Fear of Immigrants

By Miranda Park

My parents fled to America after Seoul, South Korea’s capitol city, fell to the Communist North Korean army the third  time. I understand why so many men, women, and children from failed states are so desperate to find asylum here, but I also understand why so many Americans are afraid that millions of asylum-seeking immigrants will overrun our country. Here are the grim facts:

1) The US population increased by 1.1 million from July 2019 to July 2020, only 0.3%. One million were immigrants. No immigration, no growth. (Is that good for the US economy?)

2) There are about five million full-blooded Native Americans living in the United States. The other 98.5% of us are partial or full-blooded immigrants or their descendants.

3) First- and second-generation immigrants are less likely than the rest of Americans to commit crimes. (See Note 1 below.)

4) First- and second-generation immigrants added $2 trillion (that’s trillions with a “t”) to the US GDP in 2016.

5) From the years 2000 to 2011, unauthorized immigrants paid $35 billion more into the Medicare fund than they consumed. (See Note 2.)

In short, there are no rational arguments against allowing a million immigrants to enter the US every year, but there are strong economic and compassionate arguments for allowing it. Nevertheless, about a third of the American electorate, commonly known as Republicans, are staunchly opposed to immigration in general and Central American immigration in particular—because Joe Biden got 66% of the Latino vote in 2020, up from Hillary Clinton’s 65% in 2016. If Latinos vote, Republicans lose, but it’s not really that simple, is it?

Eighty-seven percent of Blacks voted for Joe Biden in 2020. Sixty-three percent of Asian Americans voted for Biden in 2020. Although a small minority, Native Americans may have put Biden over the top in Wisconsin and Arizona.

If minorities vote, Republicans lose. See “voter suppression.”

Notes

Note 1: Many of the figures above were excerpted from a 2017 report by the Center for American Progress, which sounds like yet another PAC funded by secretive billionaires, conspiracy theorists, or Russian oligarchs. It’s not, and all their figures are referenced. I urge you to visit their website.

Note 2: If you follow the train of thought from 5) above, then one of the best ways to fund Medicare is to let more immigrants into the US.

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