The American economy has never been stronger, we are assured. People are spending more, two-income families are saving even less, and official unemployment figures are relatively low (by post-World War II standards). Lost in all the rosy economic reporting is that immigration policy is fostering the creation of pockets of hard-core poverty, with 'Appalachias' springing up in our farming heartland. Social service agencies are being pressed as never before and schools are overflowing with addi- tional students. Labor contractors grease the wheels of immigration from Mexico. New migration chains extend their reach into urban areas, with crime and health problems being just some of the consequences.
In this issue of The Social Contract we are pleased to present articles taken from testimony about the impact of immigration on low-skilled workers and on American minority communities. This testimony was given on March 11, 1999 before the U. S. House Sub-committee on Immigration & Claims. Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) has been holding a series of oversight hearings on immigration-related problems. In the past, the valuable information and insights of experts in the field did not reach far beyond the Capitol Hill hearing rooms. A couple of words on news broadcasts or a line or two in wire service stories, along with the odd mention in professional newsletters was about all that would come out of these valuable sessions. Sometimes years later, the hearings would be published by the Government Printing Office, where they would gather dust in Government document libraries scattered across the country.
Thanks to the Internet, the prepared statements of specialists are now being made available. In the case of the immigration topic, you can go to www.house.gov/lamarsmith. When you reach his homepage, then click on 'Immigration.' There you will find testimony from hearings, as well as press releases on immigration. We, in turn, will be publishing some of the best of these in article form and distributing them to wider audiences via our print and online editions of The Social Contract. Readers can also link to Rep. Smith's homepage from the www.numbersusa.com website. Click on 'Moving Congress' and then click on the Texas Congressional delegation list, where you will find Rep. Smith.
As we go to press, we want to observe Y6B (Year Six Billion). Over the past century, world population has risen from an estimated 1.6 billion in 1900 to 6 billion - and rising - in 1999. Three quarters of the 1000-fold increase in human numbers since agriculture emerged 10,000 years ago occurred in this century - that is 75 percent of the absolute increase in 1 percent of the time. Keeping all of them and their offspring fed, without ravaging our planet, is the challenge. At these levels, it probably can't be done. What we in the United States need to do is take care of our own portion of the earth. We can't force others to live as we think they should.
Lastly, in case you hadn't heard, Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott opines that the United States will not exist in its current form in the 21st Century because, as he and his associates believe, nationhood throughout the world has become obsolete. You may recall Talbott's piece in Time magazine, 'The Birth of the Global Nation.' There he said that he was looking forward to government run by 'one global authority' - no 'nativist' immigration controls, but large doses of enforced 'diversity' and multiculturalism, and a world economy. Talbott recently told the New York Times that leaders need 'strategic patience. We have to be calm and steady and have a clear sense of purpose when that dynamic is discouraging, as it is today.'
We can't ever say that we weren't given plenty of advance notice.
Wayne Lutton, Ph.D.