Actually, the Numbers Show That We Need More Immigration, Not Less

Actually, the Numbers Show That We Need More Immigration, Not Less

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters President Trump has shut down the government to get money for a border wall that he says will stop illegal immigration. But the fact of the matter is that that’s not all he wants to stop. During the three-day shutdown last January, he demanded a 40 percent reduction in legal immigration, arguing that America has been swamped by immigrants. “There’s a limit to how many people a nation can responsibly absorb into their societies, ” he has declared . He is not alone in invoking this boogeyman. That America is being overwhelmed by a flood of immigrants has become conventional wisdom across the political spectrum, presented in books from, on the right, Reihan Salam of National Review, the son of Bangladeshi immigrants; in the center, Francis Fukuyama of Stanford, whose mother immigrated from Japan; and on the left, Jefferson Cowie of Vanderbilt University, who actually counsels his fellow progressive not to fear more immigration. But by any reasonable metric, the idea that America is experiencing mass immigration is a myth. The reality is that we desperately need to pick up the pace of immigration to maintain our work force and economic health. You could argue that mass immigration — a vague term with no set definition — is happening in Lebanon and Jordan, primary destinations for refugees escaping Syria’s civil war. Lebanon , which had about 4.4 million people in 2010, has admitted in just a few years around one million Syrian refugees, which works out to […]

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