Rick Santorum in the Crosshairs of MundoFox

Presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s stand in favor of the American worker has earned him a direct attack on MundoFox. Following Santorum’s recent campaign announcement, MundoFox dedicated a full segment of its national newscast to an analysis of Santorum’s position on the relation between U.S. immigration policy, jobs and salaries in the labor market.

From the outset of the segment, it was obvious the objective was to discredit Santorum.  See anchor Rolando Nichols' introduction of the report.

ROLANDO NICHOLS, ANCHOR: One of the arguments of those who are opposed to the legalization of undocumented people is that they say the salaries of immigrants cause wage stagnation for the salaries of the rest of the American people. But, as Wilson Liévano of the Wall Street Journal Américas explains to us in this analysis, that is not the case (emphasis added).

In reality, Liévano’s analysis of the topic was not as conclusive as promised. As Liévano indicated in his report, according to a study from Harvard University economics professor, George Borjas, “immigration reduces the wages of Americans who have not finished high school by between 2 percent to 5 percent.”

In addition, in his analysis Liévano recognized that “theories such as Santorum’s are based on data from low-skilled immigrants from Mexico and Central America.” To counter Santorum’s economic argument in favor of reducing current levels of immigration to the U.S., Liévano cited other studies that “indicate broader benefits for the economy, a lower decrease in salaries and in some cases even an increase in salaries.”

Furthermore, Liévano incorrectly identified Santorum's position as an essentially “right wing” one. In fact, politicians on the left side of the political spectrum, such as Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, have also been known to express real concern over the possible negative effects of immigration levels on the U.S. labor market. For example, when Hillary Clinton represented New York in the United States Senate, she adamantly expressed the same concern.

The debate certainly remains open, and the contending theories on the subject are supported by a variety of arguments and empirical evidence. This segment is just one more indication of how the editorial line of MundoFox openly takes sides in the debate.

The transcript of the complete segment of the referenced national newscast appears below.

Noticias MundoFox 6/5/2015 5:30 PM

ROLANDO NICHOLS, ANCHOR: One of the arguments of those who are opposed to the legalization of undocumented people is that they say the salaries of immigrants cause wage stagnation for the salaries of the rest of the American people. But, as Wilson Liévano of the Wall Street Journal Américas explains to us in this analysis, that is not the case.

WILSON LIEVANO, WALL STREET JOURNAL: You have surely heard, at some moment, a critic say that immigrants are to blame for the stagnation of the wages of American families and workers. This argument is very common among right wing politicians like Rick Santorum, who used this argument in the launch of his campaign last week. However, this is not as clear as it seems.

Critics usually cite research by George Borjas, a Harvard economics professor, who wrote a report that affirms that immigration reduces the wages of Americans who have not finished high school by between 2 percent to 5 percent. Nonetheless, other studies indicate broader benefits for the economy, a smaller salary decrease, and in some cases even an increase in salaries, thanks to immigration.

The decrease in salaries is usually a short-term effect and is quickly compensated by an increase in employment, productivity and investment. Economics professors Gihoon Hong of the University of Indiana at South Bend and John McLaren of the University of Virginia analyzed the effects that immigrants have on demand at the local level, and discovered that immigrants help the availability of services at the local level to grow, which also makes employment expand.

On the other hand, theories such as Santorum’s are based on data from low-skilled immigrants from Mexico and Central America. But now that China and India have taken the lead in the number of immigrants that they send to the United States, this workforce panorama and its effects on natives could change.

MRC Latino Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Immigration Hispanic Media Mundo Fox Rick Santorum

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