David Streitfeld of the Los Angeles Times' business section offers a five-screener called "Illegal -- but Essential". It informs us that illegal labor is a "pillar of California's economic strength" and takes other steps to promote illegal immigration. While it does contain two anecdotes about workers who've been affected, and a mention of George Borjas' studies, they're overshadowed by the general feeling of sleaziness. Similar articles could have been written about the benefits of crooked cops or about how drugrunners buying speedboats props up the economy.
And, needless to say, nowhere in the article is there even the slightest allusion to such corruption and its effect on our political system.
Hundreds of thousands of immigrants have repeatedly demonstrated this year for legal recognition, sparking a backlash from many native-born Americans. Congress has been stalemated between legalization advocates and those pushing punitive measures.
Those "immigrants" were either illegal aliens or their supporters, and not all the marchers were immigrants but may have been the citizen relatives or friends of illegal aliens. (A small number were no doubt otherwise unaffected useful idiots). And, certainly not all those who were opposed to the marchers are the "native-born", but no doubt included large numbers who went through the legal process to become (real) immigrants. And, is a subtle message being sent that "Americans" include both the "native-born" and what he refers to as "immigrants"?
Then, he misrepresents the Independent Institute's Open Letter on Immigration. Contrary to what he implies, that childlike screed doesn't mention illegal immigration; it only refers to the general term without drawing any sort of distinction:
The 500 economists concede that a "small percentage" of native-born Americans may be hurt by competition from illegal immigrants who are willing to work cheaply. But any harm, they say, is outweighed by the benefits to the overall economy.
"The only people to benefit from the deportation of millions of low-skill workers would be other low-skill workers, who would get an immediate increase in pay rates," said Timothy Kane, an economist with the conservative Heritage Foundation. "However, they would also be the first to lose their jobs during a recession — which would be inevitable if the economy were shocked in this fashion."
UC Berkeley economist David Card has challenged those findings, saying cities such as Los Angeles are absorbing large numbers of laborers without wages being affected... The plentiful supply of workers, Card speculates, has led companies to keep people at jobs that might otherwise have been automated.
In other words, having access to endless cheap labor has reduced innovation.
And, we get the thoughts of "urban affairs expert and Economic Roundtable President Daniel Flaming":
"When manufacturing collapsed, there was no effort to salvage the infrastructure for other purposes... The formal economy here has been stagnant since the beginning of the 1990s. The only growth has been in under-the-table employment, predominantly fueled by desperate workers and in particular undocumented workers... [Without immigrants, Flaming said, Los Angeles would be smaller and weaker and poorer — Detroit or Pittsburgh or Cleveland with better weather.] We should be thankful to immigrants... Without them, things would be much worse."
Then, just so the reader can be absolutely assured where the LAT stands, it ends on a PIIPPish note.
This article is symptomatic of the "Fahrenheit 451"-ish trend of journalism. Newspapers that used to "follow the money" now try to cover up the trail. I don't expect any MSM source to ever "follow the money" in the case of illegal immigration and find out exactly who's profiting from massive illegal activity and what steps they take - perhaps by encouraging a certain type of immigration coverage - to promote their goals.
Immigration · Sun, 10/01/2006 - 11:01 · Importance: 4