MichaelCD - The Blog.

The thoughts of Michael Cadwallader. Coffee loving, history book reading, Cheshire man.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Family Values

When social conservatives attack immigration, they are regularly told that they are actually engaging in a collective nose cutting. Immigrants, we are told, actually bring 'family values' to this country, and are, therefore, of great benefit to our society and social cohesion.

Let's leave aside the question of what sort of 'family values' these immigrants bring for now. Instead, what does the statistical evidence say? Does it really back up these claims? Firstly America:
President Bush and others argue that one of the benefits of immigration is that immigrants have a stronger commitment to traditional family values than native-born Americans.

However, a new analysis of birth records by the Center for Immigration Studies shows that out of wedlock births have grown dramatically for both groups, and rates are now about the same for immigrant and native mothers. Children born to unmarried parents are at higher risk for a host of social problems. This may be especially true for the children of immigrants, because they need strong families to adjust to life in America.
Then there was this report from Britain:
The number of marriages in England and Wales has slumped to the lowest level on record, it was announced today.

The 10% cent fall reversed three years in which an increased number of people had tied the knot. Provisional figures from the Office for National Statistics showed there just were just 244,710 weddings in 2005.

In London the decrease was even more marked, with marriages falling by 35%
London, of course, has received masses of immigration over the last decade. There does not seem, in conclusion, to be much evidence for the claims of immigrant 'family values' on either side of the Atlantic. So whilst I do want to re-establish family values and laud any attempts to further that goal, I think we can safely say that importing millions of immigrants isn't the answer.

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