The focus on President Obama’s usurpation of Congressional authority to regulate immigration has centered on the unconstitutionality of the action, on the counter productivity of rewarding illegal immigration, on the harm to state and local governments including school boards forced to extend resources to illegal residents, and the danger to public safety that will result from tying the hands of law enforcement against criminals and possible terrorists. What has been less discussed is the effect of the amnesty provisions on expanding immigration far beyond the levels that the U.S. public is willing to accept.
As a nation built on immigration, the United States has always kept the door open to some immigration. But as the nation has become more densely populated the flow of immigration became more highly restricted to limit its impact on existing communities and resources. The 1965 immigration legislation that ended country quotas was advertised as a measure to end a policy that discriminated in favor of European immigration but was not supposed to increase immigration. But that was false advertising. It opened the door to a rapidly rising flow of immigrants. What was a flow of fewer than 375,000 immigrant admissions per year at the beginnings of the 1970s is now averaging more than a million immigrant admissions per year. National opinion polls for many years have recorded that the public is opposed to any increase in immigration. (See http://www.fairus.org/facts/public-opinion.)
The president’s actions, however, clearly are an effort to set in motion a process by which those aliens who have come into the country in defiance of the law’s entry criteria will be allowed to stay permanently. That is the effect of the policy of “discretion’ in whom to deport, and it has been formalized in the distribution of work permits to illegal aliens brought here by their parents, and expanded in the most recent policy announcement of giving work permits to illegal aliens who have U.S. born children of legal resident family members.
The eventual increase in immigrant admissions – unless reversed by Congress or the courts – is likely to be in the millions of persons. These are millions of residents who Congress was asked to admit as legal residents and refused to accept.
Few Americans realize that immigration today accounts for about three-fourths of the nation’s population growth or that the immigrant share of population growth has been and will continue to rise unless a more restrictive immigration policy and increased enforcement are adopted. (See immigrationandpopulation.com.) If the public better understands the effect of immigration on population increase and the extra-legal actions of the administration in imposing ever higher immigration on the nation, it will be better able to protest those policy measures.