CLAREMONT, New Hampshire — Incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) attacked data from the U.S. Census Bureau at a press conference on Friday as part of a vast “right-wing” conspiracy out to get her in the upcoming election.
Shaheen, when asked by Breitbart News about a recent study from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) that found 71 percent of all New Hampshire jobs since 2000 have gone to both legal and illegal aliens rather than New Hampshire citizens, ducked for cover.
“My understanding is that’s a study sponsored by a right-wing organization,” she replied.
When Breitbart News noted that the study is based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau and other government sources–and includes no data from non-governmental sources–her communications director Harrell Kirsten abruptly called an end to the press conference inside the local Democratic Party headquarters and ushered her away from reporters.
“That’s all the time we have, thank you,” Kirstein said.
Kirstein hasn’t responded to a request for additional comment about whether the Senator thinks the Obama administration statisticians who provided the data for the study are “right-wing” too or why he ended the press conference so abruptly before the senator could completely answer the question.
Former Sen. Scott Brown, Shaheen’s Republican opponent, cited the study during Thursday night’s final debate moderated by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos.
“Since the senator brought up the border and the immigration bill, I think it’s important to discuss that once this bill–the bill that the senator is referring to–would have been passed and the president signs it, it immediately gives him the ability to give preference to people who are recently here on jobs,” Brown said. “I want to fight for jobs for New Hampshire. If you read the recent article about the jobs that are right now going to illegal immigrants and people who are new to our state, 70 percent of them are going to those people. I want to make sure that we can protect jobs right here right now.”
The study found that despite native-born population growth in New Hampshire of at least 65 percent since 2000, a whopping 71 percent of jobs in New Hampshire since then had gone to both legal and illegal immigrants.
“Job growth in New Hampshire has not been very strong,” Steven Camarota, CIS’s research director and the report’s co-author, said in a statement accompanying the report’s release. “The situation for natives without a college education has been particular bad. Thus, it is surprising that many of New Hampshire’s politicians supported the Gang of Eight bill, which would give work authorization to illegal immigrants and dramatically increase the number of foreign workers allowed into the country in the future.”
Shaheen’s argument that the study was from “right-wing” hacks isn’t true, the CIS’s executive director Mark Krikorian told Breitbart News. He noted that the immigration debate doesn’t have a “left” or “right,” and that it’s more of an elites versus everybody else kind of debate. His organization also has liberals and Democrats on its board doing research, so it’s hardly a “right-wing” group as Shaheen claims.
“In immigration, to borrow from Reagan, there is no such thing as a left or right,” Krikorian said when asked to respond to Shaheen’s claims. “There’s only an up or down. Immigration pits both elite Republicans and Democrats against ordinary working Americans of all stripes. And the Center for Immigration Studies reflects that fact, with a mix of conservatives and liberals, Republicans and Democrats on its board and staff.”
“And what’s a ‘right-wing study,’ anyway?” Krikorian added. “The numbers, from the Census Bureau, are either correct or they’re not. No one has suggested that our researchers made any errors, so what’s the senator complaining about?”
This all comes as the New Hampshire GOP has launched new web advertisements focusing on the theme of protecting American workers’ jobs from illegal aliens. The web ads say things like, “New Hampshire Workers Need Jobs: But The Obama-Shaheen Immigration Plan Takes Them Away,” and, “Defend Our Jobs From The Obama-Shaheen Amnesty Plan.” Others say, “The Obama-Shaheen Immigration Bill Slashes Wages, Spikes Unemployment and Shrinks The Middle Class,” and, “The Obama-Shaheen Amnesty Plan Is Hammering New Hampshire Workers.”
In a statement announcing the ads, New Hampshire GOP chairwoman Jennifer Horn noted that Shaheen has outright ignored the effects of her immigration policies on working men and women across the state.
“In all of her answers on immigration, Jeanne Shaheen has never once mentioned the most important group of people of all: New Hampshire workers. The only people her policies help are the open border lobby,” Horn said. “Scott Brown has pledged to fight for New Hampshire workers and stand up to the Obama amnesty agenda. Scott pointed out in the debate that more than 70% of the net employment gains for working-age people in New Hampshire gave gone to illegal workers or new workers brought in from other countries. That is the directly result of the Obama-Shaheen immigration policies.”
Horn added that Obama’s “fast-approaching executive amnesty,” which she noted that Shaheen “voted” for, “would allow employers to instantly hire workers coming here illegally at lower wages than New Hampshire workers, displacing those who need our help most – including New Hampshire mothers trying support their kids.”
Meanwhile, outside group Ending Spending is airing television, radio, and web ads slamming Shaheen for supporting Obama’s planned executive amnesty–and running print ads and sending out mailers hitting it too.
Given polling data that shows how successful this argument is, the populist immigration argument Brown is pushing clearly has Shaheen and her allies terrified a few days from the election. After Brown cited the study in the debate and used it on the campaign trail, the New Hampshire AFL-CIO–an organization that, nationally, abandoned its members and workers nationwide during the Senate immigration bill fight by pushing for more and cheaper foreign labor–slammed him for citing the CIS study.
“Tonight, Scott Brown recited the findings of a factually incorrect report from the Center for Immigration Studies. The report misrepresents reported statistics, relies on outdated, estimated data from 2010, and in many cases does not provide citation for its claims,” NH AFL-CIO president Mark MacKenzie said. “Nonpartisan studies such as those issued by the Pew Research Center do not bear out the report’s conclusions. This should come as no surprise. The Center for Immigration Studies is a conservative DC-based think tank.”
“While CIS claims that it is an ‘independent’ organization, with a ‘pro-immigrant’ vision, it has a long history of standing up for anti-immigration causes,” MacKenzie claimed. “In 2005 one of its own senior policy analysts went on the record claiming that immigration threatens ‘the American people as a whole and the future of Western civilization.'”
Camarota and Karen Zeigler, the report’s co-authors, fired back at the AFL-CIO by detailing in a blog post how MacKenzie made inaccurate assertions.
“The research conducted by myself and Karen Ziegler is based entirely on government data used to measure employment — the public-use files of the Current Population Survey (CPS) — and the data come from the first half of 2014 (January to June), not 2010,” Camarota wrote.
Camarota added that MacKenzie’s claim that Pew’s research doesn’t back up CIS is “incorrect.”
“I personally know many of the researchers at Pew, and I am unaware of anything they have published contradicting our analysis,” Camarota wrote. “Mr. MacKenzie’s comments reflect the AFL-CIO’s unwillingness to consider immigration’s impact on American workers. If fact, the union actually supported the Senate’s Gang of Eight bill last year that would have doubled the number of foreign workers allowed into the country at a time when so many Americans are struggling to find work.”