New York Times Op-ed: Fantasy Posing as Commentary
The New York Times makes no secret of its editorial position on immigration. They support amnesty for illegal aliens and vast increases in overall immigration. Lately, a lot of their bias has bled over from the editorial page to their news coverage of immigration.However, even as clearly labeled “opinion,” a column that appears on the Jan. 12 edition of Times’ op-ed page raises questions about whether the Old Gray Lady has lost it. An op-ed written by University of Southern California professor Dowell Myers, “The Next Immigration Challenge,” is a compilation of half-truths, untruths, tea leaf-reading, logical inconsistencies, and fantasy.Here, for what it’s worth since the Times would never print it, is an analysis and rebuttal to just some of the assertions made by Myers in his op-ed:“Illegal immigration is shrinking to a trickle…” “The most startling evidence of the falloff is the effective disappearance of illegal border crossers from Mexico, with some experts estimating the net number of new Mexicans settling in the United States at zero.”1. This assertion relies on government data, which Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse vigorously disputes. Syracuse University essentially accuses the government of cooking the books.2. The government’s estimates, not to mention FAIR’s and the Pew Hispanic Center’s, are that the illegal population is growing again.3. Whatever slowing down occurred was due to the collapse of the U.S. labor market and stepped-up enforcement at the end of the Bush administration. The former, we hope, will not persist while the Obama administration has made it clear the latter will not persist.“The total number of immigrants, legal and illegal, arriving in the 2000s grew at half the rate of the 1990s, according to the Census Bureau.“1. I think this is what Benjamin Disraeli had in mind when he uttered his famous quip about “lies, damned lies, and statistics.” As your baseline gets higher and higher growth appears much smaller when stated in percentages.2. In fact, the 2010 Census data shows huge growth in both the foreign born population and among their U.S.-born kids.“Today, barely a third of adult immigrants have a high-school diploma. But the children of Latino immigrants have always outperformed their parents in educational achievement. By 2030 we expect 80 percent of their children who arrived in the 1990s before age 10 to have completed high school and 18 percent to have a bachelor’s degree.”1. The two-thirds who do not have high school diplomas are going to be with us for quite some time and will be heavily subsidized. Even those who have just a high school diploma will be working at low-wage jobs and will need to be subsidized.2. The Latino high school dropout rate is more than double the overall rate. Not very encouraging.3. If 18% have bachelor’s degrees in 2030 that means that 82% will not.“Among those in the wave of 1990s immigrants, just 20 percent owned a home in 2000. We expect that percentage to rise to 69 percent — and 74 percent for all immigrants — by 2030, well above the historical average for all Americans.”1. Wasn’t it the sharp increase in the number of people who “owned” homes they could not possibly hope to pay for what got us into this mess in the first place? Millions of people have absolutely no equity in their homes. That’s not ownership; it’s renting from the mortgage company without the benefit of having someone else pay for repairs.2. Is he really predicting real estate trends 18 years into the future?“Economists forecast labor-force growth to drop below 1 percent later this decade because of retiring baby boomers.”1. Given the anemic job creation and the millions of people who are unemployed or underemployed, why do we need labor force growth?“Immigrants’ extraordinary progress in assimilating would be faster if federal and state policies encouraged it.”1. Ah, so what we need is a government program to deal with the consequences of a failed government program, i.e. our immigration policy.“Meanwhile, states with large immigrant populations are cutting the budgets of community and state colleges, precisely where immigrant students predominantly enroll.”1. Maybe those states are cutting these budgets because they are being forced to spend so much money providing services to their large immigrant populations?“For starters, the billions of dollars spent on border enforcement should be gradually redirected to replenishing and boosting the education budget, particularly the Pell grant program for low-income students.”1. Aside from the absurdity of ending border enforcement, wouldn’t leaving the borders open and offering heavily subsidized education to anyone who comes across the open border just consume all the money we’re saving on the Border Patrol and then some?“Second, the Departments of Labor, Commerce and Education need to play a greater role in immigration policy…immigration policy is all about cultivating needed workers…It means assistance in developing migrants’ job skills to better compete in an increasingly information- and knowledge-based economy.”1. Assuming that we actually need the workers, wouldn’t it make more sense to devise an immigration policy which selects people who already have the training we need than take lots of people who have no identifiable skills and try to “cultivate” them?2. How do you cultivate “migrants’ job skills to better compete in an increasingly information- and knowledge-based economy,” when, by you own admission “barely a third of adult immigrants have a high school diploma”?
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