Americans were swindled by President Lyndon Johnson’s 1965 pro-migration law, according to a senior New York Times columnist.
“I think it’s important to recognize that the [post-1965] immigration system we have, we sold to the American people partly on false pretenses,” said Devid Leonhardt, a columnist who has just written a new book about the decline — and possible return — of the American dream of middle-class prosperity.
Ordinary Americans were misled by pro-migration advocates, including LBJ and Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Ma), Leonhardt said:
[They] repeatedly promised that they were not changing the level of immigration. They were just changing the mix. I document quote after quote where they say, ‘You know, anyone who says this is going to lead to an increase in immigration is wrong, and that is an unfair accusation.” And in fact, the law’s authors were totally wrong about that — it led to a huge surge of immigration.
Still, he added, the passage of the 1965 immigration law was a great triumph for the civil rights of future migrants who would otherwise have been excluded.
The 1965 law is often touted as the legal foundation for the narrative that Americans’ homeland is instead a “Nation of Immigrants.” The claim is rejected by most Americans — but is pushed by many establishment media outlets.
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Since 1965, immigrants have doubled their population share to roughly 15 percent, and their children accounted for roughly 25 percent of births in 2009. That vast population increase has bumped up housing prices, nudged down wages, and helped end the 1960s prosperity that was enjoyed by nearly all Americans.
The Democratic Party’s [pro-migration] position is unpopular with swing voters … This upscale version of liberalism … looks at immigration [and] it sees this idea that “Hey, if we let in huge numbers of people from around the world, we can improve their lives.”
That’s not necessarily wrong, but it’s not what our laws say. We do not have laws on the books now saying that we just are going to allow millions and millions of people to come every year.
Since 2021, Biden and his pro-migration border chief, Alejandro Mayorkas, have admitted at least four million illegal migrants.
Leonhardt wants Democrats to adopt a centrist immigration policy.
Democrats’ support for migration is based on the mistaken claim that there are no downsides to migration, said Leonhadt. “I think it often is based on an assumption that immigration has no trade-offs, either economic or political, and I really do think immigration has trade-offs, and it’s important to grapple with them,” he said.
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The left is now so pro-migration, Leonhardt said, that they have adopted the open-border views pushed by Milton Friedman, an economist who was touted by a president they hate, President Ronald Reagan. “Much of the left in this country has adopted a position that Milton Friedman, the great conservative also adopted, which is maximal immigration,” he said.
Lizza, the Politico editor, endorsed Leonhadt’s argument, saying:
You have a fascinating chapter about immigration and its history, and basically advocating for trying to talk about this issue without being accused of being anti-immigrant or racist and that the discussion is very, very hard to have. Not that long ago, it was a little bit easier to talk about.
Polls show that Americans are not anti-immigrant — and also show that a rising share are anti-immigration because they oppose the government’s pro-migration policy.
The federal government has long operated an unpopular economic policy of Extraction Migration. This colonialism-like policy extracts vast amounts of human resources from needy countries, reduces beneficial trade, and uses the imported workers, renters, and consumers to grow Wall Street and the consumer economy.
The migrant inflow has successfully forced down Americans’ wages and also boosted rents and housing prices. The inflow has also pushed many native-born Americans out of careers in a wide variety of business sectors and contributed to the rising death rate of poor Americans.
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The population inflow also reduces the political clout of native-born Americans, because the population replacement allows elites and the establishment to divorce themselves from the needs and interests of ordinary Americans.
In many speeches, border chief Alejandro Mayorkas says he is building a mass migration system to deliver workers to wealthy employers and investors and “equity” to poor foreigners. The nation’s border laws are subordinate to elite opinion about “the values of our country” Mayorkas claims.
Migration — and especially, labor migration — is unpopular among swing voters. A 54 percent majority of Americans say immigration under President Joe Biden is making life harder for all, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll of 4,415 adults in September. That number is up from 48 percent in July 2023. Fifty-seven percent of independents agree with the “harder” view, while just 17 percent “strongly” disagree.