Wall Street Journal's Year-end Take on Immigration
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!
With all that's transpired over the past 12 months, it's hard to imagine it was all crammed into a year and that we're staring another chronological milestone in the face tonight. Before I go further with this year-end entry I want to wish you all a very Happy New Year - we all deserve it!
MANSOOR DROPS THE BOMB, SUPPORTS THE BUFFOON
As previously reported, our young jailer/mayor dropped a bombshell to end 2007 when he announced last week that he's stepping down as mayor to "give others a chance". Yeah, right! I fully expect him to nominate his court jester, Eric Bever, as mayor Wednesday evening, and the ruling troika will consummate that move. And, there's no reason to think Wendy Leece, Mansoor's campaign barnacle last year, will not be elected Mayor Pro Tem. I expect Bever will attempt to use the position of mayor as a platform to victory in his run next year. He's already shown us through his most recent pronouncements that he's going to attempt to use the glow still emanating from Mayor Mansoor to enhance his campaign.
WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORS ON IMMIGRATION
Speaking of which, the editors of the Wall Street Journal today provided us with a very interesting commentary, which they entitled "Keeping Book on Immigration". It appeared on page A12 and is worth a read by anyone seriously interested in the facts of the current immigration situation in our country. I'll try to paraphrase some of the important information provided therein.
IMMIGRANT-DRIVEN GROWTH EXCEEDS 300 MILLION
The editorial begins by telling us that the population of the United States will hit 303.1 million tonight, representing a one-year increase of 0.9% and a 22% increase since 1990. They tell us that much of this growth was driven by immigration.
SORTING FACT FROM FICTION
Further, they tell us that pundits of all persuasion - radio hosts, cable newscasters and Presidential hopefuls - "insist that foreign nationals drive up crime rates, swell welfare rolls and steal jobs." They tell us, though, that the data provides a very different story.
ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS INCREASE, CRIME RATES DROP
The editors tell us, "Between 1994 and 2005, the illegal immigrant population in the U.S. is estimated to have doubled to around 12 million. Yet according the Department of Justice, over that same period the violent crime rate in the U.S. declined by 34.2% and the property crime rate fell by 26.4%, reaching their lowest levels since 1973. Crime has fallen in cities with the largest immigrant populations -- such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami -- as well as border cities like San Diego and El Paso, Texas." That sure doesn't track with all the screaming we've been hearing from folks like Minutemaniac Jim Gilchrist and his cadre of loose nuts - including a few here in Costa Mesa.
MORE INCONVENIENT FACTS
The editors of the Wall Street Journal state that, "A recent paper by the Immigration Policy Center, an advocacy group, notes that 'Numerous studies by independent researchers and government commissions over the past 100 years repeatedly and consistently have found that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes or be behind bars than the native born.' Today, immigrants on balance are five times less likely to be in prison than someone born here." They further state that, "It's not because law-abiding foreign professionals from India and China are compensating for criminally inclined low-skill Latinos. Immigrants from countries that comprise the bulk of our illegal alien population -- including Mexicans, Salvadorans and Guatemalans -- have lower incarceration rates than the native-born." That emphasis is mine, but I think it's very important. The anti-illegal immigrant screamers, including our young jailer/mayor and his cronies, have pounded out the drum beat that it's those nasty, evil immigrants from south of the border that are the root of all problems in our country.
IMMIGRANT WELFARE MYTH DEBUNKED
Another interesting fact provided by the editors in their piece today is, "Another popular belief is that immigrants come here to go on the dole. The data show that welfare caseloads have fallen as illegal immigration has risen. As Peter Wehner and Yuval Levin report in the December issue of Commentary magazine, 'Since the high-water mark in 1994, the national welfare caseload has declined by 60%. Virtually every state in the union has reduced its caseload by at least a third, and some have achieved reductions of over 90%.'
Apparently immigrants don't drive welfare caseloads anymore than they drive the U.S. crime rate. The authors go on to note that, 'Not only have the numbers of people on welfare plunged, but, in the wake of the 1996 welfare-reform bill, overall poverty, child poverty, black child poverty and child hunger have all decreased, while employment figures for single mothers have risen.'"
JOB THE THEFT MYTH DEBUNKED
Well, now, that's an interesting revelation, don't you think? Particularly so when they continue, "For all the talk about the 'invasion' of million upon million of job-consuming immigrants, the unemployment rate stands at 4.7%, and job growth continues apace. Immigrants aren't stealing jobs but filling them. The economic activity they create as consumers and entrepreneurs contributes to the overall economic growth." Again, that emphasis is mine.
The editors recognize the significant impact of illegal immigration and the importance of finding ways to control and manage it. Their final two paragraphs state the following: "None of this is to argue that illegal immigration doesn't have costs, especially in border communities and states with large public benefits. In the post-9/11 environment, knowing who's in the country is more important than ever. That's an argument for better regulating cross-border labor flows, not ending them."
IMMIGRANTS AN ASSET
The editors continue, "The best way to reduce pressure on the border is by providing legal ways for people to come and work. With the Bracero guest-worker program of the 1950s, illegal entries from Mexico declined to a trickle. A similar program today could have much the same effect, while serving our homeland security and economic interests. On balance, the evidence shows that immigrants are still an asset to the U.S." Again, my emphasis. Thanks to the editors of the Wall Street Journal for this incisive bit of journalism with which to end this year.
As the national elections heat up, beginning with the Iowa caucuses this week, we're going to hear lots of contradictory rhetoric about the impact of illegal immigration in this country. For sure, we're going to hear more wailing and moaning by the usual suspects here in Costa Mesa, led by one prolific blogger who sets the tone for the rest of the "improver" mob.
FLOGGING THE DEAD HORSE
Our young jailer/mayor and his running mate, Wendy Leece, rode to victory on the backs of brown immigrants last year. As I said at the top of this piece, I have no doubt Eric Bever will attempt to ride this municipal dead horse - illegal immigration - to do the same thing over the next year.
WILL HE GET GOP SUPPORT?
It will be very interesting to see just how much support he gets from the local GOP in his re-election run. I suspect the leaders of the party may have more trouble supporting Bever and his tendency to shoot from the hip and step on his lip with the frequency he has demonstrated since he's been on the council. Unless they, the GOP leadership, can find a way to tie down that loose cannon they may choose to simply back away and let him fend for himself. That would be fine with me. Unfettered, Bever's mouth will get him into all kinds of trouble.
AN INTERESTING CAMPAIGN RUMOR
Another interesting sidebar from the local rumor mill is that the blogger mentioned above - the guy who provides the intellectual stimulation (such as it is) to the self-anointed "improvers" - might also consider a run for City Council next year. That, my friends, would make for a very interesting situation, since campaign rules require disclosures that might prove complicated for him. Certainly, the complete body of his work would become subject of commentary and scrutiny. I'm not sure he will want those rocks overturned for fear of what might come crawling out. Then, again, maybe not. He's stated many times that he writes to be read. Be careful what you ask for, neighbor.
JOIN US AGAIN NEXT YEAR
So, dear readers, I hope you'll return to this site often in 2008. A Bubbling Cauldron will do it's best to provide facts and insight on important issues in our community for your consideration and comment. Again, Happy New Year to you all.