President Obama's announcement of a de facto amnesty for illegal immigrants by administrative fiat offered a chance for Mitt Romney to appeal to the majority of Americans who consistently tell pollsters that they want to see immigration reduced. Instead, Romney told a gathering of Hispanic politicians that he will increase immigration, by raising the caps for temporary work visas, by allowing green card holders to bring in family members, by increasing the number of H1B visas, and by granting permanent residency status to all foreign students who graduate from American colleges with degrees in science, math, or engineering.
The last thing America needs at a time of high unemployment and even higher underemployment is more immigration. Indeed, Romney's plan is a plan to displace Americans from technical jobs, since the the effect of the H1B program has been to depress wages and the same program has often been used to replace qualified Americans with cheaper foreigners. There are some good parts of Romney's program, such as mandating that employers use the E-Verify system, which will effectively weed out the job applications of those ineligble to work in the United States. Still, the unfortunate reality is that, once again, neither major party is offering anything to the millions of Americans who recognize that mass immigration is radically transforming America for no good reason and who want mass immigration curtailed for that very reason.
Thomas Piatak is a contributing editor to Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He writes from Cleveland, Ohio.