WSJ Editorial Board Takes A Sloppy Shot At Walker On Immigration

Rachel Stoltzfoos | Managing Editor, The Daily Caller News Foundation

The Wall Street Journal took its turn Saturday lashing out at Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker for saying immigration policy should prioritize American workers, in an editorial the big-business-oriented paper since had to correct.

“Republicans used to understand this basic economic principle [more workers can mean more jobs], but the politics of immigration is turning some of them into economists for the AFL-CIO,” the board wrote in an editorial subtitled: “The Governor needs a better tutor on jobs and immigration.”

Walker made a splash last week when he said in an interview with Glenn Beck that the needs of American workers should be at the forefront of immigration policy, and referred explicitly to Republican Senator and immigration hawk Jeff Sessions. (RELATED: Liberal Media In A Frenzy Over Walker’s Pro-Worker Immigration Stance)

Sessions advising Walker on immigration is “bad news,” TheWSJ board wrote, because Sessions is spreading the “whopper” that foreign workers are taking jobs from Americans with science, technology, engineering and math degrees.

The editorial takes the position that businesses have to bring in foreign workers because there aren’t enough Americans qualified and willing to take the jobs.

Because businesses are demanding a record number of foreign workers, there must be a shortage of American workers, the board argues, completely ignoring the counter-point that businesses are demanding more foreign labor because it’s cheaper.

The editorial relies heavily on an unsigned analysis from a pro-immigration think tank, the National Foundation for American Policy, whose work The Wall Street Journal and Harvard economist Richard Freeman have previously criticized. It also incorrectly attributed a claim about the size of the STEM job market to Sessions.

“The Sessions camp is right that he never said there are six million high-tech STEM jobs in the U.S., and we shouldn’t have put it that way,” the board wrote in a decidedly snarky follow up editorial Monday. “But the data that Mr. Sessions does cite define the STEM market even more narrowly, and thus underscore our editorial argument.”

That data is from the U.S. Census Bureau, which found 74 percent of Americans with STEM degrees are not working in STEM fields, and that only 3.8 million Americans with STEM degrees hold STEM jobs. The board argues that the Census Bureau classifies STEM jobs too narrowly.

“The STEM job details can be eye-glazing, but the facts support what basic economics teaches: Skilled immigrants enhance American prosperity, and the labor market isn’t a zero-sum proposition,” the board wrote in the follow-up.

Other than the questionable NAFP analysis and record demand for foreign labor, which could actually undermine its position, the board presents no “facts” to back up its position.

The WSJ is only the latest outlet to ridicule Walker and Sessions for daring to question the unlimited economic benefits of legal immigration. (RELATED: Harvard Lawyer Destroys NYT Editorial On Immigration)

“If unemployment is high and labor participation is low, why would we want to open the door and flood the market with more workers at a time when our own people here are looking for work?” Walker said on Fox News Saturday.

Walker, who is expected to run for president, recently admitted his position on immigration has changed. “I think the American people not only want people who stand firm on issues, but people who listen to folks who have got rational thoughts,” he told Glenn Beck last week. “And for me a lot of it was talking not just to citizens all across the country but to governors in border states who face real serious concerns about what’s happening on our border and elsewhere.”

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Tags : elections jeff sessions scott walker the wall street journal
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