ALL RIGHT MAGAZINE: The stated goal of the Federation for American Immigration Reform is to reduce immigration to around 300,000 per year. As it stands, the number is about 1,000,000. What’s the difference?
FAIR: The difference is a higher quality of life for all Americans. Stopping illegal immigration and reducing legal immigration is critical to every aspect of our well being. We need a “cooling off” period. The annual level of admissions has been running higher for longer than ever before in our history. It’s out of control because it’s fueled by the greed for cheap labor by big business, instant votes for the political parties, and the desire to increase membership and political clout by the ethno-centric groups. The demands of these groups seem to dictate our immigration policy – a policy that is really intended to serve the broad national interest, not the needs of special interests.
The state of our current immigration policy doesn’t reflect our past American heritage, and it’s not in our current or future best interests. From 1925-1965 we had what is often called the Golden Age of Immigration. The numbers were controlled and sustainable, about 178,000 a year. At no time in history were immigrants more welcomed, assimilated as quickly, or done so well. But from 1965 to 1989 the numbers skyrocketed to about 567,000 annually. And then from 1990 on, we are seeing more than 1 million arriving every year. The growth is so large that California has to build a school every day just to keep up with new immigrants!
We simply do not have the space, the resources or the capacity to absorb them all. We are oversupplying our markets with cheap labor, burdening our schools, hospitals, jails, and testing the limits of our natural resources and energy supplies.
Yes, we are a nation of immigrants, but we’re principally a nation of laws and sociologically a nation of citizens. We can still have immigration but just not at the huge level we have now. Sustainability is the key. And we already have the most generous immigration policy of all major countries and have nothing to apologize for.
It all comes to this. There is more immigration demand in the world than the U.S. can possibly satisfy. Right now there are 6.6 billion people on planet earth and that number grows by 78 million every year and over 50% live on less than $2 per day. As the world’s population continues to explode, people will want to continue going where the conditions are best, and they’ll want to come to the U.S. That makes sense for them, but not for us. We are no longer the emerging industrial nation with wide open spaces for development and growth we used to be.
Immigration policy is in effect, population policy. It speaks directly to the issue of “carrying capacity.” Exactly how many more people do we want to squeeze into what is becoming a sardine can of a country? Based on our present trends of one million legal entries and ½ million illegal alien entries each year…we really have perpetual growth in a finite place and that cannot realistically continue. Our immigration policy needs to reflect our needs and the realities of the present day.