May 8, 2006


In Spain, the Newcomers Have Been Good for Business (Carlos Alberto Montaner, 5/08/06, Real Clear Politics)

Immigrants are not welcome anywhere. I know that, firsthand. I have emigrated three times in my life (to the United States, Puerto Rico and Spain) and on every occasion I've heard the same five complaints:

• Foreigners take jobs away from us.

• They work for lower wages, to the detriment of local workers.

• They commit most of the crimes.

• They abuse our social services disproportionately.

• They don't obey the laws or the rules of social coexistence of our community.

That's why I was delighted to hear Esperanza Aguirre, president of the Autonomous Community of Madrid (ACM), say exactly the opposite during a conference at Florida International University in Miami on April 3, at the same time that tens and hundreds of thousands of immigrants -- mostly, but not all Hispanic; both legal and illegal -- demonstrated on the streets of 20 American cities to request job and residence permits.

According to this lawyer and politician, former minister of education and former president of the Senate, the region she governs is the richest in Spain. It has achieved a per-capita income rate 30 percent higher than the median rate for the European Union, basically as a consequence of the unflagging work of the immigrants who have literally invaded the ACM in the past six years and now account for 15 percent of the population.

Thanks to the immigrants -- most of them Ecuadorans, Colombians, Argentines, Dominicans, Romanians and Arabs from North Africa -- the number of people who contribute to the social security system has increased substantially, to the benefit of a population that aged dangerously without contributing enough replacements to the labor force.

It's not as if opposition to immigration is based in facts.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 8, 2006 9:37 PM

Just the opposition to muslim immigration.

Posted by: Amos at May 8, 2006 10:20 PM

Mr. Judd;

So your view is that if a little of something is good for you, unlimited amounts of it are good for you as well?

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at May 8, 2006 10:39 PM


No, it's that if the unlimited amount is good for you then limiting it may be unwise. Our experience as compared to those with limits suggests the accuracy of that view.

Posted by: oj at May 8, 2006 11:14 PM


Yes, yes, we know you make no pretense about it being other than hate.

Posted by: oj at May 8, 2006 11:15 PM

--Ecuadorans, Colombians, Argentines, --

Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't they have something in common w/Spain?

Posted by: Sandy P at May 9, 2006 2:05 PM


Posted by: oj at May 9, 2006 2:14 PM

Have to agree that it's futile to talk facts to many restrictionists. That's why Podhoretz might as well give up trying to convince Derbyshire on the NRO Corner.

Derbyshire has admitted that he was an illegal immigrant himself, for crying out loud. His problem isn't with illegal immigration, it's with Hispanic immigration. He's actually gotten pretty explicit about this, as in his rant against "hordes of Central Americans pouring into our country."

And, as Derbyshire himself might admit in one of his naughtier, shock-the-bourgeoisie moods, such sentiments are really beyond the reach of rational argument.

Posted by: Casey Abell at May 9, 2006 2:32 PM
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