Thursday, January 31, 2013

Obama Gets It Wrong on Immigration

Obama gets it absolutely WRONG.

IF you were born in America, you are a native, and that is as true for the residents of New York's Chinatown as it is for the residents of the Rosebud Indian Reservation.

If you were born here, you did NOT "come from somewhere else."

This land is your land.

NO, we do NOT have to roll over on immigration because our mothers, grandfathers, or great-great grandmothers, came from Africa or Ireland or Korea or Mexico, whether that happened 20 years ago or 300 years ago.

Everyone not living in the Olduvai Gorge is the product of some distant migration.

So what?

What does that have to do with current problems of a too-crowded country, massive unemployment and increasing automation, a mounting debt, and increasing demand on social services?

America has a right to determine who comes, how many come, and how we enforce our immigration laws.

As I have noted in the past, I have yet to see Korean Americans pushing for more Africans, or the Congressional Black Caucus pushing for special dispensation for Cubans, or the Irish asking for more admissions from Mexico.

When it comes to immigration, it seems all the advocacy groups from the KKK to the Mexican American Legal and Education Fund have the same answer: More people that look like me.

Of course, employers want massive numbers of immigrant workers.

This country was built on unfree foreign labor, from indentured servants on the wharfs to slaves in the field, from Chinese workers on the railroads to Mexican workers at the car wash.

The argument "these are jobs Americans won't do" is simply a variant of "no free white man will pick cotton." Give me a break!

Given a decent wage and decent working conditions, Americans will mine coal on their side, lay hot tar roads in the desert, clean cesspools, and pluck chickens.

But if those workers are to get decent wages and decent working conditions, then their bargaining position cannot be undercut by an endless tide of foreign workers willing to live 15 to a garage, and work for little more than bucket of chicken heads.

Jobs, wages and working conditions are important.

So too are crowded schools, crowded housing, packed roads, and rising social service costs.

The issue that concerns me most, however is population growth.

When I first started working on U.S. population policy in 1980, culling through thousands of pages of testimony delivered to the Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy, the population of the U.S. was just 226 million.

In 2003, when I was Director of the Population & Habitat Program at the National Audubon Society, I wrote a short note about the fact that the U.S. had added 33 million people to its population between 1990 and 2000. I noted at that time that:

  • 33 million more people in the U.S. requires over 12 million housing units, assuming current U.S. average household size.

  • 33 million more people in the U.S. means 15.8 million more passenger cars on America's roads, assuming average per capita car use. 

  • 33 million more people in the U.S. can be expected to consume about 825 million barrels of oil a year (25 barrels per person per year). To put it another way, 33 million Americans will consume all of the economically recoverable oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in less than four years time.

  • 33 million more people in the U.S. can be expected to consume 2.26 billion cubic feet of roundwood per year (80 cubic feet per person) assuming average U.S. consumption patterns. Assuming 35 cubic feet of roundwood grown per acre of forest per year, over 75 million acres of forest will be needed to supply 33 million people with their paper and wood needs. Seventy five million acres is an area considerably larger than the total area to be protected under the roadless forest conservation rule promulgated under the Clinton Administration (58.5 million acres).

  • Of course, we are not talking about 33 million people anymore, are we?

    In the last 23 years, the population of the U.S. has increased by 66 million, from 248 million in 1990 to over 314 million today.

    Almost all of this population growth is due to immigrants, or the children of immigrants, that arrived in the U.S. after 1980.

    We can't grow on like this.

    America cannot take all of the world's displeased and dispossessed, and we might as well stop trying.

    We no longer live in an era of schooner and candles. If folks have family member overseas, those family members are only a phone call away -- and the call is free with Skype!

    It's only a few hours across any ocean for a visit.

    Email is free and nearly instantaneous, and it's a fact that even people living in the street in India now have access to cell phones.

    The simple, but harsh, truth is that if anyone feels "divided " from their family, then they can simply go back home.

    As for illegal aliens without work authorization, I am sorry but you knew the situation you were getting yourself into when you came over. Sorry, but millions of people have been waiting patiently to legally immigrate to the U.S., some for years and years. Why should you be rewarded for cutting in line and thumbing your nose at the law?

    So who is pushing for this "big wink" illegal alien amnesty and the massive chain migration that will flow from it?

    On the left, it's folks looking for a CHEAP CAUSE.

    On the right, it's folks looking for CHEAP LABOR.

    On both sides, it's naked pandering for very small blocks of voters capable of perhaps tipping a few local and regional and national elections.

    But at what cost?

    At the cost of jobs, money, massive amounts of more immigration, and, of course, at the cost of millions and millions of acres of land since forest will have to fall to field, and field will have to fall to freeway to accommodate the masses to come.

    When you add 20 million, 40 million, 60 million, 100 million more people to this country, something has to give, and that is always Mother Nature.

    So Obama gets it absolutely wrong.

    You are not a foreigner in your own country. This land is your land. This land was made for you and me, and there is no shame in standing for a smaller (and still very diverse) America. ..

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