Immigration is arguably the key issue of 2016 and beyond. While the mainstream media rarely disclose the links between immigration policies and other national concerns, events that cannot be ignored, such as the pre-Christmas San Bernardino massacre, the Boston Marathon bombing, and the migration crisis gripping Europe, highlight the tip of the immigration iceberg.
In this issue of The Social Contract, our contributors outline the impact of immigration policies on other key problems:
• Mass immigration, legal and illegal, is the major driving force for population growth in the United States. Absent continuing large-scale immigration, the U.S. population would stabilize over time.
• Immigration-driven population growth places additional stress on our environment and natural resources.
• The mainstream media rarely treat immigration as an economic issue. But as contributors here explain, mass immigration has a highly negative impact for millions of Americans forced to compete for jobs with foreigners. Current policies give incentives to businesses to discriminate against citizen applicants. But in the not too distant future, many jobs currently held by foreigners may be automated out of existence. What then for these millions of newcomers, their off-spring, not to mention the Americans they originally replaced in the labor force?
• Americans from all walks of life are endangered by criminal aliens, whether by drunk drivers, muggers, rapists, or murderers. Five years ago, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO, often called the “congressional watchdog”), reported that some 55,000 criminal aliens were in federal prisons, and 296,000 in state prisons and local jails [Criminal Alien Statistics: Information on Incarcerations, Arrests, and Costs, GAO-11-187, March 2011]. It is noteworthy that neither the GAO nor any other agency has updated this report. The public is deliberately kept in the dark about the dimensions of immigration-related crime.
• Recent terrorist attacks have been perpetrated by illegal aliens, “refugees,” and second-generation immigrants who are not assimilating.
• “Sanctuary Cities,” such as San Francisco, are a threat to public safety and national security. The tragic death of Kate Steinle, a 32-year-old San Francisco resident, killed by an illegal alien from Mexico, who had been deported five times from the U.S., was another painful lesson that should put an end to “Sanctuary Cities.”
The essays in this collection should be shared with attendees at public forums. Confront seekers for office to disclose their understanding of these issues and demand that they explain how they will respond. As former Colorado Governor Richard Lamm reminds us, “One of the great challenges to Public Policy is knowing when and how to change a successful policy grown obsolete.”