By Joe Guzzardi
December 26, 2012
The Los Angeles Times, California’s most widely read daily newspaper rarely publishes stories critical of immigration or the resultant population growth that drives the state’s overcrowding. The Times immigration-avoidance guidelines aren’t written in its manual. But evidence that the Times won’t deal with immigration’s negatives, clear though they are even to casual observers, is overwhelming. If Times’ readers want to understand what’s really going on with immigration and population, they have to be well informed and willing to read between the lines.
In his December 21 story titled More People Moving to the United States, reporter Don Lee laid out the facts: as of July 1, the Census Bureau pegged U.S. population at nearly 314 million, up 2.3 million from last year. California with 38 million people remains the nation’s most populated state, 12 million more than second place Texas. Even though more residents left California last year than moved in, the state added 375,000 people. The Times correctly attributes this phenomenon to immigration (plus 133, 000, a 14 percent increase) and net natural increase which is generally defined as new births minus deaths. The Times didn’t elaborate but a crucial statistic is that most births are from immigrant mothers, legal and illegal and, eventually, the children born to those recent immigrant mothers.
As always, the Times and its sources interpret increased immigration as good. The Brookings Institute demographer William Frey analyzed the Census data and concluded that more immigrant arrivals indicate that the job market is strengthening. The potentially challenging prospect of finding employment no longer, according to Frey, dissuades immigrants.
For employers who want to hire cheap labor, a large immigrant pool to choose from is a wonderful thing. New legal and illegal immigrants benefit, too. They get much needed jobs. Once legal immigrants obtain permanent residency, they receive work authorization and can immediately begin to look for gainful employment. Illegal immigrants either falsify work documents or enter the underground economy. More often than not, a legal or illegal immigrants’ job search is successful.
The Center for Immigration Studies found that since President Obama took office in 2009, immigrants accounted for 67 percent of employment gains. During the third quarter of 2012, there were 1.94 million more immigrants than in January 2009 compared to a 938,000 increase for natives over the same time period.
Congress and the White House, dating back to President Lyndon Johnson’s 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act and continuing through President Obama’s deferred action program, have imposed demographic and economic changes on unsuspecting and often unwilling Americans. Journalists should treat American job displacement and immigration-fueled population increases as the decade’s biggest stories. Instead, hardly a word has been written.
History proves that during uncertain economic times, presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Dwight David Eisenhower managed their immigration policies in a manner designed to help Americans. During the Great Depression Roosevelt, considered by many to be America’s most liberal president, strictly limited immigration and instead created the Works Progress Administration to benefit struggling citizens. Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, the largest public works project at the time.
Americans have taken a back seat to special Chamber of Commerce and the ethnic identity lobby’s interests. Judging from the way President Obama’s second term is poised to begin—with a promise to pass comprehensive immigration reform—more of the same lies ahead.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986. Contact him at [email protected]