Notice how this hasn’t helped with SC jobs

Tomorrow's op-ed page features this Trudy Rubin column about how, in tough economic times, xenophobia and scapegoating of "the other" tends to rise. She speaks of the synagogue trashed in Caracas, similar incidents in Argentina, the Vatican's recent mess with the reinstated archbishop, etc.

And just in passing, there is a mention of a type of scapegoating we have seen in this country:

    Of course, it won't just be Jews who will be scapegoated. It can be Chechens or dark-skinned people from the Caucuses in Russia, or migrant workers in Chinese cities, or illegal immigrants in the United States.

Well, yes and no, in terms of the direct correlation to the economy. We saw the rise of resentment of illegals peak BEFORE the economy's recent southward trend. And in fact, one has heard a lot less about it recently than one heard back before John McCain became the GOP nominee (except, of course, from the kind of GOP voter who said they would not vote for him, not no way, not nohow).

Of course, there are some here in SC who would attribute the quieting of the anti-illegal lobby to the terrific job they say they're doing. I just got this release today from S.C. Senate Republicans:

South Carolina’s Immigration Laws Could Be Severely Weakened

Federal Government May Not Reauthorize E-Verify Program

Columbia, SC – February 17, 2009 – South Carolina’s State Senators are taking action and asking the United States Congress to reauthorize a federal program that is presently allowing the state to crack down on illegal immigration.  State Senator Larry Martin (R-Pickens) today introduced a resolution urging Congress to reauthorize the E-Verify program.
    E-Verify is an Internet based program run by the Department of Homeland Security, which allows for the instantaneous verification of an employee’s residency status.
    After an outcry from businesses, workers, and taxpayers across the state, the South Carolina General Assembly last year passed the nation’s toughest illegal immigration laws. Using the federal government’s E-Verify program, South Carolina’s new laws give the state the ability to punish those who knowingly hire illegal immigrants.  Unfortunately, South Carolina’s laws could lose their teeth and be severely weakened if Congress does not reauthorize E-Verify.
    Senator Larry Martin says the affect on South Carolina’s economy could be devastating.  “We now have the third highest unemployment rate in the nation due to this harsh economic environment. Our new law has stopped the influx of undocumented workers in South Carolina. We need to ensure that every available job in the state is being filled by a legal United States resident.”
    Martin continued, “E-Verify is the most cost-effective, secure, and reliable tool for businesses to verify the residency status of their employees. I can not urge Congress enough to reauthorize this vital program.”
            ###

So basically, he's saying we've got to keep out the illegals to protect our jobs. To which I say, what jobs? The period during which he's saying SC's done a great job of keeping out illegals (which remains to be seen, but let's play along) is a period in which unemployment in SC has soared.

Here's a clue, folks: You know what's more likely than anything else to keep out illegals? The continued decline of our economy, that's what. When there aren't jobs to be had, they're going to stay away. But is that what we want?

Think about it: Would you rather have high unemployment and keep the illegals out, or low unemployment but with illegals here? I'm sure the choice before us is not a pure question of either-or, but a basic understanding of supply and demand would suggest that there is a high correlation…

33 thoughts on “Notice how this hasn’t helped with SC jobs

  1. Doug Ross

    Brad,
    How would illegals be included in the unemployment figures? They don’t file for unemployment do they? They typically don’t use legal SSN’s do they? Do the employers who use illegal workers pay unemployment insurance on those workers or do they pay them off the books?
    So let’s assume we could magically make illegal workers disappear. All those unfilled jobs would then be available for non-illegal workers. Theoretically we would see a decrease in unemployment.
    Am I missing something here?

    Reply
  2. Doug Ross

    And you realize that a significant portion of the wages earned by illegal workers is sent back home outside the U.S. removing those dollars from our economy? Is that a good thing?

    Reply
  3. Weldon VII

    Hey, Brad, why don’t we just keep out the illegals because they’re illegals?
    Between pot smoking and wetbacks, you and your pseudo-avant garde editorial department seem to have no respect for the law at all.

    Reply
  4. Birch Barlow

    And you realize that a significant portion of the wages earned by illegal workers is sent back home outside the U.S. removing those dollars from our economy? Is that a good thing?
    I don’t see why not. Where do you think those United States Dollars eventually end up anyway? Besides, immigrants come here and perform a service that benefits the U.S. Both the economy and the worker (should) win. So even if that money is spent in another country, it’s still not a bad deal. You don’t get upset when I use my earnings to buy something from overseas. What’s the difference?
    I don’t understand the big deal over illegal immigration. Since when is the free flow of a production input (labor) a bad thing?
    I don’t buy into the “they’re taking our jobs” argument. Shouldn’t it be up to the employer to decide who is the best worker for him/her? Why would an employer pick an illegal immigrant over an American unless it’s a better situation for the employer or they can’t find an American to fill the role?
    What’s to gain from doing so? If you would say it is that illegal immigrants are getting around minimum wage laws, then good! Cheaper goods and services for the rest of us. If you would say it is because they aren’t paying taxes, then I would argue that this is a revenue collection issue rather than an immigration issue.

    Reply
  5. HernandezUSA

    Rosemary Jenks, the lawyer who heads up NumbersUSA’s Capitol Hill Team, has repeatedly and publicly issued a challenge to the media and open-borders advocates to produce even one example of an American losing a job because the E-Verify system wrongly ordered it.
    If it turned out that of millions of transactions a year, there were 10 or 20 mistakes, we would be concerned but also find that to be an understandably tiny problem.
    But, to date, opponents have NOT BEEN ABLE TO FIND an example of even ONE AMERICAN who lost a job due to problems with E-Verify.
    A government investigation of E-Verify in 2007 found:
    93% of employees queried through the system were verified within 5 seconds!
    another 1.2% were verified within 24 hours with no additional action required of either the employee or the employer
    Most of the 5.8% who received a tentative non-confirmation requiring more time turned out to be illegal aliens
    only 0.5% were U.S. citizens or authorized foreign workers who had to contact the Social Security Administration because of errors in the database
    And let’s be clear about that 0.5%. Many of the errors were ones that the workers themselves had made, such as a woman not notifying SSA of a change in last name after a marriage. And even if the error was the government’s fault, going through E-Verify was a positive experience for most because they needed to know the error existed so they could clean it up before it caused problems down the line.
    The 2007 study found that the accuracy rate of E-Verify was 99.5%.
    Can any government program anywhere claim such a record?
    And what the critics miss is that the system is set up so that when there is an error, nobody loses a job or is temporarily suspended from a job. The rules require that an employee who gets a tentative non-confirmation will continue to be employed until clearing up the discrepancy. (The illegal aliens, however, typically just don’t show up for work after getting the first non-confirmation.)
    An independent study between April and June of 2008 by Westat found:
    96% of employees were verified instantly
    0.4% had to contact the government to resolve record errors
    3.5% received final non-confirmations, meaning they were illegal aliens not having the legal right to work
    Nearly every reporter in the mainstream media allows open-borders leaders to be quoted saying the E-Verify databases are full of errors that lead to all kinds of mishandling of employees, but the reporters don’t allow the statistics above to show up in their stories. The claims about errors are lies, pure and simple.

    Reply
  6. Harry Harris

    I think Mr. Ross’s initial comment about illegals and unemployment is a little knee-jerk and off-base. Mr. Warthen wrote of unemployment, not official unemployment rates (figures). It is correct to assume that most illegals, except for those with well-forged papers, are not counted in unemployment figures, and certainly not in UI numbers. Unemployment rates are higher than UI figures, but unemployment affects everyone present whether legal or not. It is true that remittances sent “home” by foreign residents, whether legal or not do not have the multiplier effect on local economies we desire and need badly now. Our small, local businesses are hurting – and have been for a few years. It is also likely true that a good number of jobs filled by illegals would be available, but not all – a portion of those are created by a willing population amenable to sub-standard wages. This scenario contributes to our ecomony emporting an underclass, many of whom are good, hardworking people, but trapped in poverty. They are unaware of their economic condition because compared to where they come from, it is a bounty; it nonetheless tends to depress wages here.

    Reply
  7. Brittancus

    Well our so-called patriotic politicians had President Obama sign into law the Stimulus package, without any protection for American Workers? About time the US Chamber of Commerce dropped their disguise and honestly stated they are Foreign Government Chamber of Commerce. One again the average American Worker loses out, because certain corruptible politicians have killed E-Verify, so millions of illegal aliens can steal our jobs. ENACT E-verify as it will have a positive impact on all America.
    They also conspired to drop ‘BUY AMERICAN’. $Billions of dollars will be once again exported and not be going in American Workers pockets.
    We still have time to back Senator Sessions and other honest lawmakers before the deadline this March? We need E-Verify with its mandated success rate of 99.6 percent in perpetuity, not just 5 years? Jam the Washington Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 In addition you can call President Obama at 202-456-1111. Switchboard: 202-456-1414
    OH! YES! AND BUY AMERICAN!

    Reply
  8. Doug Ross

    So, Brad, will you please clarify – what unemployment rate were you talking about?
    Was the rate you were talking about the official unemployment rate or some made up unemployment rate that mixes legal workers and illegal workers who are working outside the system?

    Reply
  9. Greg Flowers

    Brad is right in saying that a lack of jobs will stem the flow from the south. What we need more than a wall or E-Verify or anything else is an immigration policy which allows people to enter this nation legally to fill jobs which are otherwise left unfilled. For a nation of immigrants to pull up the drawbridge the way we are attempting to do is counterproductive.

    Reply
  10. Doug Ross

    Greg,
    I have no problem with your idea as long as everyone who entered illegally returns to his homeland and begins the process legally.
    Otherwise we are condoning and rewarding lawlessness.

    Reply
  11. Stephen

    This is the dumbest article I’ve read in some time. So removing illegal aliens is driving up unemployment? HA!HA!HA! That’s a good one! Illegal aliens drive down wages of American workers. Illegal aliens take jobs away from Americans by undercutting the wages and conditions they are willing to work for. Last year 50 BILLION dollars was sent to Mexico in remittances. That is 50 billion that was not spent in our economy but theirs. Americans are losing their jobs and homes. American families are struggling to make ends meet. Corporations, businesses, politicians, and the US chamber of commerce are fighting a propaganda campaign to fool Americans into accepting these parasites into our society. It’s votes and cheap labor for business. Don’t be fooled by these traitors. Wake up America!

    Reply
  12. Greg Flowers

    Here I think the law is in error. The idea of making people return home in order to return here makes no sense. Some sort of amnesty might be in order or a retroactive award of guest worker status. Like the “war on drugs” or prohibition we are attempting to fight a battle we cannot win so lets conserve our resources and work within the realities.

    Reply
  13. Doug Ross

    IHAIW,
    Do you enter countries illegally, use fake id’s, get paid off the books, and then send the money home to the U.S. or do you follow the laws of the countries you work in?

    Reply
  14. bud

    Doug for a libertarian you sure are having a difficult time with folks who are merely trying to earn a living. I don’t have any huge problem with illegal aliens. They work hard, spend money in the USA, pay sales taxes and in general help keep prices down.

    Reply
  15. Lee Muller

    If the unemployment for low-skilled blacks is above 10%, while tens of thousands of low-skilled illegal Mexicans are working, the illegals are obviously taking jobs from the black citizens.
    Now Brad or other liberals might like that for some reason. Maybe on their guilt scale they give more passes to illegal Mexicans than they give to illiterate black citizens.
    Businesses might like paying lower wages to the illegals and no overtime or taxes.
    Maybe they argue that illegal Mexicans are harder workers or less likely to file a claim for injuries or dangerous working conditions.
    At any rate, citizen taxpayers are paying the costs which businesses shirk, in the form of free medical care and education for the illegals, and welfare for the blacks whose jobs they took.
    Any way you slice it, it is illegal, it’s wrong, and it hurts our economy.

    Reply
  16. IHAIW

    Yes, I did the paperwork to work legally overseas and I did do it the legal way. But it was fairly easy. Before I sold my business years ago, it was a catastrophy trying to hire americans that would actually show up everyday. It was literally the reason I sold my company. I don’t think the reason people hire illegals is so much about pay, but about their work ethics and their willingness to show up for work everyday. Trust me, most owners of construction type businesses will have to go out of business if they have to rely on american labor. They will never get their jobs done.

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  17. Lee Muller

    So, is America doomed to supporting unemployable blacks on welfare forever, as a tax cost of doing business?
    I think hiring foreign, lower paid workers, whether it is an illiterate Mexican or a Visual Basic coder from India, is a cop out, a shirking of business responsibility.
    As long as business can cheat the system with illegal workers, including those with phony credentials and H1B visas, they will have no incentive to help fix the problems with our dropouts and other unemployable citizens.

    Reply
  18. Weldon VII

    Thanks, Lee, for putting a finger on something no one much wants to talk about in our politically correct world.
    It’s a vicious cycle: “The Mexicans don’t just cost less, but they work better, too,” one farmer told me.
    Then, of course, the farmers fight the public school system tooth-and-nail, and funding woes force the schools to hire exchange teachers from India and Pakistan at a pittance, many of whom speak a form of English their students and some fellow teachers can’t understand.
    So the tragic beat of the South goes on and on, fueled by illegal help.

    Reply
  19. Lee Muller

    It’s your growing pains.
    Enjoy the feeling of being right.
    As the scales fall from your eyes, the world will look a lot different than what the GovCo Brain Laundry taught you. Get used to it.

    Reply
  20. Lee Muller

    Weldon,
    Wanna Feel Good Liberals, like Brad, are in a quandary when they have to choose between unemployed blacks and the illegal aliens who took their jobs.
    They find themselves siding with low-road businessmen who hire the illiterate illegals, pay them in cash, don’t pay overtime or benefits, and know they won’t be reported unless one of the workers ends up killed on the job.
    The fact is, liberals have given up on helping black citizens. They are seeking to replace them not only in back-breaking jobs, but as voters, too. The Democrats know they can write off blacks and still get their vote, by paying off a handful of “leaders” who are created and anointed by white liberal media. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, James Clyburn, Barack Obama – the total cost of feeding them is chump change.

    Reply
  21. IHIAW

    What about the companies that are paying the same wages for hispanics that they would americans. Let me ask you this. Let’s say you own a construction business and you are building a building. You hire american after american and they just quit coming to work or fail your drug test. What do you do? Sell your business? Let me tell you this, not all americans want to work. In fact, very few want to do manual labor. VERY FEW!

    Reply
  22. Harry Harris

    I really hate launching a personal attack on a public blog, but Lee Muller’s attitude toward black citizens is both pathetic and maddening. He constantly conflates being black with being low-skilled, uneducated, and welfare-bound. His racist drivel, posted on this board with greater frequency than any poster I’ve seen on any newsboard makes me kinda wish he would get a life.

    Reply
  23. Lee Muller

    Mr. Harris, you sound like you are in a dilemma of how to support both the illegal aliens and the SC citizens whose jobs were stolen by these illegals.
    I did not stereotype blacks as being illiterate and low skilled. The fact is that many of the UNEMPLOYED people in SC, white and black, are illiterate and low-skilled. That’s what the educrats constantly tell us.
    If an illegal Hispanic is even less literate and less skilled, the only reasons they are being hired is that they work harder or work cheaper.
    If the illegals are being paid the same as the citizens, black or white, whom they replaced, then they must be working harder. But they are still illegal. They still have no right to work. The employers should lose all government contracts and have their business licenses suspended.
    Calling me a racist is the usual escape mechanism of the patronizing liberals who have done nothing to help the illiterate and low-skilled workers.
    Instead, they have the racist attitude that these people cannot be improved at all, or if they can, it is only with the constant help of white liberals.

    Reply
  24. Harry Harris

    Lee, I apologize for reacting so negatively, and even angrily to your posts on this thread. I would encourage you to try to get some perspective on the language you very often use referring to black people.
    We are all dealing with a really difficult set of issues when it comes to immigration -both legal and illegal. Should we legally and illegally import a class of low-skilled and under-educated workers to take jobs offered at wages that most American workers would take only as a stop-gap? Will we accept the cost-push inflation that paying a living wage for all full-time work would produce? Should we publically subsidize the worker who does the jobs low-paid and low-status what is needed. I’m looking to hear some better solutions than have been offered so far, including efforts to influence Mexico to better control its population growth and develop its own economy beyond a grand have/have not divide with almost no middle class.

    Reply
  25. MIchael Dunn

    That is why your South Carolina is where it is. You guys are such a Rednecks that in your “Git r’Done-Meth Lab” mentality can not see what the real point here is. If you actually get to work (When you get the chance to do it) without being choosy, and without whine about, hardship of the job or wanting to go home since clocking in, you will probably lower down the influx of illegals, because there is not going to be a job for them. Also dear Republicans, you highly contribute to this issue, since many of you own businesses and do whatever you can to not being taxed, hire this people that most of the time come to the country to
    work, and look the other way to just to save money. So my conservative friends…isn’t hypocrecy sort of a sin?

    Reply
  26. Lee Muller

    Illegal aliens are not immigrants – they are invaders, criminals. The only solution is to deport the ones you can capture, and make it impossible for the others to earn a living.
    No one who excuses illegal workers is serious about solving the unemployment issues, especially for low-skilled American citizens.
    I would abolish the minimum wage, because it serves to keep young people from getting jobs and learning skills. That is why unions like high minimum wages – to keep blacks out of the construction trades. So the industry bypassed the unions with illegal workers from Mexico.
    Now the HR1 spending bill will require small non-union contractors to pay union scale wages, which will give more of the contracts to big firms, and drive up the cost of the projects. It will mean few jobs for unemployed blacks in SC.

    Reply
  27. Bart

    I’m curious about something. Many who post comments on this blog, including me have a great deal to say on a lot of different subjects.
    What I am curious about is just how many have first hand experience dealing with the problems on a day to day basis with illegals and the unique problems associated with them?
    How many have actually had to verify the legitimacy of documentation presented when an immigrant is looking for work? How many have hired under uncertain circumstances? How many have reviewed bids and proposals from subcontractors under a competetive bidding situation and dismiss the low bids because there was an Hispanic name on it?
    I won’t make excuses or approve of knowingly employing illegals but the paperwork most of them provide is almost if not impossible to distinguish from the legitimate documents.
    I have posed this question many times before. How do we handle the task of locating, indentifying, arresting, incarcerating or holding, processing through the legal system, and returning them back to their own country? How long would it take? If estimates are correct, the number is at 20 million. I would like for someone to present a workable solution to this problem if possible. Think about it. You have to account for 20 million human beings. Scattered across the United States, in cities of all sizes and rural areas.
    Put it in another context. Consider the problem we have stopping illegal drugs from coming in the country. Our coastlines are open and porous and those responsible for enforcement are understaffed and underfunded. They have 6,053 of coastline to patrol for the contiguous 48 states, not including Alaska and Hawaii.
    We have a problem and no simple answers or solutions. A problem exploited by rabid partisans from BOTH sides for political gain, to hell with everyone else. We tried the immunity approach one time before when the problem got out of hand. In spite of all good intentions, rhetoric, and political posturing, no one was willing to devote the time, manpower, or money to prevent it from happening again. Proving that history does repeat itself and we don’t learn from our history lessons.
    Does anyone have an answer?

    Reply
  28. Lee Muller

    Bear Stearns, now defunct, estimated 5 years ago that there were 30,000,000 illegals in the US. They were interested in them as mortgage loan customers.
    The affirmative action mortgage scam of Clinton and the Democrats made loans to 5,000,000 illegal aliens, according to a 2008 HUD report.

    Reply
  29. Lee Muller

    The answer is to make every employee and contractor prove their citizenship. I have to do it for all my work, several times over, each year.
    The ICE verification put in place by the Bush administration works pretty well. It just needs to be applied to every employer and every employee. The Democrats want to dismantle the program ASAP.

    Reply
  30. Lee Muller

    Did you see the debate on California’s state government budget problems?
    Illegal aliens cost them $30 billion a year, but they don’t have the courage to cut off the welfare to criminals who are wrecking the schools and hospitals.

    Reply

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