Andy Puzder, the new Trump nominee to be Labor Secretary, as been called a ‘mass-immigration’ advocate.
— Mark Krikorian (@MarkSKrikorian) December 8, 2016
He’s also be said to have supported the Gang of 8’s immigration bill back in 2013 which called for Amnesty of illegals:
— Mark Krikorian (@MarkSKrikorian) December 8, 2016
These quotes are a bit concerning, so I decided to dig more and found that in 2015 Puzder wrote an article in the WSJ laying out a set of ‘rational principles’ that he believed Republicans could unite around on immigration. And for the most part, I don’t find them to be all that objectionable.
Here they are:
The question is whether Republicans can unite around a set of rational principles. Here are a few that any serious contender should be able to support.
• Sovereignty. The U.S. has the right to determine the conditions under which noncitizens can cross its borders. The next president must work with Congress to make that determination, in accordance with the Constitution, which isn’t the path the current administration has chosen.
• Border security. One of government’s primary duties is to protect citizens. Given terrorism and organized crime—drug cartels, weapons and human trafficking—the federal government must secure the borders as a first step to reform. Even candidates perceived as more open on immigration agree.
• Enforcing our laws: The U.S. is a nation of immigrants, but also a nation of laws. The federal government must enforce our laws internally, penalizing those who overstay their visas, and implementing a universal verification system so employers can be sure they are hiring employees legally.
• Legal immigration policies should support economic growth. If current quotas are bringing in enough talent, let’s keep them. If more immigration or less red tape will boost the economy, let’s try that. Guest-worker visas should ebb and flow with the economy. Legal immigration should focus more on what workers can contribute to the economy, as is the case in most other nations, and less on distant familial relationships.
The best way to protect American workers is to generate economic growth. This is not synonymous with aggressively restricting immigration. Most studies conclude that immigration contributes to economic growth as well as innovation, and research and development. The American Enterprise Institute found in 2011 that “temporary foreign workers—both skilled and less skilled—boost U.S. employment” and that immigrants with advanced degrees working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields “boost employment for U.S. citizens.” Every Republican who aspires to the presidency should acknowledge that immigrants of all skill sets can benefit the economy.
• Addressing the illegal population. The next president will need to work with Congress to establish consequences for violating our laws that are harsh enough to be meaningful but also reasonable. But with some 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally, every candidate should support a path to legal status—short of citizenship—for illegal immigrants willing to accept responsibility for their actions and take the consequences.
Such consequences could include passing a background check, paying a fine, demonstrating the ability to be independent of welfare, engaging in community or military service, learning English and taking an American civics course. Every option should be on the table, except amnesty, which forgives illegal conduct It isn’t amnesty if immigrants admit wrongdoing and accept punishment..
• Citizenship. American citizenship is a privilege, not a right. Whether candidates support requiring people who are here illegally to return to their home countries to become citizens, or whether they propose allowing immigrants to remain in the U.S. and go through an arduous naturalization process, the privilege of citizenship is something worth protecting.
So he supports securing the border as a first step to immigration reform and calls for the illegal population to be given a path to legal status that excludes citizenship – if they are “willing to accept responsibility for their actions and take the consequences.”
While this might not be the most aggressive stance on illegal immigration, we all knew when Trump said he’d deport all the illegals that he was never going to follow through with that promise. In fact we all know, if we are being honest, that no president – even Cruz – is going to deport en masse the so-called 11 million illegals that are here. And if you take citizenship off the table, as Puzder here advocates, then these illegals will never be able to vote, which is absolutely contrary to what Democrats are trying to accomplish with amnesty.
The big problem with Puzder’s legal status argument is that Democrats will use this against Republicans in the future by saying these ‘legal status’ immigrants are ‘second class citizens’ and will compare them to slaves and segregation and argue that full citizenship is the remedy.
So, while Puzder may not be exactly what many of you want in terms of his immigration stance, I think generally he’s got the right idea on much of what he states here and I don’t think this will end up being an obstacle on his nomination being approved by the Senate.