The Corner

John McCain, Multiculturalist

In response to my piece on the homepage today, reader Gary offers a different explanation for McCain’s immigration views:

Have you or any of your colleagues at NRO ever considered that McCain’s position on immigration is driven by nothing more than greed?

IMO the answer to this can be found in his family’s business (or more accurately his wife’s family business). They own one of the largest Budweiser distributorships in Arizona. Young, illegal Mexicans don’t drink merlot or appletinis, they drink beer. And lots of it.McCain’s position on immigration isn’t driven by ethnic self-interest (obviously) or some crackpot religious impulse (see: George Bush, Roger Mahony). This one’s a “well, duh,” it’s all about money.

I hear this sort of thing a lot, but don’t think it’s correct. Obviously, the supporters of amnesty and loose borders and high immigration levels think (mistakenly, in my opinion) that it’s good for the economy. But very few of the most vocal actors are driven mainly by those concerns. Even Tom Donohue, head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is driven by a quasi-religious fervor for open immigration, in my experience with him, something that actually harms the strictly economic interests of those who pay his salary. For instance, after a presentation he and I, and a few others, took part in, I had lunch with the chairman of one of the nation’s largest corporations, who asked rhetorically something to the effect of “Does amnesty and the rest really matter to us? [meaning the other Fortune 100 CEOs and chairmen at the event] We pay way above minimum wage and don’t have many illegal aliens working for us.” He’s right of course, but they like Donohue, he’s done a good job for them generally, so they defer to his crusade for amnesty and open borders, including hiring MALDEF’s former national policy analyst as the Chamber’s director of immigration policy.

Mark Krikorian, a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995.

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