Population Growth, Immigration, and Amnesty

By Elizabeth Van Staaveren

Must the U.S. grow to one billion people or more?  We don’t have to, but unless present immigration policies are changed, we will.

Current U.S. population is well over 317 million, with one international migrant coming every 36 seconds and a net gain of one person every 15 seconds, according to the Census Bureau’s population clock.   

Birth rates among the native-born have been barely at replacement level for years.[i]  The huge increases in population are due to high levels of immigration,[ii] both legal and illegal.

Levels of immigration are set by Congress, supposedly acting in the public interest.  But various lobbies representing businesses, ethnic groups, and idealists who think national borders should not exist, have influenced the course of immigration over recent decades, pushing levels of immigration higher and higher. 

Rates of increase in immigration in recent years are astounding.  The immigrant population doubled from 1990 to 2000.  It has nearly tripled since 1980, and quadrupled since 1970.

Instead of reducing levels of immigration, as would be prudent for quality of life, or a healthy, sustainable environment, we see the various lobbies combining efforts in a push for vastly expanded immigration. 

S.744, the Senate’s so-called Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill, would double legal immigration and greatly increase guest worker programs for both low- and high-skilled foreign workers.  All 52 Democratic Senators including Oregon’s Wyden and Merkley, plus 14 Republicans, and 2 Independents voted for it.  The 32 No votes were all from Republican Senators.

The GOP’s recently released “Standards for Immigration Reform” are a deceptively worded version of  S.744, showing that the leadership of both parties wants amnesty for 11 million or more illegal aliens now, in spite of the fact that 7 amnesties have been passed in Congress from 1986 onward, and immigration law enforcement has been grossly inadequate for decades. 

Pending in the House is H.R. 15, which nearly mirrors S.744.  Four of Oregon’s five Representatives signed as sponsors: Suzanne Bonamici, Earl Blumenauer, Kurt Schrader, and Peter DeFazio.  Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) didn’t sign, but amnesty advocates claim he supports them.

Although leadership in both major parties favors amnesty, and all Democrats in Congress appear to be solidly in favor, Republican members are far from unified on the issue.  Over half of the Republicans in the Senate voted against S.744.  Opposition to amnesty among most House Republicans has so far prevented amnesty bills from coming to the floor. 

Honest polls report majorities of voters nationwide want the immigration laws enforced.  It’s clear that our legislators and presidents are not listening – we need to find replacements who will put the interests of citizens first.  The purpose of immigration law is to protect the citizens of this country.

Common sense argues for a moratorium for an extended period.  With birth rates among the native-born holding steady or falling, the U.S. could then begin to balance population and environment, stop forcing citizens to compete with illegal aliens for jobs, reduce unemployment, and sustain an improved quality of life here.



[i] http://www.cis.org/sites/cis.org/files/articles/2001/forsaking/forsaking.pdf

Forsaking Fundamentals; The Environmental Establishment Abandons U.S. Population Stabilization, By Leon Kolankiewicz and Roy Beck.  Center for Immigration Studies, 2001.  See Executive Summary section on Dropping fertility. 

Also:  http://cis.org/articles/2001/forsaking/why.html.  Why the change? (Center paper 18, 2001)  page 1. 

Also:  http://www.fairus.org/DocServer/research-pub/BirthsPopandEcon_2013.pdf.  Birth rates, population growth, and the economy, by Jack Martin, FAIR, 2013. 

[ii] Table 6, p.19