Dark-suited business people racing through water and across a desert in pumps and carrying briefcases are the stars of GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz’s latest political ad on immigration.
A rush of people that look more like those that you might see in offices, on Wall Street or in Congress crossing the U.S. border is what it would take for journalists and politicians to get the story and policies right on immigration and see it for the "economic calamity" it creates, according to Cruz.
"And I would say the politics would be very, very different if a bunch of lawyers or bankers were crossing the Rio Grande, or if a bunch of people with journalism degrees would be coming over and driving down the wages in the press, then we would see stories about the economic calamity that is befalling our nation."
With the ad, which uses a comment he previously made in a November GOP debate, Cruz takes the immigration debate to the economic realm, making the case that immigrants are taking Americans’ jobs, primarily blue-collar jobs. But he leaves out some of the issue’s complexities with his spin, as campaigns often do.
After years of study, economists have reached general consensus that immigration is beneficial to the economy, but that it has its greatest impact on lower skilled workers. Different effects can be seen in different fields and not only in regard to illegal immigration.
According to a fact sheet written by the Economic Policy Institute, in the long run immigrants do not reduce the employment rates of native-born Americans. But the institute says in the short run, immigration may slightly reduce the rates of employment of native born Americans. The impact is greater when the economy is weak.
The institute says the economy takes time to adjust to new immigration.
The institute suggests that an independent federal agency evaluate the U.S. labor market and make annual recommendations to Congress on the needed levels of permanent and temporary immigrant labor.