28. December 2023 · Comments Off on Ag and Rural Caucus – December 2023 – Better Practices · Categories: Committee News, Recent Events

Ag and Rural Caucus for December Followup

Better Practices Followup
Immigration: How to talk about it

When Good Policy is Better Practice

We met Thursday to figure out how to talk about immigration in our red districts. It was a “Better Practices” session. What we came up with was, “let’s talk Policy.” We can agree with Republicans that our border policy needs repair. Maybe not just repair but a major overhaul. We can agree on that much.

We will not agree that migrants are criminals. We will not agree to any kind of replacement conspiracy. And we will not agree that immigrants are stealing jobs from good Americans.

We can leave those disagreements on the sidelines, for now. We can agree with our neighbors that we need to overhaul our immigration policy. Republicans for their part think they want to close the borders. We Democrats look ahead to climate refugees flooding north and know that we are not ready.

I say Republicans “think” they want to close the border. Pre-MAGA Republicans were ready to deal because they wanted workers. They understood our riposte that  “who is going to pay our social security” if we don’t import labor to stabilize our wage-earning population; they understood when we asked “who is going to harvest the food for our dinner table.”

For a policy overhaul we need at least a few Republicans who know their economic calculus. Business needs labor. Local public officials need tax revenue, and local retailers like costumers coming through the door.

Maybe we best should start small. Fund the immigration courts to do their job, for example…shorten the backlogs. If we need a counter offer, we can agree to hire (and train) more border security. More boldly, we can push to legalize DACA.. Maybe we could even provide a pathway to citizenship for the 10-11 million people working under the table and legalize their employment, to the mutual relief of employee and employer.

This may be wishful thinking. What may be the most we can hope for is to agree that our immigration policy needs to be fixed. We don’t have to affix blame for “a broken policy.” We can ask politely “what do you think we should do about it?” And then we can respond with stories, mixed with facts, about our own histories and those of our friends. Maybe we can move the dial.

10 December 2023

Our Better Practices roundtable is on the first Thursday of each month at 6:30 pm.. Use the link above for 2023.

Our Policy Series is on the third Thursday of each month at 6:30 pm. Use the link above for 2023. 

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