Roy Beck's picture


  by  Roy Beck

Do you think your Senators realize that, in the hundred years between our country's first Census in 1790 and 1890, the numerical level of that incredible flow of immigration from Europe that filled the Eastern Seaboard and spread out across the continent was:

2 --  nearly  2 million immigrants per decade (1790-1890).

The world had never quite seen a movement like that of masses of people fleeing a crowded continent and completely taking over another.  That human flood so covered the land that the U.S. Census Bureau in 1890 declared that there was no more true frontier left in a country that in 1790 had been almost nothing but frontier.

33 -- The Senate is expected in little more than a week to take up S. 744 which would offer lifetime work permits and residency to 33 million citizens of other counntries in the first decade alone -- about 11 million of them being current illegal aliens and another 22 million of them being new immigrants.

Has somebody discovered a new frontier to occupy? 

And, yes, if you are able to quickly multiply by 10 decades you see that Senators Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Rubio (R-Fla.) want to cram far more immigrants into our country in the next 10 years than came during the entire century after 1790.. 

4 --  Ellis Island operated primarily through the 1890-1950 period when 4 million immigrants came per decade.  This is the immigration that so colors most Americans' sense of our immigration tradition. The frontier and free land were gone, but the number of foreigners arriving here doubled.  Sailing into New York harbor past the newly installed Statue of Liberty by the millions, immigrants just kept piling on top of each other in cities across America whose infrastructures were overwhelmed and poverty soared. 

Yes, multiply by six decades and you will note that far fewer immigrants arrived during the entire Ellis Island era than Senators Menendez (D-N.J.) and Flake (R-Ariz.) are insisting on adding in just a single decade.

2.5 --  around  2.5 million immigrants arrived in the decade of 1950s. Labor markets were tight.  Businesses innovated to produce more per worker. Wages rose rapidly. America became a true middle-class society. When Congress didn't meet demand for labor with more foreign workers, employers turned to the country's historic underemployed Black population, enabling the great successes of the Civil Rights movement in this and the next decade.

3.3 --  around  3.3 million immigrants arrived in the decade of the 1960s. In the middle of the decade, Congress changed immigration laws to give every country equal access to the system but promised that the numbers would not rise more than a half-million for a decade.

4.5 --  around  4.5 million immigrants arrived in the decade of the 1970s as chain migration categories produced increases far above the promises of those who pushed the 1965 law.

7.3 --  around 7.3 million immigrants were given green cards in the decade of the 1980s.  In the middle of the decade, Congress passed an amnesty for some 3 million illegal aliens and promised enforcement to stop future illegal immigration. The enforcement never really happened, but employers got another big increase in the legal workforce. 

10 --  In 1990, Congress approved a surge in green cards at the request of businesses who warned that they faced labor shortages in a couple more decades. But the 1990 law provided for a bi-partisan U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform to study the surge to see if it had any negative impacts on American workers as the opponents of the bill argued.  In 1995, the commission concluded that the surge was depressing wages and harming the most vulnerable member of the national community and recommended cutting immigration to something like 5 million a decade.  Under great pressure from business lobbyists, Congress in 1996 turned down the recommendations and has kept the 1990 Immigration Surge in place, on a pace of adding more than  10 million immigrants per decade (1990-2012).

33 -- Shall I remind you that even in light of the constant increases in immigration from traditional numbers,Senators Durbin (D-IL) and Graham (R-S.C.) are insisting on a SUPER SURGE over the 1990 Immigration Surge that is three times higher at 33 million?

They and their Gang of Eight pals Sen. Bennett (D-Colo.) and Sen. McCain (R-Ariz.) argue that the reason the 1986 amnesty didn't work is that Congress didn't increase legal immigration to handle the demand for extra labor. 

Would you help me get the above numbers to these Senators?

Congress has done nothing but increase immigration every decade for a half-century.  This is a truth that almost nobody in the news media will let the public know.  In fact, many reporters simply quote the Gang of Eight and their supoorters as say that we have a big illegal immigrant population because Congress in recent decades has been becoming increasingly restrictive on lawful immigration!

LOOK AT THE NUMBERS!  The immigration numbers shown above don't lie.  And it is because legal immigration has been growing so rapidly over the last half-century that the most popular answer for Americans on the standard question about immigration is that the numbers are "too high." 

This S. 744 Oversized-Amnesty & Immigration Super-Surge bill would give out nearly half as many green cards in a single decade as every person who has permanently settled in this country over the previous FOUR CENTURIES -- since the founding of Jamestown in 1607.

If you have a Senator who is on the fence about whether to vote for this bill, make sure he/she understands THE MAGNITUDE.

Ask the Senators' staff if they know how many green cards are being offered by this bill.  Are they really stopping to count the cost before deciding how to vote?  They can't evaluate the costs without realizing what 33 million really looks like.

ROY BECK is Founder & President of NumbersUSA 

P.S. Because the Gang of Eight say they never took time to add up how many green cards would be handed out under S. 744, many people are skeptical that the 33 million can be right.

Check out the detailed analysis of 26 immigration categories at:

The 33 million green cards offered by S. 744 in the first decade would go to:

  • around 11 million for illegal aliens (could be millions more if the official estimate is wrong)
  • around 11 million in continuation of elevated flows from 1990 surge policy
  • around 5 million from end of numerical limits on people waiting in line (mostly chain migration)
  • around 6 million from new and expanded categories
Immigration Numbers

Updated: Fri, Jul 21st 2017 @ 11:43am EDT

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