The current economic downturn provides an opportunity for immigration reformers to draw attention to some uncomfortable truths. Over three decades of staggering immigration-fueled population growth, combined with “free-trade” induced out-sourcing and off-shoring of jobs, and the rising cost of social services have finally produced disastrous results. The ramifications are reaching across every aspect of life. For many Americans, the so-called American Dream is nowhere in sight.
The Social Contract’s new contributor Peter Gemma recently sat down with Leah Durant, Executive Director of Progressives for Immigration Reform (PFIR), a new Washington, D.C.-based educational organization, to explore her take on the immigration issue from a traditional liberal point of view. PFIR focuses on the effects of immigration on the carrying capacity of the U.S.population, the nation’s ecology and energy resources, and the working conditions of both immigrants and native-born workers.
This issue also includes a first-hand report on efforts by some leading conservatives to focus renewed attention to immigration among Americans who have traditionally voted for Republicans. A recent analysis of Census Bureau data by William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, revealed that many likely Republican voters simply stayed home in November 2008, rather than turn out to vote for Sen. John McCain, who supported amnesty for illegal aliens residing in the U.S. A Republican candidate who could capture a larger share of traditional Republican voters could neutralize the minority edge that went to Mr. Obama last year.
As contributors to this issue confirm, immigration-related problems are not an exclusive concern of those on the Right or the Left, of Liberals or Conservatives. Rather, they cut across lines. Whatever the particular issue, it can be demonstrated that there is an immigration component that must be addressed if real solutions are ever to be realized.