September 14, 2017

MICKEY KAUS: Don’t buy all the PR-style hooey about ‘dreamers.’

Compared with the general population, dreamers are not especially highly skilled. A recent survey for several pro-dreamer groups, with participants recruited by those groups, found that while most dreamers are not in school, the vast majority work. But their median hourly wage is only $15.34, meaning that many are competing with hard-pressed lower-skilled Americans.

The dreamers you read about have typically been carefully selected for their appeal. They’re valedictorians. They’re first responders. They’re curing diseases. They root for the Yankees. They want to serve in the Army. If dreamers are the poster children for the much larger undocumented population, these are the poster children for the poster children.

Still, taking the dreamers as a whole, not just the dreamiest of them, they represent an appealing group of would-be citizens. So why not show compassion and legalize them? Because, as is often the case, the pursuit of pure compassion comes with harmful side effects.

Plus:

Under “chain migration” rules established in 1965 — ironically as a sop to conservatives, who foolishly thought that they’d boost European inflows — new citizens can bring in their siblings and adult children, who can bring in their siblings and in-laws, until whole villages have moved to the United States. That means today’s 690,000 dreamers would quickly become millions of newcomers, who may well be low-skilled and who would almost certainly include the parents who brought them — the ones who, in theory, are at fault.

Mickey was an immigration hawk before it was cool.