The New York Times reports:
President Trump has adopted a blunt new message in recent days for migrants seeking refuge in the United States: “Our country is full.”
To the degree the president is addressing something broader than the recent strains on the asylum-seeking process, the line suggests the nation can’t accommodate higher immigration levels because it is already bursting at the seams. But it runs counter to the consensus among demographers and economists.
They see ample evidence of a country that is not remotely “full” — but one where an aging population and declining birthrates among the native-born population are creating underpopulated cities and towns, vacant housing and troubled public finances.
Local officials in many of those places view a shrinking population and work force as an existential problem with few obvious solutions.
(click here to continue reading Trump Says the U.S. Is ‘Full.’ Much of the Nation Has the Opposite Problem. – The New York Times.)
This is among the most ridiculous assertions to base a governmental policy upon that I can recall. Immigration should be stopped completely because there is no room for new people? Trump and his Rasputin, Stephen Miller, base this on what exactly? Trump has a history of flying in to a city to “perform” one of his patented rallies, then flying back home the same night.
In other words, Trump has not apparently spent much time in places that don’t have airports large enough to accommodate his plane. If he ever took a driving trip through rural America, he’d find there is a lot of empty space, in pretty much every state in America. Even New York/New Jersey has plenty of farmland and small towns!
I’ve been lucky to have visited nearly every state in the US (missing the North East – Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire – and inexplicably, Colorado and Utah), hard-working immigrants could boost America’s economy in all sorts of ways, if racism and fear didn’t intercede, obviously.
Even downtown Manhattan, which Trump knows well, and is quite crowded, seems to do well with immigrants. Or what about Detroit? Or Chicago? Lots of room for new, vibrant communities.
America is a vast country, mostly empty, on average, which is why I like John Lettieri’s idea of a “Heartland visa”:
A particular fear, said John Lettieri, president of the Economic Innovation Group, is that declining population, falling home prices and weak public finances will create a vicious cycle that the places losing population could find hard to escape.
He proposes a program of “heartland visas,” in which skilled immigrants could obtain work visas to the United States on the condition they live in one of the counties facing demographic decline — with troubled counties themselves deciding whether to participate.
Although some of the areas with declining demographics are hostile to immigration, others, cities as varied as Baltimore, Indianapolis and Fargo, N.D., have embraced the strategy of encouraging it.