Thursday, July 31, 2008

CIS Sensationalism Once Again: Our Study (which We funded With Restrictionist Dollars) Shows We Are Right

There are many news stories ( here is another) about the restrictionist group, the Center for Immigration Studies, latest report purporting to show that the undocumented population is down by as much as 11 percent.  (At some point, I will blog about how and why the Center should not be treated by journalists as a nonpartisan research group when in fact it is an unabashedly partisan restrictionist group that, to my knowledge, has never released a "report" with conclusions that are inconsistent with its restrictionist positions; for these reasons, respectable academics do not rely in CIS "research" or "reports" in serious scholarship -- except to criticize it in some way).  Respected demographer Jeffrey Passel, who is quoted in many of the stories, has questioned the methodology of the study and the magnitude of the drop in the undocumented population.

The advocates at the Center for Immigration Studies, which supports the increased immmigration raids -- including Postville, I presume --and enforcement and state and local immigration measures, claim that its study shows they were right.  But, as we all know, the U.S. economy has been in the doldrums, if not a recession, for quite a while.  And, given that undocumented immigration is largely job driven, we would expect less migration -- and more return migration -- with a faltering economy with fewer jobs and a growing unemployment rate.  (See this Immigration Policy Center report making similar arguments.).  So, we should be careful before we let the restrictionists declare victory, rub the noses of immigrant advocates in it, and demand more enforcement.

KJ

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Comments

I am amazed by the intellectual perverseness of the law professors of this blog.
Why is there such concern for illegal immigrants, when their presence in the United States does so much to harm legal immigrants already here and and intending immigrants.
Family and employment based visa petition priority dates are backlogged for years.
The law professors of this blog are slapping these patient, law-abiding applicants in the face by their perverse support for persons who have ignored or are trying to cut into the line.
The professors' liberal ideology (why are there no conservative professors on this blog?) prevents them from distinguishing between legal and illegal immigrants. The professors feel this is a form of (prohibited) discrimination and therefore champion the rights of illegal immigrants over the rights of legal immigrants. Why is this blog not more balanced? The blog may have received more than 400,000 views, but judging from the number and nature of posted comments, I believe only "followers" of the liberal professor mindset regularly visit the blog. That is why there is no real dialog on this blog.

Posted by: Carlos Miranda-Fuentes | Jul 31, 2008 8:45:24 AM

The professors on this blog certainly don't need me to speak up for them, but I believe that Mr. Miranda-Fuentes, while rightfully pointing out that there are indeed serious problems with the legal immigration system in this country, as it now stands, is confusing the cause and effect of why the "Family and employment based visa petition priority dates are backlogged for years." One can make a very sound argument that the backlog has caused much of the need for illegal immigration, not the other way around. I suspect that the immigration professors on this blog clearly can differenciate between the legal and illegal immigrants that are here. However, they are clearly attempting to create a forum for those that are concerned about fixing the system for everybody, those that obeyed the rules, and those that were forced to disobey them, but for what are arguably noble reasons.

Posted by: Robert Gittelson | Jul 31, 2008 5:48:50 PM

Carlos,
How does the presence of illegal immigrants in the US do "so much harm" to legal immigrants and intending immigrants? I'm interested to hear your theory. One thing that's sure is that it has no effect on the back-log of visa applications, and the people who run this blog regularly advocate for measures to relieve those backlogs, so I think your worry is misplaced. If I'm wrong I'd be interested to hear why.

Posted by: Matt Lister | Jul 31, 2008 6:32:48 PM

'in fact it is an unabashedly partisan restrictionist group'

That's right. They refer to themselves as a 'low-immigration think-tank'. But the immigration liberalization groups are just as biased and often less honest about it. Groups who identify themselves as favoring 'immigrant rights' are less open in their bias toward higher numbers. At least CIS and their related groups right up front admit they favor lower numbers.

You could just as easily have written:

'to my knowledge, has never released a "report" with conclusions that are inconsistent with its liberalization positions; for these reasons, respectable academics do not rely on their "research" or "reports" in serious scholarship -- execpt to criticize it in some way).'

KJ writes:

'So, we should be careful before we let the restrictionists declare victory, rub the noses of immigrant advocates in it, and demand more enforcement.'

I hope you are not implying that being an immigrant advocate or 'pro-immigrant' is incongruous with a policy position of favoring lower numbers and/or enforcement of law. Or that favoring higher immigration automatically makes you 'pro-immigrant'. Is a Cato spewing massive guest worker advocate who cares about nothing beyond economics necessarily 'pro-immigrant'? Or someone who tolerates a highly leaky immigration system because it leads to a higher total immigration number even though that black market inevitably creates exploitation and abuse? Conversely, do you reflexively label a 'restrictionist' as
'anti-immigrant' even when he favors full societal participation and rights for all legal immigrants and workplace enforcement in order to prevent abuse?

Posted by: Jack | Jul 31, 2008 10:12:03 PM

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