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Immigration challenge not over—America as sacrifice zone

Author and Columnist Frosty Wooldridge

By Frosty Wooldridge

Re: “The next immigration challenge” by Dowell Myers, NYT, January 11, 2012-01-12

In his recent commentary, University of Southern California professor and New York Times guest columnist Dowell Myers said, “The immigration crisis roiling in America for decades has faded into history.”

In reality, it accelerates beyond anyone’s understanding. Because of legal and illegal immigration, the PEW Hispanic Center predicted America’s population will rise by 100 million by 2035 and 138 million by 2050—90 percent driven by legal immigration.   “US Population Projections” by Fogel/Martin and the US Census Bureau present similar numbers.

While the world population reached seven billion in 2011, it adds one billion every 12 years on its way to 10.2 billion by 2050—within 38 years.  Places like Haiti, Mexico, Somalia, India, Congo, Sudan and Bangladesh send their exploding populations to Canada, America, Australia and Europe with no end in sight.  The third world adds 80 million annually, net gain.

While Mexico’s birthrate declines, it expects to rise from its current 114 million via population momentum, to 146 million by 2050.  More will flee northward for a better life in the United States.  (Source: UN population projections)

“Most Western elites continue urging the wealthy West not to stem the migrant tide [that adds 80 million net gain annually to the planet], but to absorb our global brothers and sisters until their horrid ordeal has been endured and shared by all—ten billion humans packed onto an ecologically devastated planet.” Dr. Otis Graham, Unguarded Gates

While Myers paints a picture through rose colored glasses, he neglects the hard facts of our diminishing water, energy and resource base in America.   In 2012, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Arizona and California face ominous water shortages.  At Peak Oil, our energy grows more tenuous and depleted with humans burning 84 million barrels of oil 24/7.   When it runs out and it will run out, whether 20, 30 or 40 years from now—we will be left with 438 million people to feed and limited or no gas for tractors.  Reality check: there are no alternative energies on the horizon to equate to the energy slave of oil.

The question is less about assimilation and more about sustainability.  Can America sustain an added 138 million people by 2050?  Can we maintain our quality of life and standard of living?  Answer: not a chance!

“Unlimited population growth cannot be sustained; you cannot sustain growth in the rates of consumption of resources. No species can overrun the carrying capacity of a finite land mass. This Law cannot be repealed and is not negotiable.” Dr. Albert Bartlett, www.albartlett.org , University of Colorado

What about ecological footprint?  Every person added to America causes the destruction of 25.4 acres of land to support that person. (Source: www.footprintnetwork.org)  If you take 100 million people times 25.4 acres, that equals to 2.54 billion acres of wilderness and arable land destroyed.   We suffer animal extinction rates of 250 annually in the lower 48 states in 2012. What will it be in 38 years with that much loss of habitat?  What about carrying capacity for our fellow four legged, hooved, winged, furred and finned travelers?

Upwards of two hundred species, mostly of the large, slow-breeding variety are becoming extinct  every day because more and more of the earth’s carrying capacity is systematically being converted into human carrying capacity. These species are being burnt out, starved out, and squeezed out of existence.” Daniel Quinn

At current rates of failed states like Congo, Bangladesh, Mexico, India, Somalia and the like, we must ask ourselves if we want to become the “sacrifice zone” for the world’s exploding and unsustainable nations.   How many can we import into this country when we already suffer 46 million Americans subsisting on food stamps, 13.4 million American children living below the poverty line, 68 percent of African American children are brought up by single mothers and over 15 million Americans cannot secure a job?

Professor Myers needs to walk off the USC campus and obtain a reality dose of the ramifications of mass immigration and its deleterious effects on our own citizens, environment and quality of life.  Instead of more immigration, we need a moratorium on all immigration until we move toward a sustainable civilization with a stable population.  Anything less is national suicide.

1.      46 million Americans on food stamps: Brian Williams, NBC, Dec 8, 2011

2.      68 percent of African American children with single mother: Ms. Dottie Lamm, columnist, Denver Post

3.      15 million unemployed Americans: Scott Pelley, CBS report, Oct. 2011

4.      13.4 million American children below poverty line: Scott Pelley, CBS News, October, 2011

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Frosty Wooldridge has bicycled across six continents – from the Arctic to the South Pole – as well as six times across the USA, coast to coast and border to border. In 2005, he bicycled from the Arctic Circle, Norway to Athens, Greece. He presents “The Coming Population Crisis in America: and what you can do about it” to civic clubs, church groups, high schools and colleges. He works to bring about sensible world population balance at www.frostywooldridge.com He is the author of: America on the Brink: The Next Added 100 Million Americans. Copies available: 1 888 280 7715

In a five minute astoundingly simple yet brilliant video, “Immigration, Poverty, and Gum Balls”, Roy Beck, director of www.numbersusa.ORG, graphically illustrates the impact of overpopulation.  Take five minutes to see for yourself:

“Immigration by the numbers—off the chart” by Roy Beck

This 10 minute demonstration shows Americans the results of unending mass immigration on the quality of life and sustainability for future generations: in a word “Mind boggling!”  www.NumbersUSA.org

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Frosty Wooldridge has bicycled across six continents – from the Arctic to the South Pole – as well as six times across the USA, coast to coast and border to border. In 2005, he bicycled from the Arctic Circle, Norway to Athens, Greece. He presents “The Coming Population Crisis in America: and what you can do about it” to civic clubs, church groups, high schools and colleges. He works to bring about sensible world population balance at www.frostywooldridge.com He is the author of: America on the Brink: The Next Added 100 Million Americans. Copies available: 1 888 280 7715

Dowell Myers commentary in NYT:

THE immigration crisis that has roiled American politics for decades has faded into history. Illegal immigration is shrinking to a trickle, if that, and will likely never return to the peak levels of 2000. Just as important, immigrants who arrived in the 1990s and settled here are assimilating in remarkable and unexpected ways.

Taken together, these developments, and the demographic future they foreshadow, require bold changes in our approach to both legal and illegal immigration. Put simply, we must shift from an immigration policy, with its emphasis on keeping newcomers out, to an immigrant policy, with an emphasis on encouraging migrants and their children to integrate into our social fabric. “Show me your papers” should be replaced with “Welcome to English class.”

Restrictionists, including those driving much of the debate on the Republican primary trail, still talk as if nothing has changed. But the numbers are stark: the total number of immigrants, legal and illegal, arriving in the 2000s grew at half the rate of the 1990s, according to the Census Bureau.

The most startling evidence of the falloff is the effective disappearance of illegal border crossers from Mexico, with some experts estimating the net number of new Mexicans settling in the United States at zero. The size of the illegal-immigrant population peaked in 2007, with about 58 percent of it of Mexican origin, according to the Pew Hispanic Center; since 2008, that population has shrunk by roughly 200,000 a year. Illegal immigrants from Asia and other parts of the globe have similarly dwindled in numbers.

This new equilibrium is here to stay, in large part because Mexico’s birthrate is plunging. In 1970 a Mexican woman, on average, gave birth to 6.8 babies, and when they entered their 20s, millions journeyed north for work. Today the country’s birthrate — at 2.1 — is approaching that of the United States. That portends a shrinking pool of young adults to meet Mexico’s future labor needs, and less competition for jobs at home.

If the number of immigrants is declining, what about that other nativist bugbear, assimilation? There’s little doubt that immigrants’ potential as economic contributors turns on their ability to assimilate. Fortunately, recent studies by John Pitkin, Julie Park and me show that immigrant parents and children, especially Latinos, are making extraordinary strides in assimilating.

Today, barely a third of adult immigrants have a high-school diploma. But the children of Latino immigrants have always outperformed their parents in educational achievement. By 2030 we expect 80 percent of their children who arrived in the 1990s before age 10 to have completed high school and 18 percent to have a bachelor’s degree.

But it is immigrants’ success in becoming homeowners — often overlooked in immigration debates — that is the truest mark of their desire to adopt America as home. Consider Latinos. Among those in the wave of 1990s immigrants, just 20 percent owned a home in 2000. We expect that percentage to rise to 69 percent — and 74 percent for all immigrants — by 2030, well above the historical average for all Americans.

Who will be selling these homes to these immigrants? The 78 million native-born baby boomers looking to downsize as their children grow up and leave home. Fortunately for them, both immigrants and their children will be there to buy their homes, putting money into baby-boomer pockets and helping to shore up future housing prices.

Indeed, with millions of people retiring every week, America’s immigrants and their children are crucial to future economic growth: economists forecast labor-force growth to drop below 1 percent later this decade because of retiring baby boomers.

Immigrants’ extraordinary progress in assimilating would be faster if federal and state policies encouraged it. Unfortunately, they don’t. This year, the Department of Homeland Security plans to spend a measly $18 million — far less than a tenth of 1 percent of its budget — on helping immigrants assimilate. Meanwhile, states with large immigrant populations are cutting the budgets of community and state colleges, precisely where immigrant students predominantly enroll.

How do we change course and begin treating immigrants as a vast, untapped human resource? The answer goes to the heart of shifting from an immigration policy to an immigrant policy.

For starters, the billions of dollars spent on border enforcement should be gradually redirected to replenishing and boosting the education budget, particularly the Pell grant program for low-income students. Some money could be channeled to nonprofits like ImmigrationWorks and Welcoming America, which are at the forefront of helping migrants assimilate.

Second, the Departments of Labor, Commerce and Education need to play a greater role in immigration policy. Yes, as long as there remains a terrorist threat from abroad, the Department of Homeland Security should have an immigration component. But immigration policy is all about cultivating needed workers. That means helping immigrants and their children graduate from high school and college. It means that no migrant should have to stand in line for an English class. It means assistance in developing migrants’ job skills to better compete in an increasingly information- and knowledge-based economy.

Thanks to our huge foreign-born population (12 percent of the total), America can remain the world’s richest and most powerful nation for decades. Shaping an immigrant policy that focuses on developing the talents of our migrants and their children is the surest way to realize this goal.

Dowell Myers, a professor in the Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California, is the author of “Immigrants and Boomers.”

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