WHO SUFFERS LOSSES FROM MASS IMMIGRATION?
The love affair between politicians and mass immigration is not only a UK or even EU phenomenon. While all three British political parties in their 2005 election manifestos insisted that mass immigration is beneficial to native Britons, exactly the same message was given by President Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers in their report of 20/6/07.
The Chairman, Edward P. Lazear, said ‘Our view of economic research finds immigrants not only help to fund the nation’s economic growth but also have an average positive effect on the income of native-born workers’.
It is doubtful, however, that either President Bush or the current Labour government sincerely believe this. President Bush’s failed Immigration Reform bill attempted to skew immigration towards those with higher skills but controversially proposed an amnesty for many current illegal immigrants.
Jacqui Smith, the British Home Secretary, has announced (4/12/07) that unskilled immigrants will now be banned from entering the UK from outside the EU. Yet up to now the government has strenuously been stating that unskilled immigrants are advantageous to British citizens even putting up the Home Office to state in its evidence to the House of Lords’ Economic Affairs Committee to advance the case that ‘migrant workers complement the existing workers’.
The move to argue that only higher skilled migrants benefit natives is at least a move to sanity but EU membership has frustrated the proper application of this principle.
So, the British government’s position now is unskilled immigrants from Eastern Europe – good, unskilled immigrants from outside the EU – bad.
It should also be noted that there will still be substantial lower-skilled migration via family reunion, asylum seeking and student entry.
Although the UK is not bound by the common immigration and asylum policy of the EU (except where it has opted in) this move is in tandem with Franco Frattini’s proposed Directive on the admission of highly skilled workers to the EU, announced 23 October 2007. This is an interesting conjunction.
The previous stance of the major British political parties together with their counterparts in the USA and the EU appeared to be more aimed at convincing the liberal elite in academia, the media and Westminster that they were truly liberal and compassionate than with any real understanding of what the impact of mass unskilled immigration was on the electorate and particularly those at the bottom of the economic scale.
Economic theory predicts that the greatest impact would be on those with the lowest income and least capital. These happen to be previous immigrants or ethnic minorities.
So the political elite has convinced itself it is compassionate while in practise impoverishing the poorest in society and those they profess to be compassionate about.
It looks as though immigration in general, but particularly the issue of mass illegal immigration, is on its way to be the defining issue of the 2008 US presidential election following Hillary Clinton’s blunder over announcing support for giving driving licences to illegal immigrants and then ‘clarifying’ that she was against the idea. She would have found this was unpopular even with blacks if she had checked. The George Mason Poll of Black Virginia in June 2007 showed 81 per cent of black Virginians wanted local police to check the immigration status of all traffic offenders, for example, among a whole number of other ‘incorrect’ attitudes.
Last week’s debate in Florida between the five leading Republican contenders revolved around immigration with both Giuliani and Romney backpedalling on their previous support for illegal immigrants. Meanwhile the issues the elite would like to talk about such as Kyoto and green issues as well as the Iraq war were less mentioned.
In this way, American democracy is responding to voters concerned about the massive downward pressure on ordinary American wages and the deteriorating infrastructure and social life in blue-collar areas. The September 2006 issue of the National Bureau of Economic Research found wages in the last 25 years for the lowest paid US workers were down 20 per cent. An Internal Revenue report in October 2007 showed the US’s top one per cent increased their share of total income to 21 per cent while the bottom 50 per cent earned just 12.8 per cent of total income. While there is no doubt that globalization is part of the reason, mass immigration, which our Home Office rightly tells us is similar in economic effect to globalization, in its evidence to the House of Lords (Nov. 2007) is a major cause.
One should not exaggerate the responsiveness of American politicians, since they remain largely in thrall to the elite consensus of Washington/New York media and academia whose incomes make them insulated from the pressures facing ordinary Americans and who, of course, benefit from cheaper servants, waiters, plumbers, etc. (50 per cent of US senators are reputed to be millionaires). Thus the Romney/Giuliani behaviour of the last few years.
There are also Trojan horses within the communities worse affected by mass immigration.
A typical example is the US black community where media stars, such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, favour immigration. Black American leaders in the past, such as Frederick Douglass, Philip Randolph and Booker T. Washington, always regarded mass immigration as a threat to black prosperity and wrote extensively about it. While many civil rights leaders, support illegal aliens and amnesty, many African-Americans believe they do so as “partisan Democrats” (Jim Kourie 27/6/02) and think that ‘mass illegal immigration has been a major impediment to black advancement in this country over the past 25 years’ [Frank Morris, Chairman of Choose Black America].
In the UK there is the same problem. The ruling Westminster elite looks to the elite in the black communities, such as Trevor Philips or Darcus Howe, and assumes they represent black opinion. Darcus Howe wrote in the New Statesman (3/12/07) favouring recent mass immigration from Eastern Europe on the bizarre grounds ‘Many of the young workers are domestic workers … who lessen the burden of middle class working women’ and ‘the cost of refurbishing houses and building new ones has fallen spectacularly’. Therefore, a homeowner or, better still, a landlord in need of cheaper domestic servants may benefit from mass immigration but one doubts that the average West Indian or Bangladeshi is in that position. The cost to local British blacks or ethnic minorities is simply ignored by Darcus Howe.
Professor Borjas explains why blacks and previous immigrants suffer most from the new wave of mass immigration. ‘It turns out that African-Americans are likely to lose from immigration for two different reasons. First, it is employers who receive the bulk of the benefits from immigration (Blacks own about three per cent of the capital stock of the US while proportionately they are rather over ten per cent of the US population). Because blacks and immigrants are relatively more similar than whites and immigrants (in economic characteristics) any adverse impact of immigration on competing workers will fall hardest on the population of native-born African-Americans.’
Exactly the same process applies in the UK to ethnic communities. Take the Bangladeshi community. National average wages for Bangladeshis were £15,000 according to a recent IPPR report (£18,000 in London). This is about 60 per cent of average UK earnings. Plainly Bangladeshis are most in competition with cheap Eastern European labour. Similarly Bangladeshis own a disproportionately small share of capital so they do not benefit from the gains to capital caused by immigration.
Yet in recent evidence given to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee by the TUC and the Committee for Racial Equality, these brutal facts are completely ignored. Catholic and Anglican bishops and even Nick Clegg of the LibDems pose as compassionate liberals by favouring an amnesty for illegal immigrants despite the obvious harmful effects on existing ethnic communities.
The increasing self-absorption and financial betterment of the British political class, its propensity to receive information about other groups from their elites and the fear of being thought racist has led to all three political parties ignoring the effects of mass immigration on Britain’s ethnic minorities. The same unhealthy process is beginning to break down in the USA as voters put their concerns to the politicians and the politicians react but at present there is no sign of the cocoon of hypocrisy surrounding British politicians and their Trojan horses in the black and ethnic communities being disturbed. At the EU level, with its further insulation from voters, grandstanding in the European Parliament on ‘racism’ and ‘xenophobia’ is a substitute for concern about the effort of ‘liberal’ policies on existing minority communities.
FUTURUS/7 December 2007