You know how realtors always say it's a great time to buy a house? — good times or bad, summer or winter, old or young, none of it matters. (Here are some links to realtor ads like this over the past several years). I can't imagine anyone pays any attention to the spin, because everyone understands they're just salesmen making a pitch for their 6 percent commission.
Well, that's what I thought of when I read the recent Wall Street Journal column, "We Need an Immigration Stimulus"
: "an economic downturn is the right time to move on immigration, one of the few policy tools that could clearly boost growth." Spoken like the thankless real-estate agent trying to sell this house in Detroit.
And this: "The pace of lower-skilled migration has slowed due to higher unemployment. This could make it less contentious to ease the path to legalization for the 12 million undocumented workers and their families in the U.S." First of all, it's not "lower-skilled migration" as such that slowed; it's illegal immigration — legal immigration continued last year at the usual level of over one million, because there is no real-world limit to the number of people who'd come here if they could.
What's more, now that the Great Helmsman and his nitwit homeland security secretary have stopped enforcement, even the illegal flow is likely to start increasing again, whatever our economy is like. Especially since Mexico's in even more hot water than we are:
Amid serious concerns that the swine flu outbreak could worsen an already-deep recession in Mexico, the World Bank yesterday moved to provide that nation with millions in emergency aid and set up a special fund for longer-term assistance.
Stung by the credit crunch and weaker demand for its products in the United States and beyond, Mexico is set to suffer a worse downturn than the one in the United States this year, with the International Monetary Fund predicting this week that its economy would contract by 3.7 percent.
Oh, and don't forget the drug war:
A retired military official hired to purge the police force of a northern Mexico border city was assassinated early Saturday, three days after about 70 patrol officers went on strike to demand his resignation.
Col. Arturo Navarro Lopez, named police chief of Piedras Negras, Mexico, earlier this month, was ambushed by assailants wielding AK-47 rifles as he drove near his home at about 5:45 a.m., officials said.