David Frum

01.03.13

Mass Immigration Hammers the Working Class

John Moore/Getty Images ()

Jobs? Schmobs. The fiscal cliff debate proceeded with impressive disregard for the economic concerns of ordinary Americans.

That disregard does not augur well for the coming debate over immigration reform.

Nothing shows the class bias of American media like the way we talk about immigration. We almost always talk about it from the point of view of the employer seeking to pay less for labor, rarely from the point of view of the displaced or undercut employee.

Let's try to keep in mind through this debate that large-scale low-wage immigration has costs as well as benefits, that it creates losers as well as winners. And let's practice the humility that ought to follow from the fact that most of us in a position to write about these issues belong to the winner class, with all the unconscious biases that follow from that belonging.