So I wake up nice and early this morning and check the news on the computer because, of course, those papery-things filled with news are so hard to come by, and I see an awesome headline that says, “Jeb Bush says immigrants ‘more fertile.” And, of course, I had to click on it to see what such a highly intelligent man of letters has to say about the immigrant population that he knows so much about.
It happened at a ‘Faith & Freedom Coalition’ conference, a group whose website states “The Faith and Freedom Coalition is a non-profit organization committed to educating, equipping, and mobilizing people of faith and like-minded individuals to be effective citizens.” and who principles include “help the poor, the needy, and those who have been left behind,” “respect for the sanctity and dignity of life, family, and marriage as the foundations of a free society,” “limited government, lower taxes, and fiscal responsibility to unleash the creative energy of entrepreneurs, and “free markets and free minds to create opportunity for all.”
At this conference, Jebby Bush (the former Florida governor…ah, Florida!) stated that “Immigrants create far more businesses than native-born Americans. Immigrants are more fertile, and they love families, and they have more intact families, and they bring a younger population. Immigrants create an engine of economic prosperity.”
For some reason, people had a problem with these wide, sweeping statements that seem to be full of stereotypes…
Now, admittedly, women born outside the US have a higher birth rate than women who were born within the US, as per a Pew Research Analysis of Census data for 2010.
But having more children does not equal more fertile according to the NPR article. (Fertility is a question of whether not someone is capable of having children, not if they do have them.) And I’m not sure there is a study that proves that immigrants have “more intact families” or that immigrants “create an engine of economic prosperity” (except for the number of politicians who have been busted using immigrant labor illegally).
At the same time, it is true that, as a whole, immigrants are younger than native Americans (which sounds wrong, so remember context, people!), that’s more based on the fact that, well, younger people tend to move more. So, yes, they are younger.
In terms of “intact families”…well, I have no idea if Jebby is right there. I couldn’t find any articles or information that confirmed or denied the number of divorced based on immigrants versus natives. Of course, the main reason he said anything about that was to conform to the conference.
Is it a bad thing that Jebby is encouraging immigration, although in a weirdly phrased way? Is it a bad thing that he believes that immigration is good for America?
Nope. It’s nice to finally hear a Republican who doesn’t seem to believe that immigrants are here to be evil and steal jobs away from “twue” American. But it would be nice to see him actually find a way to say those things in non-bigoted ways…
And I have to wonder if he would continue to say “nice” things about immigrants if he went and spoke at another group’s conference…