Stimulus Spin: Unauthorized Immigrants Will Get Construction Jobs

Many immigrants' rights supporters are working hard today to debunk the latest nonsense from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) -- the pseudo-scientific "research" arm of the hate group FAIR. CIS estimated -- and by "estimate," I mean cherry-picked little bits of old data -- to make a case that 300,000 undocumented workers would get jobs under Obama's stimulus plan.


Here's Paco Fabian from America's Voice:

Proving that they can turn any public policy issue into an opportunity to bash immigrants, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and their mass-deportation allies are now attacking the stimulus package on anti-immigrant grounds.  The newest CIS report estimates that the recently-passed economic stimulus package will result in 300,000 construction jobs for undocumented immigrants.   But this junk “research” would not get a passing grade in a high school social studies class.  CIS takes inflated 2005 percentages related to the construction industry, combines them with inflated percentages regarding the 2007 construction industry, and concludes with an inflated outcome that has no credibility whatsoever. 

CIS, of course, issues junk "studies" daily, and unfortunately the legacy media often cite them as serious research. For a more complete take-down of CIS’s claims in this case, see this fact check from the Immigration Policy Center. 

Here's the thing: I don't care, and neither should you. Because the whole argument obscures the larger issue. Regardless of the merits of CIS's "estimate," there is no doubt that if we create a bunch of new jobs -- especially in construction -- unauthorized workers will get some of them. After all, they make up about 4-5 percent of the American workforce. And that's fine, because stimulus spending is not just about creating jobs.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close