Pandering to an Asian and Latino political action committee recently, Democratic presidential frontrunner and global citizen Joe Biden declared:
“We could afford to take in a heartbeat another two million people [per year]. The idea that a country of 330 million people is cannot absorb people who are in desperate need … is absolutely bizarre.”
The most bizarre thing here is Biden’s shaky grasp of this nation’s immigration history and basic economics.
Since 1825, legal immigration to the U.S. has averaged less than 800,000 annually. Due largely to recent radical spikes in immigration, America’s population has surged 16.6 percent since 2000, exceeding the pace of growth in the world’s most populous country, China.
A record 44.5 million first-generation immigrants in America constituted roughly 1 of every 7 residents in this country in 2017, a ratio not seen since 1890, according to the Migration Policy Institute. Now Biden is pushing for an unprecedented rate of 2 million new immigrants per year.
Glibly, the career politician from tiny Delaware asserts that the U.S. can “afford” to accommodate more than the current annual influx of 1.2 million legal immigrants. On whose dime?
“Today, some 63 percent of households headed by non-citizens use at least one welfare program, including an astonishing 80 percent of non-citizen households with children,” according to Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies. Those numbers come with real costs attached.
Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) throws more shade on the shiny stereotype of universally productive U.S. immigrants. Riding the chain migration of family members, “Only 1 in 15 immigrants comes here for employment,” the Arkansas Republican noted at an immigration forum last month.
Immigrants who work typically do so at the expense of native-born Americans. As FAIR detailed: “Both legal and illegal immigrants are often manipulated into working jobs that pay less than market value because of their limited options and skill sets.”
In fairness, President Donald Trump says he, too, wants “more immigration.” But while calling for historic new levels, Biden has offered no specifics on the types of immigrants he envisions. Indeed, he doesn’t even distinguish between legal and illegal arrivals. Back in 2014, then-Vice President Biden opined that illegal aliens “already are citizens.”
Bizarrely, Biden is considered a “moderate” in the Democratic Party field and has been attacked by rivals and party activists for his role in the Obama administration’s minimal efforts to enforce immigration laws. Though his rivals have yet to offer their optimum levels of immigration, count on the likes of Julian Castro and Beto O’Rourke to take the “over” in any bidding contest.