Wednesday, April 17, 2013

NYT: Just Say 'NO' to Amnesty

Ladies and gentlemen, surely this is a sign of the apocalypse or hell hath finally frozen over as I now find myself in 100% agreement with the editorial board of the NY Times.
"Amnesty would undermine the integrity of the country's immigration laws and would depress the wages of its lowest-paid native-born workers...
"The primary problem with amnesties is that they beget more illegal immigration. Demographers trace the doubling of the number of Mexican immigrants since 1990 in part to the amnesty of the 1980's. Amnesties signal foreign workers that American citizenship can be had by sneaking across the border, or staying beyond the term of one's visa, and hiding out until Congress passes the next amnesty. The 1980's amnesty also attracted a large flow of illegal relatives of those workers who became newly legal. All that is unfair to those who play by the immigration rules and wait years to gain legal admission.
"It is also unfair to unskilled workers already in the United States. Between about 1980 and 1995, the gap between the wages of high school dropouts and all other workers widened substantially. Prof. George Borjas of Harvard estimates that almost half of this trend can be traced to immigration of unskilled workers. Illegal immigration of unskilled workers induced by another amnesty would make matters worse. The better course of action is to honor America's proud tradition by continuing to welcome legal immigrants and find ways to punish employers who refuse to obey the law."
Oh wait, seems that is how the NY Times felt in February of 2000.  Before the Bush, McCain, Kennedy amnesty push, but even then Democrats pushed back on provisions for guest workers because of wage depression fears.  But, with a renewed effort by Obama and the so-called gang of 8, suddenly the NY Times is all for guest worker programs, despite their negative effects on American workers.

So why the change?  Did the economics of mass immigration change?

Not according to Prof. George Borjas of Harvard.  In "Immigration and the American Worker: A Review of the Academic Literature" Borjas, the nation's leading economic expert on immigration, found that current mass immigration policies result in more than $402b in lost wages to native American workers.

While Borjas did find a net economic gain of $35b annually for the country, this amount comes from the increased profits garnered by the employers of cheap, low-skilled immigrant labor.  To put it in terms our liberal friends can understand, mass immigration is redistributing wealth from America's low-skilled workers to the wealthy.

Now that it is clear that the underlying economics of mass immigration has not changed and the American worker is left holding footing the bill, we must ask again why the NY Times has changed its position on amnesty?

Surely the loans and investments made by the world's richest man, Mexican business tycoon Carlos Slim Helu, to the New York Times had nothing to do with it...


Anonymous said...

So they opposed amnesty in 2000. What has happened in 13 years for them to do a 180?

theKansasCitian said...

Surely this had nothing to do with it?

Anonymous said...

Note that the Borjas study did not factor in the costs of immigrants taking welfare benefits. It only considered salaries and work related benefits.

My hunch is that paltry $35 billion, which mainly goes to the wealthy is reduced significantly and might even go negative once you factor in social spending on immigrants.