Opinion | Wanted: A winning message on immigration

Steve Tobocman is a former Michigan state legislator and co-director of the Michigan Political Leadership Program at Michigan State University.  John Austin is former president of the Michigan State Board of Education and director of the Michigan Economic Center. Researcher and strategist Suzette Brooks Masters provided the authors with an analysis of the relevant research.

In 2009, with support from the philanthropy-backed New Economy Initiative for southeast Michigan we helped to create Global Detroit to welcome immigrant talent, entrepreneurship, and investment as key elements to growing our state’s economy. Over the past decade, a host of new programs—the Office of Global Michigan, Welcoming Michigan, and local government efforts—have worked with Global Detroit to make Michigan a national leader in the immigrant-inclusive economic development. The work has been supported by Republican and Democratic governors, local chambers of commerce, universities, philanthropy, private business, as well as by traditional immigrant and refugee services providers.

Yet in 2016, Donald Trump narrowly carried Michigan, promising to bring back our manufacturing economies’ golden days, but also by offering a clear villain for Michigan and America’s social and economic woes – immigrants. As the nation’s attention turns to the 2020 presidential election, all eyes are on Michigan and sister Midwest swing states and how we will vote. Immigration will again be a cornerstone of Trump’s identity politics. When not busy lambasting the impeachment investigation as a sham, President Trump is clearly eager to double down on anti-immigrant policy and rhetoric as the path to another victory. 

Democrats need to be prepared to offer their own message on immigration that can firmly make the issue a positive, much as they have done on health care. Developing a national Democratic message that speaks to democratic ideals and appeals to a broad cross-section of voters is the text of an article we recently wrote for Politico magazine

But developing a message on immigration that pulls the country together instead of driving it apart is no easy task. Make no mistake: Trump’s words and actions on immigration have outraged us and hurt Michiganders. In addition to separating children and families at the Mexican borders, seeking to ban Muslims separated many Michigan families given the state’s considerable Muslim population, many who travel back home on business and to see family. ICE raids have terrorized Michigan’s immigrant communities. By virtually eliminating the nation’s refugee resettlement program (an act itself that seems to contradict America’s very founding ideals), Trump cut off one of our only sources of population growth—Michigan has been the fourth largest resettlement state over the past decade.

Yet pure outrage and righteousness directed at Trump’s stance on immigrants can be polarizing. When Democratic presidential candidate debates focus on decriminalizing violation of our immigration laws they seem radically out of sync with truly mixed public opinion on immigration issues. When candidate exchanges center on providing free health care for the undocumented, they feed the fires of resentment that immigrants are getting “special treatment at my expense.” 

While most Americans are outraged by Trump’s excesses, they are not necessarily aligned with the activist left on immigration issues or at least with how the Democratic debates have presented the issue. Without a powerful message that can unite voters, Democrats risk helping Trump win re-election. Without a message with broad appeal, even a Democratic victory in 2020 likely will leave the nation without comprehensive immigration reform—an elusive policy goal that has left millions of residents in crisis about their status and future.

Fortunately, new research on how Americans respond to disruptive forces like immigration and the looming majority-minority demographic shift provides insight on how such a message can be constructed without compromising the values that Democrats hold on immigration. 

A starting point is to acknowledge that America is experiencing profound demographic shifts, as well as profound economic impacts from a more automated and global economy. It also is critical to realize that the politics of immigration are as much about the message and the values behind those messages, as they are about the immigration policies being offered. 

A good part of white America is responding to growing racial diversity by exhibiting what researcher Robin Di Angelo describes in her book “White Fragility (2018)” as a disbelieving defensiveness, feeling one’s own heretofore dominant place in society may be under siege. As a result, calling Trump and/or his followers “racist”, only makes things worse, entrenching hostilities and defensiveness, forcing whites to retreat into comfortable world views and disassociate with those promoting more inclusive policies, values, and objectives.

Unfortunately, there are a number of narrative frames that immigration proponents and Democratic candidates routinely use that (unwittingly) pit more Americans against immigrants. Narratives that focus exclusively on the needs and policy solutions for immigrants, rather than rooting those policy solutions in a lens of shared identities and shared values (making it about them rather than us) can alienate voters. Talking about the coming “majority-minority” society and focusing on the “countdown” to that new reality only exacerbates racial anxiety and anti-immigrant sentiment. The intense, round-the-clock focus on the horrible treatment and personal tribulations of immigrants and refugees can also  leave other Americans also facing hardship and economic challenges feeling ignored and unseen.

Well-intentioned folks like us haven’t helped by using economic arguments that point out the extraordinary contributions of immigrants — high levels of immigrant entrepreneurship, their predominance in high-skilled STEM careers, their hard work. Deifying immigrants as better than Americans can foster more resentment among Midwest voters who are struggling to find their own place in a new globalized economy. 

The debate about immigration is increasingly polarized and dominated by more strident extremes, eliminating space for agreement. Yet the majority of public opinion (about two-thirds of the public) is at neither extreme. Researchers at More in Common have published widely on this in their Hidden Tribes and Perception Gap reports identifying an “Exhausted Majority” on issues like immigration. To make progress, Democrats must tackle the immigration issue in ways that reach some meaningful segment of white and African-American voters and immigrant skeptics, while firmly pushing against the gravitational pull of white nationalism. There are no shortcuts around the hard work of listening to members of the public and reaching the Exhausted Majority, particularly in places that matter like Michigan. 

We must offer a narrative that affords optimism and builds shared hope for a brighter future. A message about realizing the American Dream for everyone. A dream that is not limited to immigrants, but a promise made to all American families. And making it very clear that immigrants aren’t “special people” who will receive special treatment—they have to play by the rules like everyone else.  

Leaders need to communicate that not only do immigrants want to be American and want to live out American ideals (hard work, opportunity, freedom), but America is stronger and more vibrant when our state and local communities work to build inclusion—forming a narrative about us rather than about them. 

Nothing fuels resentment more than feeling like someone else is getting a “handout” or a pass. Democrats need to reassure the American public that they want a modern immigration system that is both generous and secure, fair and orderly. That we will have secure borders. 

Finally Democrats need turn down the volume on the immigration issue, despite our outrage. Immigration and immigrants are not the looming menace to our country and way of life; nor are they the defining moral and economic good of America. In times of growing complexity in life and economic change, authoritarians rise by offering a return to simplicity, “sameness” and order. Leaders must help voters place the issue of immigrants and immigration in a similarly simple and orderly context, one of many important, but complicated issues.

We have seen what lies at the end of President Trump’s leadership path on immigration. America at this hour desperately needs an alternative voice –a voice that speaks to the majority of Americans – creating a realistic vision for a stronger, more bonded, more resilient and more unified country. Michigan will be the stronger if such a voice emerges.

Bridge welcomes guest columns from a diverse range of people on issues relating to Michigan and its future. The views and assertions of these writers do not necessarily reflect those of Bridge or The Center for Michigan. Bridge does not endorse any individual guest commentary submission.

If you are interested in submitting a guest commentary, please contact Monica WilliamsClick here for details and submission guidelines.

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Kevin Grand
Fri, 11/22/2019 - 7:43am

"But developing a message on immigration that pulls the country together instead of driving it apart is no easy task. Make no mistake: Trump’s words and actions on immigration have outraged us and hurt Michiganders. In addition to separating children and families at the Mexican borders, seeking to ban Muslims separated many Michigan families given the state’s considerable Muslim population, many who travel back home on business and to see family. ICE raids have terrorized Michigan’s immigrant communities. By virtually eliminating the nation’s refugee resettlement program (an act itself that seems to contradict America’s very founding ideals), Trump cut off one of our only sources of population growth—Michigan has been the fourth largest resettlement state over the past decade."

Wow! That is an excellent summary of the 2020 DNC Presidential Debate speaking points that have been bandied about ad nauseaum.

Quick responses to these flawed arguments.

- The "family separation" policy has been in effect long before Pres. Trump. Where was all of this faux outrage when Pres. B.O. did the very same thing?

- The "Muslim ban" was not a total ban on Muslims entering America. It was targeted towards those countries whom we COULD NOT vet those seeking to enter. Have you forgotten 9/11, Boston, Chattanooga and San Bernadino (just to name a few) so quickly?

- This may come as a shock to you, but when you enter America without permission, you are committing a crime. Don't feel too bad about this one, even members of Congress need to be reminded about this.



ICE is doing the job that they are tasked to perform.

And finally the misconception that everyone can just come into America when they feel like it. They cannot.

America HAS always limited immigration since the founding of the republic. Why does this come as a surprise?

The primary reason why it has allowed people to enter was when it has benefited America as a whole. Aside from the problems we have with depressing wages and taking away American jobs, many of these immigrants aren't assimilating into America. Clustering into enclaves, refusing to learn the primary language and insisting that America adopt the policies from the countries that they are immigrating from does not make America any better.

Rick Willard
Fri, 11/22/2019 - 9:49am

Right on Kevin!

Bob Balwinski
Fri, 11/22/2019 - 9:59am

Entering the US seeking asylum is NOT a crime.

Kevin Grand
Fri, 11/22/2019 - 1:55pm

The "asylum" claim is what those who want to enter American illegally have been coached to tell border agents by open border advocates the moment they have been apprehended.

It is also NOT a claim that stands up to any real scrutiny. The latest numbers that I can pull up show over 60% of claims were denied in 2017.


See my other link above regarding what happens next.

Bob Balwinski
Fri, 11/22/2019 - 3:39pm

Notwithstanding your views on asylum seekers, again, entering the US seeking asylum is NOT a crime.

Sun, 11/24/2019 - 4:51pm

It is when you lie about why.

Fri, 11/22/2019 - 10:26am

>The "family separation" policy has been in effect long before Pres. Trump. Where was all of this faux outrage when Pres. B.O. did the very same thing?

Lie #1: https://apnews.com/fdfbafe1f2784a759bc7c3a8e8ddbcab

>The "Muslim ban" was not a total ban on Muslims entering America. It was targeted towards those countries whom we COULD NOT vet those seeking to enter. Have you forgotten 9/11, Boston, Chattanooga and San Bernadino (just to name a few) so quickly?

Trump himself billed it as a Muslim Ban, and you know damn well you and every other racist cretin in America would swing for a total ban if you could.

>This may come as a shock to you, but when you enter America without permission, you are committing a crime. Don't feel too bad about this one, even members of Congress need to be reminded about this.

Illegal entry is a misdemeanor; it's the legal equivalent of a parking ticket. Does that justify indefinite detain lent under cruel conditions? You'd say yes, but, again, you've proven yourself a callous racist many times before.

>ICE is doing the job that they are tasked to perform.

Illegally detaining Americans? Running a Gestapo like operation of intimidation and predation targetting low-risk immigrants while letting actual violent immigrants and those who illegally employ migrants go free?

>America HAS always limited immigration since the founding of the republic. Why does this come as a surprise?

America has always limited immigration because this is a fundamentally white supremacist country. You neglect to mention who was limited at any given time; Prior to the 60s, every immigration restriction in America was based in explicit racism.

Any other thinly veiled lies and misrepresentations you'd like for me to debunk?

Cathy K
Fri, 11/22/2019 - 6:43pm

Thank you for pointing out valid statistics. US has legal system to enter our country. If legal- great! If ICE arrests illegal people( not Americans as article states) then deportation is the result.

Erik Kengaard
Fri, 11/22/2019 - 8:51pm

Well said!

Mon, 11/25/2019 - 12:33pm

Thanks Kevin for saying what I now don't have to type. I agree with you 100%.

Mike In TC
Fri, 11/22/2019 - 8:33am

Wow, a great policy statement that tamps down on the extremists of both "sides". The authors should move to Washington and sell a pro-Dreamer, pro-border control, pro-skill based immigration policy.

Fri, 11/22/2019 - 8:43am

What a thoughtful, compassionate, workable point of view! This is the approach I want to vote for.

Fri, 11/22/2019 - 8:44am

If you had distinguished between those who enter the United States LEGALLY and those who enter illegally (outside of the immigration laws of the United States), your article could be taken seriously. When you don't distinguish between legal and illegal, you are just fueling the divide in our country.
What is your position on Sanctuary Cities?

Patricia Nelson
Fri, 11/22/2019 - 8:46am

So true! I'm a strong Democrat, but the Democrats have generally let us down on forging policy.
I would add, we must strive to distinguish between Immigrants and Refugees.
More discussion of health care for any undocumented people is also desperately needed. (What is the alternative: are we going to leave a woman giving birth on the sidewalk?)

Rick Willard
Fri, 11/22/2019 - 9:48am

To: Bridge Michigan.com Wow! Steve Tobocman & John Austin Can you guys get more partisan. I voted for Gretchen what a mistake. Fix our damn roads!! Ha Ha or add another 40 cent per gallon gas tax when we already pay 26 cents per gal. "Michigan Republicans ghosted Whitmer's 45-cent gas tax increase and thank god for them”. Our President Trump is anti-illegal immigration, not anti-immigration. It's folks like you twisting and turning the truth and the facts who are separating this country. Michigan spends nearly as much on Welfare as it does on Transportation, and we all know our infrastructure is a joke. I'm proud that we have top notch Medicaid some if the best benefits in the country for those in need to help them through tough times they far left likes to broadcast that the republican have no social conscience and weak social programs, when history and the facts show a much different picture. I'm 53 and most of our bridges are more than 41 years old. That date starts from the last date of renovation, so most are upwards of 70 years old. I am a lifelong Michigander. When I graduated in 1984 our opportunities were vast. We all owned at least one car. Many of us YES....teenagers also afforded horses, motorcycles, boats and ATV's. We young adults took vacations, traveled and worked hard.

I am old enough to remember those days, when our parents were very gainfully employed by the big three auto companies or their suppliers, transportation firms and others. We all had Medical insurance and yes dental and eye too. Then along came NAFTA and soon its was all exported.

It would be nice to open one article, view or listen to one news show without an extreme SLANT left or right.

Registered Independent and Free Thinker
Iv'e donated to the Bridge, and will be watching close before that happens again

Fri, 11/22/2019 - 12:34pm

OK Boomer

James Roberts
Fri, 11/22/2019 - 10:09pm

Every time i hear that it makes me laugh. afraid i don't feel sorry we have all the money and when i'm gone my kids get it all. the whiners will still be without.

Tue, 11/26/2019 - 8:52pm

I need to affirm, with all sincerity, that you are exactly the sort of person that is ruining American society.

Fri, 11/22/2019 - 12:46pm

The executive branch, which POTUS is head of, ENFORCES laws established by the legislative branch and interpreted by the judicial branch. Don’t like the laws they are REQUIRED to enforce? Then change the law instead of attacking those who are mandated to enforce them as written and interpreted.

Fri, 11/22/2019 - 3:45pm

Shame on you Bridge Michigan! I read this publication because it is supposedly nonpartisan. Why are you allowing this publication to be a survey for the next Democrat Party message?

Fri, 11/22/2019 - 8:13pm

1). There was nothing racist or divisive about Trumps position on immigration. He merely brought out the racism from those claim he is racist. His position was to protect us from the radical Elements that dominated their home countries. Yes, it is unfortunate that many of these countries were non-white. This is fallacy argument. 2). Based on the state budget, A significant number of Michigan immigrants arriving during Obama’s terms are living on tax payer provided social services. I do agree with the Trump’s position they should be able to pay their own way - true refugees excluded.

Erik Kengaard
Fri, 11/22/2019 - 8:52pm

Nothing has done more to diminish the quality of life for the United States middle class through higher housing (land) costs, greater competition for jobs, lower wages, higher taxes to pay for greater poverty, mortgage fraud, medicare fraud, tax fraud, identity theft, other crime, higher taxes to pay for indigent healthcare (hospital closings), higher taxes for cost of public schools, price of college, degradation of the military, depletion of resources, paving of farms,burden on the taxpayer and overall congestion since 1965 than the INCREASE of POPULATION and change in its nature (more poor, more criminals, e pluribus multum).

Sat, 11/23/2019 - 9:10pm

As i understand it what the article really means is: how can we convince those poor uneducated rubes that vote against us that unfettered immigration is a good thing.

Dawn Dodge
Sun, 11/24/2019 - 3:14am

Immigrant ... "Those immigrants" ... the label is so dehumanizing and impersonal.

Perhaps if we start changing our language, the stigma might change too. If we instead refer to them as, the FAMILIES from Southern countries .... the PEOPLE who need our help until they can get on their feet ... the new MEN AND WOMEN of America who look forward to jobs and education and becoming assets to a nation that actually cares about HIM and HER. These folks are no different than you or I ... if anything, they are 10 times more determined to cherish the American dream than most Americans are. They deserve our compassion and our respect.

And, question .... Do people actually believe that our taxes will go down if we never let any foreigners into this country ... dream jobs that pay excellent wages will be abundant ... that our streets will be completely free of all crimes????? Delusional.

For those who complain about tax dollars being spent on people who are pretty much useless .... Prison rates in the US are the world's highest, at 724 American people per 100,000. Incarceration costs an average of more than $31,000 per inmate, per year, nationwide. In some states, it's as much as $60,000. TAXPAYERS FOOT THE BILL for feeding, housing and securing people in state and federal penitentiaries.

Compare that to ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS....

Illegal immigrants are estimated to PAY IN about $7 billion per year into Social Security. In addition, they spend millions of dollars per year, which supports the US economy and helps to create new jobs. Most immigrants who come to this country work hard to take care of their families and themselves. Many studies have shown that on average immigrants pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits, meaning the taxes they pay more than cover the cost of things like public education and healthcare.
With very few exceptions (such as access to medical care for victims of human trafficking), undocumented immigrants are not eligible for federal public benefits such as Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare and food stamps. In addition, most immigrants with lawful status are not entitled to these benefits until they have been in the country for five years or longer. This means that Social Security is often being deducted from immigrants’ paychecks but they cannot access those benefits. According to a 2018 study by the CATO Institute, eligible immigrants use 27% fewer benefits relative to U.S. natives of similar incomes and ages.
(Source https://www.adl.org/resources/fact-sheets/myths-and-facts-about-immigran...)

Kevin Grand
Mon, 11/25/2019 - 12:07pm

Your feelings are getting in the way of the facts, Ms. Dodge.

Illegal aliens are a NET DRAIN on the US Government, not a contributor. Taking into account all of the government services that they consume (i.e education, health care, TANF, EITC), you are looking at about $70,000/illegal alien. This doesn't count their dependents which bump that cost to the American Taxpayer much higher.



You're also playing fast and loose with the cost of illegal aliens in the US Prison system. The DoJ crunched the numbers not that long ago. I'll let their report speak for itself:

"A total of 58,766 known or suspected aliens were in in DOJ custody at the end of FY 2017, including 39,455 persons in BOP custody and 19,311 in USMS custody. Of this total, 37,557 people had been confirmed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to be aliens (i.e., non-citizens and non-nationals), while 21,209 foreign-born people were still under investigation by ICE to determine alienage.

Among the 37,557 confirmed aliens, 35,334 people (94 percent) were unlawfully present. These numbers include a 92 percent unlawful rate among 24,476 confirmed aliens in BOP custody and a 97 percent unlawful rate among 13,081 confirmed aliens in USMS custody. "


It should be noted those numbers DO NOT count local or county jails. Since those house approximately 90% of the incarcerated population, the numbers above are actually staggeringly low.

We should be working on fixing America's problems instead of looking at adding to them.

middle of the mit
Sun, 11/24/2019 - 3:21am

This seems like the most opportune moment to make these comments.

There are conservatives who think we should have quotas. Immigrants are driving down wages for Americans.

Where were these conservatives the last 40 years as conservatives demonized unionized employment from the 1930's and 40's (who employers were exploiting)?

They told us that Americans were asking too much for compensation for their hourly pay and benefits. That in turn FORCED American companies to go over seas and acquire cheaper labor. And with that came the conservative mantra of free trade. Can't make your product in another country and import it back into the country with a tariff! Why, that's ludicrous!

And even after the last 8 years and a two tiered system that new hires get paid LESS than their older counterparts, has the price of a new car gone down? Has it EVER?

Has anyone ever done a study on how much of the price of each car goes into CEO and executive pay and bonuses? That right there? That is why the prices for EVERYTHING GO UP CONSTANTLY.

Back to immigration. And Pilgrims.

How would you like it if the Natives had a system like you are asking for? Plymouth Rock? Wouldn't have happened. Our kind literally did a Donnor party a hundred years before the Donnors. That is why we have Thanksgiving, isn't it? We gave thanks to the Lord but also the Natives who showed us how to live OFF OF THEIR LAND.

Just so you know, 98% of the European continent was Christian at that time. And we came here to exploit the resources for Kings and Queens. And shareholders. That is who owned the tea that got tossed off of private ships in Boston Harbor. British East India Trading Company. That used laws to have a monopoly on the tea purchases of colonists. Punch that into your favorite search engine. After you ask why Britain was willing to go to war over a tea tax, after they rescinded the Townsend acts, that were there to pay for the French and Indian war that opened up America to the Ohio Valley. And eventually paved the road to Michigan. Oh sorry! Mike Shirkey says we have to back to gravel roads.

If you are a Bible believing conservative, I still can not understand how you think treating foreigners or strangers the way you are treating them is acceptable. Have you not read your Bible? WE are supposed to treat them like family. Is this how you treat your family?

If it is, God help us all! Especially you.

Mon, 11/25/2019 - 6:34pm

Middle of the Mit, I thank you for your comments #1.) Because it’s WWJD, #2.) I’m not a Native and am only here by the good fortune my relatives made it here knowing NO English, settled into an enclave of others from their land of origin, a small child in tow and a wife heavily pregnant. They received compassionate help and gave help to our USA. #3.) I enjoy the immigrants and refugees in Michigan I have met. Their stories are interesting. Their determination is impressive. #4.) I, too, am not unsettled by the call to welcome the tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to be free. For those of us not feeling this way: “Go back where your family came from” because you don’t deserve to be here.

Sun, 11/24/2019 - 9:16pm

The authors feed the problem by only carrying about the message, while ignoring any of the concerns of those they want the message to convince to vote Democrat.
Messrs. Tobocman and Austin don’t seem to understand that people have been hearing nothing but messaging for generations and that is what has created the ‘divide’. Messaging without results is probably a significant factor in Trump’s victory.

If the Mr. Tobocman or Mr. Austin were truly interested in closing the divide growing on the issue of immigration they would be encouraging structured conversations of people with a diversity of perspectives. They would be encouraging identification of concerns from each perspective, encouraging sharing of ideas to address those concerns, encouraging building ideas to include many of the concerns, encouraging participation so those contributing would take ownership of the ideas. We need solutions not messaging, we need people working together not trying to push or pull to one side or the other, we need people listening not selling a political Party, we need change in results not justification of the current situation.

middle of the mit
Tue, 11/26/2019 - 12:53am

If Illegal employers were held responsible for employing illegal immigrants and Illegal landlords were also held responsible, there would be a lot less problem period.

But then we get into America shoving it's weight around the world and which countries it chooses to shove in. And then we have to deal with the fall out from such meddling. And we don't like to do that. That is other peoples problems.

You want to know what made Fidel Castro? Look up the guy who Marco Rubios parents ran away from and Ted Cruz dad fought with Castro against.


[[Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar (/bəˈtiːstə/;[1] Spanish: [fulˈxensjo βaˈtista i salˈdiβaɾ]; born Rubén Zaldívar;[2] January 16, 1901 – August 6, 1973) was a Cuban military officer and politician who served as the elected President of Cuba from 1940 to 1944, and as its U.S.-backed military dictator from 1952 to 1959

Back in power, and receiving financial, military, and logistical support from the United States government,[7][8] Batista suspended the 1940 Constitution and revoked most political liberties, including the right to strike. He then aligned with the wealthiest landowners who owned the largest sugar plantations, and presided over a stagnating economy that widened the gap between rich and poor Cubans.[9] Eventually it reached the point where most of the sugar industry was in U.S. hands, and foreigners owned 70% of the arable land.[10] As such, Batista's repressive government then began to systematically profit from the exploitation of Cuba's commercial interests, by negotiating lucrative relationships with both the American Mafia, who controlled the drug, gambling, and prostitution businesses in Havana, and with large U.S.-based multinational companies who were awarded lucrative contracts.[9][11] To quell the growing discontent amongst the populace—which was subsequently displayed through frequent student riots and demonstrations—Batista established tighter censorship of the media, while also utilizing his Bureau for the Repression of Communist Activities secret police to carry out wide-scale violence, torture and public executions. These murders mounted in 1957, as Fidel Castro gained more publicity and influence. Many people were killed, with estimates ranging from hundreds to about 20,000 people killed.[12][13][14][15][16][17][18]]]

Sometimes pushing too hard for what the wealthy want, gets you things that you didn't want either. Oppression sucks. That is why God told us NOT to oppress people.

Where is OUR year of JUBILEE?

Where are the laws against Usury?

Are you a shareholder? Collecting usury?

Where are your answers for these things?

Of course you never give answers or advice or anything but philosophical questions.

Are you smoking some legal weed?

Don't get me wrong, I like to think too, I just try to keep it grounded, to reality.

[[They would be encouraging identification of concerns from each perspective, encouraging sharing of ideas to address those concerns, encouraging building ideas to include many of the concerns, encouraging participation so those contributing would take ownership of the ideas.]]

Most of the opinion writers on this site ARE taking ownership of their ideas. And they are expanding upon them way more than you ever have. It is always the same thing. "Out of the box thinking", meshing ideas while telling libs they are crazy and none of their ideas will ever work and then complaining when you can't get a consensus. And all the while you live in Taxholes and will never leave for the freedom of a taxless hole in rural America.

Can you see the irony?

Tue, 11/26/2019 - 11:07pm

I agree that the employers hiring illegal aliens, and landlords renting or selling to illegal aliens should be held accountable and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. It is much like those who buy illegal drugs, if there weren't wasn't someone paying/selling then there wouldn't be a market.
If a person is willing to wait and save until they can purchase something then usury is not an issue, if you don't borrow you don't pay interest. It does slow self gratification, but it also protects you.
I am a stockholder [risk hopefully with reward not loss], my retirement fund, IRA holders stocks. Not usury, company success [better products and service, growing customer base], market appreciation and dividends.
I always offer advice, you seem unwilling to listen. The point of my asking questions in place of telling people what to do is to engage them, encourage them to think about the topic, once the brain is engage then the possibility of creating new ideas and developing ownership of the ideas grow, and ownership is what make change happen. The advice to the authors was to open up to hearing what the people who are resisting their ideas on immigration are concerned with and what are the ideas that are credible with them and to see how to incorporate them. I learned these ideas through practical experience.
Not a weed smoker, nor a tobacco smoker.
I am willing to offer an opinion and be very specific as appropriate to the question [the broader the problem the better to have wider inclusion]. I do much prefer to hear other perspective, and build on the better ideas.
I am not a fan of consensus [it has a tendency to discourage people offer different ideas and raising concerns], I prefer the competition of ideas, the building on ideas, the addressing of concerns of those in the conversation. As an example, the drive is for consensus on opening the borders for unlimited immigration aggressively discourages other perspectives, concerns, and alternate approaches.

Vince Caruso
Mon, 11/25/2019 - 11:17am

Just look at Japan if you need an example of the devastation of low birth rates and very restricted imagination. They are beside themselves to try to solve the onslaught of the elderly and no one to make up the loss in productivity. Japan's birth rate has been plummeting since the late 1970s and is not recovering any time soon by all accounts.
The US birth rate is also far below the replacement rate of 2,100 births per 1,000 women.
This with new 'racist' restrictions on imagination are a death knell for our economy and quality of life.
But no worries the Oligarchs will be just fine, and that's what really matters, not.
This is not rocket science.

Roy Gotham
Wed, 11/27/2019 - 11:25am

Yes, we need a sensible and thoughtful national policy, and we have needed it for a long time. There, I just stated the point of your entire article in a single sentence. So, don't tell me what we need. Most everyone already knows what we need. Write up such a policy and submit it to Bridge with are article justifying your policy points. Poor thinkers tell us what we need; imaginative thinkers give us the answers and tell us why these answers are the best approach.

Fri, 11/29/2019 - 3:23pm


Why should we wait for someone on 'high' to pronounce a policy on any issue? Why should we leave to those who are preoccupied with personal Party partisanship to establish a policy to govern use?
Might it be better if rather than waiting we started a conversation here and now, with people offering their concerns, with identifying desired outcomes, offering what they do or would do, and we develop a community approach using those of the people in the community?
Let me start with a couple of my concerns. I believe the US and Michigan have a unique culture, one that encourages the individual, one that is inclusive, our best success are when we individually and as a community embrace diversity of perspective. My concern is that the approach of undisciplined migration discourage if not stops the acceptance and encouragement of individualism and diversity of perspective. We saw this happen in past migrations from Europe and the Far East, the ethnic groups formed enclaves that excluded others and their barriers of language and other differences were used by those already here to reinforce the segregation. I feel with unrestricted migration that is happening now and will disrupt our successful culture of inclusion and individual creativity.
What ideas are there to prevent or overcome the isolation of the migrating groups, how do we overcome the existing isolation practices so they don’t reinforce the tendencies of the migrating groups and current internal insulation, how do we instill in the migrating peoples the importance of the individual and their creativity?