Friday, April 16, 2010


The White House has made it clear that it isn't interested in taking on another contentious issue this year. Healthcare reform engendered too much animosity over the last fifteen months and there's an election coming up in November. President Obama would much prefer that the Democratic leadership in Congress focus on better regulation of the financial sector so that there won't be a repeat of the economic debacle he inherited. Such legislation would show the American public that his administration cares deeply about the "regular people" more than the banksters.

It's beginning to look, however, that the president isn't going to be given that breathing space. Pressure on another front, immigration reform, is beginning to grow, and that pressure is coming not just from immigration rights advocates.

The Arizona legislature has just passed a terrible bill which essentially requires all immigrants, legal or not, to carry their "papers" with them at all times. The Los Angeles Times published a fairly sensible (for the center left board) editorial decrying the bill and urges the Arizona governor to veto it. The editorial also, however, identifies what I think is a good analysis of what lay behind the bill: is the state's way of expressing frustration with the federal government and preparing itself for the comprehensive federal immigration reform residents fear is coming. In the eyes of many Arizonans, any new law granting amnesty to undocumented immigrants will open a floodgate into their backyard.

Arizona's new legislation is terribly wrongheaded, but the state's sense of abandonment by Washington is not something the rest of us can shrug off. Congress must find the courage to create a policy that sensibly regulates the flow of immigration.

Unfortunately, the editorial board mucked up its argument with the same kind of wrongheadedness that led to the bill. The editorial works with an underlying assumption that is just not accurate, as this article from the NY Times reveals.

According to a new analysis of census data, more than half of the working immigrants in this metropolitan area [St. Louis] hold higher-paying white-collar jobs — as professionals, technicians or administrators — rather than lower-paying blue-collar and service jobs.

... In 14 of the 25 largest metropolitan areas, including Boston, New York and San Francisco, more immigrants are employed in white-collar occupations than in lower-wage work like construction, manufacturing or cleaning.

The data belie a common perception in the nation’s hard-fought debate over immigration — articulated by lawmakers, pundits and advocates on all sides of the issue — that the surge in immigration in the last two decades has overwhelmed the United States with low-wage foreign laborers.

Over all, the analysis showed, the 25 million immigrants who live in the country’s largest metropolitan areas (about two-thirds of all immigrants in the country) are nearly evenly distributed across the job and income spectrum.


“The United States is getting a more varied and economically important flow of immigrants than the public seems to realize,” said David Dyssegaard Kallick, director for immigration research at the Fiscal Policy Institute, a nonpartisan group in New York that conducted the data analysis for The New York Times.

Now, I fully understand that for reasons of geography Arizona, Texas, and California have to deal with the flow of a lot of unskilled laborers coming from Mexico and Central America. They aren't getting too many fashion designers or engineers or surgeons sneaking across the border. Even so, that doesn't mean that those who come are necessarily stealing jobs from the locals and availing themselves of social services.

Americans are inclined to welcome upper-tier immigrants ... believing they contribute to economic growth without burdening public services, the study found. More than 60 percent of Americans are opposed to allowing more low-skilled foreign laborers, regarding them as more likely to be a drag on the economy.

Those kinds of views, in turn, have informed recent efforts by Congress to remake the immigration system. A measure unveiled last month by Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, and Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, aims to reshape the legal system to give priority to high-skilled, high-earning immigrants, offering narrower channels for low-wage workers. (A bill in 2007 by the Bush administration tilted even more sharply toward upper-tier immigrants; it failed in Congress.)

Yet while visa bottlenecks persist for high-skilled immigrants, on the whole, the census data show, the current system has brought a range of foreign workers across skill and income levels. The analysis suggests, moreover, that the immigrants played a central role in the cycle of the economic growth of cities over the last two decades.

Cities with thriving immigrant populations — with high-earning and lower-wage workers — tended to be those that prospered the most.
[Emphasis added]

The studies referenced by the NY Times certainly don't tell us anything new, they just substantiate what is actually going on. They challenge the assumptions that immigrants, especially those from poor countries, are a drag on America.

And here's the important part: such articles and, yes, editorials are essential if the American public is to be served a healthy dose of reality. That's the job of the press, and in these two cases the press did it jobs well.

So, President Obama: put your seat belt back on. It looks like you're going to have to follow through on your campaign promise to get a decent and reasonable immigration reform bill passed a little sooner than you would have liked.



Blogger Brittanicus said...

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada should be made a prime example of, in his delirious push for yet another Immigration Reform bill. He should not, and will not be recycled to his place of prominence in the majority Senate chambers again. He will be a taught a lesson in humility to the massive margin of the US population. He is not showing his true colors of genuflecting to the commanders of Wall Street, the radical echelon of the ethno-centrist organizations or wealthy lobbyists. Every Nevadan, Tea Party members and all those who vote should set their sights on a win for non-incumbents? Sen. Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Graham, Schumer and others in the beltway, must once again become humble before THE PEOPLE. Sen. Harry Reid attempted derailing E-Verify and its powerful applications of the SAVE ACT, to eject foreign workers from America's workplaces. He and his cronies in Washington have relentlessly strived to whitewash the poor structure, called the border fence by underfunding it. Deaths along the border are now the consequence as narcotic intrusions and influxes of more illegal immigrants has become more predominant.

Many of the Democrats with Liberal ties have sought to outcast the 287G, local police arrest and detain measure. Napolitano already has an inadequate record of immigration enforcement in Arizona, as the previous governor. As Homeland Security Secretary has seen fit to cut back on budgets for the US Border Patrol and severely restricted large ICE raids across the country. It’s time for all patriotic Americans to vote these politicians out of office, specifically those who entertain another financially damaging AMNESTY. The last one was a undeniably a complete travesty as hundreds of thousands of destitute people poured almost unhindered into our Nation, before and after President Reagan signed the 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli bill. They want reform, and then amend this law, not vigorously pretend that it's not another AMNESTY?

America is possibly the only country in the whole world whose ‘public servants’ in Washington have, for decades, betrayed them and plotted to replace them in favor of virtually anyone from around this planet. Everybody will agree that this America will always need specialty and top performing engineers and scientist, along with highly credentialed skilled men and women. Included in this special visa platform should be entrepreneurs and investors to this great country of ours. This must be specific on outstanding merit of their jobs, that American citizens-residents are unable to fill. This is where we need to adopt a points system to attain the top notch people who want to immigrate here. Outside of these superior workers, we cannot afford to support the desperate, unschooled and destitute who are looking for manual work, knowing that Uncle Sam will look after their low income families. Arizona on the other hand is fed-up with kowtowing to its illegal immigration invasion to open border entities and took drastic measures to stop this intrusion into their states entitlements. So as California—a refuge state next door, my guess large blocks of foreign nationals will hi-tail-it there, where it’s a free for all on welfare payouts.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Brittanicus said...

While the pro-Amnesty politicians still chant the mantra of ‘enhancement through mass immigration’, the question should be asked? If blanket immigration is really so financially rewarding to our country, then why are the politicians from the both parties not advocating mass immigration to ‘cure’ the poverty of Third World countries like Mexico, South and Central America, Africa, India and so forth?

Instead of promising billions in foreign aid — money that American taxpayers must borrow from Communist China to give away, the two parties should back their philosophies in the benefits of mass immigration, by promising to assist Third World countries to attain this level of ‘enrichment’ by the same means?

If it has been so ‘enriching’ for this country, why not for the rest of the world? YOU COULD ASK THIS QUESTION TO AN INDIGENOUS ENGLISHMAN, WHOSE OWN COUNTRY HAS BEEN OVERWHELMED. Confusing — isn’t it?

The fact is politicians have done so using deceits and subterfuge, such as using taxpayers’ money to subsidize the employment of immigrants; education, health care and even a crowded prison system and all welfare--that is nothing short of treason. Stop this alienation of America’s culture being polluted with foreign languages, by YOU harassing your state and federal representative at 202-224-3121. Don’t relieve the pressure on those in Washington or the state level. Learn more about the statistics of illegal immigration at the corruption in the Capitol at

2:17 PM  

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