Paul Ryan Just Made the Case For Comprehensive Immigration Reform

It might be true that Speaker Ryan is preparing to resign, because he just let loose with quite the doosey.

Ryan is actually addressing a very real issue. With Baby Boomers set to retire and live longer, we need more working age people to sustain Social Security and Medicare. But his solution is that women need to fire up those uteruses and have more babies or he’ll take it out on granny. Isn’t that special?

What I find fascinating is the way this flies right in the face of those nativist claims we constantly hear from Republicans about how immigrants are taking jobs away from us. Ryan just said that the new economic challenge for America is people. Rather than telling women that they need to have more babies, an alternative would be to do the opposite of what Trump and Republicans are doing right now. We could ramp up immigration and bring undocumented workers out of the shadow economy by providing a pathway to citizenship.

Other remedies might include getting back to real criminal justice reform in a way that prevents crime and rehabilitates prisoners. That would bring millions of people back into the workforce. But of course, none of that is even on the Republican radar right now.

It is abundantly clear that the current Republican position on immigration, as well as criminal justice reform, is all about racism and nativism. Even in the face of serious negative impacts on the economy and entitlement programs, they are unwilling to reconsider. In other words, nativism trumps economics.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60 .