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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


FDL's Pachacutec: "Cui Bono?"

California is Second State to Release Research Finding Economic Benefits to Undocumented Immigrant Labor

The U.S. Census reports that between July 1, 2003 and July 1, 2004, California led all states in an increase of Hispanics. Overall, the state added 715,000 Latinos. In Los Angeles County alone, there was an increase of 76,400 Latinos - which proved to be the highest among all counties.

In fact, California is one of four states that is home to 2 of every 3 foreign-born persons born in Latin America.

To say that a lot of immigrants call California home is an understatement. To say that the vast majority of these immigrants are undocumented is stating the obvious.

So, if California is home to all these undocumented immigrants, this state's economic infrastructure should be in shambles if we are to believe the "doomsday preachers" of undocumented migrants.

But just like the Texas State Comptroller uncovered in their Special Report the advantages of immigrant labor for the state, so too has California.

The Public Policy Institute of California recently released a report, in their California Counts series, titled How Immigrants Affect California Employment and Wages and they uncovered some of the same facts that Texas did.

The report looked at the effects of the arrival of immigrants between 1960 and 2004. Specifically, the author looked at the impact on employment, population and wages of U.S. California natives.

Among the study’s principal findings:

1) There is no evidence that the influx of immigrants over the past four decades has worsened the employment opportunities of natives with similar education and experience.

2) There is no association between the influx of immigrants and the out-migration of natives within the same education and age group.

3) Immigration induced a 4 percent real wage increase for the average native worker between 1990 and 2004.

4) Recent immigrants did lower the wages of previous immigrants.

The author of the report states in his conclusions that native and foreign-born workers perform complementary rather than competing tasks in production. He goes on to say that the increase in the number of immigrants increases the demand for tasks performed by native workers and raises their wages.

Since California leads the nation with the number of immigrant laborers, these findings should be taken into consideration by Congress as some members continue to purposely cloud the issue of immigration reform with half-truths and ignorance.

The findings speak for themselves.

Unfortunately, it's only a matter of time before the facts will be twisted and discredited.

There has to come a time when the question is asked: What is the motivation of people who continue such a course of action when two separate states have come to the same conclusions in their own independent reports?

Understand this: every bit of immigrant bashing has its origin in race, not economics. Lou Dobbs and his ilk don’t think that they’re racist, but they are.

Who benefits most from immigrant labor?
The business owners who get to use undocumented labor to drive down workplace health and safety protections for the whole labor market benefit. Other workers know their working conditions and economic security are shitty, but blaming the immigrants is the wrong target.

The right wing tries to pretend this is about economics but for them it’s all about the “racial purity” of America. Sometimes they dress this up in national security arguments about porous borders, but it’s all a feint. This is about race for them, pure and simple

Some Democrats are stupid enough to want to feel the pain of the working wingnut for votes, or to avoid looking at the employer side of the equation because they’re bought off by the corporate lobbyists to do so. The wingnuts don’t care about the economics of this stuff, no matter what they say. The answer to the problem of undocumented workers is to end to new American indentured servanthood system we’ve created by denying whole populations standing, protection and citizenship. Then all American workers will benefit.

If Steve were here, maybe he could teach us a whole lot more about the history of how this stuff works, but I’m not as smart as he is. Still, I can smell bullshit when it’s piling up.

If you don’t read the site I pulled this post from, Latina Lista, on Latino issues in the United States, I recommend you add her to your blogroll.

- posted by Pachacutec

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