In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 17, 2005 / 8 Iyar, 5765

Immigration's not-so-hidden costs hurt American workers

By Clarence Page

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Despite the partisan bickering for which Washington is known these days, there were nothing but smiles and warm and cheery bipartisanship as Senators Edward M. Kennedy and John McCain announced the Senate version of a bill to overhaul the nation's battered immigration policy. Let's hope it works this time.

I've lost count of how many other comprehensive overhauls of immigration policy we have had since the 1965 reform of which Kennedy was a principal sponsor. He promised sensible limits to what seemed to be an out-of-control influx of newcomers. Two decades later, immigration had more than doubled and Congress passed another bill in 1986.

But enforcement of border security and sanctions against employers who knowingly hire illegals slacked off, often under pressure from employers and immigrant rights groups. Two decades after that, here we are again.

"We are a nation of immigrants," Kennedy said in announcing the new bill. "And we always will be, and our laws must be true to that proud heritage." I agree with that. But I also know that the nation can have too much of a good thing, especially those who have entered the workforce illegally.

Controlled and orderly immigration is enriching for our country. But massive large-scale immigration puts a squeeze on low-wage workers who already are here and facing a shrinking demand for their low-skilled labors.

Hardly anyone argues with that, but the difference between what our lawmakers say and what they do about immigration limits has amounted to a lot of make-believe. Through lax enforcement of border security and employer sanctions, and other policies, we beckon, "Y'all come!"

Since 1965, the traditional trickle of new immigrants, which averaged a little more than 200,000 a year over the nation's history, surged upward to an estimated 2 million a year, about half of them illegal.

That puts pressure on wages, of course, at a time when low-skilled jobs have dried up. Increased immigration was one of five major factors that led to that job decline, as Harvard sociologist William Julius Wilson recounts in his 1996 book "When Work Disappears."

The other four were the nation's shift from a manufacturing-based to a service-based economy, the increased outsourcing of low-skilled work to countries where labor is cheaper, advances in technology that have increased demand for high-skilled workers while reducing demand for low-skilled workers and the decline of unions that traditionally drive up wages and benefits.

Yet we continue to hear about how illegals only take the "jobs nobody wants." Ideally, there is almost no job that somebody would not want and make themselves available to do, if you offer them enough money to do it. Whenever I hear someone talk about the "jobs nobody wants" what I really hear is: "jobs that pay less than most Americans need to support their families."

The unexpected sweeping success of welfare reform at moving mothers off welfare and into work should have exploded that myth, yet it persists, fed by stereotypes that feed on themselves.

A closer look finds another reality: There are more people looking for work in de-industrialized urban communities than there are jobs available. One often-cited study of fast-food businesses in Harlem by anthropologist Katherine Newman at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government 10 years ago found 14 applicants for every job that was filled. A year later, her study found, only 25 percent of those who were turned down had found work.

Despite the stereotype of immigrants taking only hard-labor jobs that unemployed blacks and others don't want, the percent of immigrants in the laborer and fabricator category of the labor force, 20 percent, was slightly less than that of African-Americans, 22 percent, in the 1998 census survey.

Yet, the invisible struggles of real-life poor black folks can hardly compete with the distorted media images.

A century ago, black industrialists like Booker T. Washington, black civil rights leaders like W.E.B. Du Bois and later black labor leaders like A. Philip Randolph were united in their call for sharp reductions in new immigration, then mostly from Europe, as long as there was an abundant supply of available, able-bodied black workers already here.

That's changed since the 1960s. Today, largely in pursuit of political solidarity across ethnic lines, it is hard to find a major black politician or civil rights leader who will call for reducing illegal immigrants, let alone scaling back legal immigration. In the absence of reasonable voices, it is left too often to demagogues to give voice to the immigration concerns of ordinary Americans, sometimes with a frightening tinge of racism and nativism that further chills any chance for reasonable discussion.

We deserve better than that as a nation. But, if the civil rights community and the Congressional Black Caucus, just for starters, do not give voice to the concerns of American workers who are left behind in yet another immigration wave, who will?

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on Clarence Page's column by clicking here.


© 2005, TMS