The political spin never ceases to shock me. I continually find myself trying to debate an issue only to be confronted with altered facts that forces me to focus on correcting the record rather than arguing my point. Take for example the argument that the Democrats are for open borders.

There is a general narrative about the Democrats that is false – yet it continues because both sides – the Democrats and the Republicans, feed the false narrative.

The historical fact is that the Democrats are NOT (purposely capitalized) for immigrants. Democrats are also NOT for open borders.

The reason for this inconvenient fact is that the Democrat’s base used to be the labor unions.

The labor unions did not want its members to compete against low-wage workers.

Because of that, the Democrats impeded immigration reform that allowed more low wage workers in. Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were helped by the labor movements to get elected. It was labor money that funded the Democrats to run for office.

However, union memberships have been dropping. Labor organizations fault the Democrats for not passing reforms encouraging union membership. Because of the loss of the support from the labor groups, the Democrats have begun to lean towards a more liberal platform. More women and younger people have filled the Democrat rolls.

But this is a recent occurrence.

While the unions were running the Democratic Party, the last thing the party wanted was open borders and more immigrant labor.

That is the important fact missing in today’s narrative about immigration.

Now contrast that with the other inconvenient fact – GOP champion Ronald Reagan.

The narrative today about NAFTA is that Bill Clinton championed it because he signed it. The fact is that Clinton was forced to sign NAFTA into law much to the chagrin of his labor base.

NAFTA was created and pushed forth by Ronald Reagan. Reagan started the idea and George H. Bush shepherded it into legislation. It was the Republicans that started and enacted NAFTA, not the Democrats.

But most important, the first champion for open borders was none other than Ronald Reagan. Hear it with your own ears:

Yes, that Ronald Reagan.

Reagan argued that America needed Mexican labor and even so far as to argue that Mexicans should freely be able to come, work and return to México as they pleased. There are many that argue this inconvenient fact, but Ronald Reagan remains the only president to provide amnesty to millions of Mexicans living in the United States.

Like the Clinton “support” of NAFTA and the 1986 Reagan immigration reform, the reality has been cloaked in misleading rhetoric.

This is because the Republicans can’t admit publicly that they support immigrant labor and free trade because their base would go ballistic.

The Democrats, for their part, have successfully created the notion that they are for immigrants even though they legislatively opposed anything that competed with their labor base.

As the Democratic Party has shifted further to the left, because of the erosion of labor unions, it has embraced its pro-immigrant lie.

A few ultra-left Democratic Party politicos have embraced an open border rhetoric but the reality remains that the Democratic Party base DOES NOT support open borders.

Immigrants have been supported by the Republicans. Free trade is a Republican thing.

The idea of open borders between the United States and México is a Ronald Reagan thing, the champion of the Republicans.

Let’s debate the merits of immigration and open borders based on facts, not on the illusions created that many believe today.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...