Maybe Journalists CAN Be Taught About Immigration, After All (Or: Man Bites Dog)
Print Friendly and PDF

In a speech reworked into an essay roughly fifteen years ago (Immigration's Impact On Education, Multiculturalism [PDF | version with links], The Social Contract, Fall, 1998), Peter Brimelow wrote,

[B]ecause this [immigration] issue didn't exist before the late 1960s, most of the people who are currently in positions of authority in politics and journalism and so on, were mature adults—well, at least adults—before the issue really took hold. Most people are not capable of grasping new ideas after they're about 21 or so, some people not at all, of course! And a lot of them are just not up to speed on this question.

For an example of this inability-to-grasp, consider the central truth that rescuing the country from illegal immigration primarily requires denying jobs to illegal aliens.  To be sure, other measures—border security, cooperation between local law enforcement and the feds, ending the anchor-baby abuse, etc.—are important, too.  But denying them jobs is job numero uno: If they can't make a living, they'll leave.  Attrition by enforcement [PDF] without end, amen.

We in the guerilla squads for immigration-sanity have been pounding away, for seeming eons, on this obvious point about jobs, apparently to no avail.  For instance, the begging letter with phony poll from the National Republican Senatorial Committee that arrived in my mail Tuesday included just one poll question on immigration: "Should we do more to secure our border with Mexico?"  Duh.

For another instance, anytime I've heard someone bring up illegal immigration on Sean Hannity's radio show, Hannity's reaction has been limited in substance to "Secure the border!"

On this and on other, related examples—'Deport all 11 million?!?  It’d take  200,000 buses in a caravan stretching bumper-to-bumper from San Diego to Alaska! ' or 'Show me a 50-foot wall, and I'll show you a 51-foot ladder.'—Peter Brimelow's wry observation has always seemed to apply: Most folks are stuck on ignorant.

But the editors at Bloomberg View cranked out an astonishing editorial on Wednesday, March 12 that suggests our eons of pounding have finally opened a bridgehead into some establishment heads.  Its title is The Only Way to Stop Illegal Immigration, and it starts out unpromisingly, with what seems to be a nod to the Senate-passed amnesty-and-immigration-acceleration monstrosity (S.744).  And it goes on to concede, via a link, the supposed cruciality of Latinos' votes for Republican electoral success.  (Wrong.)  

But then—mirabile dictu!—look at this:

The House Homeland Security Committee has put forward its own, far cheaper immigration security bill, but it still suffers from Washington's obsession with the border. Politicians from varied and distant locales relish demanding militarization down yonder while continuing to ignore the reality of illegal immigration in their own backyards.

What reality? As many as 8 million undocumented immigrants hold jobs in the U.S. In fact, they account for more than 5 percent of the U.S. labor force. Their unemployment rate might even be lower than that of the nation's black citizens.

And, stereotypes aside, the undocumented are hardly relegated to agriculture and domestic service. Construction, manufacturing and retail are among their biggest employers, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

[All three links are in the original.  The one embedded in "obsession" is to a February, 2014 Bloomberg editorial, whose, (perhaps different) writers were quite confused.—PN]

That's good enough that I'll grant them a mulligan over their weaselly use of "undocumented immigrants" in place of "illegal aliens." 

They go on to say:

The only way to make meaningful progress is to end the lure of employment.

That will require fewer additional resources for border patrol and more for workplace enforcement, such as E-Verify. This electronic employment verification system, administered by the Department of Homeland Security, has been a qualified success. From 2007 to 2012, E-Verify queries from employers increased to more than 21 million, from 3.3 million. As of February 2013, more than 432,000 employers were using the system to confirm the eligibility of prospective employees.

[Actually, E-Verify's use, for now, is mostly restricted to new hires, not "prospective employees."—PN]

The entire editorial is worth reading—and, mostly, cheering over.  One is tempted to exult that, "Yay!  These guys weren't born yesterday."  

Maybe, though, they were born yesterday, thus implying that Peter Brimelow's memorable characterization of people over 21 could remain unchallenged.


Print Friendly and PDF