The New York Times editorial board slammed Donald Trump for challenging the Washington consensus on immigration Thursday, clearly fuming at the thought of a debate they believe is settled.
“It has long been a hard job to keep the highly combustible immigration debate on the right side of sanity and reality,” the board wrote. ”That progress is now being undone before our eyes in the presidential campaign, courtesy of the faux-populist billionaire who says immigrants are the reason this country is weak and frightened and going to hell.”
Americans have come to a consensus on immigration policy, according to the board. Illegal immigrants? Give them legal status and a path to citizenship. Soaring numbers of “undocumented workers” spilling over the southern border? The more the merrier.
“The solutions are well known,” the board wrote, lauding “forward-thinking” cities that have pushed past the debate and offered illegal immigrants driver’s licenses and identity cards, “all for the common good.”
But Trump and his ideas are “emboldening” a group of “fringe lawmakers” determined to thwart the will of the majority by opposing “any positive immigration legislation.”
The plan he laid out includes building a wall on the southern border, revoking automatic birthright citizenship, and deporting illegal immigrants. Trump also proposed a legal immigration policy that would prioritize American workers and make it more expensive for businesses to hire foreign guest workers.
His ideas are obviously terrible, the board writes, calling them “despicable,” xenophobic, racist, toxic, cruel, and “noxious.” But they could force a dangerous debate in the Republican primaries and general election.
“The danger is that when the campaign is over, no matter what becomes of Mr. Trump’s candidacy, he will have further poisoned the debate with his noxious positions, normalized an extremism whose toxicity is dulled by familiarity and is validated by a feckless party.”
The Times doesn’t bother to back up its position on Trump’s plan with facts or context, apparently because it’s so obviously correct. ”He would flood the country with immigration agents and — it almost goes without saying — dismantle the economy and shred America’s standing as an immigrant-welcoming nation.”
Since 1970, the foreign-born population has increased by more than 325% to an all-time high of 42 million in 2015, while wages and share of income fell. That population is now 13% of the U.S. population — the largest share in more than a hundred years.
If federal law is not changed, the U.S. is on track to issue 10 million green cards over the next decade — a massive new permanent resident bloc larger than the combined populations of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.
Wages remain fairly stagnant, and record numbers of Americans are not in the workforce. In July, 93.8 million people in the U.S. ages 16 and older were not employed or looking for work, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
Nearly one in five U.S. residents will be an immigrant by 2060, an analysis of Census Bureau data by the anti-immigration a Center for Immigration Studies found. And immigrants will account for 82% of population growth in the U.S. from 2010 through 2060.
This report, by Rachel Stoltzfoos, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.