Hair Trigger Sneer: In the Washington Examiner, the otherwise estimable Philip Klein sneers at Scott Walker for saying that he’d worry about wages and job prospects for American workers when setting levels of legal immigration. According to Klein this shows Walker is “just telling conservatives what he thinks they want to hear” (which is entirely possible) and that he doesn’t understand “the broader philosophical or policy implications” and isn’t “able to make the transition to the big leagues,” which seems snotty.
Why isn’t what Walker understands this: If we’re not going to have open borders, we have to set the level of legal immigration somewhere. In making that decision, it’s surely reasonable to take into account labor market conditions and wage levels.
P.S.: What Walker said seems quite consistent with standard conservative plans (pushed by GOPs who support and GOPs who don’t support “comprehensive” reform) to give more immigration slots to higher-skilled workers and fewer to the low-skilled workers who bid down wages at the bottom, since it’s wages at the bottom we worry about most.
P.P.S.: Anyway, Walker only said wage considerations should be at the “forefront of our discussion.” If that doesn’t give him plenty of wiggle room — to take into account other factors, or to argue that more immigration will improve the economy for everyone — then he’s a less skilled pol than I think he is. …