By Jessica Vaughan
Introduction and Key Findings
The United States has just concluded the largest decade of immigration in its history. From 2000-2009 more than 10 million legal immigrants settled here.1 This surpasses the levels of both the early 20th century, which for a long time was the high water mark of immigration to the United States, and the 1990s, which is now the second largest decade of immigration in U.S. history (see Figure 1).
Unlike earlier times, when immigration came in distinct waves, the last two decades are simply an accelerated continuation of a more than 70-year upward trend in annual immigration. Continuing high immigration has had a significant impact on U.S. population growth. Immigration, counting both new admissions and births to immigrant women, was responsible for three-fourths of the growth in our population growth in the last decade.2 If current trends continue, immigration will add another 100 million people to the United States in the next 50 years, including children born to immigrants in the United States.3 This paper will explore the primary component of U.S. immigration – family-based immigration – and recommend ways to change the laws and regulations so as to help reverse the steep growth of recent decades.
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World population, now over 7.3 billion, is predicted to rise to 9 billion by 2050, an increase of almost two billion, or 23%, in the short space of only 34 years from now.In the highly unlikely event that per capita greenhouse gas emissions could possibly be decreased by an equal percentage in such a short space of time (a blink of an eye) the total amount of worldwide emission would remain the same!
From this simple illustration it would appear that without drastically reducing the size of world population, there is no solution to the problem.None at all.So then why do our world leaders pretend that there is one?What is to be gained by pretending rather than by proposing a solution that would solve the problem – a reduction in the size of world population to not more than 1- 2 billion?