Intersection of low-skill migration and school closure

Loyal readers are aware of my interests in the effect of low-skill immigration on American society and the passion of government bureaucrats for closing public schools in favor of an online school fraud. These intersected today in the Sanctuary City of New York. “NYC students forced to go remote as city houses nearly 2K migrants displaced by storm at their school” (New York Post):

Students at a Brooklyn high school were kicked out of the classroom to make room for nearly 2,000 migrants who were evacuated from a controversial tent shelter due to a monster storm closed in on the Big Apple.

The city made the move amid concerns that a massive migrant tent at Floyd Bennett Field would collapse from torrential rains and gusting winds — packing them instead into the second-floor gym at James Madison High School five miles away.

“There’s 1,900 people getting thrown into my neighborhood, half a block from where I live and we don’t know who they are,” he said. “They’re not vetted. A lot of them have criminal records and backgrounds and we don’t even know.”

How would Americans “vet” migrants? What do we know about who did what in various foreign countries?

“They told us we had to get everything out by 5 [p.m.],” gym teacher Robyn Levy said outside the school. “They sent us the email at 6 in the morning. I don’t know when we’ll be able to back.

“What I want to know is why here?” Levy said. “Why not send them somewhere where students wouldn’t be disrupted, where students learning wouldn’t be disrupted?”

Why indeed? If there are only 1,900 migrants and the majority of New Yorkers wanted the city to be a sanctuary for the undocumented, why can’t 1,900 spare bedrooms be found among the righteous?

Here’s what used to be a convenient runway…

13 thoughts on “Intersection of low-skill migration and school closure

  1. Who cares? The affluent don’t use the public education system and so far this is only happening in poor neighborhoods and poor kids get crappy educations anyway so what difference does it make if they sit at home or go to school? Regardless of what they learn they will all receive diplomas and afterwards get good jobs at Door Dash. And the affluent will continue to get their avocado toast delivered pronto. Sounds like win-win.

  2. Say it isn’t so–not a runway used by tens(?) of hobbyists and/or one percenters daily! What’s next, velodromes?

    Republicans love to bang on and on about immigration but when they get the chance to actually do something about it, when they control all three branches of government, they always whiff, just like they did after practicing 70+ times to repeal “Obamacare.” At this point, the allegations of alleged immigrant harms and proposed remedies have escalated to the point of absurdity. Building a wall? This isn’t a problem republicans actually want to solve; they just want to rant about it.

    Blaming immigrants for everything that’s wrong with this country in a theoretical way is a huge turn off. I know lots of folks who are convinced immigrants are harming them, but I’m not sure a single one of them can articulate precisely how. It’s a special kind of imaginary paranoia I believe to be common amongst conservative types, not unlike the imagined reasons one needs lots of guns and ammunition, for example–everyone wants to do you harm or break into your home and rape your loved ones. Or illogically associating transsexuality with pedophilia. It’s all rampant bogeymen stuff. Even your quote above mentions the common parroting along the lines of a lack of “vetting” being a problem. The data says illegal immigrants commit less crime than native born Americans. Other than tracking expenditures and tax dollars, have you personally been harmed by an illegal immigrant in some first-hand way? Do you know, or have you spoken with, any of these hoards of supposed scammer illegal immigrants? Also, do you weigh any of the potential benefits from the hard working illegal immigrants who work in construction, factories, agriculture, etc.? Surely there’s some kind of tangible offset.

    You are careful to make the distinction of “low skilled.” What of the high skilled immigrants? Aren’t they more likely to displace and reduce wages for American workers in a more impactful way? What Americans are lining up to do the work low skilled immigrants are doing such as hard labor? In my experience, companies love high skilled immigrants, because they’re cheap and obedient, lest they get quickly deported. Also, what of the medium skilled folks who just overstay their visas? Europeans, Aussies, etc.? Do we need to lock down all tourism?

    I’d support reasonable immigration reforms and policies, but I don’t see republicans being reasonable again at any point in my lifetime. McCain may have been the last reasonable republican candidate that isn’t completely crazy and/or full of it.

    • Whoa…..Slow down ther Señor. Yes, the GOP has done nothing to advance immigration reform but it is simply wrong to say: “I know lots of folks who are convinced immigrants are harming them, but I’m not sure a single one of them can articulate precisely how”. The financial impact to all cities taking in large number of immigrants, especially woke sanctuary ones, is much greater than you think. Where is the money coming from to pay for government services (education-especially ESL + SPED, health + hospital (free care in Cali), police and court costs (cultural differences has created large uptick – required interpreters alone are costly) and on and on. Who gets fucked when the money is taken especially from the average grunt (straphangers, city retirees, and the gente) who expect safety, clean streets and the trains running on time?

    • SenorP: Your “Blaming immigrants for everything that’s wrong with this country” is a straw man (and you’ve knocked it down beautifully!). Nobody here has said that. If you’re an elite owner of apartment buildings, immigration is great. You pay lower wages to the cleaners and maintenance crew and receive higher rents. If you’re a tenant in an apartment building, immigration makes you poorer. You receive lower wages at your working class job and you pay higher rents to the elite owner of the building. (Harvard analysis for a $500 billion/year transfer in pre-Biden dollars and at pre-Biden immigration levels: )

      For New York Congressional Reps, the immigration camp on the former airport is good because it reduces the chance that New York will lose additional seats on the House at the next Census (an undocumented or asylum-seeking migrant works just as well for entitlement to Congressional seats as a native-born resident).

      For a school system employee, e.g., teacher or principal, a flood of low-skill immigrants is great because it boosts demand for school services and employees and should thus result in higher salaries (also avoid layoffs in a state such as New York that is losing population).

      High-skill immigrants? If they can earn an MD’s salary they have some chance of paying enough in taxes to fund the infrastructure necessary to accommodate them (see ). But, of course, the Massachusetts MDs whom I’ve talked to who are hugely prop-immigration turn immediately anti-immigration when the question is whether a medical doctor from the UK or EU should be able to come here and practice. From a working class American’s point of view, the immigration of a dentist or cardiologist would be a good thing because an expanded supply should lower the cost of dental/cardiology services.

      Have I been personally harmed by a low-skill immigrant, regardless of documentation status? The Harvard study above says that I have been enriched by low-skill immigrants. They do not compete with me for jobs (the ones that I have had in the past 20 years require multiple FAA certificates or a Ph.D. in Computer Science). Although we employ quite a few native-born Americans to keep our 5,400-square-foot house going, the presence of low-skill immigrants has reduced the market-clearing wages for a wide range of jobs, e.g., landscaping, house cleaning, pool cleaning, etc. Two Guatemalan guys, for example, picked up all of the 20-year-old pavers, cut the tree roots out underneath, and put the pavers back down. We might have had to pay 2X or live with a lumpy patio if not for post-1965 immigration. Low-skill immigrants do not compete with me for aircraft hangar space, but they reduce the cost to me of line services (the people who pump fuel into aircraft). The line guys are nearly all native-born, but their alternatives in the blue collar labor market pay less because of the millions of immigrants arriving annually. And the FBO seems to be cleaned by people who don’t speak English, so that turns into a lower hangar rent somehow.

      I also make money from population growth via ownership of S&P 500 stocks and a Vanguard REIT fund that I used to own. Apple can make more money via population growth anywhere in the world, but there are quite a few big companies that are anchored to the U.S. market. The Real Estate Investment Trusts that the Vanguard fund owned were almost all in U.S. real estate, I think. A working class American who lacks an investment portfolio is shut out of this way of being compensated for the downsides of growth, such as traffic jams.

      Maybe the above benefits to me are illusory, though. I might be paying for all of the above quietly via higher taxes for Medicaid, public housing, SNAP/EBT, ESL in the public schools, etc. The U.S. government is 2X the size of Singapore’s (percentage of GDP), for example. Singapore has no low-skill immigration.

    • See a 2007 Harvard study regarding the price that Black Americans pay for low-skill immigration:

      For white men, an immigration boost of 10 percent caused their employment rate to fall just 0.7 percentage points; for black men, it fell 2.4 percentage points.

      That same immigration rise was also correlated with a rise in incarceration rates. For white men, a 10 percent rise in immigration appeared to cause a 0.1 percentage point increase in the incarceration rate for white men. But for black men, it meant a nearly 1 percentage-point rise.

    • @Senorpablo, the summary of your rant is that you are in support of illegal immigrants. To that end, can democrats please, please open US boarders to those folks who legally applied to come to the US but are on a waiting list? I have family members who applied 20 damn years ago and yet they still have to wait 2-5 years before their visa turn comes up. And you know what? One of the kids will be over 21 years old this year which means he can NOT come to the US legally with his family any more.

      So is it fair for illegal immigrants to come and be taken care of but yet we tell others who want to come legally they must wait 20-25 years?

      If you can give me an honest answer to my question, than we can have a discussion. Otherwise you are ignorant to the issue of immigration and immigrants or you don’t give a damn to those who fallow the law.

    • @George, I am not sure opening the border for people following the law and waiting for 20 years will help democrats – their numbers are smaller than undocumented and they may not all vote for democrats – so just because democrats want undocumented immigrants doesn’t mean they should want the other kind.

      If anything, I think they should remove visa checks at airports and forbid airlines from checking documents (security screenings for flights will still be done), so that undocumented people from Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia etc can also arrive easily. And as significant added benefit, that will also help increase diversity of undocumented immigrants here.

  3. Anon – precisely how is it wrong to say what I’ve said, since I was sharing my experience (even if it’s an admittedly small sampling)? I had the same experience with folks who Hated Hillary. People love to hate her, presumably because they were told they should hate her, but couldn’t articulate why specifically: what policies or legislation had she supported they might have taken issue with. I see this behavior frequently among the right. For example, people who hated Obamacare without actually knowing what it was, or that it was actually a concept born of a conservative think tank. Maybe the left is guilty of the same and my bias prevents me from seeing it. Hating things, imagined or real, seems to be the basis of GOP politics. It’s just counterproductive to actually accomplishing things and really just amounts to bitching.

    Philg – Sure it’s a strawman, but isn’t it a common theme here, and with Trump also? It’s just hard to take your arguments seriously at this point since they’ve become so repetitive and one sided. It’s a very complex subject, and your analyses tends to be exceedingly biased. After a while it starts to sound like Trump or any of the other MAGA politicians ranting about rapists, murderers, caravans, drug dealers, terrorists, etc. I guess it’s compelling to some people. The reality seems to be that there aren’t any simple and/or obvious solutions to the problem, since whenever anything drastic is tried it seems to fail miserably, no matter how obvious it seems to be. Didn’t Arizona try to prevent illegals from working or being hired and that lasted only a few months before the politicians retracted those policies? Separating children at the border was a fiasco. I do appreciate you talking through and exploring some of the benefits for a change. I’d love to hear some reasonable, thoughtful and practical solutions to the issue. It’s that kind of framing things in unique ways and looking at them from alternative perspectives along with proposing solutions that I find most compelling of all your topics.

    George – no idea how you came to the conclusion I support illegal immigration, but I don’t think it’s based on anything I wrote. Goal is to see things from both sides and ask thought provoking, good faith questions. There are pros and cons to the issue. What I won’t do is further jeopardize American integrity and credibility in exchange for voting in the folks who talk about wanting to fix immigration, but never do.

    • @Senorpablo, yes, “Build the wall and Mexico will pay for it” is a politician B.S. speech and so is “No human is illegal and all are welcome”. However, have you considered which of the two B.S. speeches is causing the huge influx of illegal migrant?

      Democrats talk about addressing illegal migrant and how to reform migration — however, all they do is talk and talk while leaving and widening the flood gate wide open.

      Also, family separation, and locking illegals in a cage, existed when Obama was president. Out of the blues, it became unhuman and shocking when Trump became president. Why?

    • Building a wall, even absent “Mexico will pay for it,” is absurd, given the scale, complexity, and realities of the actual, practical effectiveness. Trump and the GOP controlled all three branches of gov. Trump is a builder, no one can build like Trump can, so where’s the wall–why isn’t it done?

      I’ve researched your claim that Obama began child separation and couldn’t find any reputable sources that back that up. In fact, there are many to the contrary. According to the information I found, small numbers of children were separated from parents under similar reasonable circumstances which might apply to any child in the US. Claims suggest that there were large numbers of children detained who arrived at the border unaccompanied, which is not separation. This seems to be another of the Trump administrations lies that has gained traction despite zero meaningful evidence to support it. And, if what Trump did wasn’t wrong, why did they reverse course once what was happening became known? Trumps zero tolerance policy seems vastly different that what happened during the Obama admin. Just another rushed, ill conceived and botched policy of the Trump admin. Can you even fathom the level of incompetency involved in taking children from their parents without having a way to ID, track and reunite them? Over 1000 kids still not reunited according to this article:

    • @Senorpablo, the wall doesn’t exist and will never exist as long as “no human is illegal” exist. Nothing will stop illegal migrant, thanks for democrats policy of “all are welcome”. When will democrats come to their senses and accept that we cannot have an open boarder? At least Obama did something about it (when the influx was much smaller) and was given the nickname “Deporter-in-Chief” but when republicans try to do so, they are accused of being uncaring. Go figure.

  4. “They’re not vetted” sounds disturbingly like “They’re not sending their best” is Trumpism infecting the big apple?

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