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Post Immigration Reform; from Gary Moore
Created by John Eipper on 10/27/15 1:35 PM

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Immigration Reform; from Gary Moore (John Eipper, USA, 10/27/15 1:35 pm)

Gary Moore writes:

As John Eipper said, the insights on immigration from Timothy Brown, Richard Hancock, et al. are really getting interesting. The savings account idea, the Bracero program--I wonder which political candidates might be likeliest to use such thinking.  And as the vein of concrete insights gets deeper, getting behind some myths, it brings the hope of illuminating some often heard claims:

I've tried to investigate the claim that illegal immigrants are swamping county hospitals and emergency rooms with system-busting free visits. I know a big-city mayor, very liberal, who made such a claim. Yet when I tried to find out I met...the privacy regulations.

Could it be that nobody can ever get real statistics on this because of privacy laws? Does anybody know this issue?

And ditto the same claim about illegals swamping Arizona schools--even Georgia schools.  Try to find out, you meet the privacy wall. Or do you? Has anybody got the goods?

But maybe the bonanza is Richard's statement that no American will do manual labor for $20 an hour. Here's one that really needs chasing down, yea or nay. His own experience from multiple angles is very persuasive, but for this argument to have political weight--in a realm laced with so much unconscious prejudice--a whole series of such compelling personal insights would be required even to begin moving the battleship of polemic, let alone policy. Any parallel insights? Has anybody ever found that supposed Black ex-construction worker in the South who says: "No, I prefer sitting at home on welfare while the Mexicans do it"?

Here's an example of how complicated it gets: Thirty years ago in northern Mexico, if you talked to Mexicans doing just the sort of farm employment Richard is talking about, you would get no end of startling statements like: "Forget it. Mexican labor just won't work. They're too lazy." How did we get from there to here? Did somebody drop a bomb on the lazy Mexican? What a fascinating frontier of the unknown. Will another can-do Clinton be able to broach it? Or will we just get another feel-good anti-Bracero wave, like the 1986 amnesty/open-the-gates sham?

Both Timothy's and Richard's posts had so many vital concretes that one hardly knows where to begin asking about them.

JE comments:  Work ethic is another facet of that nebulous construct, "national character."  Is there any meaningful way to measure it?  "Productivity" is not exactly the same thing.

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