In September, the Center for Immigration Studies published a report claiming that immigrants, both legal and illegal, got the lion’s share — 81 percent — of the new jobs created in Texas from 2007 to 2011. Yesterday Chuck DeVore, a former California Republican legislator who is now at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, published a piece challenging this assertion.
“Put simply, CIS used faulty methodology to make its main point,” DeVore wrote. It compared a net increase in jobs in Texas over a four-year period with a gross increase in employed newly arrived immigrants in Texas.” He also pointed to the job churn in the labor market that makes it difficult to establish who the Texas jobs went to.
In response, CIS research director Steven Camorta argues that they did a net-to-net comparison and still found immigrants gained disproportionately over the native-born. Camorta also wrote:
Here are the facts: Government data shows there were about 280,000 more people working in Texas in the second quarter of 2011 than in the same quarter of 2007. In the second quarter of 2011 there were 225,000 immigrants (legal and illegal) working in the state who indicated that they arrived in our country between the second quarter of 2007 and the second quarter of 2011. Thus the employment gains of newly arrived immigrants (225,000) equaled 81 percent of total employment growth (280,000). Over the same time period, the employment situation for native-born workers deteriorated significantly.
The DeVore-Camorta debate has taken on significance because of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential candidacy. Some conservative critics have argued that Perry’s immigration record undermines his record of presiding over substantial job growth in Texas.