants. I’m hoping that, as Walker hones his position on immigration, he will make it clear that there should be limits on legal immigration.
I also hope that Walker will make clear that the U.S. shouldn’t welcome everyone who has a university degree or even an advanced degree. As one reader warns, this approach would quickly commoditize U.S. graduates and professionals thus seriously threatening America’s upper-middle class.
Both readers note that Scott Walker isn’t the only Republican contender who has been too quick to embrace the significant expansion of visas for foreign professionals. In fact, all of the most prominent contenders — Walker, Bush, Rubio, Cruz, and Paul — appear to have.
Rubio, for example, has co-sponsored legislation that would expand the number of guest-workers for the tech industry. Its premise is that the U.S. suffers from a shortage of high-tech workers, a dubious proposition. Indeed, companies like Microsoft have been laying off such employees.
The debates among Republican presidential contenders will feature a sharp clash of views on what to do about illegal immigrants. Let’s hope there’s also a serious clash on the issue of legal immigration.