Childlike Frank Keating of American Bankers Assn uses Reagan to promote amnesty, loose borders

Former Oklahoma governor Frank Keating - now president of the American Bankers Association - offers "What would Reagan do?" (Los Angeles Times, ).

Keating's nonsensical answer to his titular question is that Reagan would repeat his failed 1986 amnesty by supporting legalization for the millions of new illegal aliens in the U.S.

After quoting Reagan's "city on a hill" speech, Keating writes:

Unfortunately, too many conservatives - though they aspire to walk in Reagan's footsteps - have forgotten that immigration reform is the most Republican of causes. We cannot support open borders for trade but not for people. We cannot support the unfettered exchange of goods and ideas while building razor-wired walls that separate children from their parents. We cannot make America stronger and more prosperous by excluding tomorrow's talent and industry...

In numbers that we haven't seen since the early 20th century, immigrants have been coming here to work and to build a better future for their families. Just as immigrants helped fuel the engine of America's emerging industrial economy 100 years ago, today they are filling two critical job gaps: high-skilled professions in science, technology and advanced manufacturing, and low-skill service and industrial jobs in fast-growing regions. We need immigrants of all skill levels to help build the 21st century economy.

Offering opportunities to new Americans doesn't take jobs from citizens. The economy is not zero-sum. It's dynamic, and bringing new talent to American jobs will enlarge the economy for everyone. In June, a Congressional Budget Office report estimated that the Senate's bipartisan immigration reform bill would boost economic growth by 5.4% after 20 years and reduce the deficit by $900 billion over that period.

1. If comprehensive immigration reform is a Republican thing, then what use to the U.S. is the Republican Party? That reform would fail as badly as Reagan's amnesty did: millions of illegal aliens would be legalized, and any promised enforcement would be scuttled. That reform would give even more power to the far-left and to foreign governments inside the U.S. and would greatly harm millions of Americans. It's also opposed by most of the Republican base and most Americans in general.

2. Whether Keating means literal open borders - where terrorists and criminals could enter the U.S. at will - or not isn't clear. If he means literal open borders then he thinks like a child (no offense to the many children who could see how open borders would destroy the U.S.) If he merely means very loose borders, that position too is childlike. There are over five billion people on Earth poorer than Mexicans, and very loose borders would cause a fair share of that number to come here. If conservatives decry high food stamp use now, just wait! Foreign governments like China could take advantage of those very loose borders to send people here in order to obtain political power inside the U.S.: China could expand into the U.S. as it's doing in Africa.

3. The idea that "[w]e cannot support open borders for trade but not for people" is likewise childlike. As discussed in depth on the people vs workers page, people are not like refrigerators: people do things for good or ill that refrigerators don't do.

4. It isn't "razor-wired walls that separate children from their parents", it's parents who decide to put their children in harm's way. Prison walls don't separate criminals from their children, the bad decisions by those criminals did. The socially conservative position is to oppose bad parenting, not reward it and thus encourage more of it.

5. Regarding "[w]e cannot make America stronger and more prosperous by excluding tomorrow's talent and industry", no one with any power is calling for the end to all immigration now and forever more, making that a strawman argument. However, the massive skilled immigration that Keating wants will create very serious long-term consequences for the U.S., as discussed on that page. Making the U.S. stronger at the expense of struggling foreign countries may end up making the U.S. weaker years or decades from now.

6. Regarding "filling two critical job gaps", hasn't Keating noticed that very large numbers of Americans are unemployed or have simply stopped looking for work? Clearly, lower-skilled illegal aliens are doing jobs that could be done by unemployed Americans. Rather than a patriotic plan to get unemployed Americans temporarily working any type of job, Keating would invite in even more lower-skilled labor to drive down wages and drive more Americans out of work.

7. The very Congressional Budget Office report Keating refers to also admitted that "reform" means lower wages for millions of Americans for over a decade. Why didn't Keating mention that? Why didn't Keating look into the impacts of the supposed economic growth by income levels: isn't it highly likely that most of the gains would go to the wealthy with most of those below being squeezed?

Discussing all the things wrong with the rest of Keating's childlike piece is left as an exercise. For more on what Keating's association wants, see the immigration banks page.

Keating doesn't appear to have a personal Twitter account, but please contact @ABABankingNews with your thoughts. Also, look up those who promote Keating's piece such as @danschnur and let them know what you think. Even better, discredit those promoters to the people they talk to on Twitter..