A Permanent Peasant Class

I’ve long assumed that House Republicans and a majority of Republicans in the Senate would oppose immigration reform, if not categorically, then piecemeal, but the alternative some of them are proposing is far more horrible than even I would have imagined.

Under Labrador’s proposal, which reflects an alternate route sought by House Republicans, undocumented immigrants would receive a visa that allows them to live, work and travel in and out of the United States, but without the right to vote or become a green card holder or citizen.

“Some people are calling it a blue card or a red card,” said the conservative Latino congressman. “I think we should treat them with dignity, but we should also be fair to millions of people that are waiting in line, that are trying to do it the right way. … We have a large majority of the House of Representatives that wants to do something right now.”

You can live, work, and travel here. You can contribute to society. But you can never become part of society.

This would essentially legitimize the system we currently have and formally enshrine the status quo into law while doing nothing to solve the problem. It would establish a permanent underclass of society that is free to mop our floors and pick our vegetables, but never vote and never be counted as a Real American. A servant class of peasants.

Why don’t Republicans want to solve the problem? Here’s a spoiler — because they don’t actually believe it’s a problem. The only reason they’re feigning concern is because they’ve painted themselves into an electoral corner and their ability to stoke racial animosity for political gain is waning.

They want to keep their servants. They want a permanent underclass willing to work for less. One that can never vote against them.

That may sound harsh, but they should feel free to prove me wrong.