A twentysomething writer at Vox, Dylan Matthews, has sternly berated illustrious liberal commentator Peter Beinart because Beinart suggested that the Democratic Party should change its policies of celebrating mass illegal immigration and making little effort to encourage illegal immigrants to assimilate themselves into American culture.
Beinart’s lengthy article, published at The Atlantic, is entitled “How the Democrats Lost Their Way on Immigration.”
“Prominent liberals” have long “supported a path to citizenship for the undocumented,” Beinart writes. At the same time, such liberals have also — until recently — “routinely asserted that low-skilled immigrants depressed the wages of low-skilled American workers and strained America’s welfare state.”
Beinart notes that immigrant workers compete with America’s least-skilled workers for precious jobs and blames reliance on Latino votes for the Democratic Party’s recent lurch toward pro-immigrant activism.
“The next Democratic presidential candidate should say again and again that because Americans are one people, who must abide by one law, his or her goal is to reduce America’s undocumented population to zero,” Beinart advises.
Matthews, the 27-year-old Vox writer, declares that Beinart’s suggestion that Democrats moderate on illegal immigration is “a genuinely terrifying vision of what could happen to American liberalism if the Democratic coalition learns the wrong lessons from losing to Donald Trump.”
Beinart’s suggestion that Democrats should seek ways to curb illegal immigration and reinvigorate America’s melting-pot culture is “far-fetched and confused,” Matthews declares.
Matthews urges Democrats to tout “the enormous economic benefits immigration brings to most Americans.” He admits that immigration hurts poor, low-skilled workers but enthusiastically notes that other workers are not harmed. He claims that “immigration appears to increase high school graduation rates among natives.”
Matthews also announces that Democrats should ignore “Americans’ yearning for social cohesion.” He ridicules Beinart for observing that new immigrants are taking longer to learn English.
The twentysomething Vox writer wonders “what Beinart actually thinks the Democratic party is for.”
“Personally,” Matthews writes,” I think any center-left party worth its salt has to be deeply committed to egalitarianism, not just for people born in the US but for everyone,”
He then lists a litany of mostly far-left causes.
“That means fighting for LGBT rights against bathroom bills, fighting mass incarceration and police violence victimizing black Americans, and working for more domestic redistribution to address poverty and hardship, including through universal health care,” Matthews proclaims.
The Democrats must also make it clear they believe in “treating people born outside the US as equals.” Democrats must support “generously funding foreign aid for health programs” and “a strong presumption in favor of open immigration.”
One reason for supporting open immigration, Matthews says, is that really poor people from other countries can come to the United States and be poor — but less poor than they would be if they stayed where they live.
“What kind of egalitarian would oppose that?” Matthews asks. “And what is the point of a strategy for the center-left to win that means giving up on that goal?”
“Beinart doesn’t actually seem to care about promoting mass immigration,” Matthews laments.
Beinart, a Yale University graduate and a Rhodes Scholar, is a prolific journalist, columnist and author. He appears frequently on CNN. He teaches journalism courses at the City University of New York.
Matthews is a blogger with a degree from Harvard University.