Sunday, April 09, 2006

About those lazy immigrants!

The xenophobes and racists pretend that the real reason they are against immigrants is because immigrants are lazy and only want welfare. Some so-called libertarians say they support immigration but ONLY after welfare is abolished. That's really a variation of the statment from the racists and xenophobes. It implies that people immigrate for welfare. Of course some of these "libertarians" spend a lot of time hanging out with the racists and xenophobes them selves so it's no wonder they pick up this rhetoric and logic.

So what would they make of the report that shows that immigrants to the US are more likely to have a job than the lazy native-born? The Washington Post reports that in 2005 the umeployment rate for the native born was 5.2 percent. For immigrants it was 4.6 percent. The numbers come from the Department of Labour and include immigrants whether they are in the US legally or illegally.

Even if you compare within the same racial group you find that immigrants have higher employment rates. American born Hispanics had an unemployment rate of 7.2 percent. Legal Hispanic immigrants had an unemployment rate of just 3.6 percent. Illegal Hispanic immigrants had an unemployment rate of 5.5 percent. Now it is be expected that illegal immigrants would have a higher unemployment rate since the US government goes out of its way to make it difficult for them to find employment. It is against the law to hire them. Federal agents spend a lot of time trying to unemploy them.

One thing to remember is that immigrants are a self-selected group. To be an immigrant implies a willingness to make an effort that "native born" simply don't make. A native born worker need only sit right where he is. The immigrant, to be an immigrant, has to be willing to make an effort. And that is exactly one of the traits that employers need from employees --- a willingess to make an effort.