Offer the public a different vision, cowards.

by Hamilton Nolan, How Things Work

Repellent Texas governor Greg Abbott is using his state’s southern border as a tool to goad the federal government into a fight over immigration. Oh my goodness! Still? How can that be, after the Democrats in Washington boldly outflanked the Republicans by putting everything they wanted into an immigration bill, which the Republicans in Congress then refused to pass at the behest of Donald Trump? Quite surprising that the most shameless gutter racist politicians in America would risk being exposed as somewhat hypocritical, no?

For the purpose of this discussion, and all political discussions going forward, we are going to stipulate the fact that the Republicans will do evil things and lie as a matter of course. That is why the discussion will focus on what the Democrats should be doing. The normal Republican position on immigration is very simple: Racism. “We hate immigrants because they are brown, and poor, and then we will layer a little dubious economic protectionist reasoning on top of that,” is what you will always get from Republicans on this. The only real variations are how veiled or unveiled the racism is. In 2024 (and really for the entire period since 2015), the racism status has been: Not Veiled At All.

colombian refugees at US border

That is and has been and will be the right wing’s approach to immigration. Imagining that you can catch Republicans in some sort of worthwhile “gotcha” about their reasoning on this issue displays the same sophistication as a cat trying to catch a laser pointer. It is not possible. It is a waste of time. Racism will always create its own post-hoc justifications. The question to think about is: What alternative vision of immigration should be put forward in the political arena, besides that one?

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