Wednesday, May 23, 2018

O Partido Republicano dos EUA e a imigração

Why did Republicans become so opposed to immigration? Hint: It’s not because there’s more nativism, por Margaret E. Peters (Monkey Cage / Washington Post; pode ser preciso abrir como "janela privada" no browser para aceder ao link):

To the surprise of some, the Republican Congress largely supports Trump’s restrictionist approach to immigration. Apparently Republicans are favoring their nativist base over their traditional allies in business. Why?

The Republican Party has long been the party of both business and nativists. For most of its history, the party’s business wing has reined in the nativists. But aside from a few individual industries, businesses overall are less interested in open immigration — freeing Republican members of Congress to cater to the nativists. It’s not that nativism is increasing; it’s that fewer businesses demand low-skilled immigrants.

The Republicans’ anti-immigration stance might make sense if nativism was on the rise. But contrary to conventional wisdom, nativism is not increasing in the United States. As you can see in the figure below, anti-immigrant sentiment reached its most recent height in the mid-1990s.

Recent surveys from Gallup show that more and more Americans are happy with the status quo — or even want more immigration. (...)

So why are nativists having so much success — arguably even turning into the swing vote for the president? As I show in my book, nativists have increased influence not because more Americans agree with them, but because most businesses no longer care about immigration. Increased globalization has changed the amount and kind of labor that most U.S. businesses need. (...)

As President Trump has noted, because of decreasing trade barriers, many U.S. manufacturing companies have closed — especially those that employed large numbers of low-skill immigrant workers. Those employers are no longer around to lobby for immigration. For the same reason, those U.S. companies that do rely on manufacturing have moved their factories overseas. Why should businesses fight to bring Chinese workers to the United States when they can move factories to China?

Furthermore, companies have increasingly automated production and so need fewer workers. The U.S. steel industry, for example, produces as much steel today as it did in 1960, but it does so with a third of its former workforce. Companies also stop lobbying for immigration when they need fewer workers because of automation.

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