Walter Ewing

Steve King's Tall Tales about Immigrants Couldn't Be Farther From the Truth

There is no denying that Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has a vivid imagination. As he sits in Border Patrol vehicles at night, he apparently sees hundreds of DREAM Act-eligible drug mules with muscular calves hauling heavy loads of marijuana across the border. How does he know these drug mules would meet the rather stringent criteria for legalization under the DREAM Act? Hard to say. How does he know these drug mules outnumber their valedictorian counterparts by a ratio of one hundred to one? No one can say. What is certain is this: when it comes to the topic of immigration and crime, nativists like King have no need for facts when there is so much fear and innuendo at their disposal. Perhaps this is because the facts are so stacked against them.

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Civil Rights Hotline Reveals 3 Dangerous Trends Following Alabama's Anti-Immigrant Law

According to a new report from the National Immigration Law Center, anti-Latino discrimination is alive and well in Alabama, and has gotten a seal of approval from the governor and the state legislature. HB 56, the state’s increasingly infamous anti-immigrant law, went into effect on June 9, 2011, and has since inspired all manner of bias aimed at Latino residents of the state. Stories abound of police pulling over and harassing Latino drivers for no justifiable reason; cashiers demanding proof of legal status before they will take the money of Latino customers; white shoppers telling brown-skinned shoppers to “go back to Mexico.” In short, more and more self-appointed defenders of the nation’s immigration laws are degrading and dehumanizing their fellow Alabamans. In the process, they are dehumanizing themselves as well.

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Center for Immigration Studies: Best Way to Deal With Latino Vote? Ignore It

The nativist Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) has an implicit message for the Republican Party heading into the 2012 elections: stop worrying about Latino voters and just play to your predominantly Anglo base. Such is the kamikaze message contained within a new CIS report, innocuously titled Projecting the 2012 Hispanic Vote. The report dismisses the claims of innumerable analysts that Latino voters could tip the electoral balance one way or the other in the so-called “battleground” states and, by extension, in the nation as a whole. After all, argues CIS, veterans and senior citizens outnumber Latinos in the national electorate, so why not focus on winning them over instead? This may seem comical to some observers, but CIS is saying it with a straight face.

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GOPers Try to Propagate Myth that Immigrants Steal Jobs

Today’s House Subcommittee hearing on Immigration Policy and Enforcement, clumsily entitled “New Jobs in Recession and Recovery: Who Are Getting Them and Who Are Not,” was clearly intended to sow fear. In his opening statement, Subcommittee Chairman Elton Gallegly (R-24th/CA) wasted no time in sounding the alarm that unemployed native-born workers are being left to twist in the wind as immigrants gobble up the few new jobs which have become available since the end of the Great Recession. Yet the preponderance of the evidence presented during the hearing failed to support that conclusion.

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Hard Evidence Contradicts Tea Party Propaganda On Immigrant Labor

The ever-hysterical Tea Party is now hysterical about unauthorized immigrants. In a frenzied email blast to its members, the Tea Party Nation warns that the Obama administration wants to grant “amnesty” to the millions of unauthorized immigrants in the United States, whom the Tea Party alleges have inflicted various “horrors” upon Americans by stealing their jobs and committing unspeakable crimes. Not surprisingly, the Tea Party Nation gets its facts completely wrong. As a litany of evidence-based reports have demonstrated, most native-born workers are not in competition with immigrants for the same jobs, and immigrants are less likely than the native-born to commit serious crimes, regardless of their legal status.

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Nativist Group Blames Immigrants for Unemployment and Low Wages

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) on Tuesday released a report, Amnesty and the American Worker, which recycles a number of discredited claims about the supposedly negative impact that immigrants have on U.S. workers and the U.S. economy. According to FAIR, unauthorized immigration has “put Americans out of work and reduced wage levels for all workers across broad sectors of the economy.” The FAIR report also claims that granting legal status to currently unauthorized immigrants would be a drain on the U.S. economy because newly legalized immigrants would qualify for tax credits. FAIR ignores the fact that there is no correlation between immigration and unemployment in the United States—that immigration has provided a small wage boost to most native-born workers and helped “grow” the economy—and that newly legalized immigrants would earn higher wages and therefore spend more in U.S. businesses and pay more in all kinds of taxes.

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Restrictionist Front Group Still Pushing Green Xenophobia

In a new report, Progressives for Immigration Reform (PFIR)—a front group for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)—regurgitates an argument as tired as it is flawed: that immigration hastens the destruction of the environment in the United States. Specifically, the report claims that immigration-driven population growth is increasing the nation’s “ecological footprint” and exceeding the country’s “carrying capacity.” This is a faulty line of reasoning that overlooks the degree to which destruction of the environment is a function not of population size, but of how a society utilizes its resources, produces its goods and services, and deals with its waste.

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Studies Show Latinos Are Climbing the Socio-Economic Ladder of Success

As a front-page story in today’s Washington Post reminds us: "Not since the last great wave of immigration to the United States around 1900 has the country’s economic future been so closely entwined with the generational progress of an immigrant group." The story highlights the degree to which the children of immigrants from Latin America have become crucial to sustaining the working-age population and tax base of the nation -- particularly as more and more of the 75 million Baby Boomers retire. Moreover, the parents of these children most likely would not have even come to this country if not for the U.S. economy’s past demand for workers to fill less-skilled jobs -- demand which was not being adequately met by the rapidly aging and better-educated native-born labor force. The Post story also casts a spotlight on the insecurities and anxieties of commentators who feel that Latino immigrants and their descendants aren’t integrating into U.S. society and moving up the socio-economic ladder "fast enough." Although these concerns are certainly understandable, they are as unjustified now as they were a century ago when they were directed at immigrants from southern and eastern Europe.

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Hard-liners Peddle Zombie Lies About Immigrants and Crime

A new report from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), Immigration and Crime: Assessing a Conflicted Issue, attempts to overturn a century’s worth of research which has demonstrated repeatedly that immigrants are less likely than the native-born to commit violent crimes or end up behind bars. The CIS report focuses much of its attention on questioning the accuracy of the 2000 Census data used in two particular studies, one from the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) and another from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC)—both of which dispel the myth of immigrant criminality. However, CIS ignores not only the many other sources of data in these two studies, but also the myriad studies from other researchers which have reached the same conclusion.

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New Reports Reveal Immigration Does Not Increase Unemployment

Two new reports prepared for the IPC by the consulting firm Rob Paral & Associates debunk the simplistic myth propagated by anti-immigration activists that immigrants fill U.S. jobs only at the expense of unemployed native-born workers. The reports use data from the Census Bureau to demonstrate that there is no discernible relationship whatsoever between the number of recent immigrants in a particular locale and the unemployment rate among native-born whites, blacks, Latinos, or Asians. This holds true even now, at a time of economic recession and high unemployment.

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Separating Fact From Fiction About Immigrants and Crime

The perennially hot, and inflammatory, question of whether or not immigration is related to crime has yielded front-page stories in both the Washington Post and New York Times over the past two days.  In different ways, each of these stories highlights the extent to which the myth of a supposed link between crime and immigration has long been based on emotion rather than fact. Although study upon study over the past century has demonstrated that immigration is not associated with more crime, the "myth of immigrant criminality" persists.
On Sunday, the Washington Post ran a story about how two high-profile murders recently committed by undocumented immigrants in Maryland's Montgomery County, together with a rising number of "serious crimes" in the county, have provoked fear among officials and residents, prompting new proposals to have police officers check the immigration status of suspects in violent crimes.  However, as the story points out, police do not know how much of the recent rise in serious crimes, "if any, is attributable to illegal immigrants."  Yet, to many people, the lack of evidence in this regard is irrelevant.  As a defense attorney quoted in the story points out: "You're talking about the fear that crime evokes."

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