King has effectively forced the real issue. Republicans will either view immigrants, including undocumented immigrants, as threats to the nation or as potential advantages to the nation. Michael Clemens of the Center for Global Development recently put the matter in historical context: "In 1900 this country was a fourth of the size it is today. A little over half of that increase came from immigration, and what happens to unemployment rates? Nothing at all. Actually zero effect. ... All of that immigration led to a massively more prosperous economy."
For the GOP, this is not just a matter of economics but of political philosophy. Only a party that generally regards human beings as sources of ambition, enterprise and future wealth will be a source of inspiration to the whole country.
Michael Gerson's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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