It’s Democracy, Not Pandering

The Quote Below — More Misinformation from the Media

You have to say one thing for President Trump: He has yet to find a crisis he can’t try to exploit for his own political gain. . . . Trump won election in part through bashing immigration, both legal and illegal, and has worked diligently since then to limit new arrivals while ramping up arrests of people here without permission. . . . Now, citing the massive job losses from widespread stay at home orders, Trump intends to halt all immigration. . . .

Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany followed that up with a statement Tuesday morning that. . . . “As President Trump has said, ‘Decades of record immigration have produced lower wages and higher unemployment for our citizens. . . .

But the president’s assertions just aren’t true. Numerous studies have found that new arrivals tend to take jobs that employers have trouble filling — often tasks that pay poorly, are dangerous and involve hard physical labor. Those workers tend to compete with and dampen wages for the immigrants who preceded them into the country.

But the new arrivals also add to the economy and help create higher-paying, less physically strenuous jobs for native-born workers. As the Brookings Institute reported in 2012, “immigrants and U.S.-born workers generally do not compete for the same jobs,”. . . .

Does that change during an economic crisis like this? In some ways, yes. Is it reasonable to declare a short-term hiatus? Perhaps. But that has already been put into effect . . .  by the collapse of the labor market (economic migrants tend not to travel for jobs that don’t exist). – Trump’s New Immigration Freeze Is Just More of His Tired Political Posturing, The Times Editorial Board, Los Angeles Times, 4/21/20 [Link]

Fact Check of Quote Above: This editorial claims that Donald Trump was “pandering” when he proposed as a presidential candidate to control the border and restrict immigration. What actually happened was that candidate Trump was responding to the heartfelt desire of Americans to accomplish those objectives. The proper word for Trump’s response was democracy, heeding the will of the people, not pandering.

Establishment elites, such as those who write editorials for the Times, often aren’t too keen on popular rule. They don’t think that “deplorables,” to use Hillary Clinton’s term, have much business deciding national policy. Democracy, in their view, is when people think as elites want them to think. When they don’t think that way, it’s “pandering” for leaders to heed them.

Elites often maintain, as these editorialists do, that we need foreign workers because there are many jobs Americans won’t do. The truth of the matter, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, is that native-born Americans are the majority of workers in almost every job category. Therefore immigrants in those fields, to some degree or other, are competing with Americans. This competition reduces job opportunities and wages for American workers particularly those on the lower end of our economic scale. But more upscale citizens suffer too. Among them are Americans with backgrounds in computer science and other technical fields to face competition from foreigners with H-1B visas and other temporary visas. Companies prefer the foreigners because they can pay them less.

Interestingly this editorial concedes that immigration reduces the wages of immigrants who arrived previously. The writers pose as being pro-immigrant as they bash President Trump for “bashing” immigrants. But a truly pro-immigrant policy is one that would limit the flow of new immigrants so that the ones already here could make more money.

The editorial does concede, though grudgingly, that a reduction of immigration might make sense with so many people out of work because of the coronavirus crisis. But they say not to worry because immigrants won’t come in a situation like this. Really? That didn’t happen during the Great Recession of the previous decade when large-scale legal immigration continued without let-up.

In any case, the bad economic consequences of the coronavirus are not likely to subside anytime soon. According to one estimate, more than 40 percent of the jobs eliminated during the crisis are not coming back after it ends. As Americans feel economic pain, President Trump would respond—and ignore the journalists who pander to cheap labor interests.




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