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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

REID: IMMIGRATION REFORM WILL BE EASY TO DEAL WITH IN THE NEXT CONGRESS

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Wow. So much for everyone saying immigration needs to be put off because the Democrats don't want to get in to a bruising fight or because the issues are too complicated. Here's what Reid said about immigration reform to the Detroit Free Press:

Q: With more Democrats in the Senate and the House and a Democrat
in the White House, how do you see congressional efforts playing out on
such issues as health care and immigration?

A: On
immigration, there's been an agreement between (President-elect Barack)
Obama and (Arizona Republican Sen. John) McCain to move forward on
that. ... We'll do that. We have to get this economy stuff figured out
first, so I think we'll have a shot at doing something on health care
in the next Congress for sure.

Q: Will there be as much of a fight on immigration as last time?

A:
We've got McCain and we've got a few others. I don't expect much of a
fight at all. Now health care is going to be difficult. That's a very
complicated issue. We debated at great length immigration. People
understand the issues very well. We have not debated health care, so
that's going to take a lot more time to do.

Frankly, I doubt Reid would speak so confidently if he was expecting a major fight from Republicans. And maybe that's because the GOP is starting to acknowledge that they're going to be a permanent opposition party if they remain the anti-immigration party. In an article in today's Politico, urban affairs professor Robert Lang has written an article entitled "Demographics shifting, but GOP isn't" where he discusses the GOP's conundrum:

But the larger issue is whether 2008 was a "realigning election" that
went deeper than the candidates or the current issues. The jury is
still out as to whether Democrats can turn one sweeping victory into a
generation-long dominance of the White House. A key element in a
possible structural shift favoring Democrats is the changing
demographics of the electorate. The U.S. is growing bigger,
increasingly diverse and more cosmopolitan -- and the GOP seems on the
wrong side of all these trends.


The United States is the only developed country that is projected to
add lots of new residents by mid-century. In 2006, the nation's
population reached 300 million. The Census Bureau estimates that the
U.S. will get to 400 million by 2039. To put this growth in
perspective, consider that even China (yes, China) will not add 100
million people by that date. The U.S. will gain more new residents in
the next three decades than the current population of Germany -- the
largest European Union nation.

*****

So who are most of these new people? The quick answer is both recent
immigrants and their American-born offspring. By 2043, the U.S. may be
a majority minority nation. Another scenario is that a high rate of
intermarriage among whites and minorities may open to question the
whole notion of who is "majority." The bottom line for Republicans is
that no matter how this population is defined, an increasing number of
current minorities are voting for Democrats.

*****

Republicans can, of course, switch their strategy and make more direct
appeals to minority voters. As recently as 2004, President George W.
Bush almost won the Latino vote. But at the moment, the Republicans
seem branded as the party of white people. Furthermore, much of the
Republican base -- especially those listening to talk radio -- believe
the U.S. is being flooded with immigrants (legal and illegal). It may
be hard to pivot and embrace diversity without alienating the GOP base.
By contrast, many whites in the Democratic Party are comfortable with
diversity and now form a transracial coalition with minority voters.


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Comments

  1. George Chell's Avatar
    "So who are most of these new people? The quick answer is both recent immigrants and their American-born offspring. By 2043, the U.S. may be a majority minority nation. Another scenario is that a high rate of intermarriage among whites and minorities may open to question the whole notion of who is "majority." The bottom line for Republicans is that no matter how this population is defined, an increasing number of current minorities are voting for Democrats."

    African American women hold the destiny regarding demography. Instead of complaining about the shortage of black men, if more African American women married African men, like Obama's mother did, whites would become a minority a lot sooner..probably by 2030. There are three million African American women who are unmarried but want to get married and here is their opportunity.
  2. Pete Murphy's Avatar
    Rampant population growth threatens our economy and quality of life. Immigration, both legal and illegal, are fueling this growth.

    I'm not talking just about the obvious problems that we see in the news - growing dependence on foreign oil, carbon emissions, soaring commodity prices, environmental degradation, etc. I'm talking about the effect upon rising unemployment and poverty in America.

    I should introduce myself. I am the author of a book titled "Five Short Blasts: A New Economic Theory Exposes The Fatal Flaw in Globalization and Its Consequences for America." To make a long story short, my theory is that, as population density rises beyond some optimum level, per capita consumption of products begins to decline out of the need to conserve space. People who live in crowded conditions simply don't have enough space to use and store many products. This declining per capita consumption, in the face of rising productivity (per capita output, which always rises), inevitably yields rising unemployment and poverty.

    This theory has huge implications for U.S. policy toward population management, especially immigration policy. Our policies of encouraging high rates of immigration are rooted in the belief of economists that population growth is a good thing, fueling economic growth. Through most of human history, the interests of the common good and business (corporations) were both well-served by continuing population growth. For the common good, we needed more workers to man our factories, producing the goods needed for a high standard of living. This population growth translated into sales volume growth for corporations. Both were happy.

    But, once an optimum population density is breached, their interests diverge. It is in the best interest of the common good to stabilize the population, avoiding an erosion of our quality of life through high unemployment and poverty. However, it is still in the interest of corporations to fuel population growth because, even though per capita consumption goes into decline, total consumption still increases. We now find ourselves in the position of having corporations and economists influencing public policy in a direction that is not in the best interest of the common good.

    The U.N. ranks the U.S. with eight third world countries - India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Uganda, Ethiopia and China - as accounting for fully half of the world's population growth by 2050. It's absolutely imperative that our population be stabilized, and that's impossible without dramatically reining in immigration, both legal and illegal.

    If you're interested in learning more about this important new economic theory, I invite you to visit my web site at OpenWindowPublishingCo.com where you can read the preface, join in my blog discussion and, of course, purchase the book if you like. (It's also available at Amazon.com.)

    Please forgive the somewhat spammish nature of the previous paragraph. I just don't know how else to inject this new perspective into the immigration debate without drawing attention to the book that explains the theory.

    Pete Murphy
    Author, "Five Short Blasts"
  3. 's Avatar
    Hi all

    I have a question on OPT. I am a nurse on OPT now and would like to know if I would be eligible for an extension under STEM occupation. I dont know if Nursing is a STEM occupation>
  4. George Chell's Avatar
    Rampant population growth improves our economy and quality of life. Immigration, both legal and illegal, fueled economic growth in the 1990s and declines in immigration in this decade has led to declines in economic growth and most likely outright recession.

    I'm not talking just about the obvious problems that we see in the news - the collapse of financial institutions, bankruptcy, collapsing commodity prices including oil etc. I'm talking about the effect upon rising unemployment and poverty in America.

    I should introduce myself. I work at an international organization and we are in the process of writing a book: Rising Population Density, Globalization and Economic Prosperity in Singapore as well as Declining Population and Its Consequences for Europe." To make a long story short, I find that as population density rises even beyond some optimum level, per capita consumption of products rises despite the so-called need to conserve space in Singapore. People who live in crowded conditions such as Singapore find a way to import and store many products. This increasing per capita consumption, in the face of rising productivity (per capita output, which always rises), inevitably resulted in falling unemployment and prosperity in Singapore and Hong Kong. Singapore unemployment fell from 8% when its population was two million to 1.5% today when its population is nearly five million. Meanwhile, Russian unemployment increased to nearly 15% when its population decline in the 1990s with increasing poverty.

    This finding has huge implications for U.S. policy toward population management, especially immigration policy. Our policies of encouraging high rates of immigration are rooted in the righ belief of economists that population growth is a good thing, fueling economic growth. Singapore, Hong Kong, China, India among others are examples of this while sparsely populated countries such as Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and Armenia among others continue to decline. Through most of human history, the interests of the common good and business (corporations) were both well-served by continuing population growth. For the common good, we needed more workers to man our factories, producing the goods needed for a high standard of living. This population growth translated into sales volume growth for corporations. Both are happy.

    Singapore and Hong Kong have clearly shown that there is no optimum population density and even if there is, the US needs another three billion people before it is breached. Evidence from countries such in Asia indicate that population stability has nothing to do with propsperity, erosion of our quality of life through high unemployment or poverty. Indeed it is the reverse. That is why the Singapore government still wants to increase its population. Therefore, it is still in the interest of corporations to fuel population growth because, per capita consumption continues to increase in places such as Singapore. Hence, we now find ourselves in the position of having corporations and economists influencing public policy in a direction that is in the best interest of the common good.

    The OECD ranks the U.S. with eight fast growing countries - India, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Malaysia - as accounting for the highest population density by 2100. Therefore it is absolutely imperative that our population and market size continue to grow, and that's impossible without dramatically increasing immigration.

    If you're interested in learning more about this important new empriical evidence, I invite you to the websit of various international organizations such as OECD and the World Bank

    Please do not listen to negative population growth or zero population growth quacks. I
  5. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    "Rampant population growth threatens our economy and quality of life. Immigration, both legal and illegal, are fueling this growth."

    Yep, just about as much as taking money out of your left pocket and putting it into your right pocket fuels your net worth.

    "To make a long story short, my theory is that, as population density rises beyond some optimum level, per capita consumption of products begins to decline out of the need to conserve space. People who live in crowded conditions simply don't have enough space to use and store many products. This declining per capita consumption, in the face of rising productivity (per capita output, which always rises), inevitably yields rising unemployment and poverty. "

    This is why over the last 30 years of rampant immigration average HH dwelling in the US went up from 2,100 sq ft to 2,500 while average family size went down. Hmm, that does not add up to your story, right? Well, you know, those are facts, and as we know if the facts don't fit the story, we just need to change the facts, don't we? ;-)

    But that's not the most valuable proof that your "theory" is bogus. The strongest evidence is the fact that growth of the cities is positively correlated with lower powerty rates, not negatively. And no, Europe and Japan, with it is population density of 10+ times of that of the US, do not have the highest poverty levels in the world. On top of that, if your theory was anywhere close to truth, nobody would live in cities - why live in cramped NYC apartments, while you can get sprawing quarters in Dodge City, KS? Yet, there is consistently more people moving from Dodge Cities to NYC then back. Turns out, people LOVE living in large cities, and would rather live in small apartment with less clutter then in huge houses full of junk.

    And by the way, measuring quality of life by the amount of junk you can buy and stuff into your house - that SO passe... even for a fake garden variety economist like you. Oh well, I guess there were crazier people then you that got their thoughts published, so good luck with that.
  6. George Chell's Avatar
    "On top of that, if your theory was anywhere close to truth, nobody would live in cities - why live in cramped NYC apartments,"

    No. if his theory is anywhere close to the truth all the Singaporeans would want to leave their country for Inner Mongolia, Mongolia, Siberia or the Kalahari where there is hardly any people! Last I heard from some Singaporeans, they still wanted to live and work in there, and many Americans were headed there with their families to work instead of going to Siberia or some sparsely populated white country...yes even some racist white women who dont believe in interracial dating or marriage are in this category!
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