Two Views of Immigration

By July 13, 2005Dobbs Watch

Dobbs Watch It’s not often that you have a chance to pose two starkly contrasting views of immigration, but we’ve been given a great gift, courtesy of Stephen Moore on the op-ed page of yesterday’s Wall Street Journal. On the other side is Lou “Let’s Send ‘Em All Back” Dobbs. We know where he’s coming from. On his website, he hawks his show, with more immigration red meat, i.e., “[T]he government says some employers are abusing the Social Security system to hire illegal aliens. We’ll have a report.” And: “…[W]e’ll tell you why Arizona is taking immigration enforcement into its own hands.”

Anybody else feeling a little sense of deja vu here….?

OK, so let’s go to Stephen Moore for a little dose of reality, reason and — dare we say it? — facts.

In his piece, entitled,
More Immigrants, More Jobs” (we hear they had to get Lou a second Wall Street Journal to read since he sprayed a mouthful of coffee all over the first copy at the mere sight of the headline…), he examines the claims of those who are arguing, as he says, “that we need a ‘time out’ on immigrants because they displace American workers from jobs, depress wages and raise welfare and other social service costs.”

However, says Moore, “The evidence for these claims is contradicted by the actual bullish US economic performance during this era of high immigration.” He then goes on to cite some very stubborn facts. Among them:

— The period of the highest growth in immigration — the 80’s and 90’s — were two of the fastest economic growth decades in American history. As he says, “immigrants may not have caused this burst of prosperity but they certainly didn’t prevent it.”

— The increase in immigration flow has corresponded with steady and substantial reductions in unemployment. The US has taken in twice the number of immigrants of any other industrialized country (it’s what makes this country special, and great), yet we have the second lowest unemployment rate.

— The longer immigrants are here, the better they do financially. There is no evidence of wage suppression by immigrants, because native-born Americans generally migrate into professions with higher wages. Moore goes on to point out that the “Silicon Valley could not exist today without immigrant brainpower”, something Dobbs consistently and stubbornly overlooks.

He concludes by saying that, “this finding that the new immigrants are integrating into our modern economy is highly reassuring”, adding,. “The nativists have gotten this story all wrong for at least the past 20 years.”

We have known for a long time that Lou Dobbs is nothing but a demagogue who stirs the basest instincts of a segment of the population in the interests of ratings. If it weren’t for the immigration policy on which this country was founded, Dobbs would be across the pond somewhere, dreaming of America.