Shots Across the Bow

A Reality Based Blog

 

KNS Editorial Misses the Point

Talk about burying the lede!

The KNS editorial for today focuses on illegal immigration and manages to say very little over several paragraphs, and what it does say is buried in the ninth paragraph.

After saying that studies show that Tennessee doesn't need to do anything about illegal immigration because it provides a net benefit to the state, then lamenting the fact that the federal government failed to do anything about illegal immigration, the KNS editors drop this little bombshell.

Illegal immigrants in Tennessee are about 2 percent of the state’s 6 million residents. The number of foreign-born residents in Tennessee was about 223,118 in 2005, with the majority in Memphis and Nashville.


"About 223,118?" Not exactly? Apparently the editor could use an editor.

OK, 2% of 2 million is 120,000. That means that there are more foreign born residents here illegally than legally! We aren't in a border state folks;this is ridiculous.

Incidentally, it would have been nice if the KNS had linked to the study it quotes from, but no such luck. I guess I've been spoiled by reading blogs, where I can almost always find a link to their source material. I found the link with one search and two mouseclicks so it shouldn't be that difficult. Now there might be some newsy reason why they can't add the link to the online version of the article and I just don't know what it is or maybe newspapers still don't get the whole online experience yet.

Reading the actual report reveals a couple of interesting things.

Tennessee was one of eight states, which included 15 percent of native born workers in the U.S. in 2000, with above average growth in the foreign-born population and below-average employment rates for native-born workers.


In other words, in Tennessee,the rapid growth in illegal immigrant population is resulting in lower employment for US citizens. Yet here is what the KNS editorial says:

The report from the state comptroller’s office also concludes that illegal immigrants probably have an overall positive effect on the state’s economy...


Here's the thing that really gets me. According to the study, while the federal and state economies as a whole benefit from illegal immigration, it is the local governments which pay the price. Consider these two quotes:

The 2005 Economic Report to the President concluded that unauthorized aliens do not impose a net cost at the federal level but notes that most of the costs are at the state and local level.


And

The [Texas Comptroller’s report (December 2006)] report focused on state costs and revenues but acknowledged that local government costs exceeded estimated local revenue from unauthorized aliens.


No wonder nobody wants to do anything. The feds and the states are making money. The only folks suffering are cities, counties, and closer to home, Tennesseans looking for a starting job. Now remember, it's not me saying it; it's the Tennessee comptroller's report. You know,the same one the KNS editors use to say our legislators should be spending their time on something other than immigration.

Instead of regurgitating press releases from TIRRC, the KNS editors might try actually reading the report they're quoting from.
Posted by Rich
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