In the buildup to the mid-term elections, there was a lot of talk about US immigration, how the system was broken, what would be done with the thousands of migrants coming across the border illegally, and what America wanted to do with them or not. For many past mid-term elections, this was a political hot potato that was used by aspiring elected leaders to use as a way of propelling themselves forward or denigrating their opponent, depending on where they stood on the issue.
Yet this time, in 2022, immigration came and went, and no one seemed to care. This caused me to be a bit in shock, and then I had a moment of realization: Most Americans are OK with a broken immigration system. It’s great for 12 million people to be in the U.S. illegally when they serve the purpose of creating an economic subclass that is paid significantly less and performs jobs that 9 out of 10 non-teenaged Americans would never take, and form the backbone of our service, agricultural and construction backbone.
If the immigration system were fixed, Americans could not complain about them, President Trump could not attack them at every turn, and we would have no scapegoat to blame and kick around. The last important class of people in the US to not be given due process, the invisible class, the elephants in the room, or former elephants in the room, I should say. Congress may not ever pass immigration reform, the DACA dreamers will continue to live in legal limbo and be treated like ping-pong balls, and the employers who exploit this hidden class will continue to do so to offset inflation and keep lining their pockets.
The mid-term elections were a beacon of hope for immigrants, a chance to have their day in the spotlight finally. Then reality hit: they are invisible when they do good things and visible when they can be used as scapegoats or political fodder, but when it all comes down to it, they are not even the invisible elephant in the room at all; they are invisible, period.