“We live in a country where our nation’s legislators seem to regard the passing of laws
as far more important than enforcing the laws.” -William Howard Taft, reprisal
Illegal Immigration and Legal Immigration
By Scott Rohter, February 2011
The subject today is immigration, illegal and legal. In the debate over immigration, legal immigration is almost never discussed! In opening this discussion I would like to give a brief history lesson. Does any one know where the word Rubicon comes from and the significance of the phrase “crossing the Rubicon?” Well for the benefit for those who don’t here is a brief explanation.
Julius Caesar was a great military commander in charge of a large contingent of Roman soldiers and he was becoming a very prominent and powerful figure in Roman politics. As such he was feared by the Roman Senate. In 49 B.C. the Roman Senate issued him an order to disband his army and not to cross the Rubicon River with it. The Rubicon River was a small river north of Rome in central Italy. (It has since been renamed) He refused to obey the order and he crossed the river with his army and his command intact, and the rest of course is history! He went on to rule Rome! Crossing the Rubicon is a phrase that means taking a bold step from which there is no turning back!
Today’s discussion is on immigration, illegal and legal. In 1951, the year I was born, the population of the United States was a little over 120 million. Eight years later in 1959, when I entered the second grade, the population of our country was almost 151 million. That’s a 30 million increase in just eight years! By the time I graduated from high school ten years later in 1969, the population was about 180 million; another 30 million increase in just ten years. The trend has been, that every eight to ten years, the population of our country grows by another 30 million people and that trend has not changed to this day!
Fast forward to the year 2010. The current population of our country is over 305 million. In other words, the population of the United States has more than doubled in the 50 years since 1959! In 1959 it was 150.8 million. In 2010 it is over 305 million people. These statistics come from our own Federal government. Let’s do the math. Start with the year 1951 when the population of our country was only 120 million.
In 1959 it was 150 million
In 1969 it was 180 million
In 1979 it was 210 million
In 1989 it was 240 million
In 1999 it was 270 million
In 2009 it was 300 million
Today in 2010 it is over 305 million people…
In the 50 years between 1959 and 2010 the population of the United States has more than doubled. At that rate, in the next 50 years, it could double again. 50 years: double the population! Another 50 years: double it again!...If we project this pattern into the future we could easily have 625 million people living in the United States by the year 2060 just one generation from now!
That’s more than the population of China was back in 1959! Even if you calculate the population growth at the slower rate of 30 million people every eight to ten years, that would still mean at a bare minimum between 450 and 500 million people by the year 2060. However you calculate it, we are going to have between 1/2 billion and 3/4 billion people living right here in the good old U.S.A., if we don’t start doing something very differently and very soon, and if you don’t think that will have an impact on your lifestyle and on your quality of life… well guess again!
To give you a comparison, China’s population in 1959 was 580 million. Our projected population by the year 2060 is between 450 and 625 million and these figures may actually be a little low because the people coming here today tend to have bigger families. We are only 100 years or just two generations behind China. In 1959 China had 580 million people. We are going to have that many people by the year 2060!
We are only 100 years or just two generations behind China! Think about that and ask yourselves if you want that to happen here, and if like me you don’t, then it’s time that we have a good discussion about immigration, both illegal and legal! It’s time we began to talk about ways that we can manage our country’s population growth. I prefer to use the word manage, rather than the word control because due to shrill voices in the media that also promote unrestricted immigration, and the dilution of our national identity and sovereignty, Americans have come to think that population control means either killing people, or limiting the amount of children that they can have! But population management doesn’t have to mean that at all!
If we start to have this national conversation now, and if we plan wisely for the future, and if we take sound steps to manage our country’s population growth by limiting immigration, then we can avoid a disastrous future. But it will surely mean population control of the worst sort, including limiting the size of families, and even killing off people in senseless no-win wars and worldwide pandemics, if we don’t! Has anyone heard the word pandemic mentioned in the news? All it takes is courage and wisdom and the certain knowledge that if we don’t tackle this issue, the consequences of failure to do so will be catastrophic!
There are definite limits to the size of sustainable populations, whether we are talking about herds of deer and elk, or populations of human beings, before Mother Nature steps in and takes over in the harshest of ways. You’ve seen the pictures of what happens in countries where the population exceeds the ability of the land to provide for its people. The famine, the starvation, and the wars over land and water. The pictures of the starving children all across the Sahel, in Ethiopia, the Sudan, Chad, and Somalia, and the conflicts in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, and the D.R.C. over land and water resources. Are we just supposed to bring everyone here? What do you think is actually going on in the Middle East between Israel, Syria, Jordan and the Palestinians? It’s actually a battle over land and water resources. The population of these countries is rapidly growing beyond their ability to provide for their own people! All that is left of the Jordan River is a small little streamlet! It’s almost all used up, and what's left of it just about evaporates before it ever reaches the Dead Sea! The Israelis are even talking about piping in seawater from the Mediterranean, just to keep the Dead Sea from disappearing, because it is not being replenished by the Jordan River anymore! The same thing is true for the mighty Indus River in Pakistan. In former years its mouth on the Arabian Sea used to be measured in miles. It is now measured in yards!
There is ignorance and conflict and struggle going on all around us. In fact, there is real darkness! But we are not responsible for what is going on inside of other countries. We are just responsible for what goes on in our own country and within our own borders! We can only help the rest of the world so much! The rest is up to them. We can’t invite them all to come here! Where will the increased supply of food and water come from that will be necessary to feed and hydrate ¾ of a billion people right here in our own country, as we continue to grow our population through immigration, beyond our ability to provide for ourselves? We are paving over and developing some of our best agricultural land, land that is used to feed us, in order to build houses and apartments for immigrants. You can’t farm and grow food on the top of a mountain! Maybe they can do that in Mexico, but we can’t do that here! Interestingly enough most people that come here don’t want to live on the top of a mountain either. A quick glance at a topographical map will show you that 25% to 35% of the land in the United States is either deserts or mountains, unsuitable and undesirable for either farming or permanent habitation! That leaves the rest of the land to be fought over by the various competing interests.
So there are competing demands for our best land:
Food or Housing?
Farming and Manufacturing or Condominiums?
Self Sufficiency or Foreign Dependency for Food and Energy?
And that’s just the land! Where will the precious new supplies of water come from that will be necessary for the additional hundreds of millions of people? The answer is that they won’t be coming! There will be water wars over dwindling supplies of fresh water, as our population soars to upwards of one billion people! You already see this starting to happen between California and Arizona over the remaining water in the Colorado River. And these water wars will spread to more areas of our country as the various competing interests fight over the remaining supplies!
Yes, there are definite natural limits, and for a very young country we are already coming face to face with ours! As our population grows unchecked, we are finding out that we can no longer feed the whole world and house the whole world at the same time. You’d think that would be obvious! We cannot expand our population and our agricultural productivity indefinitely, forever! You’d think that would be obvious too! But common sense doesn’t seem to prevail. Does anyone actually believe that the United States has unlimited natural resources? There are natural limits on food and water resources and on the size of populations! Why would we ever want to approach our natural limits? There is chaos and turmoil waiting for us if we do. And there are important quality of life issues to consider as well, that accompany all of this unrestricted population growth? But what drives this population explosion is not common sense, it is dollars and cents!
With increased population growth will come all of the associated problems of overdevelopment. There will be more congestion. Like sardines in a can, or chickens in a coop, human beings will be crowded together into high density urban housing developments! As a result, there will be more stress and more anxiety, and more medications will be prescribed by doctors to alleviate stress! Have you noticed how many people are taking prescription drugs to control stress and anxiety? That’s because we are human beings, and we’re not all made to be stuffed into a can, or packed into a coop, or crammed into high-rise housing developments! We are not like chickens or sardines! I’m sure that chickens or sardines don’t even like it, being crammed into a coup or a can! If you like it, fine! But I know an awful lot of people who don’t! By the way, all of those prescription drugs are winding up in our streams and rivers that we drink from! The municipal water treatment facility has no way of removing them from the water. They affect not just the fish, but they affect all of us who drink from surface water that is provided by our local water utility company. So along with the increased congestion, there is increased pollution. I have only illustrated one example of this, but I could easily give others.
With increased population density, there is also increased crime and criminal behavior, which necessitates increased law enforcement and police powers. There will be more restrictions placed on our personal freedoms, more rules, more laws, more regulations, and of course…bigger government to make them all, which means higher taxes! There will be more cops to enforce the laws, and finally more jails built to imprison those that break them, which means higher taxes again! Does this sound like the kind of brave new world that you want to bequeath to your children?
Why would anyone want to grow the population of our country to the point that we are experiencing all of these things anyway, and we are coming face to face with these types of sustainability issues? Why would anyone want to follow in the footsteps of China and India? The reason of course is money! Dollars and cents, not common sense! There is a valuable old book that says, “The love of money is the root of all evil.” All this is the bad news, and all of these things will happen if we don’t change our country’s outdated and outmoded immigration policies and begin to do things differently!But there is actually some good news, at least for us and the United States. If we act now, we don’t have to have limits restricting the size of our families, like China has. Our population isn’t growing because Americans are having too many children. Our population is growing because for over two hundred years we have been accepting the world’s overflowing population from other countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Central and South America who choose to do nothing to control their populations. Our population is growing only because of immigration, both legal and illegal. All we have to do to get control of our population is to stop illegal immigration altogether, and to put some sensible limits on legal immigration!
I would like to add a little clarification. A wall on our border is just the nucleus of an effective border policy. It is not the silver bullet, or a one shot solution! It is only one prong of a multipronged approach. It is the nucleus of an effective response to the ongoing violations on our border. There also needs to be mandatory employer verification of legal resident status through ‘E-Verify’, as well as stiff sanctions against employers who hire illegals. Under Congressman Stephen King’s bill, (the representative from Iowa) if an employer hires an illegal worker whose name and social security number don’t match , then the I.R.S will not allow that employer to use the wages paid out to that employee as a Federal income tax deduction. That would go a long way to stopping employers from hiring illegals, but unfortunately it would not stop all of the drugs from coming into our country or the illegals from working under the table. We still need a wall!
"A journalist has no better friend than the truth." - Scott Rohter