New Research on Illegal Immigration and Crime

Another thorough study of illegal immigration and crime by Cato researchers, using Texas data given Texas keeps immigration status data of those arrested and convicted of crimes:

Andrew Forrester, Michelangelo Landgrave, and I published a new working paper on illegal immigration and crime in Texas. Our paper is slated to appear as a chapter in a volume published by Oxford University Press in 2021. Like our other research on illegal immigration and crime in Texas, this working paper uses data collected by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) that records and keeps the immigration statuses of those arrested and convicted of crimes in Texas. As far as we’ve been able to tell, and we’ve filed more than 50 state FOIA requests to confirm, Texas is the only state that records and keeps the immigration statuses of those entering the criminal justice system. Texas gathers this information because its runs arrestee biometric information through Department of Homeland Security (DHS) databases that identify illegal immigrants. Unlike other states, Texas DPS keeps the results of these DHS checks that then allows a more direct look at immigrant criminality by immigration status.

The results are similar to our other work on illegal immigration and crime in Texas. In 2018, the illegal immigrant criminal conviction rate was 782 per 100,000 illegal immigrants, 535 per 100,000 legal immigrants, and 1,422 per 100,000 native‐​born Americans. The illegal immigrant criminal conviction rate was 45 percent below that of native‐​born Americans in Texas. The general pattern of native‐​born Americans having the highest criminal conviction rates followed by illegal immigrants and then with legal immigrants having the lowest holds for all of other specific types of crimes such as violent crimes, property crimes, homicide, and sex crimes.

Since Texas is the only state that records and keeps the immigration statuses of those arrested, we can’t make a direct apples‐​to‐​apples comparison between Texas and other states (every state should record and keep this information so we can answer this important question). It could be that illegal immigrants in Texas are the most law‐​abiding illegal immigrant population in the country – or the least ­­law‐​abiding. Until other states start recording and keeping the data, we won’t know for sure. But there is much suggestive evidence that the illegal immigrant criminal conviction rate in Texas is comparable to their crime rates across the country.

For instance, the ratio of the nationwide estimated illegal immigrant incarceration rate to the native and legal immigrant incarceration rates is very similar to the same ratios for the criminal conviction rate in Texas. The similarity is evidence that the pattern in Texas holds nationwide, at least to the extent that convictions and incarcerations are correlated. The only way that illegal immigrants could have a higher incarceration rate is if there is something seriously wrong with our method of estimating their total population in the United States and the actual number is much smaller or we are seriously undercounting illegal immigrants who are incarcerated. Neither is very likely, but it’s important to mention the possibility.

We go a bit further in this working paper by looking at how local variation in the illegal immigrant population is correlated with crime rates on the country level in Texas for the years 2012–2018. The relationship between changes in the illegal immigrant population and crime is known as an elasticity. The elasticity between two variables estimates how one variable, the illegal immigrant population here, affects another variable like the number of illegal immigrant convictions or the total crime rate. We control for the number of law enforcement officers per capita. We basically find no relationship. The only statistically significant relationship worth reporting is a negative association between total violent crime convictions and the illegal immigrant share with a point estimate of -0.104 that is significant at the 5 percent level. This exception suggests that a 10 percent increase in the illegal immigrants share of the population is associated with a 1 percent decline in violent crime convictions in our sample of Texas counties.

Our working paper isn’t the only new research on illegal immigration and crime. Christian Gunadi, an economist who recently graduated from the University of California Riverside, examined how the DACA program affected crime rates. Gunadi tested the theory, based on Gary Becker’s crime research, that issuing work permits to young illegal immigrants increases the opportunity cost of committing crime by making it easier for them to be legally employed. Gunadi found, when he analyzed the individual‐​level incarceration data, that there was no evidence that DACA statistically significantly affected the incarceration rate of young illegal immigrants. Gunadi also looked at crime on the state level and found that the implementation of DACA is associated with a reduction in property crime rates such that an additional DACA application approved per 1,000 population is associated with a 1.6 percent decline in the overall property crime rate. That second finding is consistent with the Beckerian crime model.

Other recent research into immigration and crime similarly find no relationship between immigration and crime or a slightly negative relationship, but their methods are not as robust so I don’t place as much weight on them. However, a recent working paperwritten by Conor Norris and published at the Center for Growth and Opportunity used difference‐​in‐​differences and the synthetic control method to see how the passage of SB-1070 in Arizona in 2010, which was an immigration enforcement law, affected crime there relative to other states. It found that violent crime in Arizona increased by about 20 percent under both methods.

Norris’ paper is interesting and worth developing further. For instance, most of the research on the economics of crime focuses on how higher opportunity costs lowers crime rates. In that way, increasing legal employment opportunities can lower crime while making it more difficult for illegal immigrants to work can push some of them toward committing crimes because they’d have less to lose. In 2007, the Arizona state legislature passed the Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA) that mandated E‐​Verify on January 1, 2008. E‐​Verify is intended to prevent the hiring of illegal immigrants. Forrester and I wrote a short blog post showing that the passage of LAWA may have increased the monthly flow of non‐​citizens into Arizona state prisons, but the effect was short‐​lived as many illegal immigrants either left the state or figured out how to get around E‐​Verify.

The above new research and the vast quantity of papers on how immigration doesn’t increase crime and frequently lowers it leads to an interesting question: Why do so many people think that immigration increases crime? The Christian Science Monitor had an interview segment recently where they asked criminologists why so many Americans think immigrants increase crime even though the weight of evidence says that they are less likely to commit crimes than native‐​born Americans. According to a recent Gallup poll, 42 percent of respondents thought that immigrants increase crime, 7 percent thought that immigrants decrease crime, and 50 percent said immigrants didn’t affect crime.

Much of the effect could be that people who don’t like immigration could just ascribe all types of negative behavior to them in order to justify their dislike. This probably explains a lot of it, but it would be a disservice to stop there. We must examine the possible other reasons. Another potential reason is that many people think that immigrant criminals could have been prevented from coming in the first place, so there’s more of a focus on their crimes (availability bias) because many people think that they are more preventable than crimes committed by native‐​born Americans. In that way, many people could think that allowing any crime by immigrants is a choice and that crime could go away at the stroke of a pen. That’s not how the world works and that doesn’t explain why so many people think that crime rates go up with immigration, but if that form of control bias is combined with a conflation between the number of crimes and the crime rate then the mistake is understandable if not based on an accurate understanding of the variables.

Another reason could be that native‐​born Americans who have the same ethnicity as recent immigrants might have a much higher incarceration rate, so the respondents to these surveys lump them in together and conclude that immigrants boost the crime rate. Among native‐​born Americans, Hispanics do have a higher incarceration rate but Asians have a much lower rate. This is further complicated by the fact that Puerto Ricans, who are not immigrants, likely have the highest incarceration rate of any Hispanic sub‐​group in the United States (see Table 1) and it would be quite silly for someone to blame immigrants for the higher Puerto Rican incarceration rate.

There is more and more evidence that immigrants, regardless of legal status, are less likely to commit crimes than native‐​born Americans. However, a substantial number of Americans still think that immigration increases crime. As more evidence builds over time, we can only hope than Americans respond by updating their opinions so that they fit the facts.

Source: New Research on Illegal Immigration and Crime

Texas: Economic benefits of illegal immigration outweigh the costs, study shows

Interesting and significant study but will, of course, not change the tenor of the debates (more sound than the various Fraser Institute studies):

The economic benefits of illegal immigration are greater than the costs of the public services utilized, according to an expert at Rice University’s Baker Institute of Public Policy.

Indeed, for every dollar the Texas state government spends on public services for undocumented immigrants, new research indicates, the state collects $1.21 in revenue.

José Iván Rodríguez-Sánchez, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Baker Institute, investigates the topic in a newly published research paper. He stresses that it’s important to assess both the positive and negative impacts of illegal immigration.

“Undocumented residents have a and impact on the economy, since they pay taxes and fees and constitute an important part of the labor market,” he wrote. “Even if we consider the costs of undocumented immigrants to the state of Texas, the benefits outweigh the costs.”

Rodríguez-Sánchez used Texas as a because “it is one of the most populous states in the United States, with an unauthorized population considered representative of that of the whole country,” according to the paper.

In 2018, the year on which the report is based, Texas had “an estimated 1.6 million undocumented residents, representing 5.7% of the total state population,” according to the paper. Those residents support the economy by working in industries such as construction, agriculture, manufacturing and services—with an unemployment rate of only 5.7% in the state, according to the paper. They pay sales tax and consumer taxes, such as on gasoline and motor vehicle inspections.

In 2018, Texas collected $2.4 billion in state taxes from this group.

“Like any other Texan, undocumented immigrants pay sales and excise taxes when they buy goods and services,” he wrote. “They pay property taxes on their owned or rented houses. Other payments that undocumented immigrants make to the state are related to fees and fines, tuition and utilities.”

The analysis found that illegal immigration cost Texas a total of $2 billion in 2018 through education, health care and incarceration costs. These include associated with public schools, higher education, substance abuse services, immunizations and emergency .

Rodríguez-Sánchez also analyzed the potential impact of deporting all such residents from Texas. “In this case, deportation would represent a shock to the Texan economy,” he wrote.

“If all undocumented workers were deported, Texas would lose more than $41.9 billion in direct employment compensation, defined as pretax salary and wage earnings. The total lost would be $70.3 billion, which represents a reduction of 7.7% in state employment compensation,” he wrote. “If even 20% of this group were deported, the state would lose approximately $8.4 billion in direct employee compensation, and the total impact would be $14 billion.”

The report estimates that tax revenue collected from such residents exceeded what the state spent on them, resulting in a net benefit of approximately $420.9 million in fiscal year 2018.

“This means that for every dollar spent on public services for , they provide $1.21 in fiscal revenue for the state of Texas,” Rodriguez-Sanchez wrote.

Source: Economic benefits of illegal immigration outweigh the costs, study shows

Most of the 23 million immigrants eligible to vote in 2020 election live in just five states

Useful perspective and comparisons:

About one-in-ten people eligible to vote in this year’s U.S. presidential election are immigrants. And most (61%) of these 23 million naturalized citizens live in just five states.

California has more immigrant eligible voters (5.5 million) than any other state, more than New York (2.5 million) and Florida (2.5 million) combined. Texas and New Jersey round out the top five, with 1.8 million and 1.2 million immigrant eligible voters, respectively.

Here is a closer look at immigrant eligible voters in these five states.

How we did this

1Asians make up 43% of immigrant eligible voters in California, the highest of any racial or ethnic group.Nationally, Latinos make up a higher share of immigrant eligible voters than Asians (34% vs. 31%), but the reverse is true in the Golden State, where many Latino immigrants are ineligible to vote because they do not hold U.S. citizenship.

California’s immigrant eligible voters come from many countries. But three origin countries account for 46% of the total: Mexico (1.5 million immigrant eligible voters), the Philippines (604,000 voters) and Vietnam (430,000 voters).

The vast majority of California’s immigrant eligible voters (75%) have lived in the United States for more than 20 years. The share is highest (82%) among California’s Latino immigrant voters. Smaller majorities of Asian (71%), white (71%) and black (59%) immigrant eligible voters in California have lived in the country for at least two decades. English proficiency varies widely among the state’s immigrant eligible voters. For example, 86% of black immigrant eligible voters in California are English proficient, a substantially higher share than among all the state’s immigrant eligible voters (55%).

2New York stands out for the racial and ethnic diversity of its immigrant eligible voters. Asians (26%), Latinos (25%) and whites (25%) make up similar shares of the state’s immigrant eligible voters, while black immigrants (21%) are a slightly lower share.

When it comes to speaking English, black immigrant eligible voters in New York are substantially more likely to be English proficient (89%) than white (66%), Asian (52%) and Latino (47%) immigrant voters.

In New York, no single birth country accounts for a large share of the state’s immigrant eligible voters; about a quarter of foreign-born voters come from the state’s three largest birth countries. Immigrants from the Dominican Republic are the largest single group, with 264,000 eligible voters, followed by China (207,000) and Jamaica (143,000).

3Latinos make up 54% of Florida’s immigrant eligible voters, far higher than the shares of white, black and Asian immigrant voters in the state (17%, 16% and 10% respectively).

Florida’s immigrant voters have varying levels of English proficiency. For example, around half (51%) of Latino immigrant eligible voters are proficient in English, a far lower share than among white (82%) or black (81%) immigrant voters.

With 606,000 voters, Cuban immigrants are the largest group in Florida’s foreign-born electorate. Colombian immigrants, at 190,000, and Haitian immigrants, at 187,000, are the second- and third-largest groups.

4Texas rivals Florida in its share of Hispanic immigrant voters. Roughly half (52%) of all immigrant eligible voters in Texas are Hispanic, a share that trails only Florida (54%) among the top states. Asian immigrants are the second-largest group in Texas at 29%.

Around seven-in-ten immigrant voters in Texas (68%) have lived in the U.S. for more than two decades, similar to the share among all U.S. immigrant voters (68%). However, the share of long-term residents is notably lower among black immigrant voters in Texas (40%).

A high share of black and white immigrant voters in Texas are English proficient (88% and 85%, respectively). Lower shares of Asian (64%) and Hispanic (47%) immigrant voters are proficient. This is similar to the pattern nationally.

By country of birth, Mexican immigrants alone account for 40% of all immigrant voters in Texas, or 736,000 people. The second-largest group, with 130,000 voters, are immigrants from Vietnam, while Indian immigrants, with 115,000 voters, make up the third-largest group in the state.

New Jersey has the highest share of Asian immigrant eligible voters with a bachelor’s degree or higher5New Jersey has a high share of Asian immigrant voters with a college degree. About two-thirds of Asian immigrant voters in New Jersey (66%) have a bachelor’s degree or higher. That’s substantially higher than the share among other immigrant voter groups in the state and the share among immigrant voters in the U.S. overall (36%), including those who are Asian.

Among New Jersey’s 1.2 million immigrant eligible voters, 32% are Latino, 30% are Asian, 25% are white and 11% are black.

Meanwhile, the top birth countries for immigrant eligible voters in New Jersey are India (122,000 voters), the Dominican Republic (103,000) and the Philippines (63,000).

See the table below (or open it as a PDF) for detailed characteristics of immigrant eligible voters in California, New York, Florida, Texas, New Jersey and nationally.

Demographics of naturalized citizen eligible voters in select states

Source: Most of the 23 million immigrants eligible to vote in 2020 election live in just five states

Two States. Eight Textbooks. Two American Stories.

Would be interesting to see a Quebec and Ontario comparison, and an Alberta and Ontario one, although the small size of the Canadian market likely means less variation in texts for English Canada:

The textbooks cover the same sweeping story, from the brutality of slavery to the struggle for civil rights. The self-evident truths of the founding documents to the waves of immigration that reshaped the nation.

The books have the same publisher. They credit the same authors. But they are customized for students in different states, and their contents sometimes diverge in ways that reflect the nation’s deepest partisan divides.

Hundreds of differences — some subtle, others extensive — emerged in a New York Times analysis of eight commonly used American history textbooks in California and Texas, two of the nation’s largest markets.

In a country that cannot come to a consensus on fundamental questions — how restricted capitalism should be, whether immigrants are a burden or a boon, to what extent the legacy of slavery continues to shape American life — textbook publishers are caught in the middle. On these questions and others, classroom materials are not only shaded by politics, but are also helping to shape a generation of future voters.

Conservatives have fought for schools to promote patriotism, highlight the influence of Christianity and celebrate the founding fathers. In a September speech, President Trump warned against a “radical left” that wants to “erase American history, crush religious liberty, indoctrinate our students with left-wing ideology.”

The left has pushed for students to encounter history more from the ground up than from the top down, with a focus on the experiences of marginalized groups such as enslaved people, women and Native Americans.

The books The Times analyzed were published in 2016 or later and have been widely adopted for eighth and 11th graders, though publishers declined to share sales figures. Each text has editions for Texas and California, among other states, customized to satisfy policymakers with different priorities.

“At the end of the day, it’s a political process,” said Jesús F. de la Teja, an emeritus professor of history at Texas State University who has worked for the state of Texas and for publishers in reviewing standards and textbooks.

The differences between state editions can be traced back to several sources: state social studies standards; state laws; and feedback from panels of appointees that huddle, in Sacramento and Austin hotel conference rooms, to review drafts.

Requests from textbook review panels, submitted in painstaking detail to publishers, show the sometimes granular ways that ideology can influence the writing of history.

A California panel asked the publisher McGraw-Hill to avoid the use of the word “massacre” when describing 19th-century Native American attacks on white people. A Texas panel asked Pearson to point out the number of clergy who signed the Declaration of Independence, and to state that the nation’s founders were inspired by the Protestant Great Awakening.

All the members of the California panel were educators selected by the State Board of Education, whose members were appointed by former Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat. The Texas panel, appointed by the Republican-dominated State Board of Education, was made up of educators, parents, business representatives and a Christian pastor and politician.

McGraw-Hill, the publisher whose annotated Bill of Rights appears differently in the two states, said it had created the additional wording on the Second Amendment and gun control for the California textbook. A national version of the pages is similar to the Texas edition, which does not call attention to gun rights, the company said in a written statement.

Pearson, the publisher whose Texas textbook raises questions about the quality of Harlem Renaissance literature, said such language “adds more depth and nuance.”

Critical language about nonwhite cultural movements also appears in a Texas book from McGraw-Hill. It is partly a result of debates, in 2010, between conservative and liberal members of the Texas Board of Education over whether state standards should mention cultural movements like hip-hop and country music. Their compromise was to ask teachers and textbook publishers to address “both the positive and negative impacts” of artistic movements.

Texas struck that requirement in 2018, but its most recent textbooks, published in 2016, will reflect it for years to come.

Publishers are eager to please state policymakers of both parties, during a challenging time for the business. Schools are transitioning to digital materials. And with the ease of internet research, many teachers say they prefer to curate their own primary-source materials online.

How Textbooks are Produced
1Authors, often academics, write a national version of each text.
2Publishers customize the books for states and large districts to meet local standards, often without input from the original authors.
3State or district textbook reviewers go over each book and ask publishers for further changes.
4Publishers revise their books and sell them to districts and schools.

Still, recent textbooks have come a long way from what was published in past decades. Both Texas and California volumes deal more bluntly with the cruelty of the slave trade, eschewing several myths that were common in textbooks for generations: that some slave owners treated enslaved people kindly and that African-Americans were better off enslaved than free. The books also devote more space to the women’s movement and balance the narrative of European immigration with stories of Latino and Asian immigrants.

“American history is not anymore the story of great white men,” said Albert S. Broussard, a history professor at Texas A&M University and an author of both the Texas and California editions of McGraw-Hill’s textbooks.

Here is how the politics of American history play out in California and Texas textbooks, on subjects like race, immigration, gender, sexuality and the economy.

White resistance to black progress is covered differently in the two states.

McGraw-Hill, “United States History & Geography: Continuity and Change,” California, P. 505

California notes the suburban dream of the 1950s was inaccessible to many African-Americans.

McGraw-Hill, “United States History Since 1877,” Texas, P. 436

Texas does not.

California and Texas textbooks sometimes offer different explanations for white backlash to black advancement after the Civil War, from Reconstruction to housing discrimination in the 20th century.

Southern whites resisted Reconstruction, according to a McGraw-Hill textbook, because they “did not want African-Americans to have more rights.” But the Texas edition offers an additional reason: Reforms cost money, and that meant higher taxes.

Whole paragraphs on redlining and restrictive deeds appear only in the California editions of textbooks, partly as a result of different state standards. Texas’ social studies guidelines do not mention housing discrimination at all.

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Texas says that white Southerners opposed Reconstruction because of tax increases as well as racial resentment. California instead includes primary-source quotations from black historical figures about white resistance to civil rights.

McGraw-Hill, “United States History & Geography: Growth & Conflict,” California, P. 586; McGraw-Hill, “United States History to 1877,” Texas, P. 555

Both states say that breaches of “racial etiquette” led to lynchings after Reconstruction. But only California, whose edition was written more recently, makes clear that the perpetrators of lynchings also hoped to discourage black political and economic power.

HMH, “American History: Reconstruction to the Present,” California, P. 245; HMH, “The Americans: United States History Since 1877,” Texas, P. 288

Nevertheless, Kerry Green, a high school social studies teacher in Sunnyvale, Tex., a small town east of Dallas, said she discussed redlining with her 11th graders, adding it as a counterpoint to lessons about postwar prosperity — the optimistic story of consumerism, television and the Baby Boom that is emphasized by her state’s standards.

Ms. Green said she preferred to assign primary sources that “encourage students to explore history on their own.” But she said she would welcome textbooks that contain more historical documents and a greater diversity of voices and themes from the past.

“The textbook companies are not gearing their textbooks toward teachers; they’re gearing their textbooks toward states,” she said.

On gender and sexuality, California textbooks include history that is not in Texas editions.

McGraw-Hill, “United States History & Geography: Growth & Conflict,” California, P. 624

California states that the federal government failed to recognize nonbinary gender identities and female leaders in its early relations with Native Americans.

McGraw-Hill, “United States History Since 1877,” Texas, P. 111

Texas does not mention gender roles or gender identity in its discussion of efforts to “Americanize” Native Americans.

In Texas textbooks, mentions of L.G.B.T.Q. issues tend to be restricted to coverage of events in recent decades, such as the Stonewall uprising, the AIDS crisis and debates over marriage rights.

But for recent California editions, publishers wrote thousands of words of new text in response to the FAIR Education Act, a law signed by Governor Brown in 2011. It requires schools to teach the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and disabled Americans.

Peppered throughout California books are passages on topics like same-sex families under slavery and early sex reassignment surgery in the 1950s — text that does not appear in Texas versions.

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California states that enslaved women faced sexual violence from owners and overseers.

McGraw-Hill, “United States History & Geography: Growth & Conflict,” California, P. 449; McGraw-Hill, “United States History to 1877,” Texas, P. 443

California mentions the “lavender scare” that targeted thousands of gay men and lesbians.

Pearson, “United States History: The Twentieth Century,” California, P. 486; Pearson, “United States History: 1877 to Present,” Texas, P. 456.

California states that Alfred Kinsey’s research and early sex reassignment surgeries challenged “the postwar ideal” on gender.

Pearson, “United States History: The Twentieth Century,” California, P. 498; Pearson, “United States History: 1877 to Present,” Texas, P. 470.

Both states focus on women’s fight against discrimination in the workplace. Only California says birth control played a role, by “allowing women to exert greater control over their sexuality and family planning.”

McGraw-Hill, “United States History & Geography: Continuity and Change,” California, P. 627; McGraw-Hill, “United States History Since 1877,” Texas, P. 525.

Stephanie Kugler, an eighth-grade history teacher in West Sacramento, Calif., said she had expanded an idea mentioned briefly in her classroom’s textbook, about women who dressed as men to fight in the Civil War and continued to live as men, into an entire lesson on troops who today would be considered transgender. The students read accounts of those soldiers’ lives alongside more traditional sources, such as letters written by a black Union soldier and a Confederate soldier.

Her goal, Ms. Kugler said, was to “make it really authentic” to talk about diversity in the context of each historical period.

While both states devote many pages to the women’s movement, Texas books, in general, avoid discussions of sex or sexuality.

Immigration and nativism are major themes in American history textbooks.

McGraw-Hill, “United States History & Geography: Continuity and Change,” California, P. 736

California includes an excerpt from a novel about a Dominican-American family.

McGraw-Hill, “United States History Since 1877,” Texas, P. 609

In the same place, Texas highlights the voice of a Border Patrol agent.

Michael Teague, a Border Patrol agent, is featured in the Texas edition of McGraw-Hill’s 11th grade textbook. He discusses his concerns about drug trafficking and says, “if you open the border wide up, you’re going to invite political and social upheaval.”

Mr. Teague’s story is featured at the end of a chapter on recent immigration, alongside accounts from a Vietnamese immigrant and a second-generation Mexican-American.

That section in the California edition of the same book is devoted to a long excerpt from the novel “How the García Girls Lost Their Accents,” by Julia Alvarez. It deals with intergenerational tensions in a Dominican-American family.

In a written statement, McGraw-Hill said the full-page Border Patrol narrative was not included in the California edition because it would not fit beside the literary excerpt. And at the time the Texas edition was produced, six years ago, state standards called for students to analyze both “legal and illegal immigration to the United States.”

In contrast, California textbooks are more likely to note when a historical figure was an immigrant. And they include more detail on the role immigrants such as Japanese and Filipino farmworkers played in labor movements.

California is one of many states to ask teachers and textbooks in recent years to cover the contributions of specific immigrant groups, including Asian-Americans, Pacific Islanders, European-Americans and Mexican-Americans.

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Only California states that Levi Strauss was a German Jewish immigrant.

McGraw-Hill, “United States History & Geography: Growth & Conflict,” California, P. 416; McGraw-Hill, “United States History Since 1877,” Texas, P. 417

California tells the story of Wong Kim Ark, whose 1898 Supreme Court case established birthright citizenship for the children of immigrants; Texas’s edition, which is older, does not mention this case, but does cover the Chinese Exclusion Act.

HMH, “American History: Reconstruction to the Present,” California, P. 247; HMH, “The Americans: United States History Since 1877,” Texas, P. 289

These additions are part of the reason California books are almost always longer than their Texas counterparts.

California’s Board of Education adopted an expansive 842-page social studies framework in 2016. Two years later, Texas’ school board streamlined its social studies standards, which are now laid out in 78 tightly compressed pages.

Critics of California’s approach say that making state standards and textbooks longer and more inclusive can be overwhelming to teachers trying to move quickly through hundreds of years of material.

Both states emphasize the role of big businessfrom the Gilded Age to the present.

HMH, “American History: Reconstruction to the Present,” California, P. 160

California is critical of wealth inequality and the impact of companies like Standard Oil on the environment.

HMH, “The Americans: United States History Since 1877,” Texas, P. 235

Texas is more likely to celebrate free enterprise and entrepreneurs like Andrew Carnegie.

Texas policymakers feel strongly about giving students a positive view of the American economy; since 1995, state law has required that high school economics courses offer an “emphasis on the free enterprise system and its benefits.” That emphasis seems to have made its way into the history curriculum as well.

California’s curriculum materials, by contrast, sometimes read like a brief from a Bernie Sanders rally. “The yawning gap between the haves and have-nots and what is to be done about it is one of the great questions of this time,” says the state’s 2016 social studies framework.

As a result, California textbooks are more likely to celebrate unionism, critique the concentration of wealth and focus on how industry pollutes the environment.

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California refers to “the income gap” and explains that “changes in tax structures and safety-net programs” and “higher costs for education, child care, and housing” played a role. Both state editions discuss economic inequality in reference to the Occupy Wall Street movement and the decline of labor unions.

Pearson, “United States History: The Twentieth Century,” California, P. 728; Pearson, “United States History: 1877 to Present,” Texas, P. 687.

The older Texas edition highlights additional Republican critiques of President Barack Obama’s environmental policies, while the California book discusses the threat of rising sea levels.

Pearson, “United States History: The Twentieth Century,” California, P. 749; Pearson, “United States History: 1877 to Present,” Texas, P. 709.

Both the California and Texas 11th-grade textbooks from Pearson state, “The main argument against environmental legislation is that it hurts the economy and the nation’s industries.”

The Texas edition goes further to highlight criticism of federal efforts to subsidize the green energy industry: “Republicans accuse the government of wasting taxpayers’ money, for example by supporting the failed solar manufacturer Solyndra.” The Solyndra controversy was a fixation for conservatives in 2011, when the company went bankrupt after accepting half a billion dollars in federally guaranteed loans.

The Texas book also states that American action on global warming may not make a difference if China, India, Russia and Brazil do not also act.

The California edition does not mention Solyndra or the other nations. However, it does include a section on the threat to American states and cities from rising sea levels, noting that the impact on tourism in Florida could hurt that state’s economy, and that transportation networks and buildings could be threatened.

Pearson said in a written statement that the differences between the books could be attributed mostly to the fact that the California book was published several years later, and that concerns over coastal flooding have become “more heightened in recent years.”

The [Texas] Border War on Birthright Citizenship | Rolling Stone

One of the nastier and meaner policies:

In 2013, an estimated 295,000 children were born in the U.S. who had at least one undocumented immigrant parent, according to the Pew Research Center, accounting for eight-percent of all domestic births. And Texas is home to 1.65 million undocumented immigrants, nearly 15 percent of the national total. It is reasonable to assume that tens of thousands of children are born to undocumented immigrants in Texas every year, and that a great many of them now lack birth certificates. “These quasi-citizens, outcasts, will likely experience the harsh effects of being unable to prove their true status for many years to come,” reads the Mexican government’s amicus brief. “We are witnessing the creation of a vulnerable citizenry: undocumented citizens.”

Texas is an outlier in this regard, even among states that refuse to accept matrículas. In Arizona, parents can get a birth certificate for their children with a credible witness to attest to their identity and a notorized signature. In Arkansas, they can present a foreign passport without a U.S. visa. In Virginia, they can use a hospital birth letter. Even Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a group that advocates for harsher immigration restrictions, told the Austin-American Statesman that “the more I think of it, the more I come down against the Texas argument, reluctantly.”

No one supporting the plaintiffs has been able to point to a smoking gun that reveals the state had a pre-meditated anti-immigrant agenda. In 2010, when Arizona enacted its sweeping SB 1070 law targeting undocumented immigrants, the legislature declared “the intent of this act is to make attrition through enforcement the public policy of all state and local government agencies in Arizona.” In other words, by cracking down on undocumented immigrants, the state hoped many would leave and fewer would come. But there has been no such declaration in Texas — the state describes its policy as “facially neutral and non-discriminatory.” Despite the fact that Texas politicians take apparent glee in talking tough on immigration and giving Washington the finger, no email has surfaced between state officials that reads, “Let’s squeeze ’em all out.” Even Harbury admits that — unlike in Arizona — the Texas policy grew in fits and starts. “It’s not like someone flipped a switch,” she says.

Still, the timing seems awfully suspicious. The decision to deny foreign passports that lacked a U.S. visa came on the heels of President Obama’s Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals, a 2012 policy that lifted the threat of deportation for as many as 1.7 million undocumented immigrants. The increasing rejection of the matrícula as a valid ID coincided with the Central American immigration “surge” in 2013 and 2014. And what appeared to be a widening crackdown on the matrícula this year followed a Texas-led lawsuit filed last December to block President Obama’s new executive actions on immigration, one of which — the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) — offers immigration deferrals and work authorizations to the undocumented parents of U.S. citizens.

Source: The Border War on Birthright Citizenship | Rolling Stone