Paul Ryan is bad on immigration, find out how much (Mitt Romney VP pick)

Paul Ryan - Mitt Romney's choice for running mate - is on the wrong side of the immigration issue. Not only would he harm middle- and working-class Americans and help the wealthy in direct economic ways, but he'd do the same on the immigration front as well.

Ryan doesn't appear to be as bad as many others, nor does he appear to have the same emotional issues about the topic that George W Bush has. But, the bottom line is that he'd help the wealthy at the expense of everyone else.

Ryan describes his position here, see also this for another discussion of Ryan and immigration.

Based on Ryan's document:

* On the plus side, Ryan seems to support something like eVerify and he says that illegal immigration is "is an affront to the rule of law, an unacceptable security risk, and an added burden to the current state of the economy". He also opposes the "Z visa", which was part of Bush's amnesty. That plan is from 2007 so it's not clear how old Ryan's document is. But, it's the only immigration document linked from his main issues page ( About the only things in that document that are favorable are listed in this paragraph; the rest is bad.

* Ryan supports Comprehensive Immigration Reform, which is what most amnesty opponents mean when they use the word "amnesty". See the link for the many downsides of that plan. In fact, Ryan says, "the vast majority of Americans agree that comprehensive immigration reform is long overdue", when that's not accurate. What most Americans really want is for our laws to be enforced, and that's hardly the same thing as that "reform".

* Ryan says he opposes "amnesty", but he's playing word games; see reform not amnesty.

* Whatever he wants to call it, Ryan clearly supports some form of legalization for millions of current illegal aliens. He'd just make them make a symbolic gesture first: "New legislation addressing immigration policies should require illegal immigrants seeking a green card or citizenship to leave the United States and reapply for citizenship outside of the U.S., so that they can then re-enter the country legally, thus upholding the rule of law." That symbolic gesture is called "touchback". For past discussion of the Flake-Gutierrez amnesty that contained such a component, see the entries for Luis Gutierrez and Jeff Flake around 2007 and the STRIVE Act posts.

* Ryan uses the system is broken, nation of immigrants, and secure the border talking points; see the links.

* Ryan says "[t]here are deeply held views on all sides of this issue, and rightly so." The immigration views of Gil Cedillo, Antonio Villaraigosa, American Civil Liberties Union, MALDEF, and so on aren't completely wrong; for instance, they and I might agree that we shouldn't install an electrified moat filled with crocodiles on the border. But, their "deeply held views" are in general wrong: they don't want to do much immigration enforcement as their records show. Because of that, I'd never say anything like Ryan's quote; I'm forced to conclude from his quote that he thinks that the overall immigration agenda of those like the ACLU has some validity and value to the U.S., when it does not.

* Ryan's opposition to the anti-American DREAM Act is not because it's an anti-American bill that would harm American students and workers (most of them Democrats). His opposition is simply because it's not Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Instead of opposing the DREAM Act because of what it would do and using it to discredit those like Barack Obama, he's validating Obama's loose immigration agenda.

* Ryan supports increasing guest workers programs. He says: "By providing a way to legally link employers with immigrant workers, we would relieve pressure on the borders from people who are coming here to seek work." That's a fantasy: there are far more potential illegal aliens than those who'd be admitted to such programs. The only way such a program would work in the way he describes is if there's only a small number of people who might become illegal aliens. That's not the case: there are five billion people around the world who are poorer than Mexicans.

* Ryan states "Allowing for a streamlined, safe, and efficient visa process will provide businesses with needed workers and relieve pressure on the borders." That seems eerily close to the safe legal orderly shibboleth.

* Ryan says his guest worker program would "allow us more time to pursue the people who mean to do us harm - criminals, terrorists, and drug smugglers." See who else has used that busboys canard at the link.

Future posts will look at other statements and actions Ryan has made on immigration.