[Ed. – A dose of honesty from the Left would aid greatly in detoxifying immigration.]
The three-day shutdown in Washington shows the immigration issue remains potent. In 2016, it powered Donald Trump’s triumph over the Republican and Democratic establishments while tipping the U.K. referendum toward Brexit. Anyone who hoped voters would get it out of their systems must be sorely disappointed.
This weekend Washington ground to a halt as an impasse over “Dreamers” left the government without funding. In Germany, Angela Merkel, once the unchallenged master of European politics, is still struggling to form a coalition four months after leading her party to its worst election result since the 1940s. German politics has been so scrambled by Mrs. Merkel’s 2015 decision to admit one million Middle Eastern and Afghan refugees that the far-right Alternative for Germany is in the Bundestag for the first time.
What makes immigration radioactive? Partly it’s that no other issue, not even economic inequality, drives such a deep wedge between elite and mass opinion. Elites almost always support immigration on both economic and moral grounds. But many voters worry their neighborhoods will be exposed to the social consequences of mass immigration, and that their wages will decline as immigrants compete for jobs.