Saturday, June 11, 2011

Startling New Data – (Not really)

As Gregg Esterbrook famously said: “Torture numbers and they’ll confess to anything.”

The Brookings Institution has recently published a new report telling the world that we have been wrong all along about the educational level of immigrants.  We have been conditioned by the media, the politicians and other global institutions to read the term "immigrant" as "undocumented," or at best combining the two.

And indeed the Brookings report lumps them all together without distinction.

Their source of the raw data is the 2009 ACS data from the Census Bureau.

And here is what the chart looks like:

It would appear from the release of the report that the stereotype that Hispanic immigrants and Hispanic illegal aliens have a low educational level is incorrect.  Or perhaps that the flow of immigrants from Latin America has slowed, and the pace has significantly increased from developed nations.

It turns out that Brookings is merely slicing the pie a bit differently.  They have created a middle category they are calling “Mid-skilled,” which means a range from high school diploma to some college.  (One could examine the quality of a high school diploma from the Third World, knowing that what some countries call “Engineers” are really just draftsmen, and “Attorneys” are little more than notaries public.)

Pew Hispanic Center looked at the exact same data and released a report in January of 2010 and came up with this chart:

An analysis of this chart without that “Mid-skilled” parsing shows this result:
Americans HS Diploma or less
Americans with college
Foreign Born HS Diploma or less
Foreign Born with college
Mexican Born HS Diploma or less
Mexican Born with college

I am showing the Mexican Born data because that one country represents over 28% of all the foreign-born residents of the United States and a whopping 60% of all illegal aliens.  And those numbers do not include their US-born children.

Here is another Pew Research chart showing the education level of Americans compared to legal immigrants and illegal alien.  (In this case Pew attempts to separate illegal aliens from immigrants, and concludes that there are significant differences.)

In conclusion, this is a puff piece released during the amnesty season in Washington to distort long-standing data about the skill level of illegal aliens.  Like Obama, they want Americans to think of Microsoft employees when they hear the word “undocumented,” but it is hard to ignore reality.

Did I mention that Brookings gets their funding from George Soros and isn’t really anything like their motto of “Quality. Independence. Impact.”?  But their website looks clean and professional if that counts for anything.

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