Despite VDARE.com’s Steve Sailer’s careful refutation of Damien Cave’s July 6 propaganda claim in the New York Times that life in Mexico is getting to be so good that immigration is falling (so we should all stop worrying and amnesty all those undocumented Democrats immigrants!), Michael Barone (needless to say) takes it at face value and is claiming an I-told-you-so:
“Immigration from Mexico to the United States has slowed down toward zero: that’s the thrust of an excellent story by Damien Cave in the New York Times (complete with excellent interactive graphics). I plan to write a column on that subject, but I can’t resist pointing out that I have been predicting this trend for more than two years now.
“Examples: June 7, 2009 blogpost....
(Immigration From Mexico Down Close to Zero, by Michael Barone, WashingtonExaminer.com, Thursday, July 7, 2011.)
Actually, as Steve Sailer pointed out, even Cave didn’t claim that immigration from Mexico was “close to zero”. He just argued that illegal immigration was down—partly because legal immigration rules have been relaxed.
And I can’t resist pointing out that, as I suspected it would, Barone’s 2009 blog post contained a bogus claim he’s made repeatedly:
“If you go back in American history, you will find that very few if anyone predicted that our great migrations—the great surges of immigration and of internal migration—would occur, and very few predicted when those migrations would abruptly end, as they usually do. For example, net migration from Puerto Rico to the Mainland (almost entirely to New York City in those days) began in the late 1940s and ended abruptly in 1961, when household incomes in Puerto Rico reached about one-third the level in the Mainland (and about one-half those in Mississippi)”An end to immigration?, July 7, 2009
But Barone’s claim that net migration from Puerto Rico “ended abruptly in 1961” was not true when he said it in 2001, it was not true when he repeated it 2006, it was not true in 2009, when he did that blog post, and it’s not true today.
You can see a historical chart here of net migration from Puerto Rico, and one for Mexico here, courtesy of Google's Public Data. Those are Adobe Flash charts—here's a screenshot of one. (Note that these are minus numbers, net migration from Puerto Rico, so that from the point of view of mainlanders, it's the low point of on the chart that represents the high point of migration.)
This shows you that Barone is wrong about 1961, that there are only a couple of years where migration from Puerto Rico even approaches equilibrium and that Puerto Rican migration is still a problem for America today.
It's not as massive today as it was when the celebrated Puerto Rican vs. American gang movie West Side Story was made in 1961, but it's still coming.
Barone’s promised column, when it materialized, actually made this claim again, but in a modified form:
"Mass migration from Puerto Rico, whose residents are US citizens, ended in the early 1960s, when incomes reached a third of those on the mainland.”
What If The Mexicans Stop Coming?, by Michael Barone, New York Post, July 13, 2011.
Note that, in all previous versions of this claim, Barone used the phrase “net migration”—immigrants less emigrants. In this form, it was always wrong. But this last column uses the term "mass migration", which is at least arguable—how many is mass?
Perhaps some intern better skilled with Google than Barone found my previous articles and pointed the truth out to him.
In 2001, I wrote Wall Street (Journal) Story?, (a West Side Story reference) about another case of this Barone baloney, in which he said that "It is possible that the flows of people across the border will in time be in equilibrium, as the flow of people from Puerto Rico to the mainland U.S. has been since 1961." The piece, the Wall Street Journal's OpinionJournal.com, was headed
THE BUSH AGENDA: the Case for Amnesty it’s in America's interest to make citizens of illegal immigrants.
(By Michael Barone, July 25, 2001)
It began with a little gloating:
"Who would have thought a few years ago, when Patrick Buchanan was being treated as a serious Republican candidate for president, that a Republican president would seriously consider proposing an amnesty and the granting of permanent resident status to more than a million illegal Mexican immigrants?."
I like it that it was headed "The Bush Agenda"—Sam Francis, writing about the same time, put it differently: Abolishing America (contd.): Bush’s Desperate Amnesty Gamble.
In 2006, in response to Barone’s repeating this claim, [The Newest Americans, WSJ,(subscriber link) April 11, 2006], I noted that there were enough Puerto Ricans coming in that Florida school teacher Jan Hall had been suspended for writing a letter to her congressman complaining about it, and that I " found out for the first time that the Puerto Rican presence in Florida was large enough that the Commonwealth government maintains what amounts to a consulate in Florida."
This was "[T]he Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, it’s a Puerto Rican Government organization that acts as lobbying group in Washington, and as a quasi-diplomatic office for Puerto Ricans on the mainland. Your tax dollars at work, to make sure your tax dollars work real hard."
I also found out, from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando that
"During the 1990s, Florida displaced New Jersey as the second largest concentration of Puerto Ricans in the U.S. mainland (after New York). Florida's Puerto Rican population grew from slightly more than 2 percent of all stateside Puerto Ricans in 1960 to more than 14 percent in the year 2000. Furthermore, the number of Puerto Rican residents in Florida rose from 482,027 in 2000 to 571,755 persons in 2003."[Puerto Ricans in Orlando and Central Florida]
And if you want any further proof that Puerto Rican migration hasn't reached “equilibrium”, I discovered that the island paradise was actually experiencing "a shortage of people willing to pick coffee beans, and growers there have been thinking of “importing workers from other countries.”
See Barone Gets Puerto Rican Immigration Wrong, Againfor more.
But, as I've also been saying since2001, even if Barone were right about Puerto Rico, it still would mean nothing with regard to Mexican and other Third World immigration.
That’s because there are fewer than four million people in Puerto Rico and they have unique incentives to stay home— they're American citizens, and are living under the American Constitution already. They can speak Spanish there, and get government services in Spanish—paid for by Anglo mainland taxpayers. Whether there's net migration or not, even Barone has not argued that Puerto Rico is a net taxpayer. So Puerto Ricans can simply stay home and count the American dollars, in large numbers, that are shipped to them from the United States. [Puerto Rico: The Imminent Dangers of Statehood, David Martin, ZolaTimes, 2000]
In contrast, there are some 113,000,000 people in Mexico at this moment. They have to come to America to get those taxpayer dollars. And they do—today, about a fifth of all Mexicans in the world live in the US.
In a remake of West Side Story, the Wall Street Journal reported in 2001 that Mexicans were displacing Puerto Ricans in New York.[A Surging Mexican Population Creates New Rifts, Rivalries for Hispanic Groups By Eduardo Porter, The Wall Street Journal, August 7, 2001]
But what we're dealing with is not West Side Story, but Love Story. In the sickly-sentimental 1970 book and movie Love Story, the tagline was "Love means never having to say you're sorry."
Well, it appears that being Michael Barone means the same thing. He never has to say he’s sorry for any of these mistakes, whether pointed out by me, Peter Brimelow, or Steve Sailer. He just goes on repeating them.
Immigration enthusiasts could get away with that—in the days before the internet.