Border Guard Bob Pivots 180
That all just came to mind reading another little news item that all but goes unnoticed on a Saturday in the summer: County works to bar illegal alien workers. Agree with it, or disagree, it is one of those things that deserves a few orders of magnitude more discussion then again our notorious cupcakes... but likely will not be noticed much at all. It is good to see that Allegheny County council is being proactive in solving a problem that may not be our problem at all.
Again.. agree with the idea or not, at least understand where the Pittsburgh region stands with regards to immigration. By any metric you want to come up with, among large metro areas we are about immigrant-free as you get. Not zero, but in terms of sheer immigrant flows we rank last. Period. If you think something has changed with that factoid for us over the last decade, the graph at the bottom is a comparison of foreign born immigration by metro areas, but is limited to just to those who entered the US since 2000. That gives us a metric of comparison for recent international immigration and yes, we are unmoved from the bottom position.
That ranking does not even take into account the consistent finding that among the immigrants that do come to Pittsburgh are among the most highly educated in the nation. That or the international students who are here and part of that foreign born population and are also most likely here on perfectly valid student visas. You have to believe the higher educated groups are far less likely to be here without proper visas and documentation than the group of folks that new law is intended to target. In any ranking of immigrants with less than a bachelors degree for example and we will compare even lower relative to all the other metro areas.. We obviously can't rank lower than last.. we will just be an even further outlier on the bottom end of that graph. If you really consider who that law is aiming to impact, we rank not just lowest, but lowest among the lowest in terms of immigrant flows into the region. The point is that if needed to pick the one place in the entire country least impacted by foreign workers it is likely us.. and there is no sign the trend is really about to shift in any qualitatively significant way.
So what impact can a law like this have? All this really does is place us in a group with regions like Altoona which rated a New York Times article a while ago: Altoona with no immigrant problem, decides to solve it.
If county council really thinks they have time to address problems that don't exist, you think they might want to occasionally address some real looming problems they generally ignore.
Anyway, the graphic: