Posted on November 15, 2011

Republican Debates Avoid Immigration Issues

Joe Guzzardi, The Jersey Journal, November 15, 2011

After a three week hiatus from the debate circuit, eight Republican hopefuls took the stage last week. Held in economically devastated Michigan, the debate gave candidates a chance to come out swinging against the federal policies that led to the state’s unemployment rate which peaked at 14 percent after the 2007 meltdown. Currently, Michigan unemployment is 11.1 percent, the nation’s third highest.

For those of us who were waiting for a meaningful dialogue about immigration, the effect of which directly impacts not only employment but also the quality of education, health care, the environment, crime and national security, last night was long and lonely. During the two hour session, immigration was mentioned only in passing. You’d never guess that, because of Arizona and other states’ enforcement laws, immigration has been headline news for months.

During the earlier debates, except for a few passionate exchanges about the DREAM Act and parroting the universally accepted mantra that the border should be secured, candidates mostly avoided immigration.

But since the adverse impact over-immigration can so easily be woven into America’s other social problems, it’s a mystery why the candidates won’t step up to connect the dots. How hard would it be to make the indisputable observation that accepting over one million legal immigrants annually and giving them work permits creates more American joblessness?