Multiculturalism replaced the melting pot, resulting in the Balkanization of a people formerly known as, "Americans."
The Borjas Blame Game
BY DIANA FURCHTGOTT-ROTH
October 13, 2006
Immigrants have been accused of debasing our culture, overcrowding our schools and hospitals, and lowering our wages. Now a Harvard professor is blaming them for sending African-Americans to jail.
George Borjas of Harvard University, a Cuban immigrant, writes in his latest National Bureau of Economic Research paper that "As immigrants disproportionately increased the supply of workers in a particular skill group, we find a reduction in the wage of black workers in that group, a reduction in the employment rate, and a corresponding increase in the incarceration rate."
The story goes as follows. Low-skilled immigrants arrive in America and take jobs away from African-Americans. Due to the lack of job opportunities, African-Americans are drawn into illegal activities, get arrested, and are then put in prison.
Let's for the moment ignore the insulting assumption that African-Americans are more likely than others to turn to crime if they cannot find work. The major problem with Mr. Borjas's argument is that young black men began withdrawing from the labor force in the 1960s, when the share of immigrants in the labor force was less than 1%.
The percentage of black men between ages 16 and 24 who were not in school, not working, and not looking for work rose to 18% in 1982 from 9% in 1964. It then reached 23% in 1997. These trends are clearly discussed by American Enterprise Institute scholar Charles Murray in "The Underclass Revisited."
There are many complex factors leading to the incarceration of black men over the period 1980 to 2000. Yet Mr. Borjas only uses as variables information on employment, wages, education, race, incarceration rates, and immigration. Other factors he omits are changes in laws, stricter enforcement policies, longer sentencing guidelines, and changes in welfare regulations. These conceivably have a greater effect on incarceration rates than immigration.
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