Immigration Growth Agenda Doesn’t Work



From leftist politicians to libertarian think tanks, it’s conventional wisdom that America requires evermore immigrants to keep its economy going and to offset the aging of the American population. President Trump is on board, now declaring, “I need people coming in.”

Not so fast.

Though the U.S. is on track to receive 75 million foreign arrivals by 2060, new research shows that their presence will do little to stop the country from aging. Turns out that immigrants get old like the rest of us.

“Under current census projections, the working-age (16-64) share of the population in 2060 would be 59 percent. It would still be 58 percent in a population-stabilization scenario where we cut immigration by two-thirds,” reports Steven Camarota and Karen Zeigler of the Center for Immigration Studies.

Under a zero-immigration policy, there would be 89.8 million people 65 and older in 2060. But assuming current levels of immigration continue, there will be94.7 million people 65 and older in 2060, according to CIS models. (This does not count illegal aliens, who, by the way, are staying in this country for longer periods.)

Immigration enthusiasts have put America on a highly inefficient treadmill that demands an accelerating influx of foreign arrivals.

According to CIS, immigration levels would have to be five times the current rate to roughly preserve the working-age share of the population. This would produce a total U.S. population in 2060 of 706 million — more than doubling today’s head count, and boosting the share of foreign-born residents to an unprecedented 36.4 percent.

Camarota’s report recommends better alternatives to such a socially disruptive and environmentally destructive trajectory.

Raising the retirement age two years. Even with zero net immigration, this would have about the same impact on the working-age share or ratio of workers to retirees in 2060 as the level of net immigration projected by the Census Bureau.

Increasing the share of working-age people who are actually employed. The present labor force participation rate for working age adults is 63.2 percent, low by historic standards. Returning to a more typical 75 percent rate would have the same effect as vastly higher immigration levels.

FAIR has repeatedly debunked the notion that the U.S. must rely on massive infusions of foreign labor. From agriculture to nursing to technology reputed shortages of workers are, in fact, partly manufactured by bottom-feeding employers pushing Americans out of jobs.

Meantime, America’s foreign-labor lobby is working overtime. The Migration Policy Institute this week unhelpfully suggested, “Amid U.S. demand for higher skills and education, credentialing ‘immigrant-origin’ adult workers could be key.”

Libertarians contend that large-scale population growth creates more opportunities for businesses, workers and consumers. The Left leverages this mantra for perceived political gain. Naturally, corporatist conservatives are buying in, too.

Yet the bigger-is-better agenda fails to address critical – and growing — concerns about the size, density and cohesion of our population while ignoring (or embracing) steep fiscal and environmental costs.

Ultimately, it’s a lose-lose proposition.

As Camarota notes, “The debate should not be whether [immigration]makes for a much larger population — it does. The debate should also not be whether it has a large impact on increasing the working-age share of the population or the ratio of workers to retirees — it does not.”

About Author

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Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.

4 Comments

  1. avatar

    Some make the argument that Japan has been admitting more immigrants. They have but it is still a tiny fraction of ours and it is strictly people with skills and means to support themselves, not like someone who gets to come here solely because their sister-in-law’s cousin’s uncle got a green card, aka “family reunification”.

    Democrats won’t let Fox host or even carry their presidential debates because they are “not balanced”. Pretty laughable since CNN got busted twice for slipping debate questions to Hillary through Donna Brazile. The fact is they don’t want to be asked any tough questions. The “mainstream media” simply let Democrats repeat their talking points unchallenged.

    Chuck Todd is comical when someone says something good about Trump. He badgers them to get them to take it back. Last Sunday he had representative Jim Jordan on. Long story short, Buzzfeed had claimed months ago that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen had gone to Prague in 2016 to meet Russian contacts. Todd was insisting that the story was still likely true because there was “no proof” he hadn’t gone there. To which Jordan pointed out that there was not one iota of evidence he was there, including a lack of passport stamps that he was there. Not good enough for Todd who apparently expected Jordan to prove a negative. Todd is married to a Democratic consultant.

  2. avatar

    Immigration is nothing but a Ponzi scheme! Despite the overwhelming evidence that the primary beneficiaries are the One Percent’ers, Libtards still push this nation-wrecking agenda.

  3. avatar

    Very informative, Bob! Just curious if these immigrants, legal or non-legal are accommodated in the elderly homes, if they are, do they give up all their benefits, savings, etc, like we do as US citizens?

    • avatar

      Good Question Missy-KWQL

      The illegal alien invasion want our American Social Security [Medicare for all] without paying into it all their lives…the anchor babies have school costs about $10,000/yr/kid, etc, etc…its a MAJOR part of the $22T debt. America= Venezuela in a few years if the Open Border Party (OBP) has their Socialist ways…