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"They're Taking Our Jobs"

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How disinformation and lies drive the immigration debate and what you can do about it.

A presentation by Todd Landfried,
 Arizona Employers for Immigration Reform. Presented at the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly
, June 21, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona


Published in: News & Politics, Business
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"They're Taking Our Jobs"

  1. 1. “They’re Taking Our Jobs”How disinformation and lies drive theimmigration debate and what you can doabout itTodd LandfriedArizona Employers for Immigration ReformPresented at the Unitarian Universalist General AssemblyJune 21, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona 1
  2. 2. “Its not what you dont know thatgets you into trouble. Its what youknow for sure that just aint so.” Mark Twain 2
  3. 3. How’d We Get In This Mess? Partisanship, ideology and fear raise emotions Myths, distortions and outright lies frame the issue Rhetoric makes scapegoats of government, employers and workers, and families, intimidating them into silence Polarizes people on moral, ethnic and economic grounds Created a “third-rail” issue where any disagreement is attacked and solutions are pushed aside 3
  4. 4. “A salient characteristic of thecurrent debate on U.S.immigration policy is the highratio of hot air to data.” Dr. Douglas Massey Co-director, Mexican Migration Project Princeton University mmp.opr.princeton.edu 4
  5. 5. Source: AZ Fact Check immigration topic, updated 3/14/12 5
  6. 6. “A lie gets halfway around the worldbefore the truth gets its boots on.” Charles Haddon Spurgeon 19th Century Minister 6
  7. 7. Source: PolitiFact.com immigration topic, updated 3/14/12 7
  8. 8. PolitiFact Immigration Checks Pants On Mostly Mostly FALSE Half True TRUE Fire False True 19 56 33 41 31 23 9.4% 27.6% 16.3% 20.25 15.3% 11.3% Wrong 88.7% 11.3%Source: PolitiFact.com immigration topic, updated 3/14/12. N = 203 8
  9. 9. 9 out of 10Source: PolitiFact.com immigration topic, updated 1/18/12. N = 203 9
  10. 10. g 9 out on 10 of W rSource: PolitiFact.com immigration topic, updated 1/18/12. N = 203 9
  11. 11. AZ FactCheck: Immigration Mostly Somewhat False FALSE Somewhat True Mostly True TRUE False 29 4 8 4 4 59.2% 8.2% 16.3% 8.2% 8.2% Wrong 91.8% 8.2%Source: AZ Fact Check immigration topic, updated 3/14/12. N = 49 10
  12. 12. 9 out of 10Source: AZ Fact Check immigration topic, updated 3/14/12. N = 49 11
  13. 13. g 9 out on 10 of W rSource: AZ Fact Check immigration topic, updated 3/14/12. N = 49 11
  14. 14. “The greatest threat to democracyis having a public that thinks it isfully informed, but really isn’t verywell informed at all.” Linda Foley 12
  15. 15. Birthright Fallacy U.S. Citizen Spouse 3 years Minor Child 7 years Sibling 22 years Citizen Child Parents Ineligible Penalty Wait 38 years Siblings Ineligible Penalty Wait 53 years 0 6 12 18 24 30 36 42 48 54 60 YearsSource: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service 13
  16. 16. Economic FallaciesUnauthorized Claim Reality Difference Education Costs $810M $379M +214% Health Costs $400M $24M +1,600% Tax Payments $257M $2.84B -1,100% 14
  17. 17. Crime Fallacies Unauthorized Claim Reality Difference % in Federal Prison 35% 17.5% +200% % in AZ Prisons* 33% 13.2% +240% Hate Crime Not a problem +68% +6,800% Increase ‘07-’10 Identity Theft 100% 0.9% -99.1%* Includes green card and undocumented prisoners 15
  18. 18. 1,592Source: National Council of State Legislators, 2011 Legislative Summary, Introduced Bill 16
  19. 19. 162Source: National Council of State Legislators, 2011 Legislative Summary, Bills Approved 17
  20. 20. 10%Source: National Council of State Legislators, 2011 Legislative Summary, Bills Approved 18
  21. 21. 90%Source: National Council of State Legislators, 2011 Legislative Summary, Bills Failed 19
  22. 22. 90% I L F ASource: National Council of State Legislators, 2011 Legislative Summary, Bills Failed 19
  23. 23. 30Source: National Council of State Legislators, 2011 Legislative Summary, SB1070 Copycats Introduced 20
  24. 24. 5Source: National Council of State Legislators, 2011 Legislative Summary, SB1070 Copycats Passed 21
  25. 25. 16%Source: National Council of State Legislators, 2011 Legislative Summary, SB1070 Copycat Bills Passed 22
  26. 26. 84%Source: National Council of State Legislators, 2011 Legislative Summary, SB1070 Copycat Bills Failed 23
  27. 27. 84% I L F ASource: National Council of State Legislators, 2011 Legislative Summary, SB1070 Copycat Bills Failed 23
  28. 28. Been There, Done That Restrictive immigration laws are not new to our country Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, The Gentleman’s Agreement of 1907, The Immigration Act of 1924, and Bracero Program of 1942 Since 2007, restrictive laws have regained favor: All started with one elected or community member with an ax to grind All relied upon the same bad data we’ve just discussed So, how’s that been working out? 24
  29. 29. A Disastrous Record of Failure Prince William County, VA (2007) - $14.9M to train & enforce county officers, increase property tax rate by $0.15/$1,000; foreclosure rate 3X regional rate; business closures up 45% Farmer’s Branch, TX (2007) - $3.2M for lawyers, $5M in settlement fees, increased vacancy rates, lower property values, businesses closed Hazelton, PA (2007) - $1M for lawyers, $2.4M in settlement fees, increased foreclosure and vacancy rates, lower property values, businesses closed
  30. 30. A Disastrous Record of Failure Oklahoma Taxpayer & Citizen Protection Act (2007) - Oklahoma Bankers Association study found the loss of 90,000 unauthorized workers/families resulted in net Gross State Product loss of $1.9B Urban Institute found negligible impact on savings on public services from departure of the undocumented because by law they’re ineligible for those benefits in the first placeSource: A Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) Analysis of the Impact of the Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007
  31. 31. A Disastrous Record of Failure Arizona “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act” - SB1070 (2010) $5M+ to train law enforcement $186M in near-term convention and related tourism losses $14.4B loss in Arizona GSP with departure of 30% undocumented workers and families; $48.4B if they all leave 172,000 related job losses $40.7M loss in state tax revenues
  32. 32. Sound Good?✓Shrinking workforce✓Significant population loss✓Significantly fewer consumers✓Business layoffs & closures✓Broad tax base decline✓Foreclosures up, values down✓Damage to business climate✓Loss of investment interest
  33. 33. They Did ItAnywayAlabamaIndianaGeorgiaSouth CarolinaUtah
  34. 34. Georgia’s HB 87 Ignoring previous failures, Gov. Deal signed it on May 12, 2011 Georgia felt the impact within days Farmers lost field workers during prime spring harvest season and the state’s Farm Bureau projected immediate losses at $330M Gov. Deal called for impact study 14 days AFTER the law was passed “Pilot” probationer employment program for agriculture failed miserably: needed 11,000 and 14 showed up and seven remained a week later
  35. 35. GA Governor: Use Prison LaborHow many support giving prison laborers this knife? 12”
  36. 36. Alabama’s HB 56 Ignoring previous failures, Gov. Bentley signed it on June 9, 2011 Alabama felt the impact within days Construction industry stalled as workers leave, slowing down rebuilding process following spring tornado storms Long-term growers of crops that are hand-picked are switching to crops that can be mechanized Recent study show community tax receipts are down so low in agricultural communities, they are considering cutting services
  37. 37. Quiz Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of... INSANITY
  38. 38. “Attrition” Laws Don’t Work Local and state immigration laws have not worked anywhere No study exists that shows positive impacts of any local or state- level immigration law All studies show negative economic and social consequences Successful Russell Pearce recall shows sensible immigration reform can be a winning campaign issue Federal reform cannot occur without state and local pressure
  39. 39. Your Take-aways Bad data = bad policy = bad outcomes Misinformation, distortions, half-truths, lies and fear are driving the debate and are justifying extreme and exaggerated actions Arizona’s approach has been tried before and failed everywhere Demand better solutions - our economic future depends on it Encourage others to get informed, involved and say enough!
  40. 40. Getting Involved Works! The approach of building coalitions, public education, proactive media use, legislative interaction and speaking out works Utah - - SB1070 copycat bill DEFEATED Kansas - SB1070 copycat bills DEFEATED TWICE Texas - 108 immigration bills DEFEATED Arizona - follow-on immigration bills DEFEATED
  41. 41. What You Must Do Stop believing everything you hear - 9 times out of 10 it’s wrong Stop remaining silent - demand changes to bad laws Business, faith, legal, and community leaders must speak out together Start publicly challenging false statements and claims Start demanding state and federal candidates talk about their solutions and demand specific timelines for action
  42. 42. Thank YouTodd LandfriedArizona Employers for Immigration ReformEmail: todd@azeir.orgwww.azeir.org

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