Confirmed! Immigration Accelerates Unsustainable U.S. Population Growth

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

September 28, 2015
Exactly as Californians for Population Stabilization has said for years, immigration and birth to immigrants account for and will continue to be the primary driver for an overwhelming majority of the nation’s population growth. A new Pew Research Center report based on immigration data collected over a 100-year period, Census Bureau statistics and growth projections found that during the next five decades, immigration will fuel 88 percent of the U.S. population increase. See graphic here.

Pew demographer Jeff Passel said, “Without the immigrants, the U.S. population would start decreasing.” Passel added that “the big picture is that immigration has been the major demographic factor driving growth and change in the U.S. population over the last 50 years."

By 2065, the U.S. will be home to 78 million immigrants, and a record 18 percent of all persons will be foreign-born, Pew projected. Since the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, the nation’s foreign-born share has risen to 14 percent of today’s total. In 1965, only 9.6 million were foreign-born.
Pew Research graphic on population growth to 2065
By 2055, Asians will be the largest immigrant group, 36 percent of the population, surpassing Hispanics whose share will be 34 percent. The significant increase in the Asian population can be directly tied to numerous visas that have facilitated their entry.
  • In the 1980s, the U.S. resettled large numbers of Southeast Asian refugees from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Today, three generation of those nationalities live in America.
  • In 1990, Congress approved the nonimmigrant H-1B visa and the high-tech industry recruited overseas workers from South Asia. Under the visa’s terms, the primary visa holder can bring a spouse and children under age 21. Their U.S.-born children are American citizens.
  • The EB-5 visa has attracted hundreds of Chinese businessmen who, similar to H-1B visa holders, are allowed to bring spouses and minor children. Chinese nationals receive 80 percent of the EB-5 visas issued.
  • During the 2013-2014 academic year, American universities enrolled 886,052 international students. Indians, Chinese and South Korean students holding F-1 visas represent about half of the total. Since 2000, international enrollment has soared 72 percent.
  • Pregnant women, mainly from China, come to the U.S. fraudulently on a B-2 tourist visa, but then check into maternity hotels to give birth to citizen children who can eventually petition their parents and other immediate family members for permanent residency.
  • The K-1 fiancée visa facilitates the unscrupulous online industry that helps American men find overseas brides and bring them to the U.S. as permanent residents. Asian women are the most popular brides.
Casual observers might wonder what the link between temporary visas and permanent population growth might be. After all, visas have expiration dates, and holders must go home.

But, in modern day American immigration, visa holders don’t necessarily return. In a December 2014 publication, the Center for Migration Studies reported that 60 percent of new illegal immigrants entered legally on some type of visa, but stayed on after it expired. They blended into the American mainstream, secure that they won’t be deported, and are counted among the huge population surge.
 

 

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