In a pair of articles for The Hill in January, the demographer Joseph Chamie (formerly of the United Nations Population Division) provides a road map for how the Biden-Harris administration and Congress might "repair America's broken immigration system, unite the country in dealing with immigration and increased diversity and continue having immigrants contribute to the advancement of American society."
It basically goes like this:
- Don't scam the American people
- Look to Barbara Jordan
- Restore credibility
Ponzi demography is basically a pyramid scheme that aims to make more money for some by adding more people through population growth (i.e., natural increase and immigration).
Immigration at the current scale (1 million people per year) is a drop in the bucket when you consider that 150 million adults would like to resettle in the U.S. right now, but it is also a large-scale reverse-Robin-Hood scheme that redistributes roughly half a trillion dollars a year away from low-wage Americans workers, particularly (but not exclusively) "native minorities" according to the National Academy of Sciences.
Calls for increasing immigration because it's the "inclusive" or "right thing to do" won't change a thing for the 148-plus million who still won't be able to resettle in America, but will accelerate the economic benefit of high immigration levels for the protected class who gain most from the low cost of labor, especially in service, construction, and manufacturing industries.
Part of the scam, according to Chamie, is the plan to "privatize profits and socialize costs," but immigration-driven population growth is a true Ponzi scheme because it is fundamentally unsustainable:
Higher population growth will hamper efforts to improve the quality of life for today's Americans as well as for future generations.
In brief, slower U.S. population growth is not alarming. Moving gradually towards population stabilization, as recommended more than 50 years ago by the U.S. Commission on Population and the American Future, is not a panacea for America's problems. However, it will make it far easier to address problems such as climate change, environmental degradation, poverty, homelessness, extreme socio-economic inequalities and human rights abuses.
Several decades ago, Congress created the bipartisan U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and found that a substantial but well-regulated legal immigration is in the national interest, but illegal immigration is a threat to the nation's long tradition of immigration and to its commitment to the rule of law.
The late Barbara Jordan and her commission were called upon to review the impact of the 1990 Immigration Act and send its recommendations to Congress. The 1990 bill was the last major piece of legislation to change immigration numbers, and because it included such a large increase, the bill itself called for a commission to study the impact and determine whether or not the increase was a good idea.
The commission basically said the increase was not a good idea and recommended that immigration be reduced by roughly half.
A second Clinton-era commission also recommended reversing the 1990 increases. The Population and Consumption Task Force of President Clinton's Council on Sustainable Development concluded: "This is a sensitive issue, but reducing immigration levels is a necessary part of population stabilization and the drive toward sustainability."
Today, the estimated number of people residing unlawfully in the country is four times the number when IRCA was adopted...
The 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) was sold as a one-time amnesty to wipe the slate clean. Chamie points to the bill's broken promise of establishing a system where employers would verify the legal status of their employees as a reason for the bill's utter failure.
Jordan also emphasized workplace verification, and the E-Verify system originated from her commission's recommendation. Twenty-five years later, however, Congress has yet to require employers to use the free online system, and as Ramesh Ponnuru observes, Congress felt little pressure from the last administration to do so.
Ronald Reagan, who signed the 1986 bill, was fond of the Russian proverb, "trust, but verify." Americans trusted Washington to address illegal employment (what Jordan later referred to as "the jobs magnet") as part of that "one-time" amnesty program. We're still waiting for the promise to be fulfilled.
JEREMY BECK is the Director of the Sustainability Initiative for NumbersUSA
Updated: Mon, Feb 15th 2021 @ 11:30am EST