Today, I’m back on the Farm for Stanford’s alumni weekend.
I had hoped to meet with Dr. Victor Davis Hanson who coined the term “Mexifornia.” Dr. Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, which is located on campus. Unfortunately, he has a speaking engagement at Harvard.
I was motivated to contact Dr. Hanson after I read his op-ed piece in the San Jose Mercury News in which he wrote:
Broad class considerations are now transcending particular party, racial and ethnic views of illegal immigration, pitting the well-off few against the less-fortunate many. Many of the more-privileged Americans who frequent fancy restaurants, stay in hotels and depend on hired help for lawn and pool maintenance, home repair and child care don't think illegal immigration is that big a deal.
Those in the higher-paid professions do not fear low-wage competition for their jobs in law, medicine, academia, the media or government. And many who have no problem with the present influx live in affluent communities with good schools insulated from the immediate budgetary consequences of meeting the needs of the offspring of the 11 million here illegally. These wealthier people aren’t so much liberal in their tolerance of illegal immigration as they are self-interested and cynical.
The questions that immigration inevitably raises—first and foremost about who we are, how many we are, and who has a claim on our resources—go to the heart of our national identity. That is nowhere more evident than in the debate about the impact of immigration on African Americans.
Nor is the immediately observable wage impact the only cause for concern. Carolyn Hoxby of Harvard University has shown that immigration reduces the probability of college graduation for African Americans (emphasis added); Julian Betts has shown the same for the probability of high school graduation. Schools with high immigrant shares of their student populations are forced to devote a rising fraction of their scarce resources solving the special problems of immigrant students. The result is the “educational crowding out” of African American students. The future consequences include slower wage growth for African Americans. Immigration thus harms their economic prospects in both the short term and the long term.
The future consequences also include fewer marriageable black men. Consider: There already are 500,000 more black women than black men who have graduated from college.
Yeah, happy homecoming.