When Asked ‘How Many?’ Immigration Advocates Refuse to Answer

Published on August 31st, 2017

How Many?
RAISE Act: Less Immigration, Slower Population
 Growth Flummoxes Advocates.

The RAISE Act, a bill that would over several years cut immigration by about 50 percent from the current one million annually to 500.000, lower the number of refugees the United States resettles, and end the Diversity Visa. The bill should spark an intelligent discussion about how to improve the current family-based immigration system that has wrought huge, unsustainable population increases.

Whether the media, advocacy groups, and many in Congress can get past their emotional commitment to high immigration levels, and rationally debate RAISE remains to be seen. But here’s compelling facts that need to be emphasized.

Between 1965, when the Immigration and Nationality Act became law, and 2015, new immigrants, their children and their grandchildren accounted for 55 percent or 77 million more people. During the five-decade period, the nation’s population expanded from 193 million to 324 million. Going forward, between 2015 and 2065, immigration-driven population growth will boost the population an additional 103 million, equal to California, Florida, Texas, and New York’s combined population.

In recent years, immigration has accelerated. During the decade from 2000-2010, two record highs were set: 13.9 million immigrants arrived, and the number of foreign-born in the U.S. hit 40 million. By 2015, the total foreign-born had relentlessly increased to 43.2 million.

Since Census Bureau and other government data provided the source for the immigration population projections, and respected demographers compiled the findings, they’re unchallenged even by the fiercest advocates. But interestingly, when those same advocates are asked what the ideal number of immigrants the U.S. should admit, they refuse to answer either that question or any other immigration-related inquiry like, for example, what is the appropriate amount of enforcement.

Researchers at Remapping Debate posed those questions, and many others, and summarized:

     “Each advocate repeatedly tried to steer the conversation to what was variously described as the ‘inhumanity’ or inequity or unfairness of the current system, and to reasons why that system should be fundamentally reformed in the direction of greater openness. They were not prepared, however, to provide the shape of what a new and improved system would look like, and, although [Catherine] Tactaquin [National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights] and [Clarissa] Martinez-de-Castro [National Council of La Raza, now Unidos US] made general bows in the direction of the need for discussion on the scope of employment-based immigration, I was not able to discern any specific limitations that any of the advocates was prepared to affirm; to the contrary, the key arguments for opposing enforcement today appear to be fully applicable to a post-legalization world.”

The battleground is set. Open borders or less immigration that will create a better future. Please go to the CAPS Action Alert page here, and urge your Senators to support the RAISE Act.

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