Every day for the past 35 years, I have religiously read the Wall Street Journal. When I’m on vacation, I have the papers saved and I read them upon my return. I’ve often told people that if they just read the WSJ’s opinion pages, they would be well informed – but not in recent memory have the editors been as wrong as they are with their current position on immigration.
The September 24th editorial entitled “The Illegal Immigration Collapse” claims that the Republican presidential debates were distorting the importance of illegal immigration on the American economy. The editors, illustrating their point with a graph, describe how border apprehensions have plummeted over the last eleven years. In fact, they state that apprehensions – of which there were 463,000 in 2010 – are at the lowest level in 40 years.
They argue that the decrease is caused more by the weak economy than by improved border security. But they then not only accuse Republicans of shouting that the border isn’t “secure,” but also that, by their definition, the border will never be secure. I have rarely seen the WSJ editors present more fatuous claims and more contradictory arguments.
The first problem with their line of reasoning is the assumption that there is a relationship between the number of apprehensions and the number of illegal entries into the country. While there may be a correlation, the editors provide no statistics to back that up.
Furthermore, they imply that these people are coming here principally to work – and if there’s less work due to our anemic economy, then there’ll be fewer illegals; therefore our concern is exaggerated. What a ridiculous position! Does that mean that we could resolve our illegal immigration problem by re-electing President Obama and driving our economy into a total ditch? Under that thesis, think of all the money we could save on border enforcement since foreigners will no longer want to live in America. By this logic, we will have a surge of illegal immigrants as soon as the economy perks up again – so let’s just wait until then to bring up the subject.
They finish the editorial by stating – and here is where the WSJ editors join hands with the left – “Immigrants bring vitality and skills to the U.S. economy.” This clearly implies what liberals have alleged for years: that Republicans are anti-immigrant. I have never once seen a statement by a Republican presidential candidate against immigrants, and the editorial did not (and could not) cite one.