The United States is involved in contributing to efforts to slow world population growth. But at home, the administration is actively advocating an immigration policy that would speed U.S. population increase. This disconnect results from the long-term focus on the dangers of rapid population increase internationally while focusing domestically on the short-term benefits from increased immigration that are asserted by immigrant advocacy groups and by employers.
The United States population increased by 130 million people between 1960 and 2010 and the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the country has added an additional 10 million people since then as of mid-2014. And it conservatively projects that an additional 95 million will be added by 2060. There is no end to this prospect, but it could be speeded up or slowed down depending on what is done with immigration policy.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, S.744 passed by the Senate in 2013 with the support of the White House would have added an additional 46 million people by 2033 through increased immigration. That so-called ‘comprehensive reform’ legislation is still being pushed by special interests and still has the backing of the White House and key GOP leaders.
On the other hand, a proposal by the most recent national commission studying immigration policy – the Jordan Commission – presented a blueprint in the mid-1990s calling for a reduction in immigration to a base of 550,000 newcomers per year. At the time of that recommendation, the intake of immigrants was averaging over 800,000 per year. Today, new legal immigration is averaging more than one million people per year and there are a similar number of long-term temporary workers coming for periods of up to 5 to 6 years or more.
According to a 2009 Pulse Opinion Research poll, 83 percent of the public expressed concern that the United States was projected to add 135 million people to its population over the next 40 years, with most of that increase due to immigration. But, the politicians appear to be more responsive to the vested interests seeking an increased flow of immigrants rather than the majority public opinion that would prefer reduced immigration. That is opting for short-term gain rather than pursuing a long-range strategy aimed at slowing population growth.