Political Parties & Immigration: The Black & White Thinking of the Two-Party System

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Political Parties & Immigration: The Black & White Thinking of the Two-Party System

Understanding The Two-Party System's Impact on Immigration

The United States is considered a two-party system where almost every elected office is occupied by either democratic or republican party members. These two parties have dominated American politics for most of US history. The two-party system is a uniquely democratic political structure existing in most democratic nations. The two-party system in the US has benefits but many serious drawbacks to its structure best seen when examining an issue such as immigration.

The Two Dominant Political Parties & Immigration

The two-party system in the United States has developed in the manner that it has due to voting structure and election outcomes. The voting structure in American politics favors large numbers of constituents, i.e., large numbers of voters in favor of one representative. In a multiparty system the voting power is spread across many different candidates thus reducing the likelihood of any one candidate achieving victory. Because the voting structure of the American political system is based on one person achieving victory, this structure breeds a two-party system because voters have a better chance of achieving their goals by being united under one candidate which best represents their interests. The two-party system is best understood when viewed through lens of voter interests. If one studies an issue such as immigration policy the strength of the two-party system becomes clear.

Immigration Policy and Party Positions

Immigration is a controversial topic which divides many Americans. Even within political parties the issue of immigration is controversial and divides members. For example, Republicans tend to favor stricter border security and tougher enforcement of immigration laws. They want to reduce the number of immigrants who enter the country illegally, deport those who are already here, and limit legal immigration. They oppose granting citizenship or legal status to immigrants who came to the country illegally, especially those who entered as children (DACA recipients). They believe that illegal immigration harms the interests of American citizens and threatens national security.

In contrast to this position, the Democratic Party seeks to create immigration policies which are more lenient. Democrats favor a more humane and comprehensive approach to immigration reform. They want to provide a path to citizenship or legal status for immigrants who came to the country illegally, especially those who entered as children (DACA recipients). They also want to improve the legal immigration system, protect the rights of asylum seekers and refugees, and end the practice of family separation. Democrats believe that immigration enriches the American culture and economy, and that immigrants deserve dignity and respect.

While both parties’ positions seem to favor forms of enforcement, their approaches to immigration policy is revealing. Republicans favor policies that restrict immigration to individuals who have valuable skills or family in the US. The Democratic Party seeks to create policies which allow illegal immigrants to become citizens under specific guidelines such as paying a tax penalty.

As a result of this schism in opinion concerning immigration voters may or may not vote in-line with one of the parties depending upon their opinion on the issue of immigration. Typically, the party which most closely shares the interest of the voter will gain that individual’s vote. The satisfaction of interests with voters is problematic because of special interest groups and large corporations which drive the decision making.

There are many pro-immigration special interest groups that lobby for the overhaul of immigration laws for a host of reasons such as fulfilling labor needs, protecting individuals from oppression, etc. Likewise, there are many anti-immigration special interest groups that typically oppose illegal immigration for any number of reasons such as fears of increased crime or job security. These groups can increase party strength by voting for a particular party candidate who best represents their interests.

There is a cause-and-effect relationship that exists between parties and special interest groups. While the groups tend to favor parties which represent their interests, parties often bend to will of these groups to maintain voter strength. One can see this relationship in the way that immigration is considered by the two parties. Republicans are very pro-military and police and the party stance is firm to deter illegal immigration. In contrast, Democrats favor legal penalties for employers rather than the individual to deter illegal immigrants or to make them go through legal channels.

The two-party system solutions to issues, such as immigration, are often decided by a compromise of interests. The voter and special interest groups are forced in many cases to vote not for the candidate that fully represents their interest but rather the candidate that ‘best’ represents their position. For this reason, immigration continues to be a controversial topic and often the policies that are passed are bipartisan in nature. Currently, immigration policies consider some of the interests of each party but not the full position of either group.

This form of political satisficing may work but offers little justice to those individuals in need of refuge. Two-party politics also promotes black and white thinking in which Democratic and Republican positions appear contradictory by equal when clearly, they are not.

The Black & White of Two-Party Politics

In a two-party system, critical thinking becomes lost in support of parties. The Republican party is not an equal position to the Democratic party but in fact an isolationist view reminiscent of pre WWII thinking. This xenophobic view has maintained immigration as a political hotspot since the inception of the United States. Groups, such as the Chinese, Irish, Italians, and almost every other wave of immigrants, met with fierce resistance. Not only have attitudes and changes in policy and law been slow to occur but made people suffer and wait for social justice.

If you build a country, like the US, on the idea of open freedom and acceptance, then building a wall to keep people out cuts against the founding principles. Though Democrats are guilty of pandering with immigration issues, trying to appease voters, but Republicans raised the bar with racism and hate. Between the two parties, the myth of immigration takes root in all Americans.

The Immigration Myth

Americans generally agree that a fundamental and inviolable law of immigration must be based on the basis, I got mine, so fuck you losers! Throw kids in cages. Don’t let those little brown people steal all the good lettuce-picking, landscaping and skilled labor trade and crafts jobs even though all we white Americans feel sure that we are better suited for celebrity and fame then, you know, actual work.

What do you want, to just throw open the borders to anyone?

Actually, yeah, that’s exactly what I want.

But everybody wants to come to America!

No, everybody doesn’t want to come here. Human nature makes people want to stay close to family, friends, customs and lives they are used to, a language with which they are familiar and in which they are fluent. Not everybody thinks that the Kardashians are the most gorgeous examples of human potential and that the Superbowl is the most important thing the universe has ever known. They simply don’t. Yet if someone says, “You can’t have open borders because everyone will want to come here.” Nobody will say, “That’s bullshit!” This is because we have been force-fed a view of ourselves that enforces this cultural chauvinism and madness. Our two political parties have, together and apart, fostered and nurtured the following standard and all too common American view of immigration:

We all know that immigration is a terrible thing for our country. It brings in criminals, terrorists, and diseases that threaten our safety and prosperity. That's why we need to have the most cruel and unfair immigration policies possible, to deter these unwanted invaders from crossing our borders.

The Benefits of Having Cruel & Unfair Immigration Policies

We can save money by not providing any humanitarian aid, legal assistance, or basic services to asylum seekers and refugees. Instead, we can lock them up in overcrowded and unsanitary detention centers, where they can suffer from abuse, neglect, and disease. This will also discourage them from seeking protection in our country and force them to return to their war-torn or oppressive homelands.

We can protect our culture and identity by not allowing any immigrants to integrate into our society. Instead, we can impose harsh restrictions on their rights, freedoms, and opportunities. We can deny them access to education, health care, social security, and citizenship. We can also discriminate against them based on their race, religion, language, or ethnicity. This will ensure that they remain isolated, marginalized, and oppressed.

We can boost our economy by not allowing any immigrants to contribute to our workforce or innovation. Instead, we can exploit them as cheap labor, without any protections or benefits. We can also steal their intellectual property, skills, and talents, without giving them any recognition or compensation. This will enable us to profit from their hard work and creativity, while keeping them in poverty and dependence.

As you can see, having cruel and unfair immigration policies is the best way to make our country great again. Anyone who disagrees with this is unpatriotic, un-American, and a traitor. We should be proud of our cruelty and unfairness, because it shows how strong and superior, we are.

Republicans and Democrats alike refuse to dive very deeply into our country’s responsibility for the desperate poverty and pain our economic system demands of the scary others. This point is especially true considering the fact that illegal immigration proves beneficial to the US. You read that correct!

Illegal immigration is beneficial to the US.

You want to never be elected to office again in America? Just speak these simple truths and see what happens but if you desire to know the truth beyond the two-party system, you must question the true meaning of illegal immigration.

So What is Illegal Immigration?

Illegal immigration is nothing more than a place for us to practice our racism, maintain stupidity, and foster our fantasies that we Americans are different and special, and the rest of the world envies us.

Lots of posturing and hiding from the basic and unpleasant realities of American attitudes towards immigration generally and the terrible monstrous danger of ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION specifically are practices to help us hide from the truths of our evil.

It all starts with the ubiquitous, and trite claim:

There is no simple answer to this question, as different regions and countries have different policies and approaches to illegal immigration.

Yet the same experts admit that international policy or law can sometimes hinder migration, especially for those who lack legal options or opportunities. Some agreements on trade, security, or development may limit or condition migration in ways that harm migrants or their origin countries. Some states may also break or disregard international laws to control their borders or discourage migration. They may use illegal practices such as pushbacks, refoulement, or extraterritorial detention of migrants. Additionally, some policies or laws may neglect the root causes of migration, such as poverty, conflict, or environmental degradation.

Never mind America's racist, insane acceptance of one-stop xenophobia, United States’ policies on border security, immigration enforcement, and legal immigration vary depending on the administration and the political climate. The US, to no avail, engages in bilateral and regional cooperation with countries in Central America and Mexico to address the drivers of illegal immigration, such as poverty, violence, and corruption.

Yet, just opening the border is still a bad idea because they will all come here and take our jobs!

But never forget that limitations of generosity, kindness and decency is at the core of America’s selfishness and cruelty towards those awful “others.” Racism in America is so deeply baked into the cake of ourselves that we can’t even see it and we tend to forget that the beast of the American economic system that supports the political system is indeed a two-handed beast. The left hand, the Democrats sell their act with fake compassion while upholding the cruel immigration policies that appeal to the American pull-up-the-drawbridge sensibilities. The GOP are just flat-out fuckin’ racist assholes without any compassion at all—they posture their immigration shit as tough guys, holding the line against the vast brown invading hordes. It’s all bullshit of course, all ending in the same place. Killing with kindness or killing without it—still makes you dead.

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Photo by Katie Moum on Unsplash

Copyright Vincent Triola & Terry Trueman

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