Texas Tomorrow: The Impact of Immigration
The Philosophical Society of Texas
Welcome and Introduction
S. Roger Horchow, President, Philosophical Society of Texas
E Pluribis, Plures
The New Order: Can It Work
Lee Cullum, James Hollifield, Jack Hunt, Harry J. Joe, Carole J. Wilson
The Politics of Immigration
Kay Bailey Hutchison
A Case of Foreign Policy
James M. Lindsay
Migration and the New Congress
Amazing Lives of New Americans
Pia Orrenius, Joe Chow, Michael Hinojosa, Tom C. Kim, Prasad Thotakura
A Matter of Money
Richard W. Fisher
Officers of the Society
Members of the Society
The 169th anniversary meeting of the Philosophical Society was dedicated to the topic of immigration. President S. Roger Horchow put together “Texas Tomorrow: The Impact of Immigration” to discuss the political, economic, and social implications of the immigration policy reform debates that are currently rocking the United States. The meeting was held in Dallas, Texas at the beautiful Fairmont Hotel. An astounding total of 366 members, spouses, and guests were in attendance.
The meeting began on Friday December 1, 2006 with optional tours of the Nasher Sculpture Center and the Dallas Museum of Art. The evening ended with a reception and dinner at the Fairmont Hotel. President Horchow announced the 39 new members and presented them with their certificates of membership. The new members are: Charles Lynde Babcock, Houston, Richard C. Bartlett, Carrollton, James Bass, Dallas, Richard D. Bass, Dallas, J. Penny Beaumont, Bryan, Fred Burns, Galveston, W. Amon
The 2006 Award of Merit for the Best Book on Texas was given to Mavis P. Kelsey Sr. and Robin Brandt Hutchinon for Engraved Prints of Texas, 1554-1900. Texas A&M University Press, 2005. This award is given annually for the best book published on Texas, fiction or non-fiction.
Politicians, academics, businessmen, and first generation immigrants contributed to the thought-provoking program, held in the International Ballroom at the Fairmont Hotel. Given the many facets of immigration, the program required the entire day, including presentations at lunch and dinner.
The annual business meeting was held on Sunday morning. The names of Society members who had died during the previous year were read: Lloyd Millard Bentsen, Chester Ray Burns, James A. Elkins, Thos H. Law, Ben F. Love, and Fred Newton White, Jr. Secretary Ron Tyler announced Society membership stood at 201 active members (according to the recently amended Bylaws, the number of active members was increased to 201 due to a tie in the most recent election), 75 associate members, and 71 emeritus members, for a grand total of 347 members. Officers elected for the year 2007 are as follows: Isabel Brown Wilson, president; Boone Powell, first vice-president; Michael Gillette, second vice-president; J. Chrys Dougherty, III, treasurer; Ron Tyler, secretary.
A lively roundtable discussion about the weekend’s topic followed the business meeting. President Horchow adjourned the meeting until December 7-9, 2007 in Houston, Texas.
Horchow: Good morning. I hope you all had a good night's sleep and are well rested and ready for this program that we've prepared for today.
I would like now to introduce our moderator for the program, who I must thank publicly for all that she did to bring this whole program together. Without Lee Cullum, we wouldn't have such an interesting program. She's arranged all of the topics and all of the speakers. As I gave credit to my wife for the topic, “Immigration,” I give credit to Lee Cullum for this entire program.
Lee, as you probably know, is a very well-known author, columnist and TV personality, and I'm happy to announce ahead of the press, that she will be launching a new program this February called “CEO,” and it's going to be on public television, so please tune in immediately, beginning in February.
Lee will now introduce our various speakers and lead the program the rest of the day. Eating will take place in the Venetian Room. Talking will take place in here, visiting in the hall. This evening we will have a similar program outside and then the dinner in the Venetian Room. At the conclusion of our program today at 3:30, we'll have cookies and various things here. Those of you who would like to stay around and visit with the panelists and with each other, you're welcome to stay as long as you want, as long as you're ready to come back at 6:30.
Thank you very, very much, and without further ado, I would like to introduce Ms. Lee Cullum.
Cullum: Roger and I first discussed this program last January at lunch, and, of course, my worry was that this would all be settled and Congress would have passed all the necessary reforms and it would be a dead issue. Well, I needn't have worried about that. Senator Cornyn is here and he knows how hard he worked to try to get it settled, but it's still very much a live issue and I'm so pleased we're discussing immigration today.
When I think about migration, I'm reminded, oddly enough, of Virginia Woolf, who I thought was the finest novelist of the 20th century. She wrote once about her mother, the beautiful Julia Duckworth, who was widowed at a young age with three children: two sons and a daughter. She remained widowed for eight years and then married the intellectual Lesley Stephen and had four more children, including Virginia Woolf. And Woolf wrote this of her mother, upon her remarriage: "She came to see, in all its ramifications, that joy must be endured along with sorrow."
We are going to talk today about the joys of immigration, along with the sorrows that inevitably attend it, at least in the minds of some. It's a very misunderstood subject. Phil Martin of the University of California at Davis, said at a symposium here in October, put on by the Tower Center and the Dallas Federal Reserve, that "Migration is a process to be managed, not a problem to be solved." Not everyone agrees with that formulation, but one who knows a great deal about immigration is Dr. Caroline Brettell, who is going to survey the situation for us here in Texas.
Carol Brettell is the interim dean of Dedman College at SMU. Dedman is the humanities college, the core college of SMU, and to my mind, she has the second most important academic post on the campus. We're very lucky to have her there. Before that, she chaired the anthropology department at SMU, developed great expertise in the area of immigration, and is currently doing a special study on migrant communities in Dallas. Carol doesn't just study these communities; she gets to know the people living in them and she tries to be helpful.
Earlier last year Carol brought to my house one afternoon, two engineers from India who were facing very great personal difficulties because of a fluke in our visa laws. One of them worked for Texas Instruments. He was married to a woman who worked at TI also. They had a baby daughter named Tricia, but before too many months, his wife was going to have to return to India because she couldn't get her work visa renewed and she would not be able to return to the country for over five years, nor could he go and visit her in India for longer than six months or he would risk losing his place in line for citizenship. Their daughter was an American citizen, born here, could stay here, but as a practical matter, she would go to India with her mother. And it was a very difficult situation. The other engineer was facing exactly the same thing.
Carol hoped that some media attention might call this problem to the attention of politicians in Washington and maybe they could correct the fluke in the visa laws. I don't know if that has happened yet or not. Senator Cornyn is speaking after lunch. He chairs the Immigration Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee; he will have all the answers to legislative questions, and we're happy that he's here today. Plus Senator Hutchison will be speaking this morning.
I would like to add that Carol became interim dean unexpectedly and very luckily for the university. She quite reasonably could have backed off from this commitment, but she didn't, and I appreciate it and I know Roger Horchow does too. So thank you for that, Carol.
I would also like to add that our last panel of the day - which was Roger's idea - a group of great success stories among immigrants, was put together pretty much by Carol. Over half the people I found through her. Carol Brettell is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end of this program. And moreover, she corrected my Latin. I thought that the title should be E Pluribus Pluribus. She and her husband, Rick Brettell, realized the Latin was all wrong and she changed it to the plural, I believe, Plures. And I'm grateful for this correction, too, and happy to introduce Carol Brettell.
Brettell: Good morning. I want to thank the Philosophical Society for this invitation. I'm looking forward to a very interesting day and learning from other people as I share some of my own thoughts.
I will begin by warning you that I'm going to present you with a lot of material very quickly because this is a very complex and multifaceted problem, and the complexity is part of the significance of my title: “Out of Many, Many Things.” That's really what we're facing. So bear with me; listen hard.
The first thing I want to present is a little bit of historical background. Scholars of immigration divide the history of immigration in this country into several waves. We are now in the fourth wave with an open time period. But the point here is, of course, that immigration goes way back to the founding of the country and different things happened during different waves. Particularly important is that during each wave of immigration, different kinds of newcomers came, and each of these populations was defined as "other" at the time. Catholics were very much "other" during the second wave of immigration; eastern and southern Europeans were very much "other" during the third wave of immigration which ended in 1924 with the National Origins Quota Act. Then we had a rather quiet period, with very limited immigration until we reopened the United States to immigrants in 1965. Although a return to European immigration was expected, pretty quickly the major sending countries were from Latin American and Asia.
The figures demonstrate that during the second and third waves, roughly 14% or almost 15% of the U.S. population was foreign-born at the high points for these waves. Then you come to the fourth wave. Between 1970 and 2000, we admitted more than 20 million persons as permanent residents. Some three million of these in 2000 were formerly illegal and able to legalize. The proportion of the foreign-born increased from 7.9% of the total population in 1990 to 11.1% in 2000; the estimate for 2005 was 12.4%.
The main point here, thinking historically, is that the total number of foreign-born was smaller at the height of the third wave of immigration, but the proportion of the total population was larger. This is an interesting difference between the third wave - many of our grandparents, our great grandparents came during that third wave - and immigration today.
In talking about the fourth wave, which is really what we're focused on and why we're dealing with these policy issues today, here are some of the things to which I will draw your attention: where are immigrants going nationwide; how does the state of Texas fit into the national picture of immigration; what is happening in Texas metropolitan areas by comparison with other metropolitan areas across the nation. Toward the end of my presentation I will focus on the study funded by the National Science Foundation that we've been doing over the last several years in the Dallas area. Clearly, this is the city I live in and the city that I know best. I will conclude with a consideration of the title of this talk – what we need to be thinking about regarding E Pluribus Plures, “Out of Many, Many Things.”
To begin, where are the immigrants going nationwide? Immigrants are settling in traditional gateway cities of immigration in significant numbers. What are these cities? They're cities you all know: New York City, with a foreign-born population that was 34% of the total population in 2000; Chicago, another city where over a third of the population was foreign-born in 2000; Los Angeles, with almost 41% of the population foreign-born in 2000; and then Miami where almost 60% of the population in 2000 was foreign-born. People tend to think about Miami as a Latin American city, with good reason.
Figure 1 shows the top ten receiving states, with California and New York at the top and Illinois at the bottom. To some extent these rankings are fueled by those big metropolitan areas that are in the list of traditional gateway cities, but the inclusion of Nevada and the District of Columbia on this list is rather interesting.
Top Ten States for the Foreign Born as a % of the Total Population, 2000, 2005
California: 26.2% (2000); 27.2% (2005)
New York: 20.4% (2000); 21.4% (2005)
Hawaii: 17.5% (2000); 17.2% (2005)
New Jersey: 17.5% (2000); 19.5% (2005)
Florida: 16.7% (2000); 18.5% (2005)
Nevada: 15.8% (2000); 17.4% (2005)
Texas: 13.9% (2000); 15.9% (2005)
District of Columbia: 12.9% (2000); 13.1% (2005)
Arizona: 12.8% (2000); 14.5% (2005)
Illinois: 12.3% (2000); 13.6% (2005)
If you look at the top ten states according to the change in the foreign-born population between 1990 and 2000, some other interesting dimensions being to emerge. States like North Carolina and Georgia appear at the top of the list; Nevada, number three; Arkansas, number four; and, of course, Texas is in there as a reference point at number seven. You can begin to see that there's something else that has been going on in the last 15 years, particularly during the decade of the ‘90s: states without traditional gateway cities are experiencing the most dramatic change in relation to the growth of foreign-born populations.
Finally, if you look at the data by the rank of the percent change in the foreign-born, additional states comes on line so to speak: Arkansas and Georgia are there, but also Tennessee and Nebraska, and between 2000 and 2005, South Carolina and New Hampshire join the list. This illustrates that the foreign-born population continued to grow in new regions of the country, even after 9-11.
What conclusions can we draw from these tables? A number of interesting trends have been happening: in addition to the traditional gateways, there are these emerging gateway cities which have seen a rapid increase in the proportion of the foreign-born, particularly during the 1990s. For examples: Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., an extremely interesting case, Atlanta, and also the Dallas-Fort Worth and particularly Dallas metropolitan area.
These terms of emerging and pre-emerging gateways I borrow from my friend and colleague, Audrey Singer, at the Brookings Institution who has written a particularly interesting paper on these urban classifications. She and I and a geographer at the University of Oregon are working on a Brookings book, actually, on suburban gateway cities, which I'll come back to in a minute.
Among pre-emerging gateways are cities such as Charlotte, North Carolina, that have seen a significant change. The “New South” is a term that refers to those states that didn't have a lot of experience prior to 1990 with foreign-born or immigrant populations, but that now have intense experience and are trying to adjust to that experience in terms of bilingual education in the schools and all kinds of issues that one faces when you have a rapid increase in the foreign-born population. States like North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee are all in this category.
Two other trends: immigrants are directly settling in suburban America, and I'm going to come back to that in particular. They are also settling in rural areas, so you get states like Arkansas on the list, and again, a lot of that is in relationship to jobs. Also Iowa and Nebraska, again, places without a whole lot of experience prior to 1990 with the foreign-born are now experiencing population change. The issue is widespread distribution, not to say that the bulk of immigrants aren't still going to those traditional gateways, but there are all kinds of other trends happening.
So what about the state of Texas - because I know that's partly what you're interested in. To kind of situate the state of Texas, it's ranked 3rd out of 51 in the size of the foreign-born population in 2000; 7th out of 51 in the percent of the foreign-born in the total population in 2000; 2nd out of 51 in the numeric change in the foreign-born population from 1990 to 2000; 23rd out of 51, as you saw, in the percent change in the foreign-born from 1990 to 2000 (note that 51 includes the District of Columbia).
Some other issues: 46.1% of the foreign-born in Texas entered during the 1990s - just to reemphasize how important that decade was for the kinds of questions and issues we are confronted with today. In 2000 the proportion or foreign-born, in terms of countries of origin, was almost three-quarters coming from Latin America, not something that would surprise you at all.
Of the total foreign-born in Texas, broken down by country of origin, shows that almost 65% were born in Mexico, and then the next largest group are the Vietnamese at 3.7%. You can see the huge gap between the proportion of Mexicans and the next largest group. Comparing that to the rest of the nation, where nationwide the Mexicans are the largest group of foreign-born (29.5%) followed by the Filipinos (4.4%) and the Indians (3.3%).
A third of foreign-born individuals in Texas are citizens. We are under the national average (40%), but I think that's also explained probably by, again, the disproportion number of people from Mexico. Also, almost 90% speak a language other than English at home. A quarter of Texas' foreign-born live in poverty, which is 15.8% of foreign-born citizens. Compare that to the national average, which was 18% in 2000, just to situate, again, your state.
If we look at 2005 American Community Survey data - and this is going to get me into the urban issues that I'm going to focus on as we go on this morning - I've divided the cities of Texas into three categories.
The border metropolitan areas where you see over 25% of the population is foreign-born; cities like Brownsville, El Paso, Laredo. I think that's one issue to deal with. I think we need to start looking at different urban metropolitan areas because you're going to face really different kinds of issues in relationship to the proportion of foreign-born and the composition of foreign-born, and of course, then local economies and all kinds of other things.
Then we have West Texas metros, like Amarillo, Abilene, and San Angelo, with much smaller percentages of foreign-born, but nevertheless, not insignificant which I think, again, reflects this trend of foreign-born populations moving into more rural areas, obviously following the jobs, whatever they are. But that's a second category in our state.
And then the big metropolitan urban areas like Houston, Austin-Round Rock, and San Antonio. Austin, in fact, in Dr. Singer's categorization, is a pre-emerging gateway. It hasn't quite had as dramatic an increase as the emerging gateway cities. Actually, Austin is a chapter in our suburban gateway books. There's a very good geographer down at UT Austin named Emily Skop, who has written the chapter on Austin for our publication.
So let's get to the Dallas metropolitan area, an emerging gateway city of immigration. In figure 2 you simply see the increase in the population itself. Those of us who are living in this area know that we now have traffic problems which we probably didn't have in 1980. Overall, the population itself, of course, has increased dramatically both in the city of Dallas and in the larger metropolitan area. This has been one of the biggest growth areas in the country in general.
1980: Approximately 974,000 in the city (Metropolitan Area: 2,055,000)
1990: Approximately 1,006,000 in the city (Metropolitan Area: 2,676,000)
2000: Approximately 1,188,000 in the city (Metropolitan Area: 3.5 million; CMSA*: 5.2 million)
2005: Metropolitan Area: 3.8 million; CMSA*: 5.7 million)
*Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area
In terms of the growth of the foreign-born population, between 1990 and 2000, the foreign-born population almost doubled (from 7.9% to 15% of the total population), and that's one of the criteria for these emerging gateway cities: the doubling of their foreign-born population in a short ten-year period. And you also see that this proportion is still going up between 2000 and 2005 (to 17.7%).
This is an area that has attracted both high and low human capital immigrants, and by human capital I mean education; I mean English-language skills, those kinds of resources that people have. There's a significant population of Asian-Indians in Dallas and you're going to hear from one of my friends in the Asian-Indian community this afternoon, but obviously, there's also a significant population of lower human capital immigrants. Of course, it's because we have an economy that attracts both high and low human capital immigrants.
The important thing, coming back to this issue of suburban settlement, is that we no longer have a concentric zone model of cities. During the third wave of immigration, everybody knew about New York City and the lower east side; the kind of older, cheap housing, inner-city neighborhoods. This is where immigrants went during the third wave; this is where they first settled. And then they moved out into the suburbs in the second, but particularly in the third generation. The grandchildren of the immigrants who arrived were the ones who would grow up in the suburbs. Well, what we have now is direct settlement in suburban communities around these gateway and particularly emerging gateway cities, so you see here that 15.3% of the population of the suburbs of the Dallas area was Hispanic in 2000. A lot of the affordable housing is in the suburbs now. A lot of jobs are now in the suburbs, so it's a completely new phenomenon.
I apologize for these tables. I know at the back you're probably not going to be able to see the numbers, and so I'll point out what's important here. I've chosen one county, Collin County, which, of course, was one of the fastest growing counties in the United States between 1990 and 2000. It is a suburban, wealthy county. The proportion of foreign-born in Collin County changed dramatically between 1990 and 2000. When you have increases over 300%, and in one case (in terms of Africans, of course, the numbers are smaller) over 400%, something interesting is happening in terms of the changing dynamics and composition of the population of this suburban county.
For those of you who are not from this area, I just put a map up (figure 3) because I'm going to be talking about a couple of these communities. Particularly so that you can fix in your mind where Plano is, Farmers Branch, Richardson, Lewisville, McKinney, Allen.
Dallas – Fort Worth Metropolitan Area
Source: The Firm List, 2006 http://us.firmlist.com/texas/dallas/dfwmetro.php
I think about the inner and outer ring suburbs. We have the central city of Dallas, then we have this inner ring of suburbs that might include Garland and Richardson and Farmers Branch and maybe even Plano, at this point at the heart of Collin County, and then outer ring suburbs (or ex-urbs) like Denton and McKinney.
The next table shows the foreign born in these inner ring suburbs. We've heard a lot about Farmers Branch in the news recently and I'm going to come back to that – a quarter of the population in that community was foreign-born in 2000 and that has only increased in recent years. You also see in Irving, another inner ring suburb with over a quarter of the population foreign-born, Plano with 17% foreign-born, and Richardson, an older receiving area where Asians have been settling since 1980. Richardson’s population was 19% foreign-born in 2000. And then there are these outer ring suburbs, not insignificant proportions, way out there in McKinney, with 12.6% of the population in 2000 foreign-born. So this is just to stress the point about these suburban communities of major metropolitan areas being places of immigrant settlement.
I know for sure you cannot see this table at the back of the room, but I'm just going to point out two figures to you because I'm going to come back to them. In Farmers Branch, almost 60% of the foreign-born population is from Mexico. Contrast that with Plano, where 21 or 22% of the foreign-born population is Mexican. If you add up those the next three groups, all Asian (Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian), they comprise slightly over 30%.
There are a couple of maps we've generated out of our project. This is the settlement pattern for Indians, and I know you can't see it, there are all those little red dots from the generated census data, but the point to take away from this, and it's really contrasting this map with the next two that come, is the Indians have settled in the suburbs in a kind of arc around the city. This is the dispersed settlement pattern of the Asian-Indian population.
Contrast that with the Vietnamese settlement pattern. Just focus on those two intense areas of blue; this is in Arlington and in Garland, they are the centers of the Vietnamese community. They are much more tightly knit and intense settlement in a couple of suburban areas gathering together.
Then the Salvadorans, who are in these inner ring suburbs (and Irving is in there and Farmers Branch is in there) where you see that kind of pinky color, but again, some concentration. And then there is the yellow of the Mexican settlement all around the city in both suburban and urban areas. You also see Denton and McKinney at the northern top of the map and so that shows you that the Mexicans are settling in those communities as well as more around the metropolitan core.
I've become very interested in the attitudes of metropolitan areas towards immigrants, and I think there are multicultural-minded municipalities, and here I take a quote from a study by a fellow named Alexander. "The multicultural-minded municipality is sensitive to the particular needs and problems arising from the migrants' otherness. The positive potential of the migrants for the city is also acknowledged and their otherness is also perceived as enriching the local host culture and economy."
I would take Plano, Texas, as a multiculturally-minded suburban community. There are lots of programs that Plano has put in place for their foreign-born population. They have a very active multicultural roundtable which has been inclusive in getting the foreign-born population, the immigrants involved in the community. There are extensive library programs. Libraries are at the front of the integration process of immigrants, in my view, in terms of the programs that they offer. I have a lot more information on this, but I'm just giving you an idea.
What's happening in the schools in terms of this multiculturally-minded approach to the foreign-born and this rapid growth in the foreign-born? There are citizens academies where they reach out to the foreign-born and try and include them in the urban government process in their city, and then, of course, the kinds of things where people are allowed to express their cultural diversity. The mayor of Plano described Plano as the cricket capital of North America and claimed they're equally very good in table tennis. Well, that's obviously the involvement of those significant numbers of Indian and Chinese immigrants.
The mayor of Plano was quoted in the Dallas Morning News: "Given current demographics, we'll have this diversity forever. It is never going to be reversed, and since that's the case, then, let's embrace it."
Now, this was not always the case. The Indians in the Dallas area in 1980 had some land in Plano where they wanted to build their Hindu Temple, and there was a lot of negative attitude about that. It's a long, complicated story, but the end result was that they were forced to sell that land. The mayor of Irving was much more hospitable at the time, and the DFW Hindu Temple now is in Irving, Texas and is a very active center point for the Indian community. So Plano was not always multiculturally-minded; in the 1980s it was not, but it had a change of attitude and I think currently does an excellent job of integration.
Well, then we come to Farmers Branch, about which we have, at least in the Dallas area, been reading a lot about. I think it has also been covered in the national press. Here I think there is an excluding approach. It is not a multiculturally-minded city. Approximately one-third of the population in 2005 was foreign-born and it's gone up from the one-quarter figure that I gave you for 2000. You all know from reading the papers what the city council there has proposed: to bar landlords from leasing units to the undocumented and penalizing employers who hire them, to make English the official language of Farmers Branch, and to train law enforcement to process and detain illegal immigrants, which I think is a particularly controversial issue which we could come back to.
Here are some quotes, taken from the newspaper, representing the kind of attitude that has been fostered in that community, which personally I don't think is really productive in dealing with the issue of unauthorized immigrants. But I'm sure there are people out there who disagree or who want to discuss it, but these kind of quotes really represent an attitude which is more confrontational than problem-solving.
I want to discuss a little bit about immigration status and citizenship, and again, if you look at this, it's a complex problem: we're dealing with both legal and illegal immigrants; we're dealing with people who come in as refugees and then very quickly get their green cards and probably move fairly quickly towards naturalized citizenship; we're dealing with people who are on work permits, not necessarily defined as immigrants, defined as temporary workers - and we all know there is a guest worker program that is back on the table. So we're dealing with all kinds of different populations when we talk about the issue of immigration.
I'm going to show you a couple of charts, again from our study; I'm not going to explain the estimator that was used to do this. But when we were interviewing immigrants, we documented an immigration status trajectory from the way that they entered the country all the way to what kind of status they had at the time of our interview. Now, some people entered illegally and they are still undocumented; other people entered with a work permit and they are now either legal permanent residents or citizens.
So here are three graphs: A-1 represents people who came into the country as undocumented workers, and the important point is just the trajectory of these lines, that over time - and this compares the Salvadorans with the Mexicans - they have changed their status. For a long time we've had this change of status possibility. I don't know if you want to call it a policy, but this is the experience, that people come in under one status and they end up under another status, very often legalized. So whether it's written policy or not, this is what has been happening.
In the case of the more rapid linear decline of Salvadorans (representing more possibility for a change of status) by comparison with Mexicans, it's because we've extended to them something called Temporary Protective status. This status is issued because of conflicts and natural disasters in El Salvador to allow people to be here temporarily, legally and to work legally. But even the graph of the Mexicans shows that over time they become legalized in some way.
Here are the H-1-B workers. Pay attention only to the black line because the N for the Nigerians, who are also in our study (a smaller group, but the biggest African group in the state of Texas) is too small to be significant. However, the Indian trajectory there, shows you that people who come in under Temporary Worker status, these skilled worker visas, over time have been able to convert that status into a green card holder status, and then ultimately into citizenship. The decline in the graph shows you that trajectory.
Here are legal permanent residents, people who came in or at one point were able to get that status, so this is about the move to citizenship. And the interesting thing there, just in terms of the groups, the light blue line at the bottom is the Vietnamese, people who come in as refugees, become green card holders very quickly and they become citizens. Of course, there are obvious reasons for that in terms of your ability to go back to your home country – not something the Vietnamese want to do.
The Mexicans at the top in red, show a much slower process. Again, I'm probably not telling you anything that you don't already know, but it's interesting to see this sort of stuff graphed out. And the Indians, the black line in the middle, in terms of movement from holding a green card to becoming a citizen.
What Lee Cullum didn't mention to you in her introduction, is that I was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. I came to the U.S. on a student visa; I became a green card holder in 1976; it took me until 1993 to become an American citizen. But I've gone through this experience of changing status myself and I have some relationship to it.
So coming back to the general, broader issue that we're discussing, E Pluribus Plures, “Out of Many, Many Things,” there are lots of things to discuss and I'm going to go through these quickly: the issue of becoming a citizen; the issue of being an American; the issue of being an Indian, Vietnamese, Mexican, Salvadoran at the same time that you're also perhaps an American; the issue of what I call cultural citizenship; and then some final concluding remarks. So we're getting to the last little bit of this presentation.
Talking a little bit about citizenship, I thought I would present you with just some quotations from the interviews that we did. These are responses about people's attitudes towards citizenship, which I think is particularly telling. I've divided these into the different groups that we were looking at in this large study.
1). “To me, it is not unpatriotic to India to do it - that is, to become an American citizen - you have to be true to where you live. You plant a seed somewhere else and the roots are the same, it just bears fruit in a new place.”
2). “It is our responsibility to be part of the country and do something for the country. We are taking all the privileges and benefits, why not become a citizen. I did it with no hesitation.”
1). “It would be impossible to have Vietnamese citizenship, given the nature of the regime there. The Communist government in Vietnam may consider us to be citizens, but all they are interested in is money, getting us to send money back.” This respondent refers to the important issue of remittances, and the element of suspicion that a lot of Vietnamese here - and that's a very interesting issue - have about Vietnam.
2). “The U.S. is my second home country. This is the place where we have come to live to improve our lives and gain freedom, so the kind of values that are absorbed by newcomers to this country, so it is important to formally join the society and become a citizen.”
Mexican Responses: Now, when you get to the Hispanics, then, people who work very, very long hours and who have less education, becoming a citizen is more of a challenge.
1). “It takes too long, too much time and effort.” These are concerns to them in terms of the challenge of becoming a citizen.
2). “It's not worth it and the system is getting worse because of terrorism, but I'll try again in the future but not now.” Note that some of these interviews were done a couple years after 9-11.
Many of the Mexicans we interviewed were not eligible, they were undocumented, they had no interest, but those who were, who had the possibility because they were already legalized said things like: “Because it is my country, my home now, I want to be like everyone else,” a sentiment which is not so different from that of the Indians. Said another: “It gives you fewer problems to find work and receive benefits.”
What does it mean to be an American? That was another question that we asked, and here I want you to pay attention to the kinds of values that have been absorbed. We just heard in the newspaper that the country is considering a new citizenship test, much more meaty questions about American history, but I think we are concerned about the absorption of values and I think actually some of these responses represent that this actually is taking place.
1). “It means to have freedom, the opportunity to have a brilliant future, to fulfill one's dreams. What do I say? I have no words; the United States is the maximum; I have a good image of this country.”
1). “It means that one has opportunities, the chance to prosper and get an education; the education must come first - things can be accomplished in El Salvador, but it is harder.”
2). “Being an American means being an international figure because of both the power and the image of the country in the rest of the world's minds.”
1). “To be an American means that you have the freedom to express yourself without anyone stopping you, the freedom of speech, one of the basic rights in our Constitution. An American also has the freedom to succeed in life with all the opportunities given by the government, a government.” That the U.S. is a democracy, which is the way I would phrase that response.
2). “It means I have been upgraded, like from economy to first class.” I love this last quote; it is really my most favorite of every single interview that was done on this project.
1). “In India, we are all brought up like followers, to do things when somebody else asks and to do it well, but not to take a leadership role. In the U.S., I have learned how to be a leader and it means a lot to me.” I think that's a very poignant comment about an interpretation.
And then we asked people about multiculturalism, or being both; being both American and being true to your origins and to your roots, Most people said, “Sure you can be both, this is the country that allows you to be both.”
1). “By law, one can be both, but in one's heart, where you work and live determine what you are, especially once you adapt to life here. I think I would feel like a foreigner in El Salvador now.”
1). “People identify me as Mexican, so I must embrace it too.”
That raises interesting issues about to whom do we accord the right to be American citizens. And sometimes somebody asks where they are from, and they say America; no, but where are you really from? Well, think about when you ask that question; what you're really asking and what you're taking away from people when they give you a response that they are from America.
1). “I'm American first, but I respect the Vietnamese values. It depends on what you are talking about. If it is about culture, personality and character, I think you can draw from both; if it is about a conflict between the U.S. and my country, I think I would be loyal to where I live; I'm here using the resources here so I think I would have to be loyal to the United States.”
1). “When I think of my identity, I feel that my soul values are Muslim; my intellect, confidence and freedom to reason are American; my heart, my emotions are Indian; my work ethic is Asian. I'm one person, but in me are all these identities operating at the same time.” And this, I think, is the most poetic comment that we ever got in an interview.
In terms of “Out of Many, Many Things”, what has happened? Well, I'm going to race through this rather quickly. The urban landscapes of America have changed in terms of these ethnic shopping malls. These are just images of the kinds of things that exist in the city of Dallas, but they exist in Washington, D.C., in Houston, Texas, and elsewhere. The diversity of religious institutions: here you have the DFW Hindu Temple, and the Mar Thoma Church. There are 17 Indian Christian churches in the DFW area. You have new voluntary organizations where people learn citizenship and learn leadership. Here is an image of the India Association of North Texas which was founded in the early 1980s, a very active organization.
Cultural citizenship represents the right to be different. I think this country has been built on allowing people to maintain some of those cultural differences. International festivals and claims-making on the urban landscape in terms of these international festivals: national days. The Indians here in the DFW area, sometime in August close to the 15th - which is, of course, Republic Day when the British walked out of India and left it to build its own democracy -between 20,000 and 25,000 Indians in the area gather at Lone Star Park, the racetrack, and you feel like you're in India and you eat wonderful food and are wonderfully entertained.
Some concluding thoughts: Where do immigrants fit into American identity? Are we a nation of immigrants? History shows that immigrants have frequently not been welcome, and that was the point that I made in the beginning by talking about somebody always being "other," but we've gotten over those hurdles all the time. The country is resilient, the country is flexible, the country is welcoming, and we've been able to absorb these differences and build very loyal American citizens.
But we need to think about what's happening globally, so I quote the anthropologist Arjan Appadurai. He suggested the United States is in transition from being "a land of immigrants to being one node in a post-natural network of diaspora." So maybe we need to think about the world differently as we address this particular problem.
English is a unifying language. However, issue tears some communities apart. Again, I give you some historical perspective - Jane Adams, who founded the Hull Settlement House in Chicago would not have been surprised when told that there were more than 100 languages spoken in the schools of our major gateway or emerging gateway cities today. She confronted the same thing at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century.
What are we? A melting pot, a salad bowl, or the demographic re-Conquista? Is that what's happening? I don't happen to think the latter is what's happening, but what kind of metaphor are we going to use for this country?
I'm just putting these out without saying what the issues are because I think these are the issues that we're going to be discussing for the rest of today:
- The issue of legal versus illegal immigration and where to situate the concept of a nation of laws, which is also really fundamental to our identity in relationship to all of these other issues.
- The economic issues of whether immigration depresses wages or whether immigrants are taking jobs that no one else wants to do.
- The issue of federal responsibility versus local responsibility. Local communities, like Farmers Branch, are frustrated with the stalling of national immigration policy, and of course, they're the ones integrating these immigrants. There's a kind of tension there, I think, between the local and federal levels on this issue.
- Immigration policy versus integration policy; should we be thinking more about integration policy than we perhaps have? And it's not to say that one precludes the other, but perhaps we need to be thinking along both trajectories as we move forward.
Finally, I'd like to thank the National Science Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation which is funding some current work that I'm doing on citizenship and incorporation, Roger Horchow and Lee Cullum, and of course, Southern Methodist University which has housed my project and housed me for a very long time. I'm very grateful to them. Thank you.
I'm happy to take some questions or comments. I apologize for throwing so much at you so fast.
Female Speaker: What about the bilingual education in the Dallas-Fort Worth area?
Brettell: I can tell you that Southern Methodist University has a bilingual education program which is still going on and very successful. We are short on bilingual teachers in the state. It's not a topic that I've worked a lot on; there are a couple of things I could just say in terms of what I think about it.
I grew up in Quebec; I grew up bilingual. I actually think being bilingual is an asset in this global world. I think there are a lot of bilingual education programs that have probably not been successful in terms of the original spirit of bilingual education, which was to help young students transition into English, and sometimes they are stuck in these bilingual education programs and that's not to their benefit. We're talking largely about Hispanics, although, again, there are some critical mass issues for other languages. Their parents aren't even enthusiastic about that. I mean, parents want their children to learn English.
The other thing I would say is I think that some of this issue about language is a non-issue. If we were to transport ourselves back to the third wave of immigration, to those first generation immigrants, they were all speaking their own languages. Now, there were multitudes of languages back then, and so there's a difference between the kind of hegemony and the Hispanic language because the largest proportions now are Mexicans, with smaller numbers for other populations. But regarding the immigrants of the past, their children and their grandchildren spoke English, and sometimes their grandchildren did not speak the native language, which in some ways, I think, is a bit lamentable or sad - let's put it that way.
I think the children of Mexican immigrants, whether legal or undocumented, are learning English. I hope they keep their Spanish too because I think these are assets globally.
Male Speaker: I think a lot of the attitudes toward immigration depend on whether or not immigrants are viewed as an economic asset. Have you explored how Farmers Branch and Plano would differ in that regard? Why, say Farmers Branch people wouldn't consider immigrants to be an economic asset the way Plano people would?
Brettell: Well, I want to make a comment first. I was struck by an op-ed by Thomas Friedman yesterday and by an analogy. He was talking about Iraq, and he made some reference to the Israel-Palestine issue and Israel had gone through several strategies and finally decided to build this wall. Of course, we know a wall is on the table in terms of the security aspects of immigration. And by the way, since 9-11, the security aspects of immigration have been put on the table like they never were before, so that's an interesting issue to discuss. But then he got to the point where he said, “The real way that we're going to deal with this problem,” and he said it before, but he said it very powerfully yesterday, “is to get off our addiction to oil and to really explore alternative energy sources.”
Some of the issue about immigration, I think, is getting off our addiction to cheap labor, and if we're going to deal with this, we're going to have confront that. I do think there are a lot of jobs for which we need immigrants, and that's been the history of the United States. In the third wave of immigration, it was the immigrants fueling the steel industry and the kind of industrial growth that this country experienced in the late 19th century in particular. There's a kind of parallel there; we need people to come in and do these kinds of jobs.
In terms of Plano and Farmers Branch, point one was, again, the dynamics of the foreign-born populations are different. Plano has both those high human capital and the lower human capital immigrants; they are equally employed doing various kinds of things that we need in the DFW economy, just in different areas. I think the sort of demographic dynamic allows them to operate that way.
I've actually done a lot of interviews in Plano with various people in the city, but I haven't had the chance to do that in Farmers Branch - because they asked me to be dean; otherwise, I would have been out there in the streets, in Farmers Branch. So, I'm a little less confident talking about it, but I think the large hispanic population probably presents different kinds of challenges to that community. You know, it's almost politically correct to be anti-Hispanic. I mean, there are certain groups where people can say what they want to say and I'm not so sure that that's productive.
We've had a law on the books since 1986 about employer sanctions, I suppose we could enforce it, but there's a reason why we haven't enforced it - again, it goes back to economy. The housing issue is also important – access to cheap housing. I just think that the Farmers Branch approach is not the way to deal with the problem. You know, people wouldn't be here if they couldn't find work, and they find work.
Now, if you read your paper this morning, the new president of Mexico was installed and he was talking about something that I think this country needs to work with Mexico on. He was talking about creating more jobs in Mexico and attracting more foreign investment. People don't necessarily want to leave their homes, but you know, the Mexicans who are here have the same goals that you do, which is to give shelter to your families, provide for your families, and if you can't do it where you live, you tend to look elsewhere. If you could do it where you live, you might not look elsewhere. Of course, the other thing is the wage difference between Mexico and the United States which is also an issue that we have to confront.
Male Speaker: Maybe I misunderstood your slides, but I thought that it said that 60 percent of Farmers Branch population was of Mexican national origin?
Brettell: Sixty percent of the foreign-born population is Mexican. In 2005, I believe it's about a third of the population of the community is foreign-born, and then of those foreign-born, 60% are Mexican. So I was making two points: looking at what the total proportion of the population is foreign-born, and then within that, what's the composition of the foreign-born population. And it's quite distinctive between Plano and Farmers Branch.
Male Speaker: I see. Well, the Farmers Branch movement has gotten national attention, and my real question is, once a foreign citizen becomes a U.S. citizen, do they tend to change their attitude towards being exclusionists as well?
Brettell: You mean the sense of belonging? You're talking about the immigrants themselves. Right?
Male Speaker: Yes. Well, actually once they become national citizens. If their ethnic background is from Mexico and they are now U.S. citizens, and they've been that way for maybe a generation or two, do their attitudes change towards Mexican immigrants?
Brettell: Towards other newcomers?
Male Speaker: Yes, from their ethnic backgrounds.
Brettell: Well, you know, that's an interesting question. It's not something that I've really worked on, but there is a little bit of not wanting other people to come in and share the pie. I don't know if you've ever seen the film "Lone Star" which was a film set on the Mexican border, and there's a woman there who owns a restaurant, I believe, and she is very against the undocumented workers, the wetbacks coming across the Rio Grande River. You get to a point in the film where the fellow who works for her brings his girlfriend across or something happens - it's been a long time since I've seen the film - and you see a flashback to the fact that she herself entered the country that way. That's a piece of fiction and a piece of literature, but there are, I think, undocumented workers is the demonized population these days.
Not to say that I don't think we should try to solve this problem, because I actually think when you're undocumented, you're open to all kinds of exploitation. There's a lot of stuff going on that I wish were not going on. So yes, I agree with you. I originally thought you were talking about just when people become citizens, what attitude they have. I presented those quotes earlier to show you that people really do absorb core U.S. values. I've been at naturalization ceremonies and I can't tell you the positive enthusiasm that occurs at those ceremonies. People are very proud to take American citizenship when they're able to do it.
Good evening! I'd like to welcome all of you to Dallas and to our annual meeting of the Texas Philosophical Society. We have a wonderful turnout and hopefully a very interesting and timely program to present. We have been able to prevail upon a group of very well informed and articulate speakers to enlighten and inform - which is after all, part of our organization’s mission.
Immigration is one of the "hot topics" of the day, and the better informed we are, the more likely we will be able to influence our leaders towards a sensible policy. I encourage you all to attend all the sessions tomorrow and will look forward to seeing you during this weekend.
I want to thank the staff of the Society for all their hard work in arranging the logistics of the weekend, and especially to thank in advance, Lee Cullum who will moderate the sessions and who helped put together the stellar group you will hear tomorrow.
So, have a good dinner and visit with your friends and we'll look forward to seeing you tomorrow bright and early.
Cullum: In the next session we're going to be looking at this “New Order” that Carol has just described which such expertise, dazzling expertise. We are going to be asking: “Can It Work?” We have panelists today who have spent a lot of time pondering this question.
I'm going to begin by interviewing Jim Hollifield, who is here to my right. Jim Hollifield runs the Tower Center at SMU, and he has transformed the Tower Center into a vital forum for the discussion of foreign relations in this part of the world. I think when you take the World Affairs Council of Dallas-Fort Worth, chaired by Pat Patterson, one of our new members, and the Tower Center, there is always something compelling going on in this area.
Jim Hollifield is also a professor of political science at SMU. He teaches European History and he, too, is an expert in immigration. He gives papers on immigration all over the world. I frequently receive emails from him from Turkey or France or New York, and he flew back from New York last night especially to be here this morning. And Jim, I appreciate that very much.
Harry Joe is an attorney with Jenkins and Gilchrist which is one of the most respected law firms in Dallas. He specializes in immigration law, and he can be quite inventive in his advice. Last year I traveled to Taipei and I interviewed a very impressive trade minister, and shortly after I returned home, I received an email from that trade minister saying that he had a son living in Seattle who was desperate to stay in this country. He had studied computer science on various campuses and run out the string on his student visa, he had worked at high tech companies and played out the string on his worker visa, and he didn't know where to turn. Well, Harry had two pieces of advice. First, marry an American citizen; that would solve everything.
Well, I got in touch with the young man and I suggested this. He said he had already thought about that, but he had been unable to find a candidate that would work, that would say “yes”. So I went on to Harry's second piece of advice which was move to Canada. Canada has far more advantageous migration laws and if he could establish himself in Canada, and from that base move back to the United States, he could do so on far more favorable terms. I bring this up just to show you how very creative Harry can be, and also how very generous. He was giving his time away in this instance and it was very kind of him.
Carole Wilson is a political scientist at the University of Texas at Dallas, and her expertise is in the politics and elections of the European Union and Mexico. Carole has at least two books from the presidential election in Mexico this year. You all remember it was held in July, and finally settled in September when Felipe Calderon was named president, having won by half a percentage point, and sworn in yesterday in a melee that looked like something from Gilbert and Sullivan. The ceremony lasted four minutes, which was all he could stay safely in the chamber. And of course, his opponent, Lopez Obrador, has been demonstrating on the streets for months; he swore himself in on November 20 in a mock alternative ceremony.
I want to add that Carole, Harry, Jim and I did a program on immigration for the Dallas Committee on Foreign Relations summer before last, and it's very good to have the gang together again.
I'm very pleased that we're joined this morning by Jack Hunt. If you read Jack Hunt's resume, you will see that he is the quintessential Texan. He's involved in agriculture, land rights, grazing rights, water rights; he is the Texan of our imagination. And what's more, he went to Harvard. Jack Hunt runs the King Ranch, and in the past year he has developed a second career: debating the president's proposed guest worker program with Dallas Congressman Pete Sessions all across the state. The congressman does not favor this program, opposes it; Jack Hunt favors it. And we'll be hearing more about that. I certainly want to thank Barney Young for persuading Jack to be with us today. That was a great help, Barney.
Jim, let's start with you. At the symposium that you put on, that the Tower Center put on with the Federal Reserve Bank in October, Barry Chiswick, of the University of Illinois in Chicago, said: “The question is not why there is so much immigration, but why there is so little. Do you agree with that formulation?”
Hollifield: Yes, I do. If you look at the world migrant population today, the best estimate we have is a quarter of a billion people living outside of the country of their birth. Now, you may think that 250 million people is a lot of people, but when you compare it to the size of the world's population, you only have less than 3 percent of the people in the world today who live outside of their country of birth.
So the big question - and I agree with Professor Chiswick, a good friend of mine - is why more people don't move? The vast majority of people stay in the villages where they were born, but the fact of the matter is, we are seeing increasing movement, increasing numbers, and as my colleague, Caroline Brettell, pointed out earlier, we are now at historic highs in this country in terms of numbers; we haven't quite reached the percentages that we saw at the end of the 19th century.
I think Americans, in particular, are very well placed to feel the brunt of this world migration because we are a classic nation of immigrants or, as some have said, a nation of nations. This is something that has happened multiple times in our history, although we've only had four great waves of immigration. I think one of the things that makes this latest wave a bit more problematic is that it was a long time between the third and the fourth wave of immigration. So this is a relatively new experience for Americans. Most people don't remember or didn't experience the third wave of immigration.
I'm not surprised that the political pot is boiling in this country, and I would just add that Americans are profoundly ambivalent about immigration. They worry about it; they want it controlled; they want it reduced - if you believe opinion polls - but on the other hand, I was tempted to ask how many people in this room have Irish ancestry, how many of you in this room have German ancestry.
We know that Ben Franklin, for example, said that Germans will never make it; they cannot be Americans because they're medieval peasants, basically, and they don't know how to live in a free and democratic society. Well, guess what? Ben changed his mind about that because those Germans turned out to be constituents there in Pennsylvania; he shifted his thinking.
I would just conclude with one other anecdote about the Irish. Probably many of you in this room have Irish ancestry. I love to tell the story about an African-American young man who, like so many, fled the south in the 19th, early 20th century, and went to New York looking for fame and fortune. He'd heard stories about all the Irish people there, and he got to New York City and he wrote a letter back home and said, “I've met these Irish people, and guess what, they're white; they are white.”
Cullum: Harry Joe, we had a precipitous fall in foreign students in this country after September 11th. Students like Carol Brettell, who came to go to universities in the United States. It's beginning to pick up again. In the last twelve months, I understand we issued about 590,000 student and exchange visas. Nonetheless, the growth in foreign students in Japan, France and Germany exceeds the growth here in this country. Do you think we're doing all that we need to do to attract and keep the talent we need?
Joe: No, I do not. After 9-11, we saw a precipitous drop in overall immigration and specifically legal immigration to the United States. We became a nation inhospitable toward foreign students, toward foreigners in general, and obviously, the reason was pretty clear: our country had just been attacked by terrorists. But I want to point out what former INS Commissioner James Ziegler said, and that was these are immigrants; they were terrorists. And that's the distinction that a lot of people have failed to recognize.
Because we stopped giving visas, because we made it practically impossible for scientists and performing artists to meet their commitments due to visa delays, we became viewed as a country that really didn't want them here, and that was unfortunate for us because it gave an opportunity for other countries to open their doors and to tap into the tremendous brain power that foreign-born people can bring to this country.
We're now beginning to recognize the need to open ourselves up. We have a very antiquated visa system; we have unrealistic quotas for allowing temporary workers to become permanent residents. And like the example you pointed out, the very highly trained engineer who could not fit into our immigration system because our laws didn't allow it, he had to go elsewhere. Well, Canada gained from that. Other countries have benefitted from all the scientists that we have basically turned away because we have a non-responsive system.
Earlier Caroline Brettell mentioned the shortage of bilingual teachers. We have a tremendous need for bilingual teachers in our school systems here in this very county, in this very city. The H-1-B visa system, unfortunately, does not cut out or exempt bilingual teachers from the cap. As a result, numerous school districts, like Dallas and Irving, have a crying need for bilingual teachers and no access to them. They're desperately trying to hire bilingual teachers. The truth of the matter is the market is not there; there are not enough of these qualified workers.
An interesting figure: we have 37 million foreign-born residents in the United States; 30 percent of that number, 12 million, are unauthorized workers, they're illegal migrants. That's really the crucial problem we're confronting today.
You know why these people are here? I will tell you this: there is no physical fence or virtual fence or any other legal system that is strong enough to stop the basic human need and desire for economic improvement; finding a way to better themselves and to make life better for their family. That emotional need will overcome any physical obstacle you wish to put up.
We have an antiquated immigration system that has not enabled these 12 million workers, the predominant number of which are from Mexico and South America, do become legal. We are in the 21st century with a 19th century set of laws for these people. That's why we have 12 million undocumented, illegal workers. They have come to this country and are performing jobs that, quite frankly, my children and your children and your grandchildren simply will not do. They have established residences here; have developed lives here and have U.S.-born children.
The politics of demonizing these people will not be viewed favorably in the history of our country. When you have communities like Farmers Branch and Hazleton, Pennsylvania, enacting a set of laws that you can easily compare to those laws that existed in this country for the earliest part of the 19th century to the mid-1950s, the Jim Crow laws, the internment policies that we subjected our Japanese-American citizens to, the Chinese exclusion laws that were enacted in the 1880s, and the Nuremberg laws of the 1930s. Those are laws that human society is not proud to have on the books. When you look back and see what Farmers Branch has done, what Hazleton, Pennsylvania, has done and what many other cities could very well do, they are politically demonizing the politically disenfranchised, those who do not have a voice in government.
So we're facing a very serious issue. I think it is the most paramount immigration issue that our country faces today, and will continue to face as long as our political leaders are not willing to address it. There is a realistic, pragmatic approach that must be achieved and it is not realistic for politicians to believe or wish that the problem would just go away.
Cullum: We're going to hear from a couple of our political leaders, Senator Hutchison this morning, Senator Cornyn this afternoon. We'll let them have their say.
Carole, turning to you, I've heard you say, and I've heard your husband, Matthew Wilson, at SMU, say that evangelical churches, particularly in North Carolina and elsewhere, are doing a remarkable job of looking after immigrants; bringing them in, finding them jobs, finding them doctors, really helping them, and of course, encouraging them to vote in an evangelical way at election time. Tell us more about that.
Wilson: I went to school in North Carolina - my Ph.D. is from Chapel Hill - during the time that there was a massive change. Caroline Brettell's numbers show that during that period, primarily Hispanics were immigrating to North Carolina. From my experience, it appeared to be seasonal agricultural workers who moved from the South, from Georgia picking peaches, to North Carolina to pick tobacco on the farms or work on chicken farms, and eventually stayed there. So there was a major demographic shift in North Carolina during that period.
And one of the things in that area, and throughout the South and Georgia that we've seen, is that evangelical churches have done a very good job of attracting and providing services to immigrant communities. As Caroline Brettell noted, these new areas for immigrants, these new gateway cities, suburban and rural areas, lack a lot of the infrastructure to deal with immigrants. What we see is an increasing number of non-governmental organizations that provide some of these services for immigrants.
One of these organizations or groups is evangelical churches. First of all, they provide Spanish language services for a group of people who have historically strong religious values and strong ties to religious organizations, usually the Catholic Church, but given that the Catholic Church has not filled that void and doesn't have that many services in North Carolina or rural Georgia; evangelicals have been filling that role.
They provide services like childcare opportunities and negotiations between immigrants and landlords, and this has been a very interesting goal of these churches to provide and proselytize at the same time, to immigrants in these areas.
It will be interesting to see, if these immigrants are able to vote at some point, if this socialization has had an impact on them. I think we see the same thing here in the Dallas, Texas area where evangelical services have attracted a number of immigrants and provide a lot of these same structures.
Cullum: Jack Hunt, after the 1986 Reform Act was passed, a number of people living in Mexico, rural areas of Mexico, flocked to the United States to work on farms in this country, and then their numbers began to fall off a bit. Then NAFTA was enacted. The same thing happened; people flocked back and their numbers began to drift downward. And this fall I was reading - maybe some of the rest of you were - stories about farmers who couldn't get their crops harvested because they didn't have enough migrant workers. Have you had problems like this at the King Ranch? Have your friends or colleagues had this difficulty?
Hunt: Yes, there have been a lot of anecdotal and actual stories relating to that. A good example is the Florida orange crop. You all know we've had two severe hurricane seasons prior to this year. The crop was the lowest, I think, it's been since the freeze-damaged crops back in the 1970s. I think four to five million boxes of oranges were not harvested this year because we couldn't get labor to pick the oranges. Similar stories in California.
There's been a lot of coverage in the press about various farmers who haven't been able to pick their crops or harvest their crops, and particularly for the fresh and the fruit crops, timing is critical. You can't wait for some Homeland Security person to clear some guy in Mexico under the H-2-A program when your pears are rotting on the trees or the oranges are rotting. I think agriculture is facing what I would call a “perfect storm” on the labor situation.
Keep in mind that for each agriculture production job, there are about four to five jobs upstream to get that food to the consumers. Especially with fresh crops, if we don't deal with this problem effectively, we're going to be exporting the production of those crops overseas, and that has implications not only for our food supply, but also for the kind of society and land use we want to have in this country. So it's an enormous problem.
We have four ranches pretty close to the border. We have scores of people that die on our property every year trying to come into the United States. We have a very, very close relationship with the Border Patrol, and if you can get a Border Patrolman to talk when he's not on the record, he'll tell you that if they didn't have to deal with the people that are coming here to work, they could do a lot better job on border security than they're doing now. So we must have some effective guest worker programs for agriculture, or as I said, it's going to be a "perfect storm" shortly.
Cullum: Jim Hollifield, Phil Martin, who was at your symposium, proposed that the federal government charge a fee to employers of migrant workers - people like Jack Hunt - and that those funds be used to promote mechanization and job restructuring I guess he meant to reduce the need for migrant labor. What do you think of that idea?
Hollifield: Well, as much as I like and respect my colleague, Phil Martin, I think that would be a band-aid fix on this problem. There is a tremendous demand in this country for both skilled and unskilled labor.
Later on this afternoon, you're going to hear from the senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank, Pia Orrenius. When she comes, I hope you will ask her this question, because there are all these thorny issues about how much one kind of labor substitutes for another kind of labor. In other words, do unskilled immigrants compete directly with unskilled Americans? She can show you, chapter and verse, that that is, in fact, not the case. The number of unskilled, that is less than high-school educated, workers in this country has fallen precipitously; you don't have those kind of people, those kind of workers available at the bottom end of the labor market and immigrants come in to fill that void.
Now, immigrants do compete with other immigrants. Earlier somebody raised the question of why is it that immigrants who are here might want fewer immigrants coming. Well, that's a perfectly rational thing because those new immigrants are going to compete directly with the immigrants that are already here.
Can capital-intensive techniques, new technologies substitute for labor? That's a huge question. I think it can. It's a long and arduous process. We've seen some of this already in agriculture, but it's not something that's going to be an immediate fix. I'd like to hear what Mr. Hunt has to say about this, in particular.
I would like to very briefly, for the audience here, lay out what I consider the three models of immigration policy that we historically have seen in our country. I want to say to the two senators who are sitting in the back of the room that I, in particular, feel your pain politically on this issue. It was the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tip O'Neill, a great Irishman from Boston, Massachusetts, who said, and I quote, "Immigration is political death." He said, “If you get started down that path, you're going to make everybody angry and it's just not going to do anybody any good.”
He may be right about that, but it is an issue, as Harry Joe just pointed out, that we can't run and hide from. I mean, how many illegals are we going to have in this country? Is 15 million too many? How about 20 million; how about 30 million? I mean, sooner or later we're going to have to confront that issue. But let me just lay out these three models very quickly. I think you go back to the Colonial Period in our history; there are the three models that I would describe as follows.
First of all, the Massachusetts model which was the Puritan model. You can come here, but you better have the right kind of beliefs; the right kind of attitudes. You better look the right way and sound the right way. Even Roger Williams, if you remember, got into trouble with the Puritan fathers and they chased him off, and he went to Rhode Island and founded his own little colony. But that's one strand of thinking in our history which my colleague, and one of the great political scientists of the 20th century, Sam Huntington, is very worried about. He thinks that is what's happening to America, to American identity. Sam is the latest incarnation of the Puritan fathers' thinking: this is a WASP country; it was founded by WASPS and it should always be a WASP country. I don't know what my Chinese-American cowboy neighbor here would have to say about that.
The second model is one that's come back over and over again in our history and it's the Virginia model. I think the two senators, in particular, should think about this Virginia model which is equivalent to the guest worker model: we don't care who you are, what you look like, what you think, what you believe, but we need your labor and we want to get you here, get you working. And of course, in the darkest periods of our history, that meant bringing in slaves because they were the best form of labor since they didn't have any voice or any rights. We also had a lot of indentured servants, if you remember.
There is no such thing as a pure guest worker program, not in our age, simply because it rests on the fallacy of homo-economicus which is that people are pure economic units, that they're pure commodities. We know that's not the case. Immigrants are people and they're going to have to be ultimately treated like people. And to quote my friend, Phil Martin, “there's nothing more permanent than a temporary worker”. Once they get here, they are going to put down roots; they're going to marry; they're going to have kids; they're going to want to settle. We’ve got to leave a pathway. We can argue in a democratic society about where that path leads, but there's got to be a path to a green card and somewhere down the line to citizenship.
The third model comes from our friend, William Penn, the Quakers in Pennsylvania, and I'm happy to say I think this is the model where we more or less settled. We welcome you to come here; you don't have to believe all the things that we believe; we can tolerate lots of different views - this goes back to Caroline Brettell's presentation earlier - you can work and you can, to quote Abraham Lincoln, "Rise as high as your talents will take you." This is, after all, the American way; it's the American dream, but you do have to accept a certain core set of values that we have in this country, which are basic democratic and republican values in the old sense of republicanism , that you believe in representative democracy and you buy into the founding principles of our country and our republic. As long as you accept those values, you can believe what you want; you can practice the way you want, and you can work, find your way, find your opportunity, and pursue your dream.
I would plead that we try to go back to that Pennsylvania model.
Cullum: Harry Joe, there are those who say we need a national identity card. What do you think of that idea?
Joe: Thank you, Lee. I'm not opposed to having a national ID card. I would like to look at it more; how you achieve it, what are the obstacles to receiving it. It may be a piece of the chit that you have to give to reach a political resolution of this huge issue.
When the idea first came up in the early 1980s - actually, back in the late '70s when President Carter instituted the Select Commission on Immigration Reform – people didn’t buy the initial idea of employer sanctions. But you know, we have it; it's a very flawed system, but we have it.
Certainly now, post 9-11, the issue of national security is something we never would have believed back then. While I still believe that there are a lot of problems with a national ID card, I'm not totally convinced that you can say never. It may be a viable piece of the overall solution.
Cullum: Carole Wilson, Mexican workers in this country send home to their families in Mexico about $6.6 billion a year. Now, this is Mexico's second largest source of hard currency, after oil revenues, and I heard one Mexican official - now out of office after the election - say that what he, and I'm sure others, want most to see is integration between the two economies. Do you see anything like that ever happening? I don't know what he meant. Perhaps he meant the labor market.
Wilson: The idea of an integrated North America, something akin to the European Union. In 1930 if you had predicted a united Europe, everyone would have laughed and said that it was politically impossible. I'll repeat that mistake, potentially, and say no, it will never happen between the United States and Mexico.
NAFTA is certainly an effort at integrating markets between the two countries, but the idea of a unified labor market where we actually adhere to the capitalist notion of free movement of labor is largely impossible.
The remittances to Mexico from the United States are a tremendous source of Mexican financial security, and clearly, Mexico likes that. But I think Mexico has a vested interest in developing the Mexican economy, even if that eventually dries up, because there's much more to be gained from developing the Mexican economy in such a way that it keeps its workers, keeps its skilled workers who leave. It would keep the capital from Mexico in Mexico. Currently anyone who has any large amount of money in Mexico will invest in the United States, rather than in Mexico because it is a much more secure financial situation in the United States than in Mexico.
Although Mexico is clearly improving and stabilizing, if you've got a tremendous amount of money, you'd rather hide it from the Mexican government in the United States.
Mexico needs to put in considerable effort to stabilize its economy, to increase its collection of taxes, to maintain its workers. Now, the scary part from the United States' side; the Pew Charitable Trust did a survey last year, I believe, and one of the figures that came out of it was that more than 45% of Mexicans said that if they were able to, they would come to the United States. Now, that is a tremendous potential population movement. If we had an integrated system where people could easily migrate, the idea of 45% of the Mexican population coming to the United States would obviously overwhelm the United States.
What would have to happen, before we could see some sort of labor market integration, further financial and capital integration between the United States and Mexico, is that Mexico would have to solidify and stabilize its economy and raise its economic status in such a way that it would be financially in the United States' interests to do so. This is a similar trajectory of what we've seen in Europe - that is, as the European Union has expanded, it has expanded with very specific targets that the southern European countries, first of all, then the eastern European countries had to meet before being fully integrated into the European system.
Cullum: Jack Hunt, NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, is still controversial. From your perspective, what do you think its impact has been, both on Mexico and on the United States, after several years of experience with it?
Hunt: I have to think about specific commodities because NAFTA has different impacts on different commodities. King Ranch is a large sugar producer, there are some things about NAFTA that we don't like. But on the balance, I would say the other commodities we're involved in, which are grains and meat and so forth, I think it's worked pretty well. I don't have any statistics to cite, but I think Mexico is now our second largest trading partner and perhaps our largest beef customer, and of course, a lot of their cattle come over here.
Cullum: I believe it's Canada, Mexico, now China, then Japan.
Hunt: Yes. So obviously NAFTA has had a significant impact. It's hard for me to generalize because you've got to go to industry sector and to commodity sector, and different people have been affected differently. But overall, it has been a good outcome, compared to the fearful talk at the time.
Cullum: I think I'm mistaken. I think China has now supplanted Mexico and is now number two, and will probably be number one within five years.
Jim Hollifield, back to you. Speaking of China, a dean at the China University for Politics and Law said that in China today the primary concern is not so much poverty of material resources as it is poverty of rights and power. You said exactly the same thing last spring during the immigrant demonstrations here in the United States, that the primary issue is rights. Do you still think that's true?
Hollifield: Yes, I do. We are witnessing in the world today, or we have witnessed - I hope it will continue - a wide range of democratic transitions, and Mexico is a case in point. Mexico is our neighbor and Mexico has gone through an enormous amount of political and economic change over the past 20 or 30 years.
If I could just go back to NAFTA for a moment. I remember the famous statement by Ross Perot, the giant sucking sound that was going to occur if we had this agreement with Mexico. Well, we know that the agreement did not materialize I don't know if Ross is here in the audience; if so, I apologize.
Cullum: Oh, no, he would speak for himself if he were here.
Hollifield: I'm sure he would speak for himself.
Cullum: There would be no apology needed.
Hollifield: If he were here, he would definitely be up and ready to take me on. But the fact of the matter is, if you look at the Mexican economy at the time of NAFTA, it was slightly smaller than the economy of Ohio in terms of its output. Mexico is our neighbor; it is going through a tough time right now with its politics. If you think back to what Mexico was like 40 or 50 years ago when it was all just basically gringo bashing, I think Mexico is now undergoing a democratic revolution. And a wise commentator writing about NAFTA said, “Forget the economics; it's foreign policy.” Mexico is our neighbor and we need to work with the Mexicans.
I would slightly disagree with Carole Wilson in the sense that I do think there is at some point - I don't know if it will be in my lifetime - there will be a fully integrated North American market, even on the labor side, but we've got a long way to go before we get there.
But to go back to your question about rights, there are three things that drive people to leave their country; that drive their thinking about leaving. One of them is obviously economics. As Harry pointed out in his opening statement, people are looking for opportunity, and as long as we have the kind of differentials that we have in the world today and markets are allowed to function at a certain level, people are going to move; the basic push-pull dynamic is always going to be there. But that's only the necessary condition for people to move; it is not sufficient. There are two other sufficient conditions for that to happen.
One of those sufficient conditions is you've got to know where you're going and you've got to have some idea that there's going to be something or somebody when you get there. That's what the sociologists and the anthropologists tell us about the networks, the family networks, the kinship networks. If you look at the Mexican migrants here in Dallas, you know they're coming from specific places and villages in Mexico, they've got relatives here, and it's almost like a rite of passage, going north to seek your fortune when you're a young man. Those are the networks. So you've got to have the networks that connect the economies together and the sending place and the receiving place.
The third factor, however - and Lee, this goes to your question - really has to do with politics and with rights, in particular and the issue of status. People do make a decision about moving for political reasons. I was just at Columbia University yesterday, participating in a seminar, presenting some of my work, and one of the scholars there, Rodolfo de la Garza, who was many years at the University of Texas at Austin, has found that a lot of Mexicans, when they come here, think about how bad things are politically back in Mexico and how much their opportunities are limited there; how wide open it is here in terms of rights and the openness of this society. That's the third and sufficient condition. Americans have to be open; they have to be relatively open and welcoming for people to come here.
Now, we cannot throw open our borders. I think everyone in this room, hopefully, would agree with that. That would be a catastrophe. But we do have to find a system that manages this, that allows people to come here and work, that gives them an ultimate path so they can fully enjoy the rights that come with being a member of our society. It is very unhealthy for us, as a country, as a democracy, to have millions and millions of people who are living in the shadows just outside of the social contract.
So the question of rights is key, and I'm happy to say that we have been on a positive trend. Democracy has been spreading in Mexico. I know that they're having a setback right now; I know we're seeing some setbacks in Latin America, but we've got to keep the faith on this and keep pushing for an open society, open markets, and societies where rights of individuals are respected.
I would make one final plea with respect to where we're going politically in this country. I think we are stronger; we are healthier as a society when we are open, when we allow markets to operate within the constraints of our laws. And I would say that on the side of trade, free trade, it's very politically difficult to take the short term political heat to fight to keep our economy and our society open. The same is true with immigration. It's very hard politically to take the heat necessary to allow markets to operate within bounds that are acceptable to the American people.
Cullum: Harry Joe, I heard a German economist say that within five to ten years the average age in France, Germany, Italy will be 47, 48, 49, something in that vicinity, while the average age in the United States will be exactly as it is today, 35, which gives us an enormous advantage in the world of commerce. Would you say that some of that advantage is due to immigration?
Joe: Oh, I would definitely say so. Before 9-11, from the period of 1990 through well into the late 1990s, early 2000, we saw a huge influx of immigrants. I think we had something like 14.7 million new immigrants during that period of time. The majority of these were either family-sponsored immigrants which were primarily younger people; they were two-thirds, and the other third was predominantly employment-based. These were the new engineers; these were the young people who came to this country under exchange visitor programs and under student visas. They studied in this country and they chose to subsequently seek employment and seek permanent resident status in the United States, and they subsequently became U.S. citizens.
The United States has and will continue to be the country of choice for immigrants. I heard an immigration officer tell me one time, he said, “You know, Harry, it's funny, we have one-fourth of the world's population and the other three-fourths want to come here.” There's a lot of truth to that. I think it's very true. I think a lot of it was attributable to immigration, and if we get our house in order, that will continue to be the case.
Cullum: Carole Wilson, one observer said at Jim's conference that wages in Mexico are beginning to converge with wages in the United States. Is that the case, and if so, can we expect a decline in migration from Mexico?
Wilson: Yes, there is some wage conversion, I think, in some sectors of the economy. By and large, the wages in the United States are still much better, certainly for the average Mexican worker. I think there's good reason over the next few years to think that while immigration might not decline overall from Mexico, simply because even if things stabilize well in Mexico, Mexico will still have a number of immigrants from Central America who will be traveling through Mexico to the United States. We will still have, I think, a large number of immigrants.
But I think there are reasons in the Mexican economy, should it stabilize, that will keep people in Mexico. I think one heartening development over the past ten years has been the stabilization of mortgage rates in Mexico, of interest rates in Mexico. At one point ten years ago, or a little bit longer than ten years ago, mortgage rates were well above 30% for people with credit. Now, the idea of buying a home in Mexico with that type of interest rate, or owning property, is an absurdity.
If we think about Mexicans who want to have a home, who want to establish a home, it's much easier to do in the United States. You can go to the suburbs in Dallas and purchase relatively easily. For those men, for example, who come to the United States to work and eventually realize that they could keep sending their money home or they could save it and bring their family to the United States and can actually buy a home here at some point. That's an obvious thought process for these people.
With the stabilization of interest rates in Mexico gives people some hope of gaining a home. With the rising wages in Mexico, I think this establishes a much more conducive situation for at least a lower-middle class and middle class Mexican families and gives some hope to Mexico itself. I think this is a product of political stabilization across certainly the past 15 years in Mexico as a result of that.
Cullum: Jack Hunt, Ken Auletta has a story in the current issue of The New Yorker on Lou Dobbs. They had lunch. Lou Dobbs suggested the Four Seasons which is one of the most elegant restaurants; this man of the people suggested the Four Seasons. He arrived, driven in a Town Car, very expensively dressed, looking terrific - he's done well with his populism. I just wonder what you think of Lou Dobbs and his stand on immigration.
Hunt: Well, one of the things I've learned is not to get in arguments with people that buy ink by the barrel or have TV cameras at their beck and call. Obviously, I would disagree with much of what he would say.
One of the issues we see with migrant workers that we employ, either directly or indirectly, is that a lot of them currently want the ability to go back and forth. But because of the increased enforcement and the threats from Homeland Security and others, they aren't. Either they're afraid to back and forth or they're going underground.
I would also like to mention the fact that the people we employ earn well above the minimum wage. A vigorous orange picker can make $100 a day doing that work. It's hard, hard, tough work. I know people that work in the vegetable fields make $10 or $12 an hour. So it's not the labor price; it's the nature of the work; it requires young, vigorous people to do the work, and there probably aren't many folks in this room that would want to do that work, or even their grandchildren or children would want to do that work.
I think if we're going to have a domestic food system, and particularly in the higher value crops that aren't really subject to automation and mechanization - and there are a number of crops that just aren't - I think having a guest worker program is absolutely vital. We need some system that allows people to come over here and work for these seasonal crops, or they can rotate from crop to crop or they can get back and forth to Mexico or wherever they're from rather easily as part of an organized program. I don't think Lou Dobbs would agree with that at all, frankly.
Cullum: Probably not. Does anybody want to take up for Lou Dobbs?
Male Speaker: On this last issue, your statement that the laborers can make much above minimum wage, I think Lou Dobbs would say, and others have said, that if the minimum wage had kept pace with, say, CEO compensation, it would now be about $23 an hour. And so the freezing of the minimum wage throws that statement well off. I mean, if you have somebody working ten hours, they should be making $230. So that's kind of Dobbs's perspective on that.
Cullum: Lou Dobbs thanks you. Anybody else?
Make Speaker: I'd like to ask Dr. Wilson specifically a question. Your European and British bona fides haven't been utilized as much as I think we should. Those are societies, both in the EU and Britain, that are also dealing with the "other," and the question that I have for you is what can we learn from their approaches to their immigration and/or societies of people who haven't quite integrated into their society in comparison to our own policies? And I know that this is both a political and social question and I know that it's a big one, but I would appreciate any insights that you want to share with us about that.
Wilson: Sure. I'll make a few comments and then I'll hand it over to Jim who also does a good bit of research on immigration policy in Europe. Just a couple of things that I'd like to point out on that: Yes, this is a worldwide question. The issue of immigration in the United States is not unique in the sense that every major developed country in the world has an issue of immigration, and the European Union, Britain, France, Germany have had histories of dealing with immigration. I think we can take insights in each of these countries, aspects of what we would want to do and not to do.
In Britain's case, with the issue of recent terrorism, the question of developing what are essentially ghettos of immigrants, and the problem of isolation of immigrants rather than incorporation of immigrants and the result of not accepting these social values that Caroline Brettell talked about, that Jim Hollifield talked about, and the result of that being anti-British and anti-U.S. sentiment and the resulting potential for terrorism.
Germany has had a history of problems with Muslim immigrants in Turkey. The questions there include whether to extend full rights, economic rights and/or social rights to guest workers. Here is a guest worker program that turned to a permanent worker program, and generations of essentially disenfranchised, secondary citizens without educational opportunities, without the opportunities, created a permanent lower class in Germany that only now has to be dealt with.
France, likewise, has an issue of riots; we've seen burning cars in certain areas as a result of lower class immigrants. The question is whether this is a social or an economic problem, and I think it's both; combined with the questions of should Muslim schoolchildren be allowed to wear the Muslim garb. And these are social questions as well.
So the United States is not unique in dealing with this problem, and I think no country has got it perfectly right. The idea of European integration, allowing greater access and mobility of labor, of citizens will create new challenges for Europe as well. With the influx of eastern European immigrants into Western Europe, Britain is going to be a massive receiver, we've already seen, of Polish immigrants, of Lithuanians, and there are concerns about gypsies coming out of eastern Europe into Britain. There was a big series of articles in Britain about this.
Hollifield: I'll just add a few things to this. I spent many years of my life in Europe and studied Europe for almost 30 years. Caroline Brettell, sitting back there, also started as a scholar of Europe, looking at Portuguese migrants back in the days when the Portuguese were one of the largest groups migrating from southern Europe into northern Europe.
To address your point about the European comparison, as societies and economies grow and expand, we want our economies to grow as fast as they can; we want our pie to expand so that it can service a larger population. I think what we have to avoid is falling into what I call the Malthusian trap. Some of you may remember Parson Malthus back in the 18th century, I believe it was, who said there's no way Europe will be able to sustain a population of X; everybody will starve to death. Well, it turns out Parson Malthus was overly pessimistic about this.
What we saw after World War II in Europe was economies that were devastated and had to be rebuilt and reconstructed and when you have extraordinarily high rates of growth, you're going to need labor and you're going to need lots of it. The Europeans brought in millions and millions of workers. First of all, they were lucky, I guess, in the sense that they had a ready supply of culturally compatible Catholic workers coming from the south. They came from Italy; they came from Spain; they came from Portugal. Well, eventually, all those people would become citizens of the European Union which is what they are today. And to go back to Mr. Hunt's point, they don't have to worry so much about going and settling somewhere and being trapped in one place because they can move around relatively freely. So I think that's a page we should take out of the European book.
Unfortunately, there are two downsides to this for the Europeans in comparison with the United State - or three, if you want. Try to remember these three. Number one, the Europeans did not have in place the kind of expansive naturalization and citizenship regimes that we have in this country. Our citizenship is defined in the 14th Amendment which says that anybody born in this country is automatically a citizen of the United States, and that had absolutely nothing to do with immigration. Does anybody know why that was in the 14th Amendment?
Hollifield: It was there to make slaves, African-Americans, into immediate and automatic citizens. That is our basic citizenship law, and I would say that it is a very good law because you don't want to build up enormous populations of people who remain outside of the bounds of formal citizenship. If you look at the Turks in Germany, for example, this is a source of enormous problem in Germany. The French are much better about this; the British are better about it. Not all the Europeans practice this kind of very narrow approach to citizenship. But you have third generation people living in Germany who can't become citizens. It is just not sustainable in a democracy.
And again, I would urge you to question Pia Orrenius from the Dallas Fed about this. She's done some brilliant studies, looking at the economics of immigration in Europe and the United States. We do much better because our labor markets are more open; they're more flexible. They do not drive people out of the labor market because of the regulations and inflexibility that you have in those labor markets. Actually, as bad as it is, we do pretty darn well. I mean, we get these people in here and we get them a job.
Somebody once said in Germany the greatest fear or the greatest nightmare is getting a refugee who comes into Germany - and the Germans get lots of refugees - and they get into the labor market and they get a job. The Germans don't want them to work; they put them in camps and they give them welfare. In this country, it's the opposite. The fear would be to get somebody in here who's a refugee. You've got to get them to work; you've got to get them started on a path for integrating into society.
The third thing - and this is the really sad thing that we all have to keep in mind and be sensitive to - in the 1960s they had exhausted the supplies of culturally compatible workers coming from southern Europe. Where did they look? Well, they began to look to their former colonies and especially into the Muslim parts of Africa, North Africa, West Africa, and the Middle East. They got workers who were working in the bottom of the labor market; very uneducated, poor Muslims coming into these societies, and their societies did not do well over time with these people, and of course, now you've got a lot of alienation. You've got second generation Muslims living in Europe who are connecting with the terrorists back in Pakistan, back in South Asia or maybe in the Middle East or somewhere else.
So the Europeans have a problem in the sense that they've got a really tough, culturally incompatible group here. Don't get me wrong; the vast majority of Muslims in Europe are doing very well. They're integrating just fine, but there are some on the margins and they tend to be the more educated ones who are tempted by this terrorist path oddly enough.
In comparison, the United States has been lucky because the Muslins coming here are educated, tolerant, liberal-minded Muslims. Many of them have come here, the best and the brightest. So we're getting the cream of the crop, whereas the Europeans have gotten those at the bottom.
Cullum: Well, Jack Hunt, Carole Wilson, Harry Joe, Jim Hollifield, thank you. You've been voices of enlightenment. Thank you very much.