I think the question that the conservative reporter shouted at the President in a very boorish manner the other day needs to be addressed and it needs to be addressed every time it is asked. Because believe me, we have been hearing and we will continue to hear it until a Republican is elected to the White House (and then these same critics will fall silent, funny how that happens even the policy doesn’t often won’t change). So the following information is something that you can use to good effect whenever someone claims that the President’s policy regarding immigrants is “not good for American workers.”
First define what the damn policy is about so as to set a baseline somewhere beyond the retarded rhetoric that our own Governor is spewing. It is NOT amnesty. It IS about giving those that qualify a worker’s permit–note, “those that qualify”. So not everyone of them will get a permit. Here’s a summary of the new policy:
.…people younger than 30 who came to the United States before the age of 16, pose no criminal or security threat, and were successful students or served in the military can get a two-year deferral from deportation (CNN)
So the policy change is mostly about the young, ranging from the very young up to age 30. Of course the very young are not in competition for jobs and they wouldn’t have yet had a chance to prove themselves in high school or have served in the military. BUT it will give them tremendous incentive to stay in school, avoid all the pitfalls for young, disenfranchised people and if they don’t do well in school, they have incentive to serve in the military1. So the very young now have incentive to succeed and are currently no threat to American workers. In fact, I’m pretty darn sure that the little 6 year old girl that Arpaio detained is a threat to no one2.
Now, lets look at the teenagers who don’t do well in school and don’t go to college. They won’t be getting cream of the crop jobs, not even once they get work permits because NO ONE with only a high school education is making a livable wage (unless they have special training in a specialized field, which is rare at age 18). I mean, what do Americans have to fear from this subgroup of the immigrant population affected? That they have to compete for the ‘Do you want fries with that?’ jobs that most teens get (or used to get that are slowly being taken over by adults who are desperate to support their families any way they can)?
The next segment of immigrants affected will have gone off to college and will be struggling with debt and the dearth of jobs that all the other college graduates are facing. There are countless stories of immigrants that have done very well and distinguished themselves in higher education. Those students have a much better chance today of competing in the American job market than they did before. So, yes, American college students MIGHT have something to fear from these grads.
The reason I say “might” is because the average American student STILL have one HUGE advantage…they’re not here on a permit that will run out. They don’t have to “get in line” and navigate the long, complicated and expensive process of trying to become an American citizen. They will never have to worry about whether an employer might turn them down because they aren’t “permanent” yet. Plus, the “line” that cons are always talking about doesn’t even exist. It’s more of a convoluted, incomprehensible knot. For example, if one of these immigrants marry an American, they often have to wait several years to even apply for citizenship and in the meantime still have to go back to their country of origin for a couple of years (regardless of whether they speak the language, have any family there, or have any memory of ever living there). So being married to a U.S. citizen shortens the process but it is not a panacea. And since most of these people will have to take the longer road and apply on their own, that’s not quite the advantage that so many cons want you to believe it is. Ultimately, I have no sympathy for American students take their citizenship for granted and sit on their asses, continuing to “party hardy”. They will deserve getting their butts kicked in the job market by these ambitious, tenacious and worthy immigrants in the end. Give me the person who hungers to be an American over someone who is born to it with a “meh” attitude, or worse yet, an entitlement attitude.
Furthermore, what about those young men and women who join the military and literally risk their lives for the U.S.? They can’t be illegal and enlist…technically, they have to have a green card first, but there have been special exceptions made. Some are directly recruited and others manage to slip through the cracks using false documents. Those who sneak in or were not properly identified during enlistment are almost never kicked out4 of the service. Should American workers fear their competition in the workforce? Yes, because if anyone has the single mindedness of purpose, the bravery to endure difficulties and come through triumphant, it is these people. They will have an innate tenacity and a learned discipline that the average young American simply does not possess. IMHO, it is the height of insanity not to grant citizenship to them when so many natural citizens avoid military duty like the plague. We need more of these kind of people, not less.
However, when all of this reasoning doesn’t work and there is a good likelihood it won’t….there is one more HUGE fact you can bring up. After Arizona passed S.B. 1070 approximately 200,000 immigrants (most of them Hispanic) left the state (some claim a reduction as high as 23% but I can’t be sure of their sources). Arizona was struggling job-wise like every other state (and it continues to struggle today). Even if we only assume that half of that population worked….that’s 100,000 job openings that should have appeared. Hell, let’s be even more generous, let’s assume that only one-fourth of that population worked. That would have been 50,000 jobs openings, right?
In 2010 the year that S.B. 1070 was passed into law, unemployment in AZ peaked at 338.072 people. So, 50,000 new job openings would have been a 15% improvement within a year or two and 100,000 would have been a 33% improvement. That’s pretty damn significant, especially in light of the fact that people get excited when the ENTIRE country only gains over 200,000 jobs in a month. Think about it….even spread out over a two year period of time and in light of the fact that Arizona, like the rest of the country, is slowly recovering anyway (the number of unemployed has dropped by about 64,000, same source as above). Imagine what that 50,000 to 100,000 job gain on top of the 64,000 j0b gain should have done for AZ. But it didn’t and that’s the point.
The illegal immigrants left and left behind a ton of jobs that no Americans took up. That’s a stone cold fact. So next time a conservative tells you about how illegal immigrants take jobs away from Americans, ask them about the 50,000 to 200,000 jobs that opened up in Arizona in less than a two year period and ask them why Arizona’s unemployment remains so shitty. It should have been enough jobs to make Arizona have one of the lowest employment rates in the country, but that didn’t happen.
Turn the questions on them. Why didn’t Americans want all those cleaning, roofing, brick laying, child care, crop picking, etc jobs that got left behind? If they were competing for those jobs, then why didn’t Americans jump at the chance to fill those positions when the immigrants fled? They won’t have an answer. So don’t let people tell you those immigrants will take jobs away from deserving Americans because its simply not true as Arizona’s experience has so well proven5.
1. Although there is a good argument to be made that making the military one of the few ladders out of poverty isn’t all that great since they are always the ones dying in droves in wars started by the “one percenters”, who’s children never serve–but that’s another discussion for another day
2. the Phoenix New Times is saying that MCSO didn’t arrest the child but simply turned her over to I.C.E. You know what’s sad? That Arpaio’s reputation is so bad, that we all believed with little convincing that he had arrested her in the first place. I mean, he’s known around the world for doing whatever the hell he wants, whenever he wants that no one really thought it impossible for him to have done such a horrible thing. That’s sad on so many levels.
3. And to that, I say good. Too many American students rate their college by it’s party reputation or by “things to do” in the community. Which of the two following stories represents what America is supposed to be: A) the immigrant who triumphed over adversity, went to Harvard and/or served the U.S. before they were ever even citizens, or B) the average American hungover, C student at a state college who has never done a damn thing for anyone, anywhere. If you said choice B, then this country is in deep, deep doodoo in regards to the job market.
4. They get recruited for their foreign language skills and understanding of their native culture in some instances. Others are recruited because we need bodies in the ranks and citizens are burned out on war….it’s as simple as that.
5. Have you seen or heard of any one in the MSM talking about these facts? I haven’t and it chaps my ass….seriously, why should someone like me have to engage in journalism in my limited spare time at cost to me while all those pandering TV pseudo-journalist personalities get to smile their pearly whites and feed Americans their red meat of hatred and their pablum of carefully tailored GOP lies all the while earning a damned good living.