Hanson on illegal immigration and guest workers

There's an interview with Victor Davis Hanson here:
...If there were not a perennial supply of cheap labor, wages would rise, and would draw back workers to now despised seasonal jobs; something is terribly wrong when central California counties experience 15 percent unemployment and yet insist that without thousands of illegal aliens from Oaxaca crops won't be picked and houses not built. At some point, some genius is going to make the connection that illegal immigration may actually explain high unemployment by ensuring employers cheap labor that will not organize, can be paid in cash, and often requires little government deductions and expense...

Church leaders can step forward and talk honestly about the problem in terms of morality—is it so ethical to hire someone, pay him cash, break the law in doing so, and then expect the public to pick up the cost when such an employee is sick, hurt, laid off, or aged?

...There should be no more public tolerance for the racism of an organization like MECHA [a Spanish acronym for the Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan] with its slogans like "a bronze state for a bronze people" or "everything for the race, nothing for those outside the race." Why in 2005 there is still a movement like La Raza ("the race") baffles the mind; would we stand one minute for a "Volk" movement of whites that could only be racist in defining people by how they look rather than what they do?
His latest column "'Guest' workers or Helots?" makes a lot of sense too, except for the part about a one-time amnesty: there's no such thing.

Previously: The liberal case against illegal immigration, Part 2


iam aguy my age 21iam so sad in my life i need like any world to be happy just moment all my life i saffer from my life i want die i havenot jop ihave not love i want leave my country please i want work any thing in america

Let's also not forget that the EMPLOYMENT rate for students is the lowest ever. Why? They are not being hired for summer jobs because the jobs are going to illegal immigrants. Yet they are not counted at all in the UNEMPLOYMENT figures. Why? As students they are not part of the regular work force. Also students who graduate with degrees in IT-related fields but who can't find a job in IT (too many H-1B's being hired) and so go to work selling PC's at ComputerWorld are considered employed. That they are making barely above minimum wage instead of a technician's salary doesn't register. Also many IT workers who were laid off to make room for H-1B's, as well as construction workers etc who were laid off to make room for cheap illegal immigrant laborers, are now working as independent consultants with zero benefits whenever and wherever they can find work. They don't get counted either just as free-lance writers don't get counted as unemployed.

Labor force participation rates are more meaningful than the "unemployment rate". In addition to the reasons cited above there is also the fact that the government counts as employed those who work as little as one hour per week for pay. Below some information on declining rates of labor force participation which may be linked to high immigration levels.
Among older black men, the same dramatic declines were noted over time, according to the report. While the employment rates of black men rise from their late teens through their mid 30s, high levels of joblessness prevail among these men into their late 20s (30 percent of 25 to 29 year old black men were jobless in 2003, for example), then rise sharply as they reach their mid-50s. One of the most disturbing findings was the high share of black males ages 20 to 64 that were jobless year-round. In 2002, one of every four black men in this age group

Sorry, pasted some of that material twice.

The whole question of unemployment rates is more complex than the simple-minded may assume.
Payroll employment rose by only 78,000 in May 2005. That was less than half the gain predicted by economists, and the worst monthly showing since August 2003 when a miniscule 2,000 jobs were created.

Yet May

"the data is suspect"

Great response.


I've not seen any "anti-immigration fanatics" say, as part of their argument, that immigration causes "high unemployment". And as an arguement, this is not really strongly advanced here; for a particular locale, he hints it might be a way to explain high official unemployment nunbers.

However, it is plausible that it could, as hinted here. Regarding illegals, it could work like this: employers would prefer to hire illegals, who are vulnerable and so exploitable, 'under the table', as this would decrease their overall labor costs (this is true even discounting supply and demand), perhaps rather significantly. In this case, others, e.g. citizens and legal residents, would be among, and counted as, the unemployed, whereas illegals would not necessarily be counted as part of the general (employable) population. Hence unemployment would go up. This is probably part of the explanation of why the Central Valley in California has relatively high unemployment -- remember, employment in America is not some sort of philanthropic enterprise. For a refresher course on all of this, watch 'The Grapes of Wrath'.

Regarding legal immigrants, via supply and demand they could also cause increased unemployment among the native population, who may be squeezed out of jobs when the refuse to accept falling wages; whether this would result in higher unemployment numbers depends on several factors.

In any case, the employment/unemployment statistics put out by the government are not all that reliable:

"The unemployment rate has been steadily dropping for years..."

Recall the talk of a "jobless recovery" -- while all this immigration was happening, government statistics showed no or negative job growth, yet you claim the unemployment rate was dropping. How could that be? More employable workers, no or negative job growth, relatively steady or falling unemployment. It makes no sense -- the data is suspect.

This is great. Complaining about high unemployment levels. The unemployment rate has been steadily dropping for years since the last "recession" despite high immigration rates. To suggest that immigration is causing us to suffer via high unemployment is ridiculous.

"Get Chipped" - In Nov. 2004 Lonewacko sarcastically suggested that schoolchildren should have chip implants to monitor getting off the school bus and so on. It makes more sense for illegals who are repatriated to Mexico. A chip implant would make it easier to identify someone who enters this country a second time under an alias, and the element of corporal punishment might discourage some border-crossers. The chip could be inserted in a secure area where there is plenty of room and where it is not likely to be removed, such as the scrotum.