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Most new Texas jobs went to immigrants, legal and illegal (Rick Perry; who to blame; what to do)

A new study (link) shows that most of the new jobs created in Texas - Rick Perry's "Texas Miracle" - went to immigrants and not native-born workers. And, about half of those immigrants who got jobs are illegal aliens.

This is somewhat bad news for Rick Perry, despite the fact that he's only partly responsible. Below I'll tell you who should bear most of the responsibility and what you can do about this.

First, here are some excerpts from the study (by Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies):

* Of jobs created in Texas since 2007, 81 percent were taken by newly arrived immigrant workers (legal and illegal).

* In terms of numbers, between the second quarter of 2007, right before the recession began, and the second quarter of 2011, total employment in Texas increased by 279,000. Of this, 225,000 jobs went to immigrants (legal and illegal) who arrived in the United States in 2007 or later.

* Of newly arrived immigrants who took a job in Texas, 93 percent were not U.S. citizens. Thus government data show that more than three-fourths of net job growth in Texas were taken by newly arrived non-citizens (legal and illegal).

* The large share of job growth that went to immigrants is surprising because the native-born accounted for 69 percent of the growth in Texas' working-age population (16 to 65). Thus, even though natives made up most of the growth in potential workers, most of the job growth went to immigrants.

...This analysis shows that job growth was significant in Texas. But, depending on how one calculates the impact of immigration, between 2007, before the recession began, and 2011 more than three-quarters or more than half of that growth went to immigrants. This is the case even though the native-born accounted for more than two-thirds of the growth in the working-age population. Some may argue that it was because so many immigrants arrived in Texas that there was job growth in the state. But if immigration does stimulate job growth for natives, the numbers in Texas would be expected to look very different. The unemployment rate and the employment rate show a dramatic deterioration in the Texas for the native-born that was similar to the rest of the country. Moreover, if immigration does stimulate job growth for natives, why have states that received so many new immigrants done so poorly in recent years? (See Table 2.) For example, unemployment in the top-10 immigrant-receiving states in 2011 averaged 8.7 percent, compared to 8.1 percent in the other 40 states. Moreover, unemployment is 7.2 percent on average in the 10 states where the fewest immigrants arrived since 2007. These figures do not settle the debate over the economics of immigration. What they do show is that high immigration can go hand in hand with very negative labor market outcomes for the native-born. And conversely the native-born can do relatively well in areas of lower immigration...

Now, here's who's responsible and what to do:

* The Rick Perry angle
Rick Perry is very bad on immigration (see that link) and he's taken steps to encourage illegal immigration, such as by giving illegal aliens in-state college tuition. However, Perry doesn't set national immigration policy and in the grander scheme of things he's just a minor cog in the wheel.

This report will have some role in reducing his support from the GOP base, but the GOP base also tends to be forgetful. They might chalk this up as yet another Perry foible when the next shiny outrage du jour from the Obama administration comes along. And, there isn't much chance that the Democratic Party is going to use the statistics above against Perry since they don't really care about the impacts of massive immigration on the native-born and using the statistics would conflict with their attempts to portray any opposition to massive immigration in a negative light. Perry's GOP opponents might use the statistic against him effectively, but the broader establishment isn't about to harp on the issue.

* Who's responsible
There are two groups responsible for the statistics above: the illegal immigration-supporting establishment, and their incompetent or corrupt opponents. You need to worry about not just those who actively enable, support, or encourage illegal and massive immigration, but those who you think are the opponents of that group but who either are corrupt or do things that are ineffective or counter-productive. See the last link for a discussion of the latter, which mostly includes those in the tea parties sphere. Over the last two and a half years they could have easily reduced illegal immigration if they'd wanted to and had been able to overcome their various liabilities. Instead, the teaparty base has mostly ignored immigration and their top leaders are on the wrong side. That's despite how helping me promote my two-and-a-half-year old jobs plan could have not just done a public service but would have helped them discredit their opponents. If a group of people can't see the benefit to themselves in a) getting potentially hundreds of thousands of American working, and b) making the Center for American Progress look bad to their supporters, that group is not on the side of those who effectively oppose illegal immigration.

* What you can do
The best way to resolve this whole issue is what I've outlined and done here for years, as distilled in the guide to reducing illegal immigration. See also the new post in which I explain a highly effective strategy to reduce massive/illegal immigration.

Yes, Rick Perry is bad. But, the problem goes much deeper than him. How to resolve this issue is described at the last two links.

Thu, 09/22/2011 - 14:19 · Importance: 4