Fiscal Policy Institute, NY Daily News mislead about benefits of massive immigration
The Fiscal Policy Institute has released a new report called "Contribution of Immigrant Workers to the Country's 25 Largest Metropolitan Areas"; it was sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation and a Service Employees International Union local and you can get the PDF at fiscalpolicy.org/immigration.html. They say:
In the 25 largest metropolitan areas of the United States, immigrants are contributing to the economy in very close proportion to their share of the population... In the 25 largest metropolitan areas combined - comprising more than half of the country's Gross Domestic Product, and two thirds of all immigrants - foreign-born workers are responsible for 20 percent of economic output and make up 20 percent of the population... Metropolitan areas with the greatest rise in immigrant share of the labor force also experienced among the fastest economic growth, the report finds. Phoenix, Dallas, and Houston metro areas had the biggest growth in immigrant share of the labor force between 1990 and 2006, and also all had well above average metro area economic growth, while Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Detroit metro areas experienced the slowest increase in immigrant share of the labor force and among the smallest economic growth... "It's easy to understand why immigration and growth are closely connected. Immigrants are drawn to areas where there are jobs, and an expanding labor market can help fuel further growth," says David Dyssegaard Kallick, director of the Fiscal Policy Institute's Immigration Research Initiative.
Apparently Kallick has never once heard the hoary old maxim about "correlation not implying causation"; the first three cities he mentions are located in sunnier areas of the country that have different industries from the three Rust Belt cities and there may be (and almost certainly are) other explanations for the differences. Further, the report lumps all types of immigrants together, while a relatively small number of high-skill immigrants may be pulling far more than their share and in effect paying the costs for a much larger number of low-skilled "immigrants" (including many illegal aliens).
And, their boosterism doesn't square with things like this:
L.A. has about 800,000 people -- nearly the population of San Francisco -- living below the official poverty line. Nearly 40 percent of Angeleneos can't even read at an eighth-grade level.
That's a huge cost, but it's one not factored into their report. All of these types of reports - the ones that set out from the beginning to prove the opposite of what's actually happening - fail to note any of the non-financial costs of massive immigration, including such things as reducing power for U.S. citizens, giving power inside the U.S. to far-left racial power groups and foreign governments, and so on.
The way that the FPI is presenting this report is highly misleading, and a New York Daily News editorial trumpeting the report joins in ("The boon of immigration: Newcomers to America more than pull their economic weight", nydailynews.com/opinions/2009/11/30/2009-11-30_the_boon_of_immigration.html):
Clearly, the larger the number of immigrants, the greater the economic activity. But the reverse is also true. Shutting the borders and throwing out those who have built productive lives here would do untold damage to the country. Maintaining the United States as an immigrant-friendly nation is essential to our economic health... Providing a road to citizenship for those who are here, while fixing gaping holes in enforcement, is the way to guarantee continued economic benefit for all Americans.
We're already quite "immigrant-friendly", admitting over 1 million per year. That doesn't mean that we should support illegal immigration. And, what's "clear" to the NYDN isn't actually true: even more massive immigration would lead to even higher costs, both financial and non-financial.
Ask the NYDN to break out the supposed benefits from those who they would legalize - largely those who are low-skilled - rather than trying to mislead people.