The Senate voted 67-27 this afternoon to cut off debate on a 1,200-page immigration bill that was still being written a few days ago, and that no one has read. Why bother with details? The 67 votes were apparently somewhat short of the number the Gang of Eight had hoped for, presumably because more Republican senators are starting to see the light.
Meanwhile, the Center for Immigration Studies has calculated, relying on CBO numbers that likely are optimistic, that the Gang’s bill, if implemented, would bring about the largest number and the highest percentage of foreign-born residents in American history. (Note that the Corker-Hoeven amendment doesn’t purport to cut down on authorized levels of legal immigration, so the CIS analysis is not invalidated by the amendment.):
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) the Gang of Eight Bill (S.744) would dramatically increase legal immigration, while reducing future illegal immigration by only 25 percent. Based on CBO’s numbers, the Center for Immigration Studies projects that under S.744 the foreign-born (legal and illegal) share of the U.S. population would hit a record high of 15 percent in 2020 – surpassing the all-time high of 14.8 percent reached in 1890.
Based on CBO’s analysis, the Center further projects that the foreign-born would reach 17 percent of the population by 2033, a level never before seen in U.S. history. The total size of the foreign-born population would grow to 55.9 million by 2023 and nearly 65.2 million by 2033 if S.744 becomes law. To place this into perspective, the foreign-born population was less than 20 million as recently as 1990 – 7.9 percent of the total population.
The record high of 15 percent projected for 2020 if the bill passes means that over just a 50-year period the foreign-born share of the population would have more than tripled from 4.7 percent in 1970. There has never been a period in American history when the foreign-born share grew this fast.
* The size of foreign-born population doubled from 1990 to 2010, nearly tripled since 1980 and quadrupled since 1970. If S.744 becomes law it would quintuple by 2020, compared to 1970.
* The size of the foreign-born population will have increased from 9.6 million in 1970 to 31.1 million in 2000, to 65.2 million by 2033. …
* It is worth pointing out that the size of the foreign-born population and the share of foreign-born would not stabilize in 2033 under S.744. The share and the number would continue to increase significantly after that date.
Is this a bad thing? It wouldn’t have to be. But an estimated 90% of these new immigrants will be low-wage, low-skill workers. Since the Gang hasn’t figured out a way to repeal the law of supply and demand, this means that America’s blue-collar work force will be devastated. Given that lower-skilled workers are already experiencing depression-like conditions under the Obama administration’s anti-growth policies, it is hard even to imagine the impact of adding 30 to 60 million new competitors for the same scarce jobs.
Moreover, when the U.S. absorbed smaller streams of immigrants in the 19th century, we had an assimilationist philosophy. Newcomers were taught the virtues of Americanism and were encouraged to adapt to their new surroundings. Today, it is hard even to conceive of such a world. Instead of teaching assimilation, the Gang’s bill will funnel many millions of dollars to radical, separatist groups like La Raza (“The Race,” for those who don’t speak Spanish), so that they can take immigrants under their wing and prevent them from joining constructively in American life.
Putting these factors together, the Gang’s bill is a recipe for a nightmare of epic proportions.