Bernie Sanders Open borders: That’s a right-wing proposal, right wing people would love open borders.

3961
"Open borders? That’s a Right-wing proposal that would make everyone in America poorer" — Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders Reminds Voters That He Is Absolutely Against Open Borders.

The argument about immigration continues. The CBI is calling for more migration, they literally want cheap labour to cover vacancies in low-paid sectors.

Tony Danker called on politicians to be “practical” about immigration at the CBI’s conference in Birmingham.

The UK should use immigration to solve worker shortages and boost economic growth, the boss of the UK’s biggest business group has said.

His speech comes as many firms struggle to recruit staff. Yet there are 5 million economically inactive people in this country. And many would agree the government’s first duty is to help as many of them as possible into the workforce.

There has always been an argument that immigration pushes wages down. In many cases, the argument is upheld.

But then again we all know how it works, there are “Lies, damned lies, and statistics,” and it is only by the use of the ‘average’ the statistics seem to make little of the downward pressure on the low paid workers who struggle for every hour and every pound earned, they then claim the effect on the lower end of the wage scale is moderate.

Reviewing the results of 12 studies conducted between 2003 and 2018, the Migration Advisory Committee (2018) drew three conclusions. First, that immigration has little or no impact on average employment or unemployment of existing workers. Second, that where an impact is found it tends to be concentrated among certain groups – i.e. a negative effect for those with lower education and a positive effect for those with higher levels of education. And third, that the impact may depend on the economic cycle; some—though not all—studies have found adverse effects on employment or unemployment specifically during downturns.

The truth is and always has been, immigration has little impact on average wages but it’s not the average we are talking about. Effects are not evenly distributed: low-waged workers are more likely to lose while medium and high-paid workers are more likely to gain.

“Evidence to date suggests little effect on employment and unemployment of UK-born workers, but that wages for the low paid may be lowered as a result of migration.”

However, in this case, the CBI is calling for workers that fall into the category of low-paid workers. The demographic that will be adversely hit by an increase in migrant workers.

Putting it bluntly it’s ok if you want more cheap exploited labour if you’re the ones paying the wages but if you’re the one on a zero-hours contract trying to keep a family together and a roof over your head in the middle of a cost of living crisis, then it’s quite a different story.

Bernie Sanders has a different view…

There is a presumption that all left-wingers want an open-door policy and all right-wingers want to shut the door. However, like many things that have real implications for people’s lives and societies, it’s always much more complicated.

Even the Soviet Union had checks and restraints on immigration from one Soviet country to another.

Sanders is one of the most prominent left-wingers he is universally considered to have socialist tendencies but to many his reaction to immigration and an open-door policy is much different than the virtue signalling centrist we have here in the UK.

He says: “Open borders: That’s a right-wing proposal, right-wing people would love open borders.

What right-wing people in this country would love is an open-border policy. Bring in all kinds of people, work for $2 or $3 an hour, that would be great for them. I don’t believe in that. I think we have to raise wages in this country, I think we have to do everything we can to create millions of jobs.”

“You know what youth unemployment is in the United States of America today? If you’re a white high school graduate, it’s 33 percent, Hispanic 36 percent, African American 51 percent. You think we should open the borders and bring in a lot of low-wage workers, or do you think maybe we should try to get jobs for those kids?

I think from a moral responsibility we’ve got to work with the rest of the industrialised world to address the problems of international poverty, but you don’t do that by making people in this country even poorer.

“If your point is, open the borders, my god, there’s a lot of poverty in this world and you’re going to have people from all over.”

This is how that particular question came about.

Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination, rebuked an audience member who suggested the self-described democratic socialist supported open borders.

The audience member had begun to ask how Sanders would fund his vast social safety net if the U.S. were to adopt an open-borders immigration policy. Sanders interrupted him, countering, “Who do you think is suggesting opening the borders?”

The man responded by suggesting that Sanders had supported such a proposal, which is erroneous.

“I’m afraid you may be getting your information wrong,” said Sanders. “That is not my view. I think what we need is comprehensive immigration reform. If your point is, open the borders, my god, there’s a lot of poverty in this world and you’re going to have people from all over the world, and I don’t think that is something we can do at this point. Can’t do it. So that is not my position.”

This is nothing new for Sanders: In fact, during the 2016 campaign, he famously told Vox‘s Ezra Klein that open borders were a right wing “Koch brothers proposal” that would make “everybody in America poorer.”

The UK LeFT will need to reassess its own views on migration and Open borders as we see Freedom of movement coming to an end. 

No one can accuse Bernie Sanders of being right-winged here is what he had to say on open borders and the race to the bottom for low paid workers.

Ezra Klein

You said being a democratic socialist means a more international view. I think if you take global poverty that seriously, it leads you to conclusions that in the US are considered out of political bounds. Things like sharply raising the level of immigration we permit, even up to a level of open borders. About sharply increasing …

Bernie Sanders

Open borders? No, that’s a Koch brothers proposal.

Ezra Klein

Really?

Bernie Sanders

Of course. That’s a right-wing proposal, which says essentially there is no United States. …

Ezra Klein

But it would make …

Bernie Sanders

Excuse me …

Ezra Klein

It would make a lot of global poor richer, wouldn’t it?

Bernie Sanders

It would make everybody in America poorer —you’re doing away with the concept of a nation state, and I don’t think there’s any country in the world that believes in that. If you believe in a nation state or in a country called the United States or UK or Denmark or any other country, you have an obligation in my view to do everything we can to help poor people. What right-wing people in this country would love is an open-border policy. Bring in all kinds of people, work for $2 or $3 an hour, that would be great for them. I don’t believe in that. I think we have to raise wages in this country, I think we have to do everything we can to create millions of jobs.

You know what youth unemployment is in the United States of America today? If you’re a white high school graduate, it’s 33 percent, Hispanic 36 percent, African American 51 percent. You think we should open the borders and bring in a lot of low-wage workers, or do you think maybe we should try to get jobs for those kids?

I think from a moral responsibility we’ve got to work with the rest of the industrialised world to address the problems of international poverty, but you don’t do that by making people in this country even poorer.

Ezra Klein

Then what are the responsibilities that we have? Someone who is poor by US standards is quite well off by, say, Malaysian standards, so if the calculation goes so easily to the benefit of the person in the US, how do we think about that responsibility?

We have a nation-state structure. I agree on that. But philosophically, the question is how do you weight it? How do you think about what the foreign aid budget should be? How do you think about poverty abroad?

Bernie Sanders

I do weigh it. As a United States senator in Vermont, my first obligation is to make certain kids in my state and kids all over this country have the ability to go to college, which is why I am supporting tuition-free public colleges and universities. I believe we should create millions of jobs rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and ask the wealthiest people in this country to start paying their fair share of taxes. I believe we should raise the minimum wage to at least 15 bucks an hour so people in this county are not living in poverty. I think we end the disgrace of some 20 percent of our kids living in poverty in America. Now, how do you do that?

What you do is understand there’s been a huge redistribution of wealth in the last 30 years from the middle class to the top tenth of 1 percent. The other thing that you understand globally is a horrendous imbalance in terms of wealth in the world. As I mentioned earlier, the top 1 percent will own more than the bottom 99 percent in a year or so. That’s absurd. That takes you to programs like the IMF and so forth and so on.

But I think what we need to be doing as a global economy is making sure that people in poor countries have decent-paying jobs, have education, have health care, have nutrition for their people. That is a moral responsibility, but you don’t do that, as some would suggest, by lowering the standard of American workers, which has already gone down very significantly.

Support Labour Heartlands

PLEASE HELP US KEEP GOING AD-FREE

HELP US GROW.

This is a "Pay as You Feel" website.
This blog has no source of state, corporate or institutional finance whatsoever. It runs entirely on voluntary subscriptions from its readers – many of whom do not necessarily agree with every article, but welcome the alternative voice, insider information and debate.
You can have access to all of our online work for free. However if you want to support what we do, you could make a small donation to help us keep writing and staying ad-free.
The choice is entirely yours.