Where have you Gone, Harry Reid? (NPG Footnote)

Click here for a downloadable, printable PDF version

That says everything about immigration that needs to be said. I would be proud to have written it myself. He even proposes an annual gross immigration limit, 325,000, which is close to the net immigration of 200,000 that I proposed as part of a way to reverse U.S. population growth (NPG FORUM “The Two Child Family”, May 1994)

The only problem: that OpEd was dated August 10, 1994

What is he saying now?

… we are all the better for having hardworking new immigrants as contributing members of our communities – shopping as customers in our stores, paying payroll taxes, and giving to local churches and charities.
(from his website)

or:

For me, this issue is personal. The stories I often hear in Nevada’s communities are heartbreaking. Our broken system tears families apart every day; it leaves our country vulnerable and it is not good for our economy. I will continue working closely with the community to get this bill over the finish line.
(4-10-2013 press release)

What has changed Harry’s mind? Certainly, not the numbers. Since 1994, U.S. population — driven by immigration — has risen 55 million, or 21%. The problems he described have all gotten worse. Unemployment has soared, and the proportion of the population with jobs has gone ‘way down. Environmental degradation and the pressures on resources have gotten worse. Climate warming has turned from an hypothesis to a reality.

Why did Harry change his mind? Politics. He is intimidated by the very force that led to that long-ago OpEd. He wants to please the growing Hispanic minority, which has risen from 10% to 17% of the U.S. population — 54 million — since 1994. I think perhaps he misreads their feelings. Polls can prove what the pollster wants to prove, but there is a long history of polls showing that a majority of U.S. Hispanics, like other groups, opposes high immigration. Correctly so, in terms of their own interests. He is listening to self-appointed immigration advocates.

If Harry is interested in the future of the country, and not just in his own job, he will read his own old OpEd, and act on it.

Lindsey Grant

Lindsey Grant is a retired Foreign Service Officer; he was a China specialist and served as Director of the Office of Asian Communist Affairs, National Security Council staff member, and Department of State policy Planning staff member. As Deputy Secretary of State for Environmental and Population Affairs, he was Department of State coordinator for the Global 2000 Report to the President, Chairman of the interagency committee on Int'l Environmental Committee and US member of the UN ECE Committee of Experts on the Environment. His books include: Too Many People, Juggernaut, The Horseman and the Bureaucrat, Elephants in Volkswagen, How Many Americans?

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