It's being reported today that video has surfaced of Texas' Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis saying: "They’re talking about whether they should soften their language on immigration, but we all know where they are because they’ve been talking about it on the airwaves for the last couple of months.” She continued: “And we know what they really believe and think about people who don’t look like them or come from where they come from.”
Saying "we all know" is apparently the liberal version of a fact, and I guess the "common-knowledge" nature of this "fact" led her to conclude that actually identifying what it is that they all know was an unnecessary exercise. Since I in fact don't "know," I'm not going to attempt to understand her insidious implication---I can simply assume that she was saying that we are racist. But if she is referring to white men who were born in America, she has it backwards---nobody votes for those who fit their own profile at a lower rate than white, native-born American males. It is, in fact, nearly every other racial-ethnic-gender group combination that votes for those who "look like them" at the highest rates. So, what's really going here is not that we don't like people who don't look like us and don't come from where we come, but rather it is Wendy Davis who doesn't like people who do look like her and do come from where she comes---since we know how this smear will go over in Texas, it's safe to assume that this had little to do with her gubernatorial race, and much to do with her MSNBC application...
Congressman Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) recently repeated the same questionable logic that many in the GOP establishment have offered when making the case for "comprehensive immigration reform." During what I guess was a campaign event, Mulvaney made the following comments in regard to immigration reform (as reported by Breitbart):
1) "Immigration is not a simple issue. There are at least three major parts of it: there's border security, legal immigration, and...the status of the folks who are here illegally. People say, 'oh, comprehensive reform is a bad idea.' Ok? But, unless you deal with all three of those you haven't dealt with immigration."
2) “There are jobs that American citizens will not do. There are jobs that American citizens will not do. We can talk about why that is. We can talk about how our welfare state is broken, how we encourage people not to work, but that doesn't help the farmer pick his peaches this summer. We have businesses that rely on migrant---legal---migrant workers, and a lot of them are in this state.”
The problem I have with his first statement is that it's a specious misdirection, which serves no valid purpose in an honest debate on the fundamental issues underlying immigration reform---the only purpose it does serve is to avoid such a debate. He identifies those who say that "comprehensive immigration reform is a bad idea," but then proceeds to make an argument that has nothing to do with the specific question of whether comprehensive reform is a good idea. Comprehensive reform means dealing with all these issues (and more) in a single piece of legislation, but Mulvaney clearly seems to be implying that the alternative to such an approach is to not deal with some of these issues at all. This is false; it's not a question of if, it's a question of how (and when)---as the other alternative, which he ignores, is to deal with these issues one at a time, in manageable portions.
"Comprehensive" is one of those DC words that implies both a value and a contrast without actually identifying either one; they would like you to believe that the only alternatives to this type of reform are "partial" or "incomplete" reforms. This is simply semantics, as we could just as easily say that "comprehensive" reform is unfocused---that it is too wide-ranging to be workable. In other words, the sheer scope of comprehensive immigration reform could just as easily result in it being incomprehensible---and isn't that the reason that such reform is needed in the first place? Is the problem with the current law that it isn't comprehensive, or that it isn't comprehensible?
As to the second quotation, this logic is more than just "questionable," it appears that it is downright false. At the end of this article I have attached the most-detailed statistics that I could find on the macro-economic aspect of this claim. These numbers reveal that Americans are not only willing to do these jobs, they are already doing them. The following statistics come from a research study conducted by the Center for Immigration Studies (which cites the Census Bureau as its source); I don't know much about this group, but I'm sure that it is safe to say that they have a political agenda. That being said, I have no reason to believe that their numbers are wrong:
1) Of the 472 civilian occupations, only six are majority immigrant (legal and illegal). These six occupations account for one-percent of the total U.S. workforce. Moreover, native-born Americans still comprise 46 percent of workers even in these occupations.
2) Many jobs often thought to be overwhelmingly immigrant (legal and illegal) are in fact majority native-born:
Maids and housekeepers: 51 percent native-born
Taxi drivers and chauffeurs: 58 percent native-born
Butchers and meat processors: 63 percent native-born
Grounds maintenance workers: 64 percent native-born
Construction laborers: 66 percent native-born
Porters, bellhops, and concierges: 72 percent native-born
Janitors: 73 percent native-born
3) There are 67 occupations in which 25 percent or more of workers are immigrants (legal and illegal). In these high-immigrant occupations, there are still 16.5 million natives---accounting for one out of eight natives in the labor force.
4) High-immigrant occupations (25 percent or more immigrant) are primarily, but not exclusively, lower-wage jobs that require relatively little formal education.
5) In high-immigrant occupations, 59 percent of the natives have no education beyond high school, compared to 31 percent of the rest of the labor force.
6) Natives tend to have high unemployment in high-immigrant occupations, averaging 14 percent during the 2009-2011 period, compared to 8 percent in the rest of the labor market. There were a total of 2.6 million unemployed native-born Americans in high-immigrant occupations.
And here are some of their conclusions about this data:
If you would like to compare this report to one that comes from a group with an opposing political perspective, here is a link (and you should notice how they have to limit their focus and skew their data to fit their argument): http://olsonpr.com/white-papers/immigration-in-agriculture/