A February 5 column in the Washington Post by E. J. Dionne entitled "The Citizens United Catastrophe" should be required reading for everyone interested in immigration, even though the article is not primarily on this topic. Dionne's basic point is that by allowing billionaires and large corporations to make unlimited campaign contributions, the Supreme Court has strengthened the hand of the wealthy over elections.
At the same time, many states with Republican legislatures are weakening the influence of minorities and the poor through restrictive voter ID laws designed to keep them away from the polls. Nothing could be more dangerous for the future of immigration in America. This is not to say that the Republican plutocrats are against all immigration. Romney, for one, says that he "loves" immigration. I am sure that, for once, he is telling the truth, despite his ultra-hard line on unauthorized immigration.
There is little doubt that he does favor immigration - by other wealthy hedge fund managers like himself. Newt, for his part, wants to eliminate the H-1B cap entirely, which is by far one of the most intelligent ideas that any presidential candidate, including Obama, has advocated in this election cycle so far.
Despite two recent articles in the Financial Times by Alan Greenspan absurdly claiming that H-1B workers belong to the wealthy upper class, something which would come as news to the great majority of H-1B visa holders, eliminating the H-1B cap would benefit the middle class most of all.
But if immigration in America is limited to the affluent and highly educated elite, with less skilled or wealthy immigrants barred at the gates or subjected to mass expulsion, then America will no longer be the country that we know, based on the principle of equal opportunity for all. Emma Lazurus' poem will have to be removed from the Statue of Liberty, to be replaced by a copy of the Citizens United decision, the worst in the entire history of the Supreme Court since Dred Scott.