Immigration and Rapid Population Growth

Stewart-rally-crowd-photoThe Census Bureau has come up with a new population clock on its website that provides access to new population estimates. The population clock shows the U.S. population currently growing by one person every 13 seconds. That is the net growth after subtracting deaths and residents moving out of the country.

How many new residents is that a year? It works out to be about 2.43 million population increase a year.

So, how much of that increase is due to immigration? The population clock shows that net immigration causes the population to grow by one person every 29 seconds. That works out to 1.09 million persons per year. And, if the rate of increase from immigration is compared to the overall increase, immigration accounts for 45 percent of the increase.

But that share is misleading. Immigration accounts or a much larger share: more than three quarters of the increase.

How is that? It is because the immigrants’ contribution to population growth also comes from the children born to them after they arrive. The immigrant population has a higher rate of births than the general population because they are more likely to be of child-bearing age and also because the immigrant population in general comes from regions where larger families are the norm.

Why should you care about the rate of population increase? There are many reasons such as traffic congestion and urban sprawl. But the most important reason is because there are finite resources that we extract from the earth. Some of those are energy resources (fossil fuels). Others are precious metals. Some are food resources, and probably the most critical are water resources that we pump out of aquifers. All of those extractions tend to be proportional to population size. So, faster growth means faster approaching scarcity. And the fact that the resources are finite means that they will not last forever.

So, what can we do conserve those resources? Besides adopting policies to conserve and recycle those finite resources, we can reduce the rate of population increase by reducing the share of that growth that comes from immigration. If immigration were scaled back from a net increase of more than a million persons a year to about a third of a million persons, the projected population increase would level off to about zero. That would be an enormous contribution to resource conservation.

Where Are We Headed?

storm-horizon-rotator-720x450The Center for Immigration Studies just issued a report with some stunning data. The subject is the growth of the adult immigrant population since 1990.They decided to focus on the adult population (age 18+) because adults have the greatest impact on the workforce.

There is one finding that is eye-popping. Between 1990 and 2014, one in eight (roughly 12.5%) of the entire U.S. population was living in a county that had at least 20 percent of its adult population comprised of immigrants – both legal and illegal. By 2014, that one-eighth share comprised of immigrants had zoomed to nearly one in three (approaching 33%) adults.

That kind of growth would be remarkable if it happened in a population sparsely populated with immigrants, but in 1990 the United States already had an immigrant population of nearly 20 million.

The trend that those data point to should make us all stop and ask ourselves and our policymakers “Where are we heading, and why?

From Journalism to Stenography: The Decline and Fall of a Once-Proud Profession

chained_keyboard_writer_rotator_675x450An active, inquiring and investigating press is essential to a healthy democracy. Without scrutiny from journalist watchdogs, government officials can get away with anything.

As revealed in a controversial New York Times article that has Washington, D.C., abuzz, the Obama administration cynically uses a fawning press corps to gain support for unpopular policy initiatives like the Iran nuclear deal. But this lack of rigor on the part of journalists today has also made it easy for the president and his minions to enlist the press to help subvert the country’s immigration laws.

According to the Times piece, the administration adopts rigid, ideological stances on issues and bends the facts to fit their worldview, refusing to even listen to the other side. This is clear when it comes to immigration policy, as the president steamrolls open borders opponents and enacts executive action to circumvent Congress.

The mainstream media is complicit in this ideological straightjacketing by pushing for amnesty and benefits for illegal aliens as they suppress alternative views.

In cahoots with many state and local law enforcement agencies, for example, journalists act as apologists for illegal alien criminals by ignoring or burying information. In this article, an Arizona murderer’s illegal status appears at the end, while the accompanying television spot refers to him as a “man” and a “suspect.” The public has a right to know when perpetrators are illegal aliens who could have been incarcerated or deported before he or she committed a heinous crime.

Journalists today routinely echo the narrative propounded by pro-immigration zealots by writing stories about how enforcing laws breaks up families or thwarts the aspirations of so-called dreamers and other successful students who just want to go to college (and, of course, receive aid). This focus only tells part of the story and downplays the fact that illegal immigrants made decisions that come with consequences.

Media outlets also continue to report about how the administration deports people at a record clip and vigorously enforces immigration laws, even though the president and Jeh Johnson, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, are on record admitting that this is untrue.

When he took office, the president claimed that his would be the most transparent administration in history. In the article, this transparency finally emerged when obscure administration official Ben Rhodes displayed complete contempt toward the media that spreads his fanciful story lines.

“The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns,” said Rhodes. “That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

Into these empty vessels the propaganda pours. Don’t blame the administration, since they merely exploit the situation to their advantage. In the article, Ned Price, Rhodes’s assistant, bragged about how easy it is to shape the news by feeding a narrative to their “compadres” in the press corps and watching it spread on social media.

The fundamental function of a journalist is to analyze and question everything they are fed from official sources. But members of the media have become stenographers for the Obama administration and its agenda, including immigration, no matter how bad the policies may be for American citizens.

Another Benefit of Arizona’s Effort to Discourage Illegal Aliens

Entering_Arizona_on_I-10_WestboundIn 2007 we published a study of the effects in Arizona of the adoption of legislation aimed at diminishing the ability of illegal aliens to find jobs and settle in the state. That publication, Recent Demographic Change in Arizona: Anatomy of Effective Immigration Reform Legislation (the executive summary of which is here) cataloged a long list of benefits that accrued to the state as a result of its new laws and enforcement efforts. Those changes included fiscal benefits such as a decreased number of Medicaid births and public school enrollment.

Apparently recognizing that the benefits achieved in Arizona offer an attractive message for other states with large illegal alien populations, organizations that defend illegal aliens have responded with studies that claim to show economic losses by the state as a result of its enforcement policies. Showing an economic downturn following the adoption of the new laws is easy, because the entire nation experienced an economic downturn at that time. Claims that economic damage resulted from convention cancellations in the state have been denied by Arizona government authorities. So, the naysayers do not have a convincing argument.

Now there is new research by education policy experts at Arizona State University that adds an additional positive development that coincided with the adoption of the new laws in the state. In an April 15 article published by the Brookings Institution, the researchers describe a major rise in reading test scores among students in public schools with the largest enrollments of Hispanics. “The relationship between immigration reform and school performance in Arizona” examines rising test scores among schools with differing concentrations of Hispanic enrollment and found that the students with the greatest gains came from schools with the largest Hispanic enrollment. Then they compared that finding with state data on the enrollment in those schools. They found that the same major Hispanic-enrollment schools were also those that experienced declining enrollment over the 2006-2010 period while schools with the lowest concentration of Hispanic students were gaining in enrollment.

The researchers’ assumption is that the exodus of illegal aliens from Arizona following the adoption of restrictive measures especially impacted the large Hispanic-enrollment schools, and the data validate that assumption. Whether the ensuing gains in test scores was due to the departure of poorly performing children of illegal aliens or because the departure improved the learning environment for the remaining children isn’t proven, but the better test performance is clearly a sign that the remaining students are likely to be better prepared to enter the workforce and, thereby, more likely to be greater contributors to the future economy.

FAIR vs ITEP Estimates of the Costs of Illegal Immigration

How much is illegal immigration costing your school district? ImmigrationReform.comAn article on the Philippine-based Inquirer website on April 5, relied on data from the Instituted on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) and from FAIR to describe opposing conclusions regarding the impact of illegal aliens.

Although the article attempted to appear impartial, it clearly tilted toward the side of supporting illegal aliens by offering examples of illegal aliens who have regularly paid taxes and supposedly have not received any welfare benefits.

What the story misses is the fact that the ITEP estimates of taxes paid by illegal aliens are irrelevant because the same tax payments –  likely, much more – would be paid if the same jobs held by the illegal workers were instead held by legal workers. Illegal workers are much more likely than legal workers to be working for cash, thereby avoiding tax withholding. They also are much more likely to be spending less on taxable purchases because they are sending part of their income back to their home country in remittances.

The article also tilts in favor of defenders of illegal aliens in the comment; “FAIR’s focus on tax contributions compared to benefits received has also been assailed as the wrong basis for immigration policy. Based on that method, a huge chunk of native-born Americans can also be categorized as freeloaders for receiving way more benefits than they contribute in taxes.”

That argument suggests that if some U.S. citizens are a fiscal burden, we should also accept illegal aliens as burdens on the taxpayer. That is in effect an argument that we should have an immigration open door policy and welcome all comers regardless of the impact that they might have on the American public. There are some people who apparently support that view, but fortunately they are a small minority.