COMMENTARY: by NPG President Donald Mann
How many more years are we going to put up with listening to our elected leaders talk about immigration reform while doing absolutely nothing about it?
Far too many of our leaders – from both political parties – seem to approach immigration issues in a very closed-minded fashion. They wrongly feel that the only way to make progress in correcting the many deficiencies in America’s immigration system is for Congress to create one giant piece of legislation that singlehandedly resolves the problem of how to deal with millions of illegal immigrants already in our country.
This is an absurd approach to take. Each individual immigration issue can and should stand alone and be debated on its own merits. Saying that we can’t move forward without tackling the highly-divisive amnesty and deportation arguments only serves to provide political cover for spineless politicians who want to avoid casting any immigration-related votes.
There is another, more workable approach. And it is up to all of us who demand real immigration reform now to force our elected leaders to go this route.
As I write this column there are many single-topic immigration-related bills in Congress awaiting action. Passage of each of them would address and correct a specific immigration problem and go a long way in cutting future population growth.
I am speaking of the bills related to mandatory E-verify, anchor babies, family reunification, visa caps, etc., which were a priority focus of NPG activities throughout 2011 and will remain so in 2012.
All of these bills are languishing in Congressional committees. A few have already been the subject of spirited public hearings. Yet, none have been voted on in the full U.S. House of Representatives or U.S. Senate.
What we are witnessing is full-scale political cowardice.
If our Congressional leaders are serious about addressing our vast immigration problems, they must make major strides in the coming months by fast-tracking key bills and bringing them forth for an up or down vote.
If a bill such as H.R. 2885, The Workforce Verification Act (which calls for mandatory E-verify) is brought up for a vote and fails to pass, then at least the American people will know what powerful groups are standing in the way and blocking this
much-needed reform. [Note: It needs to be exposed to all Americans that the often-venerated U.S. Chamber of Commerce is one of the most powerful groups fighting mandatory E-verify.]
It is also terribly disappointing that Congress can’t stand up to the open-border lobby and pass H.R. 140, The Birthright Citizenship Act. This long-overdue piece of legislation would rewrite current laws on anchor babies, correcting the problem of countless thousands of pregnant foreigners coming to the U.S. to give birth to a child who then gains permanent U.S. citizenship. Not a single person would lose their current U.S. citizenship if it is passed, yet Congress won’t act.
Without question, there’s also a lot of politics at play in trying to get legislation like H.R. 692, The Family Reunification Act, enacted into law. However, it is time to finally draw the line on the number of additional family members new citizens can bring into our country. We are never going to meet our goals to put the brakes on ever-increasing population if every time we create a new U.S. citizen, we automatically open the doors to countless more people.
Can we succeed in getting Congress to act on any of these bills this year? That is definitely a tall order in an election year. Yet, American citizens should no longer remain silent. We must use our political clout to bring forth these and other responsible immigration reforms and not become complicit like our fainthearted leaders. By cowering to those who seek total non-enforcement of current immigration laws and fewer restrictions on the number of people coming into our country, they are placing our nation at great risk.
NPG is proud to have fought the battle for responsible population and immigration policies for 40 years now. Our strength comes from the conviction that serious people will not tolerate destructive policies that will bring doom to our nation. In this special anniversary year we must recommit to our goals and rally the American people to work with us. Together, we will press even harder to pass legislation that will create a livable nation for future generations. In the long-term, we can win this fight – we must win this fight!
As we have for many years, we strongly encourage you to contact your elected officials asking them to support passage of these individual pieces of legislation. If you have yet to renew your 2012 NPG Membership, please do so today.
POLLING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ON IMMIGRATION
A Gallup Poll taken in January revealed that 34 percent of the American public is “very dissatisfied” with the current level of immigration and 24 percent are “somewhat dissatisfied.” NPG is relieved to see that only four percent were recorded as being “very satisfied.”
Judicial Watch released the results of a nationwide survey of registered voters conducted in partnership with Harris Interactive. The findings on illegal immigration revealed:
“The majority of registered voters (53%) want more emphasis on law enforcement when addressing illegal immigration while only a small percentage (9%) want less. Meanwhile, three-out-of-four registered voters (74%) believe local law enforcement officers should help enforce illegal immigration laws, including a majority of Hispanics (57%). A majority of registered voters (64%) disagree with illegal alien sanctuary policies, including a slight majority of Hispanic (51%). Poll respondents are evenly split on the President’s illegal immigration policies, with 42% disagreeing and 40% agreeing with the administration’s approach.”
The Population Media Center recently circulated an article related to population planning in Pakistan (present population about 178 million) whereby officials are trying to get community leaders to rally around the concept of birth-spacing to slow that country’s rapid population growth. Their goal is to replace the current policy of trying to limit the number of births by bringing about a gap of at least two years between each pregnancy. The proposal is receiving widespread approval with religious leaders and NPG supports all efforts to educate people regarding the need for smaller populations. Read more at Population Media Center
AN ALTERNATE IDEA TO GETTING TOUGH ON ILLEGALS
National columnist John Hawkins has long been a solid voice in the fight for stronger immigration laws. In a recent column on fixing our illegal immigration problem he once again advocates such measures as passing mandatory E-verify, completing a realistic border fence, strengthening immigration enforcement, and putting more money and manpower into an effective visa program which makes visa holders leave the country when their visa expires. Hawkins also put forth an alternate idea that would correct the existing problems where those who are deported simply sneak back in by proposing:
“If you get caught in the United States illegally, we fingerprint you, take a DNA sample, and you are NEVER allowed to become a citizen or enter the United States legally again. That means if you have relatives here, you will NEVER be able to legally visit them. If we ever do create a guest worker program that you could potentially participate in, you’ll be locked out. If you ever hope to be an American citizen, it will be off the table.
Some illegals won’t care at all about this penalty, but for many illegals, this would be a tremendous disincentive to enter or stay in the United States illegally. You want to see the illegals ‘self-deport?’ This one change would drive millions of them out of the country.”
NPG believes that if we are ever going to truly bring a halt to illegal immigration we need strict measures such as this – along with the enforcement that would make them effective. With immigration – both legal and illegal – already targeted as the greatest factor that will drive our future population growth we must get serious about getting it under control. NPG supports Hawkins’ ideas and encourages you to forward this information to friends and family. The future of our country is at stake!
AMERICAN INDIAN POPULATION GROWTH
The U.S. Census Bureau released data this week which shows that “Almost half of American Indians and Alaska Natives identify with multiple races, representing a group that grew by 39 percent over a decade.”
According to a story put forth by the Associated Press: “Of the 5.2 million people counted as Natives in 2010, nearly 2.3 million reported being Native in combination with one or more of six other race categories, showcasing a growing diversity among Natives. Those who added black, white or both as personal identifier made up 84 percent of the multi-racial group.”
AP added: “The bump in the multi-racial group from 1.6 million in 2000 to nearly 2.3 million in 2010 was higher than that of those who reported being solely of Native descent.”
Census Director Robert Groves, quoted in relation to this story, stated that the bureau has projected that the overall Native population will increase to 6.8 million in 2030 and about 8.6 million in 2050. Both multiracial Natives and Natives alone grew at a rate higher from 2000 to 2010 than the U.S. population at large.
Other Census findings tied to this story include:
- Seventy-eight percent of Natives live off tribal reservations but many live in counties close to reservations, particularly throughout the West, including Oklahoma.
- The majority of Natives live in 10 states: Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and Washington.
TEST PROGRAM SHOWS THAT 42,000 ILLEGALS COULD BYPASS THE COURTS
In mid-January, CNN reported on the results of a test of controversial new protocols advanced by the Obama Administration. Now with the discretion to “administratively close” immigration cases instead of taking them to court, ICE officials have closed approximately 14% of the 12,000 cases reviewed thus far.
That would mean, provided these individuals pass a final background check, their status in the country would no longer be challenged and they could hold jobs.
According to CNN: “If the 14% were to hold consistent for the 300,000 cases pending before the immigration courts, approximately 42,000 immigrants would bypass the courts and be permitted to stay in the United States.”
NPG and a wide-range of other groups and citizens have condemned this plan as “backdoor amnesty” and an “end run” around Congress’ authority to write immigration laws.
The CNN story quotes Congressman Lamar Smith (R, TX) as saying: “If these results play out nationwide, tens of thousands of illegal immigrants will benefit and tens of thousands of Americans will find it harder to get jobs. How can the Obama administration justify granting work authorization to illegal immigrants when so many American citizens don’t have jobs?” Read more at: cnn.com
FINALLY…SLOWER POPULATION GROWTH
The opening paragraph of a story in The New York Times at the end of December brought news that is music to the ears of all NPG supporters. It read:
“The population of the United States grew this year at its slowest rate since the 1940’s, the Census Bureau reported on Wednesday, as the gloomy economy continued to depress births and immigration fell to its lowest level since 1991.”
The article, written by Sabrina Tavernise, noted: “The population grew by 2.8 million people from April 2010 to July 2011, according to the bureau’s new estimates. The annual increase, about 0.7 percent when calculated for the year that ended in July 2011, was the smallest since 1945, when the population fell by 0.3 percent in the last year of World War II.” The Census Bureau director, Robert M. Groves, was quoted as stating: “The nation’s overall growth rate is now at its lowest point since before the baby boom.”
Fewer jobs in the U.S. also contributed to a lower level of immigration. In addition, birthrates across the country were lower due to the gloomy economy.
While NPG is not out to celebrate bad economic times, it is important to note that even the slightest dip in population growth today is important. What is especially important is for our nation to be united in keeping immigration levels at a very low rate and educating all Americans about the value of a long-term lower birth rate to protect the quality of life for future generations. Read the full story at The New York Times
TALKING POINTS ON COLLEGE TUITION FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS
The issue of college tuition for illegal aliens has become a prime topic of debate in many state legislatures in recent years, creating much conflict. Besides offering a “reward” to those in our country illegally, the costs for offering in-state tuition runs into the millions of dollars – an unwelcome expense in these times when state budgets are undergoing severe cutbacks.
To help citizens better understand this volatile issue, The Heritage Foundation issued a Legal Memorandum last November which presents a very thorough discussion of the facts surrounding in-state tuition and how individual states are handling it. This valuable publication, authored by Hans A. von Spakovsky and Charles D. Stimson, is available at heritage.org. Below we offer the Talking Points on this subject, as found on the front page of the memorandum:
- Federal immigration law prohibits states from providing in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens based on residence in a state unless the same rates are offered to all U.S. citizens.
- Twelve states are providing illegal aliens with in-state tuition rates (California, Texas, New York, Utah, Washington, Oklahoma, Illinois, Kansas, New Mexico, Nebraska, Maryland, and Connecticut) based on flimsy distinctions that likely violate the federal statute.
- These states are encouraging illegal immigration, forcing taxpayers to subsidize the education of illegal aliens, and unfairly punishing students from out-of-state who are U.S. citizens.
- While the Justice Department is suing states that are assisting the enforcement of federal immigration law, it is ignoring the violation of an unambiguous federal law that is designed to reduce incentives for illegal immigration.
- The Justice Department has an obligation to enforce federal law and take action against these twelve states.
NPG’S 40th ANNIVERSARY MULTI-MEDIA SCHOLARSHIP CONTESTS
Calling all students interested in competing for some sizeable scholarship money!
To celebrate NPG’s 40th Anniversary we are launching three Scholarship Contests which will award a total of $22,500 to 18 talented students for the 2012-2013 scholastic year:
Scholarship Essay Contest: High school seniors and college freshmen, sophomores, and juniors will be presented with the following challenge:
Without critical changes, U.S. population growth will reach 438 million people in less than 40 years. Explain how this projected growth will negatively affect the United States socially, economically and environmentally. Submissions must be between 500 and 700 words.
A total of six scholarships, ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 will be awarded. Text from the winning essays will be used in print advertisements, newsletter stories, the NPG Journal and other outreach projects as well as being posted on NPG’s website and Facebook page.
Student Poster Contest: Building on the success of our 2008 effort, high school students will be asked to:
Submit a multi-color poster designed to display the negative consequences of allowing U.S. population to grow to an unsustainable level of 438 million people.
The theme for this contest is intentionally designed to pair with the Essay Contest Question to give NPG a wide pool of material for advertising and other informational material. A total of six scholarships, ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 will be awarded for the best posters.
Video Contest: New this year is an invitation to film and video production students at the college level (as well as college-bound high school seniors) to:
Create a one to three minute video that strongly conveys the negative effects of permitting population growth in the United States to grow to an unsustainable level of 438 million people in the next 40 years.
A total of six scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 will be awarded to winners of the video competition. Winning entries will appear on NPG’s website and Facebook page, linked to our email-based NPG Journal, and posted to popular websites such as YouTube where they can gain widespread distribution.
Information and additional details about all three of these exciting programs is now posted on the NPG website. If you know of a talented high school or college student who is interested in competing for one of our scholarships, please bring this article to their attention.
NPG PAYS TRIBUTE TO LEE BOUVIER
NPG just recently learned of the death of our good friend Dr. Lee Bouvier, whose friendship, talents and dedication to population issues were instrumental in helping us put together this proud organization decades ago and who continued to actively contribute to our growth and success throughout the years.
Lee started out life with a dedication to music, especially jazz. Yet, at the age of 34, married with four children he entered college and immersed himself in the study of demographics, finally gaining a PhD in sociology from Brown University. He taught at Siena College in New York, the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, the University of Rhode Island, and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. His stint in our nation’s capital also found him serving as director of research and vice president of the Population Reference Bureau as well as demographic advisor to the Select Committee on Population in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy. He served as adjunct professor at the Payson Center for international development at Tulane University in Louisiana, and was still actively teaching at Old Dominion University in Virginia until a few months before his death. Throughout his life, Lee co-authored or edited 18 books and more than 60 articles and book reviews. In April 2010, Cambridge University Press, United Kingdom, published his textbook, “Population and Society: An Introduction to Demography.”
“We have room for but one language, the language of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, the language of the Declaration of Independence – the English language.
Let us say to the immigrant not that we hope he will learn English, but that he has got to learn it…or he should not stay here.”
President Theodore Roosevelt
“The Obama administration has ignored the illegal actions of ‘sanctuary cities’ and instead sued the state of Arizona in July for enforcing federal law. Then in August, the administration announced a new policy that, in effect, ends enforcement of illegal immigration providing the illegal alien meets the requirements of the DREAM Act, a bill that Congress failed to pass. So, Obama is ignoring current federal law while creating rules based on a law that never passed.”
“In the first six months of 2011, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, every state considered immigration issues during their legislative sessions, proposed 1,592 bills or resolutions and adopted 246 of them, all designed to fill the leadership vacuum in Washington.
Because the conventional wisdom says that no one will come to the table to discuss a workable solution [on immigration issues] until after the 2012 presidential election, the situation will continue to fester.”
“From the actions of our federal government, it’s not that immigration laws are made to be broken, it’s that they are made to not be enforced in the first place. After years of neglect in keeping America’s borders secure and fighting illegal immigration, states have had to step up and do it themselves. The problem is that each time a state passes a law to get tough on illegal immigration, the feds move in to shut it down…
…They don’t shut it down, so they can do it themselves. They shut it down so enforcement doesn’t get done at all. That’s what they want. An immigration system that has no enforcement might as well have no laws in the first place.”
WHY THE NPG JOURNAL?