Americans are Against Mass Immigration—So Why Can’t Congress Pass Immigration Reform?
According to a new Harvard-Harris poll, 81 percent of Americans want a reduction in immigration levels to 1 million or lower. Last year over 1.4 million legal immigrants arrived in America, while the number of illegals is unknown.
The Free Beacon reports:
The plurality of respondents, 35 percent, think that there should be between 1 and 250,000 legal immigrants arriving to the United States per year. A net 12 percent want to see immigration increased to 1.5 million people per year or more, while nine percent of Americans think that there should be no new legal immigrants.
Plurality preference for between 1 and 250,000 new immigrants a year persists across white, Hispanic, and black Americans, as well as moderates and self-identified Democrats. . .
Americans prefer a system of prioritizing would-be legal immigrants based on their ability to contribute, based on their education and skills, over one based on immigrants having relatives in the United States, 79 to 21 percent. That includes a majority of white (79 percent), Hispanic (72 percent), and black (85 percent) citizens, as well as majorities of Democrats (72 percent), liberals (65 percent), and Clinton voters (72 percent).
The poll clearly shows that the majority of Americans are against mass immigration, and that support for this crosses racial and ideological lines—it’s as close to a non-partisan issue as you can get.
These findings are consistent with other polling done on the topic of immigration. For example, research done by Pulse Opinion Research found that voters in “swing states” favored comprehensive immigration reform by a 3:1 margin—immigration reform is the winning-ticket.
The new poll also found that the majority of Americans opposed the “diversity lottery” program, wherein green cards are allocated to people from low-immigration countries:
Americans support doing away with the so-called diversity visa lottery 68 to 32 percent. The lottery, with its 50,000 visas allocated to nations otherwise underrepresented in the mix of immigrants arriving in the United States, has been a frequent target of criticism by Trump and congressional Republicans.
The big question: if Americans support reducing immigration levels by such a high margin, why is Congress so unwilling to pass the RAISE Act, proposed by Senator Tom Cotton, and supported by President Donald Trump?
Not only would the Act reduce the number of immigrants by as much as 50 percent, but it would ensure that only economically viable immigrants came to America.
As you can see in the adjacent graph, the vast majority of immigrants coming to America come for non-economic reasons: 44 percent of all immigrants are “immediate relatives of US citizens” and a further 20 percent are “family-sponsored preferences”. Only 14 percent of immigrants are chosen for purely economic reasons.
This has had disastrous consequences for America’s economy.
How Mass Immigration Hurts America’s Economy
For example, a recent, and extremely comprehensive study produced by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine looked at the impact of mass immigration on America’s economy. The study is important for two reasons. First, it found that immigration has negatively impacted wages and employment opportunities for American citizens—especially those in lower income brackets. Of course, this is not surprising for anyone familiar with the economic principle of supply and demand, but it does come as a major shock to liberals who are now being forced to choose between their traditional voter base (blue collar workers and ethnic minorities) and recent immigrants.
Second, the study supports the RAISE Act’s underlying premise: not all immigrants are equal in terms of their economic value. Although the researchers concluded that immigration has historically provided a (minor) net economic benefit to America, it also found that nearly 100 percent of immigration-driven economic growth accrued to the immigrants themselves—the pie got bigger, the slices did not.
Likewise, the researchers found that nearly half of all immigrants were a net drain on the economy, and were balanced out by the other half. Specifically, most of those who arrived to America via the process of chain migration, as well as asylum seekers, cost a net present value of $170,000. Net present value simply means how much money the government would need to invest today, at a yield of inflation plus three percent, to pay for said immigrant’s tax deficit over the course of their lifetime.
Of course, the government does not do this—it spends only as it receives. Therefore, net present value generates an artificially low estimate. According to the Heritage Foundation, each non-economic immigrant more realistically costs a net of $476,000 in welfare payouts. This means that at current immigration levels, the next ten year’s worth of low-skilled immigrants will cost American taxpayers a net $1.9 trillion (in constant 2012 dollars) over their lifetime.
A multitude of other data supports the conclusion that immigration hurts America’s economy—if only the mainstream media would report on them.