Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Immigration Problem

Recent polls in the US suggest that large majorities of not just Republicans but independents consider immigration to be a big problem.  It is not.  It is so not a problem, but, just like #voterfraudfraud has convinced significant numbers of Republicans that voter fraud is a threat, the GOP and its allies have convinced much of the American people that immigration, legal or not, is a threat.

How is immigration a threat?
  • Is it because larger and larger numbers of people are seeking to come to the US? Legal? Yes, although I would love to see these tables controlling for size of US population as there are more now but a smaller share of US population  Illegal?  Nope, the trends, especially from places like Mexico, are in the opposite direction.
  • Is it because immigrants are more likely to be criminals?  Nope.  That all MS 13 is mostly threat inflation by the way.  They are bad hombres, but mostly because the US sent criminals to Latin America where they helped to radicalize others.  Well done.
  • Is it because immigrants are resource black holes?  Actually, nope as they pay taxes but are not allowed to receive most benefits. Flows can hurt local governments, but that is a problem that could be easily fixed.
  • Are they a threat because they are mostly people of color?  Ding, ding, ding. 
Yes, the current wave of anti-immigration feelings in the US is based on myths and on racism and xenophobia.  This, of course, is not new.  It used to be that Irish and Italians and Jews were not considered white (ask the alt-right folks these days about whether Jews are white), but John Kelly seems to have forgotten that.

Anyhow, immigrants are not significant threats to employment.  Indeed, for social security, medicare and other programs to be funded down the road, the best solution is to bring in more immigrants to offset the fertility decline and aging of the American population.  This is not an option for more xenophobic places (yeah, Japan, talking about you ... and Russia).

So, I just want to push back against this whole idea of immigration being a problem.  But what do we call the myth-ing of this.  We have #voterfraudfraud for voter suppression.  What is a handy term for this?  #Immigrationfraud?  Nope.  #NoImmigrationProblemo?  #XenophobicFraud?  Please post in the comments if you have a better name for this.

No comments: