Guess what? It’s all about the money. Washington State AG Bob Ferguson might have preached about his state’s lawsuit against President Trump’s executive order on immigration being about defending the constitution. And the separation of powers. But the basis for his Washington’s lawsuit against Trump is really about damages to the state government coffers.

Let Ilya Somin go on about Trump’s campaign statements on Muslim immigration. And let the liberal judges in the 9th circuit decide that newspaper articles on a candidate’s pronouncements are important facts in deciding if the president overstepped his authority granted to him by Congress by 1952’s Immigration and Nationality Act.

But behind this grandstanding and the feisty protests by the advocates of diversity over any other consideration, lies the economic reality that the state of Washington is worried about. Microsoft loves – really really loves – H1B visas and the ability to use them to import cheaper tech workers to write the code that keeps the billions and billions flowing. All at a cheaper cost than if a larger percentage of Americans were hired.

Many of these workers come from Muslim-majority countries. Or countries – like India – that have substantial Muslim populations. Amazon loves those visas too. Boeing sells lots of planes to Muslim countries, and has a juicy deal with Iran, for example. And international students who pay several times the tuition fees that in-state students do, add millions and millions to the coffers of universities and colleges in the state of Washington, and elsewhere of course.

And anything like a presidential executive order that could potentially be seen in a bad light by Muslim interest groups would tarnish the state’s globalist brand. And cut into their revenues.

But it gets even more interesting. Arkansas’ Senator Tom Cotton and Georgia’s Senator David Perdue have put together what they call the RAISE Act. That would stand for: Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment. And yes, it does foresee limiting legal immigration, as well as combating illegal immigration. That puts the two GOP senators in direct philosophical and economic conflict with Washington State AG Ferguson and the economic interests of Silicon Valley in general.

In other words, underneath the cries of racism and prejudice – themselves a theatrical over reaction to a focused vetting scheme – are worries that those who profit from today’s globalized world will see their revenue streams dry up as a result of any substantial change in immigration policy. Of course, aside from Trump’s executive order winning a battle in the 9th circuit and possibly going all the way to the Supreme Court; a substantial change in immigration policy would also require that someone like Mitch McConnell not let Cotton and Perdue’s RAISE Act die a noble death in some senate committee. The odds are, however, that McConnell will indeed let the RAISE Act wither and die in the dark corridors of senate protocol.

But this is a battle on all fronts: political and policy-wise, economic, and cultural. And there’s a lot of money at stake as well. It may be that the established and entrenched interests are too powerful to allow a significant change in immigration policy. But President Trump is sure going to give it a try. And he finally has his AG to back him up.

Comments