Tuesday, July 02, 2024

On immigration, the welcome mat gets tarnished when overwhelmed.

One can say that large numbers of voters in Europe and USA are sending a message that immigrants are no longer welcome; as in "there's no room at the inn, not even the manger out back." That's my bleak assessment of human nature; folks turn to savagery by circumstance.

It's not the fault of the immigrants themselves who are mostly bringing needed skills and vitality to our economy. It's partially a function of overwhelming numbers of people; an echo of world population growth that has occurred since my childhood. In 1960, there were 3 billion people on the planet, today the estimate is past 8 billion.

Population growth is slowing down, but immigration is an echo effect of population growth that has already occurred; not to mention rise in authoritarianism around the world plus climate change.

Some folks say they are just against illegal immigration, but the waiting lists to immigrate legally are very long due to more folks wishing to immigrate than the quotas set for legal immigration. Congress can adjust those quotas, but talk of adjusting the quotas is seldom heard in political debates about immigration.

I think many people fear that more legal immigration would just bring more illegal immigration as well; like the mental image of bailing out the ocean with a teacup.

Unfortunately, lots of people demonize the immigrants, themselves, who for the most part are innocent and can be a great asset to this country. They bring skills and vitality, not to mention young workers paying into our Social Security system, when they are legally approved.

People do worry about crime, but I hear that there is a higher percentage of crime caused by native born Americans than recent immigrants. However, one worry that does seem legitimate to me, is the ability of border patrol agents to vet recent arrivals when the numbers overwhelm the system. Yes, it does take time to do background checks. Large caseloads, versus a small number of border patrol staff, can be an issue.

From what I hear, in the news, illegal immigration has slowed down significantly since Biden's recent executive order dealing with that issue.

As for infrastructure and population growth, planning is key. Many cities, in this country, are way behind in the number of housing units needed. Whether there is room, in our cities, to park all the cars, if huge numbers of people continue to insist on using private cars, is a factor as well.

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