Did Democrat Invite Colbert to Distract From Dr. Swain’s Damaging Testimony on Immigration?

US Report (Jacksonville, Florida), September 26, 2010

{snip} What pop media has provided little information about is the real testimony given by Dr. Carol M. Swain, professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University. Did Democrat representative Zoe Lofgren (Calif.) invite Colbert to distract from Dr. Swain’s reasoned, fact-based testimony?

Begin with the professor’s blunt statement–her testimony on immigration is posted on the House Judiciary website: “America does not have a shortage of agricultural workers.”

Swain goes on to explain, “If there were truly labor shortages, one would expect rising wages and more attractive working conditions than what one finds. One would not expect to find unemployment rates of 10.8 percent in May and 7.9 percent in August.” She said those figures suggest “there are native workers actively seeking employment in the sector that includes agricultural workers, forestry, fishing and hunting.”

Ag workers usually have less than a high school education. Swain said there is a high turnover rate in this sector–they leave fields and farms, she said, for other low-wage, low-skill occupations.

That creates competition with low-skilled Americans, she said, for a dwindling supply of low-wage jobs.

Swain also pointed out that low-skilled native born workers with minimal education have an unemployment rate of 20.8 percent, but if you use the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ U-6 measure of unemployment, you end up with an actual unemployment rate of 32.4 percent.

Thus, native born blacks and Hispanics with a high school education or less suffer from current policy–among native born blacks in this sector the unemployment rate is 29 percent but the U-6 measure is 43 percent.

Put flatly, Swain said, “The influx of low-skilled guest workers hurt native born blacks, Hispanics and poor whites.”

As a solution, Swain believes the federal E-Verify program should be aggressively encouraged. And she cited steps by President Barack Obama’s administration that have eroded immigration laws. Swain said, “Unfortunately, the Obama Administration has done little to help native workers. The Administration has essentially ended workplace enforcement and they have cancelled the rule that would have required employers to act on the ‘no-match’ letters from the Social Security Administration. These letters would have helped employers identify fraudulent social security numbers.”

{snip}

Swain made more sense than all the congressmen and other witnesses when she stated, “We do not need additional guest workers until the unemployment rate of native workers approaches zero percent. What we do need is for Democrats and Republicans to join forces in pressing for the enforcement of existing immigration laws.”

Despite the fact Dr. Swain is a distinguished, widely published scholar, pop media overlooked Swain’s testimony, focusing instead on silly antics from a celebrity comic. {snip}

[Carol Swain’s testimony can be downloaded as a PDF file here.]

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