I regularly catch flack in the comments section for using the label “anti-immigrant” when I’m referring to people who say they’re only opposed to illegal immigration.
So here’s the question: If you’re adamant that you only oppose illegal immigration, then do you also support vastly expanding the number of legal visas the federal government grants to low-wage, low-skill workers (which at the moment is an exceedingly small number)?
The problem with the argument that Mexicans and other Hispanics should “wait their turn” before coming here is that there’s no “turn” for them to wait for. It just isn’t possible for the overwhelming majority of people who want to work low-wage service jobs to get legal access to this country, and to the jobs we need them to fill. So would you support vastly expanding the number of visas we hand out to them, consistent with something like the Cato plan?
My experience has been that people who get angry about illegal immigrants also recoil at the thought of making it easier for Mexicans to come here legally, too. Which really only leaves the option that their real problem is with Mexicans coming here in general. I remember an email exchange I had a few years ago with the paleoconservative Steve Sailer. Sailer wrote flat out that he is not anti-immigration. He supports immigration from countries with populations he considered more intelligent and productive, like–um–Europe. Which in addition to being rather racist, also means he supports the one form of immigration that really would take jobs from American citizens.
In any case, if you’re anti-illegal immigration, and don’t support expanding the legal means for Mexicans to come here to do low-skill labor, then it’s pretty hard to argue that you aren’t “anti-immigration.”