New Report Underlines RAISE Act’s Importance: Cut Immigration, Lower Population

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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.

October 18, 2017
map of us showing borders
Every state is a border state.
A Center for Immigration Studies recently released report based on data collected from the Department of Homeland Security, the American Community Survey, and the Current Population Survey showed that the United States’ immigrant population is a record 43.7 million, a 12.6 million increase since the 2000 Census and through 2016. About 16.6 American-born citizen children are included in the U.S. population. Immigrants and their children now account for about 20 percent of all U.S. residents.

Immigrant population growth, historically associated with Mexico, showed significant increases from other nations. Migration from Mexico, Canada and Europe was flat while the sending countries with the highest percentage growth from 2010 to 2016 were Saudi Arabia, up 122 percent, Nepal, up 86 percent, Afghanistan up 74 percent, Burma , up 73 percent), and Syria, up 62 percent.
 
The distribution of the new immigrants confirms what one immigration critic once said: “Every state is now a border state.”  During the six years analyzed, North Dakota, up 48 percent, West Virginia, up 41 percent, South Dakota, up 39 percent, Delaware, up 24 percent, Nebraska, up 20 percent, and Minnesota, up 20 percent.

As starting as CIS’ findings are, the immigrant surge may be higher than reported. Visa overstays are about 630,000 and may be undercounted.

The CIS report affirms the need for lower immigration levels, an end to chain migration and a shift toward skills-based immigration, important goals included in the RAISE Act which would, over ten years, reduce legal immigration to about 500,000 per year, down from the current one million-plus level.

The legislation would also abolish the diversity visa lottery and return refugee admissions to their more traditional 50,000 annual cap, the average over the last 13 years.

Go to the CAPS Action Alert page here to urge your Senator to cosponsor the RAISE Act.
 
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