What is the purpose of immigration to America in the twenty-first century? The frontier was declared closed in 1890, so additional settlers are not needed on the prairie. The highly automated factories and offices of today mean the economy can bubble along fine with far fewer humans compared with just a decade ago. Yet a firehose input of new foreign residents is highly desired by businesses wanting an unlimited supply of cheap workers and eager consumers. In contrast, a Pulse Opinion Poll released in February 2014 found that 59 percent of American voters wanted legal immigration cut by at least half.
The pedal-to-the-metal growth paradigm has reached its limits, and is now showing its age and social costs in many areas. Normal fluctuations in rainfall play havoc in the drought-prone regions of the West as increasing water users place demands that sometimes cannot be met. Our transportation infrastructure is overwhelmed in many places by too many vehicles on roads and standing-room-only public transport.
America is plain full up. As the late nature photographer Ansel Adams said, “When the theater’s full, they don’t sell lap-space.”
California is now experiencing a historic drought, and there is not enough water for all those who need it, as shown by growing calls for mandatory restriction. While agriculture uses the majority of water, when there is a shortage, the citizens are called upon to cut back. Millions of additional water users would not be a good idea in California, with a population now over 38 million. Even so, the topic of environmental carrying capacity never comes up when government officials discuss immigration — and the Senate bill would double legal immigration in addition to rewarding millions of foreign lawbreakers with immediate job permits (amnesty).
Last November, the USGS announced that so much water has been pumped from underground aquifers that areas of land in California’s Central Valley are sinking at an alarming rate, up to a foot per year in one tract. Not only is the subsidence another warning about limited supply, but the land sinkage also disturbs the proper functioning of water infrastructure around the state. Canals were designed with a precise degree of slope to move water by gravity, and the subsidence has disrupted that. A state hydrologist remarked, “We were surprised at the amount of land being affected.”
Immigration-fueled population growth is putting too much pressure on natural systems to replenish themselves. But elites hope to import another hundred million foreigners over the next few decades. Liberals like to chatter about environmental sustainability regarding issues that they like (e.g., global warming), but not so much when immigration is part of the discussion.
It’s well known that parts of the western United States have periodic drought, but climatic hiccups can occur anywhere. In 2007, Georgia was suffering a brutal drought, and Atlanta had less than a 90-day supply of water, with no backup plan. Governor Sonny Perdue held a prayer service where he sought a higher influence, saying, “I’m here today to appeal to you and to all Georgians and all people who believe in the power of prayer to ask God to shower our state, our region, our nation with the blessings of water.”
A local landscaper asked, “Everybody knew the growth was coming. We haven’t had a plan for all the people coming here?”
Indeed. The state doubled in population from four million in 1960 to over eight million counted in the 2000 Census. In other words, there was much attention paid to the dwindling supply of water but little to increased demand from immigration-fueled population growth.
The Texas Transportation Institute investigates the dollar cost and social effects of highway congestion. One example: it found that in 2011 drivers of the greater Los Angeles area spent 61 hours stuck in traffic during the year, at a cost of about $1,300 in wasted time and fuel. Crowdifornia can no longer claim the worst, most miserable traffic: Washington, D.C. was rated number one in congestion for 2012.
In the 1950s, when the population was less than half of today’s and highway building was an expression of post-war exuberance, families took Sunday drives to enjoy the local countryside. Now such carefree excursions are only a memory, since drives to pleasant spots can turn into grim experiences of highway congestion.
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) provides an interesting case study of how explosive population growth can spoil attempts at infrastructure planning. When the basic system was finished in the 1970s, the population of the nine counties of the San Francisco Bay Area was around 4.6 million. By the 2010 census, the number was 7,150,739. BART serves four of the most urbanized counties, so the effects of growth are even more marked.
Back in the upbeat 1970s, planners thought their futuristic BART would function so efficiently and run so often that no passenger would ever have to stand. As a result, the original cars had no strap hangers or bars for standing riders to hold. Those who hold to that fantasy were quickly disabused, and bars with hanger straps were installed.
In the past decade, planners have seen the pressures of growth on the system and have endeavored to make adjustments. In 2009, they produced several car redesigns with the aim of increased capacity, not comfort. One design had no seats at all, but instead had “leaning” bars and pads by which the crowded humans could brace themselves. Incidentally, many suburban passengers travel long distances to work and bought houses near BART stations because of the comfortable commute that was promised. More recently, a less radical car design has apparently been chosen for the future, with seats but without cushions and carpets that are difficult to keep clean. There is plenty of room for riders to stand.
In 2013 it was reported that the daily ridership was around 390,000, a number that could expand to half a million within five years, and three-quarters of a million per day a decade later. The fleet of BART cars currently numbers 669, and expansion to 1,000 is being considered to handle increased usage. Another problem is that some of the downtown San Francisco stations are already so crowded during commute hours that they are actually dangerous, where someone might be inadvertently pushed onto the tracks. All of these upgrades mean more expensive tickets and higher taxes going forward. And the riding experience is noticeably less pleasant than it was a couple of decades ago.
But simple overpopulation is not the only source of decreased quality of life. The rush toward diversity has brought with it many historically unfriendly tribes, and America has become less free as a result.
Take sports events. The bombing of the 2013 Boston Marathon that killed three, maimed dozens, and injured hundreds was a jihadist act of terror against American infidels committed by Muslim immigrant brothers. As a result, big city marathons are now seen as prime terrorist targets. The New York City Marathon, which took place about six months after the Boston bombing, had enormously increased security, with a dollar cost of $1 million. The extra protection measures included surveillance from helicopters and 1,400 cameras located along the route, plus bomb-sniffing dogs and scuba divers checking out the waterways. Runners could no longer wear vests with large pockets, or carry backpacks or even water-holding bags.
Stadium sports with tens of thousands of fans make efficient targets for jihadists, so baseball and football games are now security zones where spectators are frisked to check for bombs. The bigger the event, the worse the threat. The most recent Super Bowl, near New York City, required an army of police to secure the arena. In fact, 100 law enforcement agencies worked for two years to develop a comprehensive security plan for the game. The arena was a temporary no-fly zone, bomb-sniffing dogs checked the entire place, and fans had to take special buses and trains to the game rather than drive. Spectators were very limited in what they could carry — only tiny bags or clear plastic freezer bags. Naturally, all fans were physically checked upon entrance.
The National Football League spent between $11 to $12 million for private security, and that doesn’t count all the local police. The specialized dog training alone cost $200,000.
Wait, didn’t big sporting events used to be fun — before Muslim immigration? Hostile diversity has strangled sports into events requiring oppressive security.
Another example of targeted sports: the 2012 London Summer Olympics turned the city into an armed camp, with military choppers ready to fly and surface-to-air missiles mounted on neighborhood apartment buildings. The two-week event cost $2 billion for security, largely to protect athletes and spectators from Britain’s famously unfriendly Muslims. Such extreme protective measures were not needed for London’s 1948 Games. At that time, the city was pre-Islamic and the athletic competition could be freely enjoyed as an element of western civilization, one that dates back to ancient Greece.
Inability of newbies to speak English can threaten Americans’ safety. In March, Sacramento proposed new standards for cabbies that suggested the drivers be made to show they can speak enough English to understand their passengers’ desired destination. (Other requirements included that drivers should be “hygienically clean” and wear a collared shirt and slacks, so taxi diversity must be getting edgy there.) Remarks by readers on the CBS local website mentioned being taken to the wrong place, presumably because of inadequate English, although complaints about objectionable body odor predominated by far.
Speaking of cab security, in 1999 24-year-old Julie Day was murdered after an evening of night-clubbing in San Francisco by taxi driver Jehad Baqleh, a Jordanian national. Women are told by authorities that cabs are safer than other means of transport, but maybe not so much when the driver is Muslim. In 2009, Baqleh was found guilty of second-degree murder, yet was determined by the judge to be not guilty by reason of insanity, so was sent to a mental institution.
Increased crime is a normal by-product of
immigration. Some foreign criminals come for the greater opportunities than are
present at home, typified by the Mexican drug cartels and fraudsters of Asia,
Eastern Europe, and beyond. Why steal from poor people when rich Americans are
available just a border or plane ride away?
Less recognized is the social breakdown that commonly occurs in families between the immigrant parents and the semi-assimilated second generation. The kids feel they are neither old-country nor fully American and gravitate to others like themselves. Gangs result, with underclass values and names like the Somali Hot Boyz. The police, courts, schools, and taxpayers are stuck with an ongoing social experiment based on the liberal ideas that all cultures are morally equal and diversity is our strength.
provides a disturbing example of the costs of extreme diversity in immigration.
The young Somalis there not only engage in gang behavior, but several dozen
have returned to their homeland to pursue jihad. In 2008, Shirwa Ahmed, an
immigrant who graduated from Minneapolis’s Roosevelt High School, became the
first suicide bomber from the U.S. in Somalia when he killed more than 30 in
At a 2011 House hearing about the threat of Al Shabaab, several Minnesota officials appeared to discuss outreach to restive Somali youth in their communities.
The St. Paul Chief of Police, Thomas Smith, made his cops sound more like social workers than crime fighters. Smith described an array of fun athletic programs: “Our Police Athletic League has over 300 Somali American youth participants who compete in soccer, flag football, softball, and volleyball games that are organized, coached, and refereed by Saint Paul Police Officers.” Kumbaya is alive and well in Minnesota!
Of course, top quality outreach like St. Paul’s does not come cheap. Chief Smith praised the success of AIMCOP (African Immigrant Muslim Community Outreach Program). AIMCOP is a two-year program funded by a Bureau of Justice assistance grant at a cost of $670,679 to the taxpayers.
In 2006, the St. Paul Police received a grant for $250,000 from the Minnesota Public Safety Department for outreach to the Muslim/Somali community. The program focused on women’s issues and domestic violence, but apparently did not work well enough to prevent prostitution rings in three cities run by Somali gangs which forced girls under the age of 14 into the sex business.
Import a bad problem, then pay a lot to fix it — that’s Somali immigration.
At this point, immigration
has arguably become an entirely negative social force for the citizens of this
country, yet it persists because of the powerful groups that benefit enormously
from cheap labor, new shoppers, and guaranteed liberal voters. Foreign
interests in particular foster the idea that immigration to America and Europe
is a human right. Catholic priest Michael Seifert expressed his church’s view:
“Any family in economic need has a right to immigrate, that’s our posture.”
The people want a lot less immigration, as shown by rare instances of honest polling. There is no other area of political life that shows how much the elites, not the citizens, run the country. The press cooperates by falsely portraying restrictionists as extreme, when belief in law and borders is entirely mainstream.
The deck is strongly stacked against shutting down the foreign flood, but the most convincing argument for zero immigrants may well be rapid technological change in the workplace. As robotics and automation perform increasingly complex tasks, humans are being phased out of many jobs. (See my earlier Social Contract article, “Three Stakes in the Heart of the American Dream: Immigration, outsourcing, and smart machines crush citizen hopes.”)
A 2013 report from Oxford University estimated that 45 percent of American jobs will be automated within the next 20 years.
That’s all you need to know.
The claim of amnesty hawks that millions of retiring boomers must be replaced with corresponding numbers of foreign workers is simply wrong. A future with millions fewer jobs means America’s current underclass of struggling poor will only multiply if more are imported. Let’s not create additional suffering among the country’s least advantaged citizens.
The roboticized workplace of the twenty-first century does not require tens of millions of immigrant workers. It is foolish to actually increase legal immigration when labor needs are decreasing so profoundly.
Therefore the economically sound, environmentally sustainable, socially stable number of immigrants is zero.