Multiple causes have led to at least a temporary end to net immigration from Mexico. Is this a temporary shift? Bigger border barriers and even more deportations could make it a permanent shift.
A four-decade tidal wave of Mexican immigration to the United States has receded, causing a historic shift in migration patterns as more Mexicans appear to be leaving the United States for Mexico than the other way around, according to a report from the Pew Hispanic Center.
It looks to be the first reversal in the trend since the Depression, and experts say that a declining Mexican birthrate and other factors may make it permanent.
Letting in large numbers of low skilled workers just to cut wages for already poorly paid jobs such as gardening and roofing was always a bad idea. It becomes a worse idea every year as more low skilled jobs get automated out of existence. Gone are the days when many large industrial behemoths employed tens and hundreds of thousands of workers each to do simple tasks in factories. Computer controlled devices make continual in-roads into work formerly done by manual laborers.
What are we going to do with the descendants of these immigrants as demand for manual laborers continues to decline? They do very poorly in school. In an economy where mental work plays a growing role the smartest continue to become more valuable relative to rest.
We face a big problem with declining labor force participation, especially with black males. This problem has been made worse by letting in large numbers of illegal immigrants to compete at lower wage levels.
Immigration restrictionists can take credit for pushing for policy changes that helped lead to a stop in net immigration from Mexico. Both tougher border enforcement and more deportations helped stop the immigrant influx.
The standstill appears to be the result of many factors, including the weakened U.S. job and housing construction markets, heightened border enforcement, a rise in deportations, the growing dangers associated with illegal border crossings, the long-term decline in Mexico’s birth rates and changing economic conditions in Mexico.
We should have an immigration policy that lets in only the most highly skilled.
Minorities, about one-third of the U.S. population, are expected to become a majority by 2042 and be 54 percent of U.S. residents by 2050.
The shift will happen sooner among children, 44 percent of whom are minority. By 2023, more than half are expected to be minority, and by 2050, the proportion will be 62 percent.
The largest share of children, 39 percent, is projected to be Hispanic, followed by non-Hispanic whites (38 percent), African Americans (11 percent) and Asians (6 percent).
The academic performance of Hispanics is so far below whites that basically America is dumbing down. The economic effects of this trend will become more pronounced with time.
A larger fraction of whites will be pulled into jobs such as medicine that involve servicing other groups that do not produce as many people skilled enough to do those jobs. That pulls skilled people away from wealth-producing jobs such as engineering, software development, and management of industrial enterprises. This will cause per capita incomes to stagnate and decline.
Our rabble rousing demands for tougher immigration law enforcement have begun to pay off in a big way. A new study by Steven A. Camarota and Karen Jensenius at the Center for Immigration Studies finds that the illegal immigrant population is down by 1.3 million since an August 2007 peak and that tougher enforcement of immigration laws is a substantial cause of the decline.
Monthly data collected by the Census Bureau through May 2008 shows a significant decline in the number of less-educated, young Hispanic immigrants in the country. The evidence indicates that the illegal immigrant population may have declined by over one million in the last year. There are strong indications immigration enforcement is responsible for at least part of the decline. The economy also is likely playing a role.
Among the findings:
- Our best estimate is that the illegal immigrant population has declined by 11 percent through May 2008 after hitting a peak in August 2007.
- The implied decline in the illegal population is 1.3 million since last summer, from 12.5 million to 11.2 million today.
- The estimated decline of the illegal population is at least seven times larger than the number of illegal aliens removed by the government in the last 10 months, so most of the decline is due to illegal immigrants leaving the country on their own.
- One indication that stepped-up enforcement is responsible for the decline is that only the illegal immigrant population seems to be affected; the legal immigrant population continues to grow.
- Another indication enforcement is causing the decline is that the illegal immigrant population began falling before there was a significant rise in their unemployment rate.
- The importance of enforcement is also suggested by the fact that the current decline is already significantly larger than the decline during the last recession, and officially the country has not yet entered a recession.
- While the decline began before unemployment rose, the evidence indicates that unemployment has increased among illegal immigrants, so the economic slow-down is likely to be at least partly responsible for the decline in the number of illegal immigrants.
- There is good evidence that the illegal population grew last summer while Congress was considering legalizing illegal immigrants. When that legislation failed to pass, the illegal population began to fall almost immediately.
- If the decline were sustained, it would reduce the illegal population by one-half in the next five years.
We need to wage another political battle in 2009 to prevent President Barack Obama from getting the chance to sign an immigration amnesty bill. We scared Congress out of going through with an amnesty in its last 2 attempts. I think we have better than 50:50 chances of stopping it in the next round. If we stop the next illegal immigrant amnesty attempt then we will be able to force continued tough immigration law enforcement and continued decline in the illegal immigrant population.
The next thing we need to move on is to put a stop to chain migration where people keep bringing over relatives from extended families.
Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies reports immigrant does not dramatically change the number of workers relative to the number of retirees. Therefore immigration does not help with the Social Security funding problem.
In the 2000 census the average immigrant was older (39) than the average native born (35).
Legal immigrants are almost twice as likely to receive the earned income tax credit (for lower income people) which basically refunds Social Security payments. Immigrants earn lower wages. Of course we could improve that financial picture by stopping immigration altogether.
If we do not change our immigration policies then immigration will increase the US population by 100 million people by 2060 over what it would otherwise be. Camarota says that is like adding 13 New York Cities. Why do this? It will drive up housing costs, food costs, land costs, crime, and other things we'd be better off to have less of.
Cubans who manage to set foot on US soil are allowed to stay. That partly reflects the political power of Cuban Americans in Florida. But this rule is a relic of the Cold War when escapees from communist Cuba were seen as great public relations for free America against the communist Soviet bloc. Cubans are increasingly using voyages to Mexico as a way to make it onto American soil.
Statistics make clear that Cubans now believe the route, although considerably longer, boosts their odds of reaching Miami. Almost twice as many Cubans - 11,487 - used it as in 2005.
By comparison, during the same time, the coast guard intercepted just 2,861 Cubans crossing the Florida Straits, and 4,825 others eluded American authorities and the applied for political asylum in the United States, according to the coast guard.
The figures indicate a spike in migration from the island, which in fiscal 2007 was at its highest level since 35,000 Cubans left in a mass exodus in 1994.
We ought to repeal the law that grants automatic asylum to Cubans. If they want to live in freedom they should rise up and overthrow their own government.
I saw Camarota on C-SPAN with a discussion panel including Ben Wattenberg and Mark Krikorian. Camarota commented that the average age of immigrants is so high that immigrants do little to increase the ratio of workers to retirees. His study results bear this out:
We have too many people already. This is showing up in all sorts of ways. Population increases have caused high housing prices which, in turn, have caused a migration into the center of the country away from the expensive coasts. Not just California but also formerly cheap areas in the southeast have seen substantial increases in housing prices that look long lasting even after the adjustments for the recent housing bubble work their way through the market.
We do not need more people. They do not serve some useful purpose. Low transportation and communications costs combined with lower tariffs have enabled global manufacturing which brings a scale of production needed for maximal efficiency. The only people who make living standards rise are the smart fraction (especially the verbally smart). We could cut down immigration by an order of magnitude, let in only the smartest, and make immigration a big net benefit rather than a big net detriment as it is today.
In today's economy the most highly skilled workers produce a growing portion of new economic value. Masses of manual laborers face stagnating or declining wages - a clear sign that growing legions of manual workers are not essential for wealth creation.
Population expansion puts home ownership and use of wilderness lands out of the price range of working class people. For example, the expansion of urban areas has caused the number of hunters to dwindle even as the population has grown.
New figures from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service show that the number of hunters 16 and older declined by 10% between 1996 and 2006 — from 14 million to about 12.5 million. The drop was most acute in New England, the Rocky Mountains, and the Pacific states, which lost 400,000 hunters in that span.
The primary reasons, experts say, are the loss of hunting land to urbanization plus a perception by many families that they can't afford the time or costs that hunting entails.
Some people who oppose hunting might find this news exciting. But those areas where hunters used to track down pheasant and other animals are now cities, highways, and suburban tracts. The animals in the developed lands had a better chance of survival when hunters had places to hunt than they do now.
I do not buy the libertarian Benthamite arguments for open borders. They ignore external costs and other problems associated with open borders. A more densely populated society will inevitably become a more regulated and restricted society. This is especially the case when immigrants bring higher crime rates and less belief in individual rights.
A record number of British citizens are leaving the country, according to official figures published yesterday.
An unprecedented 196,000 left the country last year, with Australia, Spain, America, New Zealand and France the most popular destinations for those seeking a new life.
The exodus is countered by high levels of immigration, with the Office for National Statistics saying that 574,000 people came to live in Britain between June 2005 and 2006.
A small island with 60 million people does not need more people. Besides, if the elites won't crack down on crime then the criminals among the immigrants are an even bigger burden than they'd be in countries with tougher policies on crime.
The new figures also suggested that middle-class Britons are beginning to move out of towns in southern England that are home to large numbers of immigrants.
This phenomenon - called 'churn' by Whitehall officials and 'middleclass flight' by other commentators - saw 240,000 people move out of London last year.
"Churn". I love it. Churned stuff tends to go around and around. So politically correct ideologues side step the lack of a return path for these English folks when they leave the cities. Or maybe they think they are whipping white cream to make colored butter?
A comment by "Celine" explains why she is going to leave Britain:
My husband and I will be leaving the country in the next few years, leaving it to the scroungers. Why? Because we are taxed, taxed, taxed and receive nothing in return. The public transport system is falling apart, while, at the same time, the government is conducting a war on cars. Council taxes keep going up but, at the same time, the council keeps cutting services. Most of all, crime keeps increasing. We live in a quiet village, but this year already, three of the shops have been robbed, two of the times by men wearing balaclavas. The railway station is regularly vandalised. The playground equipment is vandalised. Nothing is safe and the government does nothing but arrest law-abiding citizens for crimes against political correctness and for defending themselves against thugs. We've had enough.
The voters need to get mad as hell and vote out the leftists. Why don't they?
But the findings also demonstrate the impact immigration is having. A quarter of British babies are now born to a foreign parent and in some local areas in London, Oxford and Essex the population has grown by up to 14% in five years, largely as a result of immigration.
"We have figures for the contribution of mothers and fathers born abroad and that has risen slightly from under 20% in 2001 to slightly over 25% now," an ONS spokesman said. "That reflects the cumulative effect of immigration over the last 40 years."
Verlyn Klinkenborg, member of the New York Times editorial board and a nature writer who lives in a rural area of New York State, has written a piece in the Times arguing that the projected growth of California's human population to 60 million by 2050 is something we should seek to prevent.
Recently, the California Department of Finance projected that there will be some 60 million people living in the state by 2050. At present there are 36 million. The numbers in themselves are frightening enough, but what I find terrifying is the bland assumption that a two-thirds increase in population is inevitable and that the main problem will be creating the infrastructure necessary to house, feed, educate, transport and govern all those people. To me, the main problem is how to keep them from showing up in the first place.
Of course he makes no mention of why California's population continues to grow even as the natives flee. A liberal on the NY Times editorial board can not accurately discuss reality when to do so would violate taboos. That Klinkenborg could even write about population growth as a problem surprises me.
Picture all the roads and houses and for every 3 that exist picture 2 more getting created on top of wilderness in the next 43 years.
Somehow the numbers in themselves don’t really suggest the sobering weight of this projection. To say that for every three Californians now there will be five in 2050 doesn’t capture the scale of change. If you said that for every three houses now there will be five in 2050, or for every three cars, ditto, you might be getting a little closer to the visceral feel of the thing.
Californians will still be able to look at wildlife in old movies.
And then there is the impact of all those people on the other species with which they might have shared the Golden State. In 2007, we remain blindly impervious to the life-claims of almost all other forms of life — to the moral stipulation that their right to life is equivalent to ours. How it will be then I do not know, but if there are indeed 60 million people living in California in 2050, there will be nothing meaningful to be said on the matter, except as a subject of nostalgia.
We have enough people. The year is not 1700. In the year 2007 a continued expansion of the US population lowers the quality of life for the people who are already here. We should put a stop to the immigration that is driving the population growth.
Klinkenborg refers to a speech by James Madison which appears to be his "Address to the Agricultural Society of Albemarle, Virginia" (1818) which he delivered not long after retiring from the Presidency in early 1817. In this 1818 speech Madison voiced his worry that our species would wipe out many and even almost all other species.
On comparing this vast profusion and multiplicity of beings with the few grains and grasses, the few herbs and roots, and the few fowls and quadrupeds, which make up the short list adapted to the wants of man, it is difficult to believe that it lies with him so to remodel the work of nature as it would be remodelled, by a destruction not only of individuals, but of entire species; and not only of a few species, but of every species, with the very few exceptions which he might spare for his own accommodation.
Such a multiplication of the human race, at the expense of the rest of the organized creation, implies that the food of all plants is composed of elements equally and indiscriminately nourishing all, and which, consequently, may be wholly appropriated to the one or few plants best fitted for human use. Whether the food or constituent matter of vegetables be furnished from the earth, the air, or water; and whether directly, or by either, through the medium of the others, no sufficient ground appears for the inference that the food for all is the same.
Parenthetically, what does biomass energy amount to? A way to use even more land for human purposes.
Immigration is driving up the US population and increasing the size of our footprint on the land. The natural areas of California keep shrinking. Haven't they shrunk far enough?
Mexican mediocrity -- A chart in the NYT graphically illustrates the mediocrity of the human capital that recent Mexican immigrants (legal and whichever illegal ones the Census Bureau could find) bring. While over 40% of recent immigrants from India have an advanced degree, only about 1% of Mexican immigrants do. Over 60% of Mexican immigrants have less than a high school diploma. While about 20% of African immigrants work in "science, engineering, technology, or health," only about 1% of Mexicans do. Almost three times the proportion of Filipino immigrants claim to speak English "very well" as do Mexican immigrants.
We could and should stop all low quality immigration. We could demand that all immigrants have skills that make them highly productive and big contributors to the economic health of America. We could do this. But purveyors of lies do not want us to draw obvious distinctions between groups of people. We are supposed to believe the myth that we really are all created equal in ability and motivation and character.
Greater selectivity on who gets in would reduce the problems caused by immigrants.
I'm often denounced for drawing attention to the salience of race and ethnicity to immigration policy. Under an ideal immigration system -- limited numbers of legal immigrants chosen for their high human capital rather than for family connections -- race and ethnicity would be much less relevant a question. India, for example, is not high IQ region on the whole. If we imported millions of random Indians we would have trouble. But, because Indian immigrants tend to be selected for skills, assimilation into middle class America is less of a problem for them.
America is no longer a huge empty frontier. Even 50 years ago we had huge coastlines with few residents. But we have reached a population size where natives are moving away from the crowded costly coastal states and they are moving to get away from Third World immigrants. Immigration has ceased to be a net benefit. The frontier has closed. We should let in far fewer immigrants and do so far more selectively.
Michael Barone reports the facts. Why do this to ourselves?
Start with the Coastal Megalopolises: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago (on the coast of Lake Michigan), Miami, Washington and Boston. Here is a pattern you don't find in other big cities: Americans moving out and immigrants moving in, in very large numbers, with low overall population growth. Los Angeles, defined by the Census Bureau as Los Angeles and Orange Counties, had a domestic outflow of 6% of 2000 population in six years--balanced by an immigrant inflow of 6%. The numbers are the same for these eight metro areas as a whole.
There are some variations. New York had a domestic outflow of 8% and an immigrant inflow of 6%; San Francisco a whopping domestic outflow of 10% (the bursting of the tech bubble hurt) and an immigrant inflow of 7%. Miami and Washington had domestic outflows of only 2%, overshadowed by immigrant inflows of 8% and 5%, respectively.
This is something few would have predicted 20 years ago. Americans are now moving out of, not into, coastal California and South Florida, and in very large numbers they're moving out of our largest metro areas. They're fleeing hip Boston and San Francisco, and after eight decades of moving to Washington they're moving out. The domestic outflow from these metro areas is 3.9 million people, 650,000 a year. High housing costs, high taxes, a distaste in some cases for the burgeoning immigrant populations--these are driving many Americans elsewhere.
The desirable areas to live are full. Letting in more people will just drive up housing costs. We do not benefit from immigration. It is time to stop it entirely.
America's frontier closed late in the 19th century. It is about time we start thinking and acting like our country does not have an infinite amount of desirable land.
If you think Greater Vancouver is ethnically diverse now, wait until 2031, when about one out of two people in the region will have been born outside of Canada.
This is the region's demographic future if current trends -- strong immigration flows from Asia and a low Canadian birth rate -- continue over the next two decades, according to a new Statistics Canada report.
"In 2031, about 50 per cent of the population in the census area of Vancouver will be immigrants," said Eric Caron Malenfant, one of the authors of the Statistics Canada report, called Demographic Changes in Canada from 1971 to 2001 Across an Urban-to-Rural Gradient.
Okay, suppose you want to buy a big house in Vancouver. What will this immigration do? Drive the price of housing up. Each acre of land will cost more because more people will compete to buy land. People who are getting born in Vancouver today are less likely to be able to afford to live there 20 years from now than their parents are today. That's a pattern we see in California and other big destinations for immigrants. Get ready to get pushed out.
Elite interests on immigration clash with popular interests. So far the elites have managed to fool the masses about just how much their interests conflict. Population growth is not going to raise your living standard by increasing the scale of mass production. That's getting done with factories moved to other countries where labor costs are much lower. Also, declining costs of communications allow people to collaborate better at a distance. Economy of scale benefits are cancelled out by higher housing prices and by the need for more pollution control measures that allow more people to live in small areas.
Of the 50 House districts nationwide with the fastest-growing immigrant communities, 45 are represented by Republicans. All but three of those lawmakers voted for a bill that would make illegal immigrants felons.
Overall, GOP districts added about 3 million immigrants from 2000 to 2005, nearly twice the number that settled in districts represented by Democrats, according to an Associated Press analysis of census data.
The numbers help explain why illegal immigration is such a big issue in rural Georgia, eastern Pennsylvania and in suburbs throughout the United States.
They also help explain why House Republicans passed five bills on border security in the weeks before Congress recessed for the Nov. 7 elections. Only one measure, calling for a border fence, has become law.
The AP wire service that did the analysis above also has a PDF file of immigration data which you can download and read.
You might be indifferent to the fate of the Republican Party or even hostile toward it. Fine. But if these Republican districts go Democrat because of Hispanic immigration they'll also go high poverty, high crime, high white flight into expensive enclaves, high crowding, low trust, more expensive to live in, worse places to be. So will go the rest of the country.
It's one of those natural processes, like the locust. Illegal immigrants go to prosperous places, raise the cost of living, lower wages, drive out the Republicans, increase the number of government jobs needed to take care of their social traumas, and then, when the place is Democratic voting, crowded, unattractive, and electing lots of corrupt anti-business Democrats so jobs are scarce, they move on to new Republican districts. Rinse and repeat.
I hear the Eagles singing about California "Call some place paradise and kiss it good bye" and "There is no new frontier, we have got to make it here". But the problem is that we are ruining here - or letting other people ruin here. Once the demographic changes happen there's no turning back the clock to get rid of the high crime, high political corruption, low trust, low IQ immigrants and the crowding, taxes, less productivity-raising and safety-increasing innovation, and other bad things they bring.
Some people are lackadaisical about the demographic changes wrought by immigration. They think they can go to some other place that hasn't been ruined yet. But the places you most want to go to are the places that are most likely to get ruined. Want to flee to the West? Denver, Tucson, and Phoenix are now white minority cities. Where you going to go? Not to the top Republican districts. They are too affluent with too many high paying jobs. So all the Hispanics are flooding in to work in construction, wash dishes in restaurants, mow lawns, and clean houses.
We absolutely must stop all illegal immigration and greatly decrease legal immigration. We absolutely must deport all the illegals. If we make these moves now some parts of the country can still be saved.
Too much crowding of Hispanics and the resulting higher cost of living and lower quality of life is causing Hispanics to move into majority white cites and causing the whites to flee. The leftists, libertarians, and business interests expect us to ignore our own interests and support the immigrant deluge.
An analysis of census data released last week has shown that the white non-Hispanic population in another three of America's 50 largest cities has become a minority. In Phoenix, Tucson and Denver, the white population has recently fallen below 50 percent, according to William H. Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution.
He predicts that another four cities will soon follow. Whites will become a minority in Arlington, Tex.; Charlotte; and Las Vegas within two years and in Austin within four years, he said.
Although these changes were once driven by "white flight," Frey said, something else contributed in the cities that most recently reached the tipping point. While they were still losing some whites, the more dramatic shift was the increase in Hispanics, some of whom were moving from California and elsewhere in the United States in search of a better -- and more affordable -- life.
Why make our towns and neighborhoods less affordable? Why subject ourselves to a higher crime rate?
Some left-liberal environmentalists strike the pose of moral superior protectors of the environment while they support massive immigration that cuts into wildlife habitats and worsens the condition of air and water. By contrast, a smaller faction of environmentalists still accepts that population growth cuts into habitats and therefore fights against immigration.
"We've got to talk about these issues - population, birth rates, immigration," says Paul Watson, founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which confronts whalers, seal hunters, and those who poach wildlife in the Galapagos Islands. "Immigration is one of the leading contributors to population growth. All we're saying is, those numbers should be reduced to achieve population stabilization."
Mr. Watson also was a Sierra Club board member.Last month, he resigned in protest just before his three-year term ended because he thinks the organization ignores immigration as a major factor in population growth.
The Sierra Club is useless. Upper middle class environmentalism amounts to "just don't build in my neighborhood but make an exception when I want to add another floor to my McMansion".
If immigration keeps up at current rates then the US will gain the equivalent of California's population every decade.
Over the past 60 to 70 years, US population doubled to nearly 300 million. If current birth and immigration rates were to remain unchanged for another 60 to 70 years, US population again would double to some 600 million people - the equivalent of adding another state the size of California every decade.
California has about 37 million people. See below. Also, note that of course immigration drives population growth regardless of whether the immigrants are illegals or legals. The United States should let in only a small number of highly talented people. The rest should be kept out.
BY PURE happenstance, on the day that hundreds of thousands of people marched in the streets of California to demand rights for immigrants — however those rights may be defined — the state issued a new report on population growth that demonstrated anew that immigration accounts for virtually all of the state's human expansion.
The Department of Finance's demographers calculated that as of Jan. 1, the state's population had reached 37.2 million, up 444,000 over the previous year and continuing California on a track to approach 40 million by 2010 — and 50 million by the late 2020s.
That growth, a more than 50 percent expansion since 1980, lies at the root of virtually all of California's pressing public policy issues, including traffic congestion, land use and water conflicts, air pollution, public school performance, health care access, college crowding, and the state's chronic budget deficits. And the state's politicians have been extraordinarily lax in both acknowledging that fact and confronting the issues that it generates — in fact most of the time acting as if the demographic facts didn't exist.
All California population growth is driven by immigration.
When Department of Finance numbers are merged with Census Bureau numbers and birth and death data collected by the state Department of Health Services are added to the mix, showing that half of all births are to immigrant mothers, the inescapable conclusion is that foreign immigration and births to immigrant mothers together comprise all of the state's net population growth. Or, to put it another way, without foreign immigration California would have virtually zero population growth.
Our population has doubled in the past 50 years from roughly 145 million to 290 million. We'll reach 400 million by the middle of the 21st century. Our national fertility rate is very close to zero population growth. Most of our population growth comes from record-high levels of immigration that we have allowed and encouraged in the past 20 years.
Any serious environmentalist believes that population growth is as destructive as anything else we're doing to the environment such as driving cars an hour to get to work. A real environmental movement would work to keep highways from getting wider and work to reduce sprawl by trying to stabilize our population growth. It might make an environmentalist feel good to campaign for better auto mileage, but population growth puts more cars on the road and more emissions into the atmosphere.
Environmentalists are hypocritical when they preach less dependence on foreign oil while supporting population growth through immigration. One sure way to make us more dependent on foreign oil is to increase our population. I'd like to hear some creative suggestions for population control from our environmental leaders such as trading welfare benefits for sterilization, or using immigration only to keep our population from declining.
The modern environmental movement ignores population growth, and concentrates on politically correct forms of environmentalism such as auto emissions and suburban planning. Suburban planning in the face of population growth is futile. The paving over of America has been relentless, and housing density won't stop it in the short run or the long run.
When people come from less developed nations to America they use more fossil fuels energy and generate more pollution. Plus, they have more babies. Immigration amnesty causes a rise in fertlity and therefore more population growth, both in the United States and in the world as a whole.
Scientists and engineers can develop technologies that reduce some of the impacts of population growth. But that is at best an argument for allowing in the smartest scientists and engineers. Even if all industries and vehicles could operate with technologies which are totally non-polluting (and such technologies still lie somewhere in the future) population growth still causes the areas of human habitation to grow at the expense of wildlife habitats and at the expense of those who enjoy wide open spaces.
The Open Borders crowd likes to argue that immigration has been beneficial to the United States. But benefits do not accrue to all. In California immigration has benefitted welfare bureaucracies, prison guard unions, cheap labor using businesses, and a few other special interests while inflicting costs on net taxpayers (people who pay more than they get back in benefits), smarter children who have worse schools to attend, parents who have to pay for private schooling to get their kids away from the dummies and thugs, victims of crime, people stuck in traffic jams, people who can't afford decent housing, and those who get paid less because they face more competition in the labor market.
If there was a net benefit from immigration 100 years ago clearly the trade-off in costs and benefits has shifted for a myriad of reasons. The country is far more crowded than it was 100 years ago. There aren't as many natural resources such as timber and oil to tap. The average intelligence level of immigrants has dropped markedly. The loyalties of immigrants have become less toward the United States and much more back toward Mexico. The mix of immigrants, by being so heavily weighted toward Mexico, reduces the effect of cancelling conflicting loyalties that characterised earlier immigration waves.
The Open Borders traitors in the White House and Congress and the business and ideological factions that support them are doing serious deep long term harm to the commonwealth.
IN 2005, the least-affordable place in the country to live, measured by the percentage of income devoted to mortgage payments, was Salinas, Calif.
The second was the Santa Cruz-Watsonville area of California.
The third? Santa Rosa-Petaluma, Calif.
In fact, California has the distinction of having the 11 least-affordable metropolitan areas in the country.
California is also in the forefront of population growth, but it is not driven, as might be expected, by envious Easterners and Midwesterners escaping snowbound winters. Nor is it driven by long-term Californians. In fact, census figures show that over the past decade, more people have left California — emigrating to neighboring states like Nevada and Arizona and farther away, to Texas and Florida — than have moved in from other parts of the country.
The population increase is driven primarily by births and foreign immigration. According to census statistics, from April 2000 to July 2005, California experienced a net natural increase — taking into account births and deaths — of 1.5 million people.
And an additional 1.4 million moved in from other countries.
Blacks and whites are being driven out of California. A large fraction of the births are births to Mexicans and their descendants.
As the population growth from immigration starts to produce crowding in more areas outside of California the California real estate price phenomenon will repeat in many other locales. Why do this to ourselves? Why not have a US immigration policy set for the benefit of American citizens?
The old saying that when in Rome, do as the Romans do is disputed by the advocates of diversity and those who remind us that â€śAmerica is a nation of immigrants,â€? as though that were the full story. Some of American immigrant history has had little to do with idealism and lots to do with money. Without denying the enormous contributions made by wave after wave of the new arrivals, past immigration was also fostered by steamship companies, railroads, industrial strike-breakers and land speculators, much as today itâ€™s pushed by corporate agriculture and other business interests who couldnâ€™t care less about the lady lifting her lamp beside the golden door.
However beneficial immigrants may have been and may still be, should immigration be allowed to continue? The population of the United States is approaching one third of a billion people. If we continue to live as we do now, this nation, with another 50 or 60 million inhabitants, could be turned into a very ugly place, ecologically and aesthetically. Another 40 million after that and some American cities might begin to look like Calcutta or Cairo, or some planet whose atmosphere is mostly sulfuric vapor.
Thanks to the triumph of a reactionary individualism, public controls over private property are being kicked over one after another. Given the takeover of the courts by judges representing property interests, restraints governing erosion, water, wildlife and so forth are vanishing. That is bad enough at present population levels, but the imagination is aghast at what America the Unbeautiful will look like with another 10 or 15 percent jump in present population levels.
Immigration of today differs in many important ways from immigration in the 19th century. One important difference is that the United States was sparsely populated in the 19th century. Well, that's no longer the case today. The only sparsely populated places left are considered highly undesirable by the bulk of the population. Increasing numbers of desirable places are filling up. Cruise through Southern California or along the East Coast and see how much these places have filled up. You have to appreciate just how undeveloped many of those areas were even a few decades ago to understand how much has changed. I know a woman who remembers the orchards that used to cover what are now big housing tracts in Santa Barbara. You can see the same sort of change if you look carefully at 1950s and 1960s movies shot in Southen California.
What is un-American? Historically America was a place where land was cheap (and therefore housing was cheap) and people could do what they wanted without upsetting their neighbors. We live in increasingly regulated and constrained environments because we are so close to each other. I prefer the less regulated environments myself.
Von Hoffman asks some important questions worth pondering:
Yet, assuming for the sake of argument that immigration can be closed down and controlled, what would be the effects, immediate and long term? Would some work just go undone? Would we have a permanent labor shortage? Would, as has happened in the past, the high cost of labor stimulate the invention of machines and organizations to do the same work with fewer people? Would wages go up enough so that the educated middle class, which now cannot afford to have children, would at least have enough of them to replenish itself?
I think high labor costs would cause a big push for automation and a resulting rise in living standards.
Immigrants worsen the unfunded old age liabilities financial problem because poorly educated people earn less and pay less in taxes. The educational attainments level of Hispanics improve very little in subsequent generations. So the huge flood of Hispanic immigrants is dumbing down America with disastrous results in store for the future.
Also see my previous posts "Hispanic And Black High School Graduation Rates Very Low", "Mexican Immigrants To US Have 8th Grade Educations", "Immigrants Do Not Improve Academically In Later Generations", and "Hispanics Have Taken Bulk Of New Jobs In Last 4 Years".
Also see Edwin Rubinstein's recent article "November’s Job Numbers: Good for immigrants; Bad for the Rest of Us".
Evidence from a new study by Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies strongly suggests that allowing poor folks from less developed countries to immigrate to America increases their fertility and therefore increases world population growth.
• In 2002, immigrant women (legal and illegal) from the top-10 immigrant-sending countries had 2.9 children on average, compared to a fertility rate of 2.3 children in their home countries — a 23-percent difference.
• Among Mexican immigrants in the United States, for example, fertility averages 3.5 children per woman compared to 2.4 children per women in Mexico. Among Chinese immigrants, fertility is 2.3 in the United States compared to 1.7 in China. Immigrants from Canada have 1.9 children compared to 1.5 children in Canada.
• While immigrants from the top-10-sending countries have more children than women in their home counties, for immigrants from three countries — India, Vietnam, and the Philippines — immigrant fertility is lower in the United States than in their home countries.
• Immigrants in the United States can differ in important ways from the general population of the countries they come from. If we adjust for their education level, which is a good predictor of fertility, we find that the gap with their home countries actually grows — from being 23 percent higher to 33 percent higher.
Why would this be? They can afford more kids in the United States. If you think, like I do, that the world already has too many people then this result is yet another reason to oppose high levels of immigration.
• Put a different way, given the education level of immigrants and the fertility of similarly educated women in their home countries, one would expected immigrants from the top sending countries to have 2.15 children on average in the United States, not the 2.9 they actually do have.
• As for legal status, we estimate that the birth rate of illegal alien women was 3.1 children on average in 2002, or about 50 percent higher than the two children natives have on average. The birth rate for legal immigrants is 2.6, or about one-third higher than that of natives.
• The high fertility rate of illegal aliens seems to be due primarily to factors other than their legal status, such as culture and educational attainment.
10% of all births in the United States are to illegal aliens. Time to deport them. Time to build a wall with Mexico and stop lettting them get in. Time to start enforcing labor laws against employers who hire illegal aliens.
• We have previously estimated from birth records that there were 380,000 births to illegal aliens in 2002, accounting for nearly 10 percent of all births in the United States.
• If illegals are allowed to remain in the country, either as illegal aliens or legal residents, births alone will add some four million people to the U.S. population over the next decade.
• While immigrant fertility is significantly higher than that of natives, their presence in the United States is not the reason the overall fertility rate in the United States is much higher than in other western countries. Fertility in the U.S. is roughly 2.0 children, with or without immigrants.
• New immigrants (legal and illegal) plus births to immigrants add some 2.3 million people to the United States each year, accounting for most of the nation’s population increase.
• Immigrant fertility differs by education level much more than that of natives. For example, immigrants without a high school degree have 3.3 children on average, 74 percent higher than the 1.9 children for college graduate immigrants. In contrast, native high school dropouts have 2.3 children on average, only 27 percent higher than the 1.8 fertility for native college graduates.
• Because immigrant fertility differs so much by education, immigrants now account for more than one in three births to mothers without a high school diploma.
Stop letting in the dummies. Stop letting in the poorly educated and low skilled. Stop subjecting ourselves to "getting hit on the head lessons".
Bottom line: immigration to the US boosts the fertility of the immigrants. So our population grows more rapidly and the whole world's population grows more rapidly. Worse yet, the least educated are popping out the babies most rapidly and their kids achieve far less in education and income. Plus, those poor folks get their medical costs and other costs of raising children paid for by taxes on the higher income natives.
Keep in mind that the average educational attainment of native mothers varies considerably by racial and ethnic group. The European and Asian native mothers are better educated than that 17% average while the black and Hispanic native mothers are worse. As Hispanics become a larger fraction of the US population the immigrants will not look as bad relative to the US population total. But that just means the US native population as a whole on average will become less well educated in the future - at least until biotechnology advances to the point where offspring genetic engineering for cognitive enhancement becomes possible..
In an increasing number of areas in the United States housing is becoming expensive. Why? Partly due to population increases. If fewer people were competing for desirable land then the land would cost less.
Since Hispanics are the biggest block of immigrants and Hispanics do poorly in school on average even among 4th generation descendants of immigrants the speed of the change in America's demographics bode poorly for our future on both economic and political terms. Our elites seem determined to turn the United States of America into Latin America with huge disparities in wealth, large poorly educated population segments, racial animosity, and much greater political corruption.
With almost half of Hispanics dropping out of high school in America and the wealth gap between the races widening I have a hard time being bullish on America's future. Immigrants do not improve much academically beyond the second generation. America's future will be marked by more inter-racial political conflicts of the sort that bedevil Latin America. America's political elites are stupid. They are inflicting this future on us. What folly.
The Economist says immigration will not solve the birth dearth problem in Europe.
If Europeans want to retain their public schemes—and most seem to want this—then it seems inevitable that they will have to work longer, probably at least five years, possibly as much as ten years longer.
Even with more immigration, increasing the domestic supply of younger workers—ie, having more babies—could also be desirable and, if current trends continue, probably necessary.
Imagine that. The Economist is coming out in favor of Europeans having more babies. The editors of The Economist still need to expand their analysis further to precisely pinpoint who should have babies. The problem is not just the lack of babies. What the Western countries really need is more people who are net surplus taxpayers. By "net surplus taxpayers" I mean people who pay more in taxes than they create in costs (if anyone has a more accurate phrasing for this term please post in the comments). People of different educational and occupational backgrounds are not equally likely to have net surplus taxpayer children. What we need is more children from people whose children are most likely to pay a lot of taxes and to generate fewer costs that governments end up paying for.
Someone who, for instance, commits a long string of destructive crimes at a fairly young age and then spends the rest of his life in jail generates enormous costs that the rest of us pay for. Someone who is lazy, never tries to develop any skills, lives in subsidized housing, makes very little money, and pays little in taxes is also effectively a net cost to society. It may sound harsh to describe people as net surplus or net deficit taxpayers. But we face real long term financial problems due to both an aging population and growing segments of populations that are not net surplus taxpayers even before they reach retirement. We need solutions for these problems.
Most analyses I see of immigration and the aging of Western countries do not try to factor in the net tax revenue effect of various kinds of immigrants. For example, most illiterate peasants from Mexico do not make enough money to pay the government of the United States as much in taxes as they cost in Medicaid, education for kids, welfare, housing subsidies, and other services. To put some statistical meat on this argument, Hispanics in the United States are two and a half times more likely to lack medical insurance than whites and hence do generate a lot of medical costs that "net surplus taxpayers" pay for. By contrast, a graduate of an IIT school in India who arrives to take a fairly high paying engineering job at Intel is probably going to pay much more in taxes and cost much less in government services. While individual exceptions can be found in any large group we can still find ways to classify potential imimgrants that will, on average, yield more net revenue taxpayers and fewer net deficit taxpayers than is now the case.
Someone who immigrates later in life and yet manages to naturalize and become a citizen eligible for government retirement benefits such as medical care is particularly unlikely to be a net surplus taxpayer. A person who immigrates at an earlier stage and who has a lot of skills is far more likely to be a net surplus taxpayer. Immigration policy should be changed with the goal in mind of choosing immigrants who are far more likely to become net surplus taxpayers.
In an article chock full of interesting insights about demographic trends and patterns in America and the larger world it was hard to choose one to excerpt. However, there was a surprising demographic consequence of the 1986 illegal alien amnesty.
One little-known aspect of the large-scale 1986 amnesty, which might be relevant to the current controversy, is that it seems to have set off a significant baby boom among the Hispanic immigrants who were its prime beneficiaries.
According to data assembled by demographer Hans P. Johnson of the Public Policy Institute of California, in the mid-80s in California, foreign-born Hispanics women were having babies at a pace that would average out to a lifetime total of 3.25 babies per woman. As the amnesty took effect, this total fertility rate shot up to 4.44 babies per immigrant Hispanic woman by 1991. It then declined back to 3.25 babies apiece by 1998, the last year for which Johnson had data. This baby boom is now squeezing through California's intensely crowded school system.
Apparently, by allowing previously illegal immigrants to confidently put down roots in America, it encouraged them to have large families here.
The highest level US Census projection for the US population in 2100 is the absolutely mind-boggling number of 1.182 billion. Keep in mind that there are much lower level projections as well, But the US population is growing faster than the Census Bureau expected it to be when those projections were made. So a figure that high is not implausible.
The biggest factor that will determine how high the US population will rise is immigration. If Americans do not want to see the population of their country double or triple they are going to have to demand of their politicians that immigration be stopped.
A French thinktank has released a report arguing that mass immigration will not provide a solution to the French economy from the problem of a shrinking population. The typical immigrant is too unskilled, pays too few taxes, and will likely demand as much or more in social services.
Moreover, the Plan team stress that their survey of immigrants workers in France suggests very strongly that they do not provide the kinds of skills that the French economy will need in the future, and that the relatively low economic performance of immigrants suggests that they are unlikely to be net contributors to the welfare and pension system.
"Working immigrants are concentrated at the bottom of the ladder," the report finds. "They are twice as likely to be unemployed as the national average, and twice as likely to have no vocational qualifications. They are three times more likely to remain in jobs earning the minimum wage, without promotion. Manual and semi-skilled workers account for only 25 percent of the French labor force, but 48.5 percent of all manual workers are immigrants."
Of course, the same thing is happening in the US. Hotels, restaurants, and other low wage service industries get cheap labor but the taxpayers pay for this in taxes for health, education, criminal justice, and other functions of government because low skill immigrants pay so little taxes but demand more services:
The woman, a housekeeper for a major hotel chain, moved a year ago with her husband and their three children to Nebraska, a state with a fast-growing immgrant population. She makes $7.04 an hour, and her husband, a dishwasher at a restaurant, makes $7.25 an hour. Each earns more than the minimum wage, but a recent study of living costs in Nebraska found that in a two-parent family with two children, each parent would need to make at least $10 an hour for the family to be self-sufficient.
Because the couple's three children are American citizens, they receive Medicaid, but the parents are uninsured. They speak limited English, and, because of their residency status, they are barred from or have difficulty gaining access to language and job-training programs.
Allowing the growth of a low skill immigrant population that demands more services, makes low wages, and demands more services from government is a good formula for a higher tax, bigger government socialist future. Currently the state of California faces at least a $21 billion dollar budget deficit and if the economy does not improve that deficit could soar to $30 billion. That would be nearly $1000 per Californian. Given that many poor immigrant Californians do not make much money or pay much taxes and others are children and elderly the cost for working middle class and upper class Californians could run into the thousands per person.
How can immigrants pay for the medical care of old people when the immigrants are low skilled and can't even afford their own medical insurance?
Health care costs are rising at close to 10 percent a year. Drug prices are skyrocketing. Premiums are increasing. The 6.6 million uninsured Californians are using expensive emergency rooms for health care and can't pay the bills.
The Medi-Cal program for medical care for Californians was budgeted at $9.8 billion this year but the total cost is expected to be $10.4 billion and the cost for 2004 is projected to be $11.8 billion. LA County of course has a huge concentration of legal and illegal Hispanic immigrants and it has a huge number of uninsured on top of those who qualify for Medi-Cal:
The county has the highest number of uninsured in the nation -- 2 million people who make too much to qualify for Medi-Cal but without jobs that provide health insurance.
The Public Policy Institute of California revealed that a fifth of California's youngest children, those under 5 years old, are growing up poor. Indeed, the poverty rate for under-5 kids in California is higher than it was two decades ago and higher than what it is now in the rest of the United States. Overall, the PPIC study found, more than 40 percent of California children live in low-income families and the child poverty rate is highest in the rural San Joaquin Valley.
These people can't afford health care and so more affluent taxpayers are footing the bill:
The PPIC study found that nearly half of all children in California have at least one foreign-born parent, three-fourths of them are Latino, and more than half of immigrant parents lack high school diplomas.
"We found that Hispanic children in foreign-born families have the highest poverty levels (36 percent)," said Deborah Reed, one of the PPIC researchers. "California has far more first-generation immigrant families than the rest of the country, and because those families are often poorer, we find greater numbers of needy children."