Immigration in Pittsburgh
WSJ runs an op/ed by Pittsburgh carpet mogul Lou Weiss: Welcoming the Hard-Working Stranger. Subtitled: When I met Angel, he was in urgent need of an immigration lawyer. Now I'm hoping he votes GOP.
If you allow me my apophenia. Given the pattern of public comment there methinks Pittsburgh's East End has a mole in the WSJ editorial department. The explicit political statement in this piece is a bit peculiar given the reality of the political debates these days. The whole piece is a möbius of entendre. The protagionist in the oped is Mr. Weiss' hardworking landscaper. To understand his landscaping challenges it is helpful to read Mr. Weiss' earlier ink in the WSJ. For the WSJ oped he skips mentioning that he is striving to get his garden LEED certified. LEED certification is its own political football in some corners of the world. I'd take note of the online comments building up there with the WSJ piece. No doubt it really is a remarkably forthright and heartfelt commentary. I must admit I would love to be a fly on the wall when Rep. M reads it.
At the other end of the spectrum Public Radio International (PRI) had this today:Rust Belt Cities, like Pittsburgh, Trying to Lure More Immigrants.With support from such a wide range of the political spectrum you would think immigration is one of the least contentious issues out there. That and Pittsburgh would be doing so well at attracting and welcoming immigrants over the last decade. Never would such logic fail you worse.
Let's skip the big national debate. Just talking about Pittsburgh. The title of the PRI/World article reminds me of this in the New York Times: To Fill Gaps, Cities Seek Wave of Immigrants. The real immigration stories here are a bit more painful to tell. Not Pittsburgh for sure, but not that far away was this in the New York Times not too long ago: Altoona, With No Immigrant Problem, Decides to Solve It. If you want some deeper introspection look at the long form look at immigration in Pittsburgh written by former WSJ journalist, now ASU Journalism professor, Gregg Zachary: Immigrants as urban saviors: When Immigrants Revive a City and When They Don’t - Lessons from the United States.
The discussion I have gotten into continuously over the last 15 or more years is that things are different now. The 'now' being a bit existential. But of course I note the obvious; a decade ago I don't think there was a denizen of the city of Pittsburgh hiring an entire extended family of Hondurans to do landscaping. Let alone someone writing about it in the Wall Street Journal.