From the Department of Head-Hitting-Desk, Politifact recently scored Jeb Bush’s fertility comment a ‘mostly true’:
“Immigrants are more fertile,” Bush said. “And they love families and they have more intact families, and they bring a younger population. Immigrants create an engine of economic prosperity.”[...]
Bush said that immigrants are more fertile and the data back him up.
Immigrants are fertile, y’all. They’re having babies like nobody’s business, and if your business is outreach to women and minorities, then this a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor of the social engineering of future Republican party voters.
The only problem is the fertility rates have declined all across the board:
There are many factors which can account for the declines: Declining economic conditions and job opportunities that come with a recession may have some influence on the downward fertility rate, especially for Mexican immigrants who see doors of opportunity closing with more xenophobic policies being pushed in America.
There are also more women getting an education and entering the workforce, with better access to contraceptives. And, in 2010, interracial marriages show an increase of 9%, tripling since 1980.
Politifact contradicts Jeb Bush and nearly debunks their own Mostly True assessment:
While birth rates for all women dropped between 2007 and 2010, it fell much faster among immigrant women. It declined by 14 percent compared with 6 percent for women born in America.
In their haste to play along with Jeb Bush’s statement they went ahead and let him off the hook for his ridiculous, misleading observations. And an honest assessment would have concluded that Jeb Bush wasn’t talking about all immigrants. He was referring more specifically to Mexican immigrants.
As a matter of policy, this is what puts the GOP in a compromising position because they call themselves “Pro-Life,” but being pro-life and anti-Mexican immigrant in this regard is like watching someone punch themselves in the face into reluctant submission.
But Jeb Bush’s policy ideas toward women and Mexican immigrants in general are less noble than simply advocating for immigration reform as a means to humane treatment of Mexican immigrants, and more like some weird, Rosemary’s Baby cult of social engineering– nurturing the precious wombs and delivery of the next
Satan baby Republican voter.
Saying “immigrants are more fertile” simply neglects fertility trends, cause and effect, and throws the Mexican immigrant babies out with the bathwater. Because it’s not necessarily that “immigrants are more fertile,” but more like white women of child bearing age in America are making decisions, some out of necessity, to put off having children due to careers, or personal choice, while better access to birth control tends to result in less pregnancies.
I have to wonder what Politifact does better: Assessing facts, or playing rhetorical games. In this case, it seems to be the latter.