Brimelow Debate In Grand Rapids
September 21, 2006, 05:23 PM
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The Grand Rapids Press has a story by Nardy Baeza Bickel, [email] a legal immigrant from Chile, about Peter Brimelow's debate at the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies, with Linda Chavez, Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco , Bill Ong Hing and Russell M. Magnaghi. I have a feeling she's using Wikipedia as a source.

Brimelow heads the Center for American Unity, [Actually, the Lexington Research Institute, which, as of today will be known simply as the Vdare Foundation.] which considers "mass" immigration, multiculturalism, multilingualism and affirmative action as a threat to the survival of the United States. The center and its online publication VDare are considered by some as a hate group. [GVSU immigration forum stirs debate, September 20, 2006]

Well, the "some" that consider us a hate group is mostly the SPLC, which makes its living considering people hate groups, and our political opponents.

Audio and perhaps video of the Hauenstein Center debates should be available soon, we'll keep you posted. In the meantime, you might amuse yourself by reading Peter Skerry's take on Bill Ong Hing's immigration writings.

Mr. Hing has written a long, meandering essay that relies for evidence on a motley mix of tedious summaries of technical economic studies, unpersuasive newspaper articles and personal anecdotes. He also has the regrettable habit (perhaps from his law school teaching) of posing Socratic questions that he never gets around to answering. ''Is their displacement by immigrant workers a clear sign of injury at the hands of immigrants?'' he asks about African-American workers. If this important question engages you, look elsewhere for guidance.

A more fundamental problem is that Mr. Hing's dedication to diversity overrides inconvenient facts. He points out that overall immigrant reliance on welfare is equivalent to that of native-born Americans, and consequently rejects the view that it is ''inordinate.'' Fair enough. But he neglects to mention that immigrant welfare rates have been rising steadily in recent years. Similarly, he argues that illegal immigrants are not a fiscal burden, since they are ineligible for most social welfare programs. Yet as a lawyer with considerable field experience, he has to be aware of the brisk market in fake papers that permits a large number of illegal immigrants to obtain social services to which they are not entitled. Nor does he consider the possibility that it might be appropriate to curtail immigration. While he concedes that immigrants probably depress the wages of some American workers, his solution is to raise the minimum wage, expand the earned-income tax credit and improve education and job training programs.

[ We the Peoples , New York Times, April 27, 1997]