|You maniacs, you blew it all up.|
In his column in the Washington Post, Dana Milbank points out that even if conservatives don't say that Hispanic immigrants tend to be badly educated, or even notice that Hispanic immigrants tend to be badly educated, conservatives are still racist because -- Gotcha -- Hispanic immigrants are badly educated!
No poor and huddled need apply
By Dana Milbank, Monday, May 6, 5:47 PM
Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint prefaced his condemnation of immigration legislation Monday with the same form of inoculation conservatives often use on such occasions: He quoted Emma Lazarus.
“There’s a statement at the bottom of the Statue of Liberty,” said the former Republican senator who just took over as chief of the powerful think tank. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses . . . ”
He and his colleagues then went on to outline their version of immigration reform: No poor and huddled need apply.
“We feel that the best immigration system is one that focuses on bringing high school [graduate] immigrants in,” said Robert Rector, the Heritage scholar seated beside DeMint for the rollout of a new study on the costs of immigration. “We think the proper policy is that you shouldn’t be bringing immigrants into the U.S. that by and large are going to impose additional costs on U.S. taxpayers by getting more benefits than they pay in taxes,” he explained.
... Latinos have been suspicious of Republicans in part because they assume that conservatives’ desire to crack down on illegal immigration may extend to legal immigration as well. Republicans invariably proclaim that they are big fans of legal immigration. But the Heritage doctrine undermines that, because it would sharply curtail Hispanic immigration — legal and illegal alike.
Of the Mexican-born people in the United States age 25 and older, nearly 60 percent didn’t graduate from high school, according to a Pew Hispanic Center compilation of census data. Among Central Americans, the figure is 50 percent. To shun those without high school diplomas would dramatically reduce eligibility among Latinos.
Rector acknowledged that “all immigration in fact does make a larger GDP.” But, he added, “the question is fiscally whether they pay more in taxes than they take out in benefits. College-educated immigrants do that. Other immigrants do not.”
Even the second generation doesn’t pay its way, he argued, citing “very sophisticated data on the expected upward mobility based on historical averages of kids given their ethnicity and their parents’ education level.”
But even if you accept Heritage’s calculations, immigration isn’t purely a fiscal question. If Republicans don’t find a way to deal with illegal immigrants in the country, they risk political oblivion as the swelling ranks of Latino voters turn against them. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) recognized this in reaching a bipartisan agreement to allow legalization — a proposal being denounced by the right. ...
Never mind the rest of that Lazarus inscription DeMint cited, the bit about accepting “the wretched refuse” and the “homeless, tempest-tossed.” Now they’ll need a diploma.
The only way for conservatives to prove they aren't racist is by letting more badly educated Hispanics in. Of course, that will just make it more obvious that Hispanic immigrants are badly educated, which will mean that conservatives are even more under suspicion of noticing racist hatefacts. So, the only way for them to atone for that is to let more badly educated Hispanics in. And so forth and so on.