Immigration and Electoral Politics

I’m going to make this short because I’m going to sleep in a few minutes, but it’s just occurred to me that the most surefire way for the Democrats to win elections in the next few years is to use immigration as a wedge issue. A solid majority of Americans supports a guest worker program; an even larger one supports giving illegal immigrants a path to citizenship. Meanwhile, the Republican base is firmly anti-immigrant, which will conveniently cause a schism in the party.

Now, a large majority of Americans also wants stronger border control, a complete waste of money that will reduce the number of illegal immigrants by the unique integer that’s divisible by every positive integer.

Fortunately, center-shifting around that is fairly easy. Students who take intro to pol sci learn about a few basic results of political research: a single-member district plurality electoral system promotes a two-party system, democracies are less likely to fight one another than non-democracies, voter turnout increases with the level of the race (local, regional, national, etc.), and border patrols increase the level of illegal immigration.

American conservatives have shifted the center to the right over the last 30 years largely via think-tanks. On this issue, the left doesn’t need think-tanks, when “It’s in every pol sci textbook” will do.

7 Responses to Immigration and Electoral Politics

  1. SLC says:

    The answer to the problem of illegal immigration is very simple and does not require building fences or deploying the National Guard. Just give the border patrol orders to shoot on sight. I guarentee that within 2 weeks of such a policy being instituted, illegal immegration will plummet.

  2. Alon Levy says:

    A good rule of thumb is that if a policy direction works, it’ll give you partial results if you implement it partially. So far, the correlation between border controls and immigration suggests that your policy will just increase the number of illegal immigrants even more – perhaps the number will plummet in two weeks, but it’ll bounce back up in 3 months.

  3. SLC says:

    1. I am not advocating this policy, just putting it out there to be shot at.

    2. I’m not quite sure how the number of illegal immigrants will increase since thay will all be shot dead.

  4. Alon Levy says:

    Border patrol can only catch a small fraction of immigrants. How do you think illegal immigrants get in now – by outrunning DHS jeeps?

    Even a fence won’t work. The number of illegal immigrants in the US is about 11 million at any given time; the actual number of people who illegally live and work in the US at one point in a given year is much higher. That’s how border controls increase the levels of illegal immigration: they make seasonal workers stay for the entire year, since these workers would rather only deal with the possibility of being caught once, instead of once a year.

  5. SLC says:

    What you forget is that stories that illegal immigrants are being shot dead will act as a deterrent to others. Or as the French say, pour encourage’ les autres.

  6. belledame222 says:

    Not significantly to stop determined people, it won’t. Never has done.

  7. belledame222 says:

    …and to put in anything remoetly near the amount of money and other resources it would take to maintain a guarded fence ALL ALONG THE BORDER…frankly? It’d probably end up costing more than the supposed drain the illegal immigrants are making on the economy, even assuming you do buy that they are somehow magically taking away “good” jobs from deserving American citizens; that the problem with the economy starts from the bottom and not from the top.

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