2016 Katz Award Ceremony Transcript

By Mark Krikorian and Michelle Malkin on June 5, 2016

Related Publications: Panel Press Release, Panel Video


Mark Krikorian
Executive Director, Center for Immigration Studies


Michelle Malkin
Columnist, MichelleMalkin.com


National Press Club, Washington, D.C.
Superior Transcriptions LLC




MARK KRIKORIAN: Michelle Malkin isn’t just a commentator. I mean, Washington’s lousy with people who just bloviate all the time. (Laughs, laughter.)

MR. : Doesn’t she bloviate just some of the time?

MR. KRIKORIAN: Yeah, OK. (Laughs.) That’s true. No, Michelle does bloviate some of the time. I mean, look, that’s what we – that’s what she does. But she’s not just a commentator. On immigration, at least, she’s done a lot of real reporting – I mean, shoe-leather reporting that is necessary to understand the many wrinkles of our immigration policy. And she’s been doing it consistently for a long time, not just in response to the outrage du jour.

Michelle’s the daughter of immigrants from the Philippines. She got her start at the L.A. Daily News and the Seattle Times, and has gained national stature as a blogger – one of the earlier bloggers, and author of five books now, syndicated columnist, TV personality. She’s now affiliated with the newish site Conservative Review. She’s also a serial media entrepreneur, having started and then sold the very successful websites HotAir.com and Twitchy.com. And I asked whether she’s got another one in the works, but she said she’s pretty much given up on that, so.

Her first book, “Invasion,” in 2004, was on immigration. It used the 9/11 attacks as the jumping off point, but went way beyond just the 9/11 attackers to chronicle all of the security and criminal vulnerabilities in our immigration system. Her latest book, which is kind of the news peg for the award, was released in the fall in hardback by Simon & Schuster. It’s “Sold Out.” This is the hardcover version. I think she and her co-author, John Miano, get more royalties if you buy the hardcover version, but soon the paperback apparently – it’s not out yet or for sale, but apparently they just got in the mail; will be out – will be available as well.

I have to admit, I’m a bad, bad author because I always look for the used versions that are one cent plus ($)4.99 in postage and handling. Sorry. That’s when I use my own money, not when I use the Center’s money.

“Sold Out” is the – is a detailed look not at the security stuff and the illegal immigration, the wall, the border, the stuff that’s important but gets talked about a lot; rather, it looks at the crooked parts of our employment-based immigration system. With her co-author, John Miano, who’s joining us today, Michelle examined in great detail the various visa programs used by corporations to import cheap labor. I don’t want to turn anybody off from buying it, but it’s almost a textbook of the various – the ways that the immigration system is manipulated to import cheap labor by – for moneyed interests. And it looks not just at H-1B, which at least finally some people are starting to have heard of and understand – which is, you know, an improvement – but also the EB-5 visa’s abuses; the L visa; the F visa; the abuses of the B visa, which is supposed to be for just business travel and is used to import workers; and the OPT program; and a whole alphabet soup of crony capitalist tools that have been inserted into the law at the behest of lobbyists.

Just a little quick background on the award itself. It’s named in memory of Eugene Katz, who was a member of the Center for Immigration Studies Board until shortly after his 90th birthday in 1997. After Dartmouth and Oxford, Gene started his career as a reporter at the Daily Oklahoman. And in 1928 he joined the family business, which was called the Katz Agency, which was a(n) ad – basically, a radio ad agency – they also owned some radio stations – and became president of it in 1952, and was a half-billion-dollar firm that dealt in radio and TV ads, but also owned radio stations. Eugene passed away in 2000, and we named the award after him to honor his memory and his service for the Center.

So, with no further ado – because, frankly, you’re not interested in hearing me talk – (laughter) – I want to present the award, the 2016 Eugene Katz Award for Excellence in the Coverage of Immigration, to Michelle Malkin of Conservative Review. Michelle? (Applause.)

(The 2016 Eugene Katz Award for Excellence in the Coverage of Immigration is presented.)

MICHELLE MALKIN: This is an awesome tchotchke. Thank you. (Laughter.) And we should have an extra etching here that says “not just a bloviator.” (Laughter, laughs.)

MR. KRIKORIAN: That’ll be on your tombstone. (Laughter.)

¬¬MS. MALKIN: (Laughs.) I really appreciate everyone being here, and I want to thank the Center for Immigration Studies and Mark and everyone on the staff for this award. It is definitely an honor. And when I look at the list of past recipients, I’m extremely humbled, probably most because I am typically known for the opinionating and the punditing side of what I do, although for people who’ve followed me for the past quarter-century it’s clear that the thing that has motivated me the most over the last quarter-century has been the ability to have a platform to report stories and to give voice to narratives that have been unpopular.

And as someone who was a product of a – of an extremely progressive, small liberal arts college – Oberlin College, yes – (laughter) – I am a survivor, or they survived me, one or the other – (laughter) – I have been steeped from a – from a very early age in extremist identity politics and an ideology that brainwashed generations of young Americans and second-generation and third-generation Americans to believe that our country is inherently and institutionally and incurably racist and nativist and cruel and mean. And my experience as a child of legal immigrants has been exactly the opposite. So I’ve always felt, particularly as a journalist and an exerciser of the First Amendment, a special – I wouldn’t call it a burden, I’d call it a blessing to tell stories that counter those narratives.

And I think the arc of my coverage, from the time I worked at the Los Angeles Daily News in the very early days, when the Save Our State initiative first came into the fore, seeing how a lot of my colleagues in the media were demonizing honest, law-abiding citizens who believed in the sovereignty of this country, knowing that those people were not merely people who are exercising their, quote/unquote, “white privilege,” but that they included among them many naturalized Americans who believe in the rule of law; to the days that I worked at the Seattle Times, and my eyes were opened by many good folks who worked on the front lines up on the northern border that the – that the problems and the lapses in security up there should not be ignored as well – and, by the way, I think it was because of my time in Seattle that I was able to report I think one of the biggest scoops that I’ve had over my career, which happened 14 years ago.

Some of you may remember, and some of you were probably in the same position I was – I lived in Montgomery County, Maryland at the time – being told by authorities to zig-zag back and forth to avoid bullets because the D.C. snipers were on the loose. And it turned out, some of you may recall, that Lee Malvo, the younger of the snipers, was an illegal alien. And I got that scoop from somebody who worked on the northern border who was familiar with an incident that happened there in 2001, when Lee Malvo and his mother, who had come to America as illegal stowaways – landed in Miami and then worked their way up to the Pacific Northwest – were apprehended, actually, by Border Patrol agents, who recommended to the Seattle INS that they be detained and then deported. Their recommendation was ignored, and a series of events, of course, led Lee Malvo and his militant jihadist stepfather, John Muhammed, who killed 10 people during the Beltway sniper spree.

I’ve always been obsessed, I think, with the intersection between people and politics and policy. And when policy fails and politics whitewashes those failures, people are hurt. And there are very real human consequences that, whenever I write these stories, I never, ever forget.

I’ll never forget the Jamiel Shaw family that I first wrote and blogged about in 2008, when Jamiel Shaw was shot by an illegal alien who had been just recently released after serving time for assault charges. And their family has never let go of their fight against Special Order 40 and the sanctuary policies that resulted in their teenage son’s death.

I’ve never forgotten the family of Kris Eggle, who was a park ranger who was shot to death by an illegal alien from Mexico wielding an AK-47. He died in the summer of 2002, and I remember contrasting the silence and the lack of any attention to this young man’s death – needless death – on the border with the inordinate amount of attention at the time that some washed-up celebrity, Jason Priestley – “Beverley Hills 90210” – was getting for being in a minor car crash. And the juxtaposition of these two things just – to me just cried out for some kind of attention. And the Eggle family buried their son in Cadillac, Michigan, and went on to become vocal advocates for border control.

More recently, the stories that John and I have been able to tell about American workers who’ve been harmed by the cheap foreign labor racket and the pipeline that includes not only H-1B visas, but all of the alternative pipelines into the country – whether it’s B-1 or L-1 or the OPT program, which John is fighting now in court, which is – we struggled with the right adjective to call it “Orwellian,” “Kafkaesque,” “Dickensian” – (laughs) – all of the above.

This award, really, I feel is a – is a tribute to – not to any of the storytelling that the recipients are ultimately responsible for, but more so the whistleblowers, the activists, the advocates who are the boots on the ground in what has been an eternal battle. I consider it a privilege to be able to do what I do, so this is really icing on a cake to win an award like this.

But I also feel a sense of sadness. I feel like there are so many missed opportunities that my colleagues in the media have. It’s such a goldmine for someone who’s willing to pursue the who, what, when, where, why and how we’ve gotten into the chaos that we’ve gotten in, whether it’s the impact on national security or the impact on economic security.

I’d like to be able to say that, given the current political environment, that things might be looking up. But then I see headlines like the ones this morning about what happened in San Jose at a Trump rally, and it’s all the same characters that I’ve been spotlighting for years and years now, agitating. I suppose if there’s any room for optimism it’s that we live in a media environment now where there’s – I think there are more channels for distribution and dissemination of information that there ever have been. In the time when I started, back when there were still just three main news channels and there was no such thing as the Drudge Report, talk radio consisted of Rush Limbaugh and that was it, now we have – now we have more choices. On the other hand, there’s still a lot of censorship. And I don’t think it is a mistake – certainly not an accident – that you go on a place like Facebook and it is extremely hard sometimes to get alternative narratives about immigration across. Fortunately, there’s also more channels to be able to deliver that message when those narratives are suppressed and censored.

So we’ll keep doing what we’re doing. And as Mark said, the paperback for “Sold Out” is coming out I think in a week or two. We’re gratified for everyone who’s been able to spread the word about it, but I think more so encouraged that American workers are standing up and telling their own stories in a way that I have never seen before. They’re not waiting for “60 Minutes” to tell their stories for them, although it would be great if they did. (Laughs.) Or The New York Times, for that matter.

And I don’t know what my next venture is going to be, but you can find me pretty much everywhere, on Facebook and Twitter and my blogs and Conservative Review. And the syndicated column, which I do have to give a special thanks to Creators Syndicate, which has syndicated me since 1999, and where much of the work of the columns that I’ve reported with original reporting on immigration have appeared.

So thank you very much. I appreciate it. (Applause.)

MR. KRIKORIAN: Thank you very much, Michelle. Michelle said she’s willing to take a couple questions.

And since I did pay for the sandwiches, I will get to ask the first question. (Laughter.) It’s kind of a general question, but you know, what do you think the prospects are for immigration, depending on who gets elected and, I mean, just sort of your crystal ball bloviating? I’m sorry. (Laughter.)

I don’t know if this is on. Here, why don’t you just use this one? Here.

MS. MALKIN: Obviously, if Hillary gets elected – God forbid it – it’ll be business as usual. And this is someone that Barack Obama called “the senator from Mumbai.” (Laughter.) So there you have it, from Obama’s lips himself.

I am hopeful, but I always try to manage my expectations. If we get a Trump White House, obviously, I’m hopeful because many of the people that I most admire and respect on these issues have Trump’s ear. And when you have people in Trump’s inner circle like Stephen Miller and Jeff Sessions and Kris Kobach and Phyllis Schlafly, I’m encouraged. But I think that it behooves supporters of strict immigration enforcement and sane immigration policies to hold a Trump administration’s feet to its fire. And obviously, if you’re in this room, I mean, it’s also clear that building a wall is just the beginning. And I think that’s most clear especially to people who have serve in the rank-and-files of immigration enforcement.

Obviously, that was much of the message of “Invasion,” that it’s not just the physical borders, but it’s every aspects of immigration enforcement – the front door, making sure that we have the right people who are not snoozing in consular offices, or not doling out special preferences to people who pose us risks and dangers, and the enormous amount of work that needs to be done with regard to turning around the deportation abyss. You know, I said – I said that, you know, I have this special obsession with both people, politics and policy. And every aspect of – particularly of deportation policy is dysfunctional.

So, hopeful, but holding my breath.

MR. KRIKORIAN: Good, thank you.

Anybody have any questions? Yep, go ahead. Just speak up and I’ll repeat it if necessary, because I’m not sure how many microphones we have.

Q: I think one of the underreported stories are people that are naturalized citizens that came in legally, and I’ve spoken to many that are against just open borders. And that doesn’t – I think the assumption in the – in the main – the major media is that everyone who came into the country is for open borders. I know that isn’t the case. Do you have any comment on that?

MS. MALKIN: Yeah. Obviously, I mean, for the last 25 years I’ve been speaking out on behalf of children of naturalized Americans who, you know, reject this idea of open borders. And I think we’re seeing more of that now. Partly I think it’s a – it’s a pushback. And I think, in this election cycle too, now you’re seeing – there was a video that went viral over the past week of Latinos for Trump. And actually, every time I travel in an airport, I’m stopped by people who want to give me their entire immigration story – (laughs) – and then – and then harangue me for not being pro-Trump enough. (Laughter, laughs.) So there you go.

But I think that even there, though, you have to be very careful because, you know, as John and I have pointed out in “Sold Out,” I think all of these foreign guest worker programs have been greatly exploited. And I think that a lot of times you have one particular strain of open borders Republicans who tend to want to lump anyone under the nativist category who wants to put more restrictions and wants to be much more careful about how these foreign guest worker programs are operated.


Q: Hi.

MR. KRIKORIAN: Speak up so everybody can hear.

Q: I have a question I bumped into by accident the other day. In California, the Democrats have achieved their goals. They’ve used immigration to lock up a complete majority. Now how are Democrats looking back on this? And are they having second thoughts? They got what they want, political power. Now do they want to in any way restrain immigration or change it to offset other things that might happen? The reason I say that is partly because one person I know out there said among the Democrats I talk to in California, there’s more willingness to restrict immigration now, because they look around and say I don’t like this, I don’t like that, and they can say that because they have won the power they feel freer to speak about it.

MS. MALKIN: Interesting. I’d like to know who that is. (Laughter.) And what part of California.

It’s an interesting question, because from what I can tell – especially out in Colorado now, which is experiencing the Californification process – I think most Democrats are still pretty happy with how it’s turned out. I think that maybe on a provincial level, where they’ve felt the effects of it, that the negative impact – whether it’s economic or security – they’re starting to have a little bit of amnesty remorse, maybe. But I think I see more of that on the East Coast, particularly where Democratic mayors are now much more emboldened to speak out about the failed refugee experiment. So where you have influxes of Somalian refugees, in Maine or in other parts of New England, there have been Democratic mayors who have not only vocally protested or, you know, not just locally but protested to the State Department and to the Obama administration. So, yeah, I think we’re seeing some signs of that, although I wouldn’t say California so much. But that is an interesting question.

I mean, I think they pick and choose. It’s sort of, for most mainstream progressive Democrats, they can pick and choose when they protest the negative consequences of immigration. So that’s why occasionally you’ll have a Dick Durbin or a Pat Leahy on the side of some marginal reform of – you know, of a foreign guest worker program or H-1B. And actually, Bernie Sanders is a good example of someone who’s spoken the right way, on behalf of the American worker, but then had his campaign conversation and completely muted his criticism of H-1B at a – at a time when it should have helped him much, much more. You know, he hardly made it a showcase. He could have. He would have been a perfect foil for Trump if he had. But it’s Trump who had the Disney workers speaking for him, not Bernie Sanders.


Q: Inside the conservative movement – I was interested in your presentation at CPAC this winter; gigantic audience, and you had them really stirred up. But as you have said, the subject of this book is not one that you would necessarily have embraced a few years ago. You were very concerned about illegal immigration.


Q: You were concerned about crime, a lot of those issues. But, you know, sort of the effect on regular workers, it’s taken a little while for you to really grab hold of, really sink your teeth in. We know that at CPAC, leaders of CPAC are – a good share of those leaders are not where you are, and a lot of those people in this audience weren’t. It was kind of a little bit bold the way you spoke for this issue. Of course, you had that book.

So my question is, how did you feel in the end was the reception? What kind of feedback did you get afterwards? Because you were really speaking against a lot of the – a lot of the leaders of the conservative movement when you were talking about taking on those guest workers.

MS. MALKIN: It’s a great question, Roy, and it was a learning process for me. Partly, the time that it took to digest all of that information. And as John and I have communicated with each other as we were writing this book, actually when we – when we compiled it all and you saw the finished manuscript, it was almost like, “damn, we knew it was bad, but not this bad.” (Laughter.) And, you know, this is a guy who’s been in the trenches for, you know, some 30 years who was saying this.

I think that there is a – there is a deliberate unwillingness to want to look at the ugly truth on the part of a lot of doctrinaire free-market conservatives. And I wouldn’t necessarily say that I had that myself. It was more I was surrounded by people who wanted to keep repeating the mantra – and you’ll see this among, you know, certain segments of the right today – well, I’m against illegal immigration, but I’m for legal immigration. And there’s never any nuance about that.

For me, the same kind of analysis that I had applied to “Invasion” is how I came to arrive at where we came to with “Sold Out,” which is really just doing the very simple task – well, simple on its face – of asking, are these programs accomplishing what these legislators said that they would do, and what are the actual consequences of them, and then just comparing the rhetoric with the reality. And in no way can you look – as we painted, you know, the very vivid picture in “Sold Out,” can you look at what people said when, just take H-1B for example, was created and enacted, and what promises were made, and what American worker protections were supposedly built into the law, in no way can you look at that and compare it to the reality over the last 25 years – (laughs) – and say that this computes. It does not compute.

And I think, you know, the book – this book is divided into two halves, two general halves. And the first part is about H-1B, and then the second big chunk of it is about all of the other programs. And the same thing applies to how all the other programs have been run, too. So even for somebody who’s not, say, a doctrinaire free-market conservative, just somebody who believes in the idea that we should have, you know, quote/unquote, “good government,” these programs are failing on all counts.

Then, of course, you have to realize – and this is why we included a whole section on following the money trail – is that there are a lot of vested interests, particularly on the big business right – the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, right? – that are not merely content with looking away and averting their eyes politely at the truth, but are actually – have vested interests in lying about it and propagandizing. And that’s where – that’s where my blood starts to really boil. (Laughs.)

So the response from a lot of my colleagues on the right was to – well, was to ignore the book. And I think that that’s the hardest thing to fight, is the sin of omission. But I have pretty big platforms, and we’ve done as much as we could to try and spread the word and get it out there. I’ve been surprised that, you know, even some of the media organizations that I’ve had long affiliations with that are – that are very much against what we’ve had to say, and in fact are targeted in the book – like Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News Channel had me on to talk about it, you know, sometimes in an obligatory way – (laughs) – for a couple minutes or so, but that’s all I need to try and get the message out there. John and I had a big opinion piece in the New York Post, owned by Rupert Murdoch as well.

But I think it’s really the alternative channels of getting the book out that have helped us the most. For example, you know, an hour-long joint appearance that we had on C-SPAN, which I think provoked the most response. And you know how they divide the lines up between liberal, conservative and independent callers, and I joked that it was a kumbaya moment because every single – almost every single caller on each line agreed with what we had to say. There is a point of consensus that we are reaching on this, and it’s gratifying.

MR. KRIKORIAN: Thank you. A couple more? Yeah, Ken.

Q: Recently, four attorneys for the government outright lied to a federal judge in furtherance of a constitutionally questionable scheme. Actually, this is an attack on the fundamentals of the United States and less is on immigration. Do you have any comments on that?

MS. MALKIN: Absolutely.

MR. KRIKORIAN: This is the Texas v. U.S. lawsuit.

MS. MALKIN: Right.

Q: I got to – I got to interrupt. You know, I’m the canary in the coal mine. I didn’t bring my hearing aid today.

MR. KRIKORIAN: Oh, sorry. (Laughter.) OK. Sorry, yeah, I’ll –

Q: I heard him, but I know I’m missing other questions.

MR. KRIKORIAN: Yeah, Ken was asking about the judge chastising the Justice Department lawyers who lied to him in the U.S. v. Texas DAPA/DACA lawsuit.

MS. MALKIN: Right, and there was actually a follow-up yesterday where it appears that they’re still defying the judge’s order, and that there were untold numbers of even more approvals in the wake of that tongue-lashing from Judge Hanen.

I want to juxtapose that with an article that was in The New York Times today. I can’t remember the exact headline, but it said something like – it was this dire, apocalyptic warning that a Trump administration “threatens the rule of law, scholars say.” (Laughter.) So, you know, the specter of, you know, whatever imagined acts of administration tyranny that Trump would be responsible for, compared to not just this one act and not just with regard to immigration, but the plain fascism that we’ve experienced under Obama, is astonishing. It’s happened in – with regard to the environment. It’s happened with regard to some of these decisions that benefited certain businesses and labor unions under the bailouts. It’s happened with the IRS witch hunts.

MR. KRIKORIAN: Obamacare.

MS. MALKIN: And Obamacare. I mean, the list goes on and on and on.

I think what’s extraordinary, obviously, was the judicial opinion from Hanen. And John was just mentioning that Judge Hanen absolutely belongs on Trump’s shortlist for the Supreme Court. (Laughs, laughter.) Why he was omitted might be a story. I don’t know. He should have been at the top of the list.


Q: Michelle, Jim Robb from Numbers.


Q: I was just wondering if you could give a little more detail of how much you believe the immigration issue will be exploited – (off mic) – the presidential campaign, and what you think is going to happen to the Bernie voters if they do nominate Hillary – (off mic).

MR. KRIKORIAN: Just the question, to repeat it, was what’s the role of immigration in the presidential campaign, and where does she think the Bernie voters will go.

MS. MALKIN: Well, obviously, if not for Trump’s very wise decision to make – at the time remember what it was was the border surge, the orchestrated/manufactured crisis by the Obama administration. And, of course, that summer the murder of Kate Steinle in San Francisco.

I think that this shows just how stupid – stupid, stupid – the Republican Party non-leader leadership has been over decades. And it is the number-one reason why the decrepit GOP is in the trouble that it’s in.

I wrote this column several years ago, after the 2012 postmortems that the RNC issued, where they basically told people like me and you that we should shut up. And I mentioned the Jamiel Shaw family. And on Twitter, Jamiel Shaw’s father had tried to get the attention of Reince Priebus after they put out that postmortem because Reince Priebus made a big deal out of wanting to go on a listening tour. He was going to go on a listening tour and hear from people. And here was Jamiel Shaw saying, ooh, ooh, could you come to L.A. and listen to me? I’ve got something to tell you. And he didn’t – Reince Priebus didn’t even bother to answer the tweet.

And so I was just – I was a troll, OK, and I’m really good at being a Twitter troll. Hey, hey, let me, hey, and I kept tweeting him. Can you – nothing, nothing.

So what happens? Four years later, it’s Donald Trump who has Jamiel Shaw’s father up onstage with all of these other families of victims of non-enforcement; all of the members of The Remembrance Project; the family of David March, who I profiled in “Invasion,” was an L.A. deputy who was shot by an illegal alien who had been the beneficiary of catch-and-release policies. And they’re still not listening.

So the other problem is, it’s not just on the illegal immigration side. I mean, why did Ted Cruz lose? Well, he had an opportunity to reach out to those Disney workers or those Southern California Edison workers or the workers at Abbott Labs who were laid off and forced to train their H-1B replacements as a – as a condition of their – of getting severance, and he didn’t do it. He was – he was only forced to talk about it. It was not something he really, really cared about.

And so when people – when some of my friends ask me, well, is Trump just going to change his mind like he changes his mind on so many other things? Is he going to be as mercurial on this issue of immigration? I don’t think so. I mean, I sat and watched one of these rallies where he connected with those people. He gets it. And that’s all they’ve ever wanted, is for someone – for some politician to do something other than pander to illegal alien DREAMers, that there are Americans who are dreamers too.

As far as Bernie Sanders voters, I don’t know what the hell they’re going to do. (Laughter, laughs.)

Q: (Off mic) – out there.

MS. MALKIN: Yeah, but I’ve got to imagine that they’re – that there are some of them who’ve been affected by these open borders policies who will have no problem pulling a lever or writing Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, that it’s going to be a much easier decision than people think it’s going to be.

MR. KRIKORIAN: Let’s take one last question. Yeah, Steve.

MS. MALKIN: Hi! Good to see you.

Q: Good to see you. You know, your work on H-1B and the tech industry is fantastic. What’s interesting to me is there is some media discussion of this impact, right, and even some liberals. Economic Policy Institute – (off mic) – will put out a study saying, hey, this is a real problem and so forth. But what’s so striking about that to me is, if you look at college graduates in the U.S. labor market, well, they’ve struggled, they haven’t done as well as they were, and in the tech sector you see no wage growth, all the things that one would – would certainly demonstrate no labor shortage. But, boy, at the bottom end of the labor market, things look incredibly bad, right? You’ve got lots of segments of young and less-educated people where a majority don’t even work anymore, where their real wages have declined 10 to 20 percent over the last 30 years. And that’s where immigration has a really big impact – a large fraction illegal, a large fraction legal – and yet that doesn’t (rest ?) anywhere near as much, even though in some ways the evidence is really powerful. Things look terrible at the bottom end of the U.S. labor market, where they just look not so great at the top end.


Q: And it’s interesting that no one sort of gives a darn about that, even though the numbers are so powerful.

MS. MALKIN: Yeah, that’s a really good point. Although even there you see some glimmers of awareness in some pockets of the media that you wouldn’t expect. BuzzFeed did a – did a piece – actually, it’s a series now; I think they’ve done two – on H-2B.

My caveat about that is they always approach it from the perspective, though, of the exploited workers – the exploited foreign workers – because that is the progressive impulse, is because America is a bad, evil place, it’s always about the consequences on foreigners as opposed to looking at – (laughs) – what’s happening to the people here who have been either displaced or aggrieved.

And that’s a – similarly, the San Jose Mercury News, which did the big piece a couple of weeks ago on Elon Musk’s factory workers, the Eastern European factory workers. You know, again, the equation was more about the impact on them. There’s a lawsuit now. Some of the foreign workers are suing for back wages, and I think one of them was a – was injured. But never looking at the flipside of that, even though it’s not theoretical – (laughs) – you know?

Q: It’s amazing that they –

MS. MALKIN: Yeah. Yeah.

MR. KRIKORIAN: OK. Well, thank you all. And I respect everybody’s time. I mean, this is work day. I don’t know if you guys have to get to work. (Laughter.) But I do.

Thank you all for coming. Thank you very much, Michelle, for all you do. And we’ll see you a year from now. (Applause.)