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The New York Times Weighs in on Disappearance of Immigration as an Election Issue

author Published by Lisa Irving

Over this past week, writers at the New York Times have addressed immigration policies from a couple of angles as elections near.

In his October 8 column The V.P. Debate,” David Leonhardt laments the missed opportunity for a real debate

“The most disappointing aspect of Pence’s performance is that he has deep disagreements with Harris and Biden that don’t depend on distortions. It’s entirely possible to make a fact-based case against…high levels of immigration …But that is not what Pence did.”

In the October 10 opinion column “Trump’s Overhaul of Immigration Is Worse Than You Think,” the Editorial Board criticizes Trump’s immigration stances and actions taken over the past four years, writing:

“Through administrative orders, strict enforcement and mere threat, the White House has attacked virtually every aspect of immigration, legal and illegal.”

However, in contemplating post-election reversals of Trump’s immigration policies, the Editorial Board notes that “there could be political challenges” to backpedaling on Trump’s immigration approach:

“After undoing the cruelest and most pointless of the president’s changes to the immigration system, a new administration would need to make difficult decisions about controlling the border, assessing the role that skills and family ties should play in admitting immigrants, enforcing employment laws for unauthorized immigrants and creating a pathway to citizenship for millions of those workers and their families.”

If the most reader-recommended comments on the editorial are any indication, New York Times subscribers favor an economically just and environmentally sustainable immigration system, with humane and effective enforcement.

On Democrats and Immigration:


“Previous Democratic candidates emphasized the need for secure borders, and there is no reason that position can’t be part of the Democratic plank again…”


“Biden and other Democrats should be wary, come next year, if (hopefully) we take the Senate and Presidency, that this is probably Trump’s issue that had the most bipartisan support….The Times has been consistently wrong on this issue (judging from the reader’s comments)–Americans want a strong, legal immigration policy, and we need to keep reforming abused laws, not enabling them.”

On H-1B Visa Restrictions:


” restrictions on H1b tech visa has especially helped older American IT workers who had difficulty getting hired…”

On Chain Migration:


“I am a (still very fresh) immigrant in this country and I cannot agree with the NYT here. The American immigration system is broken but it has been broken well before Trump. The US is the only developed country which favors family-based chain migration and illegal migration over skilled worker migration….”

On U.S. Population:


“Although I don’t like Trump, I think it’s good to have less immigration. We are already crowded enough in this country. We have the third largest population in the world…”

Foster Furcolo

“I would suggest that the Editorial Board should try thinking about immigration in terms of environmental sustainability.”

On Employment:


“There was too much immigration illegal and legal. We should take care of the people here first. What about all of the unemployed African American men? Last thing they need is more job competition. Make employers bid for workers. It doesn’t matter if employers can’t find help because when they say that they mean at the price they are willing to pay. Cause pay to rise by squeezing supply not by artificial minimum wage that just causes economic dislocations.”

LISA IRVING VENUS is the Volunteer Coordinator for the Media Standards Program for NumbersUSA

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