For over two years I've been collecting posts by supposed conservatives who complain about the problems California faces but ignore the key issue facing the state: massive illegal immigration. See Fiscal Con for several examples.
However, so far none of those "conservatives" have been bold enough to admit that they weren't going to discuss immigration: they just ignored it completely.
That is, until now.
The Washington Examiner published Part II of our California in Crisis series today, and already I am getting emails asking why illegal immigration has not been mentioned, and will not be mentioned, in the series. Long story short, illegal immigration isn’t the problem.
It is true that California has the largest Hispanic population in the nation, clocking in at a little over 14 million. But as a percentage of the entire population, California is tied with Texas for second in the nation (behind New Mexico). According to the latest Census estimates, Hispanics make up exactly 38.1 percent of both California’s and Texas’ total populations.
Texas, however, has done a much better job of assimilating Hispanics than California has. A language other than English is spoken in more than 40 percent of all California homes. That number is just 34 percent in Texas. Hispanics own almost 21 percent of all businesses in Texas. That number is just 16 percent in California.
But there is one thing California is great at: getting immigrants hooked on welfare. California is home to just 10 percent of the entire U.S. population but also has one third of its total welfare recipients. California’s population is just 50 percent larger than Texas, but its welfare case load is ten times as large. That dependency culture gets passed to California immigrants as well.
That's beyond idiotic.
First, Carroll is conflating Hispanics who've been in the U.S. for decades (more the case in Texas) with recently-arrived illegal aliens (more the case with California).
More importantly, the fact is that without all of the massive immigration that's occurred in California - most of it low-skilled - the situation would be far different. The specific differences between Texas and California are definitely worth looking into, but the reality on the ground is that massive immigration is the top contributing factor to California's problems. Without it, California could have been just as liberal as it wants to be and would have continued to send billions more to the federal government than it receives back. Without it, California would not be bifurcating into a large number of poor people and a small number of rich, with a decreasing number in between. Without it, racial demagogues like Gil Cedillo and Antonio Villaraigosa would have much less of a powerbase.
It's also worth noting that the Washington Examiner is owned by billionaire Philip Anschutz, whose financial interests include Major League Soccer and many other interests that might benefit from increased immigration from Latin America.
Tue, 02/26/2013 - 21:37 · Importance: 4