People in the immigration field are well aware that visa abusers present an enormous challenge.
The release of "Binational Dialogue on Mexican Migrants" at a briefing on Capitol Hill today reminds me of the problems created by "study abusers" who will surely twist this report to advance the interests of the mas migration forces.
The document itself, if it resembles its summary, contains some interesting information, albeit delivered from a point of view that regards all migrants as good and all unhappy consequences of migration on the receiving nation as being unworthy of mention. There are, for instance, no illegal aliens and no American laws being violated, only undocumented immigrants and unauthorized migration. There are no costs to American taxpayers and no adverse impacts on the least-powerful in America's labor markets.
But in contrast with the recent report of the Migration Policy Institute, which deliberately overstated the extent to which the federal government funds immigration enforcement according to the critique of my colleague, Jessica Vaughan, this report does not twist the facts it discusses, but it very carefully selects the topics it studies.
So here is what must be a very expensive, bi-national migration study, involving many of the most prominent experts on the subject and 18 respected institutions (in the United States, Mexico, and Canada) dealing with Mexican migrants that only discusses what happens to those migrants, with nothing on what they do to our society.
It is a little like mounting a massive, multi-institutional study of the minimum wage law, but dealing with only one variable — what that law does to corporate profits.
Today's briefing on the Hill will surely generate press coverage, and we will learn in the media that net migration from Mexico is close to zero (in the recent past), that "all migrants, documented and undocumented, were viewed in a positive light", and that such migrants are being treated badly (in different ways) by the U.S. and Mexican governments.
We will not be told about the thumb on the butcher's scale that seriously distorts the conclusion that net migration from Mexico is nearly zero — the counting of the movement to Mexico of U.S.-born children as if it were a return of Mexican nationals to their home country. While there will be a lot of quite interesting data and observations about how Mexico treats returned migrants, there will be no discussion of the elephant in the room — the 11 or so million illegal aliens in the United States, most of whom are from Mexico, and their current and future impacts on the country.
And the media treatment will get worse once the White House and the mas migration people start discussing the document.
This is a shame. I think well of many of the people involved with this study, and regret the impending abuse of what is in many places an intriguing study.
What the study found about migrants who had returned to Mexico will be the subject of a future blog.