Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Hillary Clinton's strawman regarding 'mass deportation'

++Addition++John S. Bolton points to this telling bit from the CIS' latest report on immigrants in the US:
It's also worth considering that the correlation between native unemployment rates and the share of an occupation that is comprised of immigrants is .80. The square of a correlation, in this case .63, can be interpreted to mean that the presence of immigrants in an occupation explains 63 percent of the variation in native unemployment rates across occupations.
As the report details, immigrants are primarily involved in the same lines of work as are members of the native working- and underclasses (since 2000, immigration has increased the size of the US workforce with less than a high school education by 14%, while only increasing the size of the total workforce by 3%).

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At yesterday's Democratic radio debate, Hillary Clinton brought up the potential for 'mass deportation', stating:
The best estimates I have is that it would take about $200 billion over five years to round up 12 to 14 million people. It would take tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of new law enforcement officials. It would take a convoy of 200,000 buses stretching 17,000 miles. People in America would be outraged at the loss of their privacy, and the invasion of their homes and businesses.
Her cost is more than twice that of what ICE officials estimated it would be just a few months ago. And even the latter's numbers strain credulity.

Indeed, deporting 14 million illegal immigrants would be impossible. The great majority would leave of their own volition long before ICE agents got around to them. She is creating a strawman by arguing against something that cannot exist.

The historical precedent set by Operation Wetback in 1954 suggests that for every migrant forcefully removed, seven or eight will leave on their own. Given the downturn in construction, the voluntary exodus might be even higher.

There is anecdotal evidence from Arizona and Oklahoma that the pattern holds today. Both states have passed tough laws rendering the harboring of an illegal a felonious act alongside strict punitions for employers who hire them. The laws came online a couple of weeks ago in Oklahoma, while activists in Arizona have drawn up a challenge to the current interpretation of the 14th Amendment's putative granting of birthright citizenship that could conceivably send the issue to the US Supreme Court.

Prior to the laws going into effect, and without the powers of deportation (states do not have this power, as it is delegated to the federal government), hundreds of illegal immigrants were estimated to be leaving each of the states on a daily basis. No buses, no armies of ICE agents, no billions of dollars spent. Yet tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands (heh), were removed nonetheless.

In response to John Edwards' contention that illegal immigration is depressing American wages, NPR's Jennifer Ludden comments:

The main groups hurt by illegal immigrants are uneducated Americans and, ironically, legal immigrants, who compete for low-wage jobs. A number of studies, notably by George Borjas of Harvard University, have found that illegal immigrants drive down wages for this group by 3 percent to 7 percent.

For everyone else, having undocumented workers in the marketplace seems to be either a wash or a slight gain.
Then is it fair to say that aiding the most vulnerable Americans is not one of the federal government's primary objectives in the eyes of Democratic frontrunners like Hillary Clinton?

Unskilled Hispanic immigration is accentuating the wealth gap, hurting the bottom rung by expanding its size (which in turn hurts society as a whole). NAM citizenry are especially hurt by it.

The "wash or slight gain" is derived from the effects on wages. It is missing the taxes paid to shore up the net governmental deficit illegal immigration creates. That tab is disproportionately picked up by middle and upper classes. Nor does it take into consideration technological innovation, although such innovation is retarded by an abundant availability of cheap labor.

Underclass immigration hurts most Americans in one way or another. That holds true across the political spectrum. Immigration reform is a populist issue that pits the public against the various arms of the Establishment.

The pro-sovereignty forces have won several defensive victories over the course of the last year. It is now time to go on the offensive. Voicing support for the SAVE Act, which has been introduced in both the House and Senate, offers an opportunity to do so. Let your representatives know where you stand.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

But I am sure she has no problem spending twice as much of our money to provide "services" for these interlopers. And the Republican candidates don't have a problem with this either. .

One question: If states cannot deport illegals back to Mexico or whatever, can they round them up and dump them in the next state or bus or march them to some "sanctuary" city? Make it the problem of LA, Durham or some other place that loves illegals. Maybe Chappaqua, NY too. If they want them so bad, they'll get them.

John S. Bolton said...

There is not known to be any such dilemma, tolerate no end of illegals, or line up the 200,000 buses to send them all out in a few weeks. There is no slippery slope leading inevitably there either deporting one million a year is as stable as deporting two million a year, regarding the scale of deportations. Instability is found with either less than a million, or perhaps more than two million illegals a year deported. Small numbers lead to a rush on the borders, large numbers like 2 million plus, would presumably lead to a popular reaction in support of businesses which got shut down, but were not the most hyper-exploitative.

agnostic said...

Any politician can easily tank a clean-up job by talking about how much it would take to clean up -- everything. She can count on the average person not knowing what diminishing returns are, but luckily it's one of the few math ideas that you can readily explain to the average person by example.

If you want to sweep up enough dust-bunnies to feel like you're not living in a pig-sty, and like you'd feel OK presenting the room to guests, it doesn't take nearly as much as cleaning up every last speck of dust.

John S. Bolton said...

It sounds like another instance of the new left smear method. Give us what we want, or we'll call you an advocate of deporting more than 10 million illegals in a few weeks. The false dilemma is obvious, the slippery slope is not specified, but somehow the numbers got hugely exaggerated as to how many it is wanted to deport and how fast. What would she say if the right said national health insurance has to mean socialized medicine and barefoot doctors? Wouldn't she say she'd been smeared, and that we face no such dilemma, and that there's no slippery slope to those extremes, and that equivocation has been used, equating plan Hillary with plan Leftist?

Rob said...

One would think that enough of the Democratic party's base is anti-illegal immigration enough for any candidate except maybe the front runners to stake out position on illegal immigration that differentiates him from the rest of the candidates, and thereby pick up votes. Sort of like Ron Paul being the only anti-war candidate among the Republicans.

AP, thank you for pointing out that unskilled immigration is hard on native minorities. The point does not get anywhere near enough press. I think it is because smaller problems are easier to solve, or at least conceive of solving, but bigger problems have larger constituencies, and therefore for more political clout. So progressives think that "worse is better." Like the neo-conservatives who want(ed) the federal entitlements to collapse so they could eliminate them.

"Worse is better" is only better for intellectuals who see people as either numbers or machines to be directed as they choose. It is not better for most people.

Audacious Epigone said...

Anon,

I remember getting into a lively debate in a 'practical philosophy' course after the 2004 election cycle, about coastal states seceding from "Jesusland" middle America. Most of the class said they'd likely move in such a case.

I argued something similar to what you've said--take "our" (I was just playing contrarian since the bent of the class was predictable) criminals (who vote, upon release, so heavily Democratic that there is no statistically reliable Republican-voting, formerly-criminal population to speak of at all!), our homeless, our illegal immigrant population, our single mother households, our government employees, and our huddled masses. In exchange, we'll admit all those making over $100,000 a year who'd like to become Jesusland citizens. Everyone wins, no?

John,

Even deporting two million sounds difficult to me--by the time the second-half of this number were to forcefully to be deported, they'd be hard to find if as many were still in-country at all.

Agnostic,

I've used an Easter egg hunt analogy before. But I'm not sure if Clinton's estimates, however they were derived, took marginal cost into consideration (she gives no explanation of how she arrives at the $200+ billion figure). Indeed, a total cost for forced removal could be astronomical, in that some small percentage of illegals would be as costly to catch as The Fugitive (who, while on the run, did the same kind of work that much of the illegal immigrant population does today!).

Rob,

The glossing over of this negative effect, to the extent that its mentioned at all, probably also has to do with the dissonance created in pushing openly for a policy that screws the little guy among media figures who are generally sympathetic to unfettered Hispanic immigration.

Anonymous said...

I remember getting into a lively debate in a 'practical philosophy' course after the 2004 election cycle, about coastal states seceding from "Jesusland" middle America. Most of the class said they'd likely move in such a case.

I have always felt that the possibility for secession either violent or peaceful, is a somewhat slim, but definite possibility in the US. In any event, I think the good liberals in your class were being less than truthful(what a surprise). I can only imagine the stampede to "Jesusland" if such a plan were put into action. Plenty of normal, productive whites who would no doubt migrate as well.

John S. Bolton said...

I was trying to say that we get duplication of low-literate and low-skill classes, but not the complementary 'comparative advantage' effects that the powerful and influential keep insisting is the default assumption, as to characterizing what mass immigration sends us. Look at the occupations with high foreign-born percentages, above 30 or so, or above twice their overall workforce percentage; it's all duplication. Meanwhile we still have to pay for the net public subsidy of those duplicated by these immigrants, and perhaps even more as family structure either breaks down further, or fails to reach stable relations in the first instance. All of these results lead to more power for officials, and more of a hearing for scholars with leftist proposals. The left knows what it is doing here, but the right is building on pure sand.

Rob said...

Hey AP,

I was wondering today, how much of the US's vaunted social mobility is the result of the inverse relationship between SES and fertility combined with a growing economy?

Audacious Epigone said...

Rob,

Good question. But isn't the trend more pronounced in several European countries as well, like Italy and Spain?

Rob said...

AP, I did a correlation of per capita natural resource wealth with the residual GDP from the best fit IQ/GDP relationship. Per capita natural resource wealth correlates with the residual at .3 something. It is positive, but small. The conclusion: there is no natural resource curse on per capita GDP.

Nature's bounty is, as one would expect, a blessing.

Audacious Epigone said...

Rob,

Nice work.

I would suggest restricting it to the top half or so of nations in terms of IQ, however. Low IQ nations with resources are always going to come out ahead of low IQ nations without resources (unless one of the place's is small and dominated by tourism), primarily because little is going on otherwise.

The GDP of Botswana is going to be higher than that of Benin for some time into the future. But if the diamond market artificial monopoly is broken, that may change.

But what about nations that actually have a choice--either natural resources or some other kind of economic growth? I'm thinking, for example, Russia vs. Japan.

Rob said...

Low IQ nations with resources are always going to come out ahead of low IQ nations without resources (unless one of the place's is small and dominated by tourism), primarily because little is going on otherwise.


Of course, but that is the opposite of what the natural resource curse proponents claim.