Photo by Jam Adams.
Conservative guru Richard Nadler is willing to make a couple bets. He’s willing to put money on the fact that in less than one year’s time, new members of Congress will be sporting an immigrant-friendly platform, beating out candidates who promote restrictionist policies. Most recently, Nadler announced that he is also willing to bet that, over time, states with the highest percentage of undocumented immigrants will recover from the economic recession more quickly than other states with smaller immigrant populations.
Nadler’s analysis applies to Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Texas, and Utah — as well as the District of Columbia — all of which are currently under some sort of budget constraint. According to Nadler:
In the midst of a severe economic downturn, some of my critics hypothesize that public policy should remove illegals to eliminate the “oversupply” of labor, and the attendant downward drag on wages. I would contend the opposite: that relative freedom in the labor flows will prove curative, certainly in comparison to the old Hoover-FDR attempts to “support” wages.
Nadler has done the math and he’s figured out that pro-immigrant policies are good for the Republican Party and even better for the U.S. economy. Earlier this year, he warned Republican party members:
At some point, conservatives must reflect on how many allies, and how many issues, we are willing to sacrifice in a fey and futile attempt to get field workers, busboys, and nannies out of the country. The steady drumbeat of restrictionist defeat invites – no, requires – conservatives to revisit a concept we have glibly reviled: comprehensive immigration reform. The relevant question is no longer whether we want it, but what we want from it: what forms of border security, crime control, and employment verification. Every hour we postpone a border reform that respects the interests of employers and Hispanics, our entire agenda suffers.
The immigration debate, together with the economic crisis, has seriously tarnished the Republican brand and there’s no better time than now to start working on both. No one — not even Nadler — is willing to bet that Obama will have an immigration reform bill on his desk overnight, but the Obama administration has agreed to start the debate this fall which is an important step when it comes to fixing our immigration system, getting our economy back on track and — should the GOP sign on to it — getting the Republican party back on its feet.