Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me…
So goes the poem by Emma Lazarus, engraved on a bronze plaque and mounted inside the lower level of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty in 1903.
Since its founding, our nation has opened its collective arms to those who wished to make a better life here (or that’s the theory).
But if you listen to the left, you’d think the United States has become terribly selfish and heartless, turning its back on those huddled masses and trying to keep them out.
However, the numbers say something else entirely. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, as reported by The Washington Times, the share of the U.S. population represented by immigrants and their children has tripled since 1970, from 6.6 percent to 18.9 percent in 2015. Today one third of the nation’s states register over 15 percent immigrant: California, Nevada, Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Washington, Arizona, Illinois, Maryland, Georgia, Virginia, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Oregon. And the population of immigrants and their children in six states are over 25 percent immigrant: California, Nevada, Texas, Florida, New York and New Jersey.
But what is even more astonishing is the rate of growth. Nevada, Georgia and North Carolina have all seen their immigrant populations explode by 3,000 percent — yes THREE THOUSAND PERCENT since 1970. But contrast, total US population in the last 45 years as grown “only” 54 percent.
As the Center’s experts, Steven A. Camarota and Bryan Griffith ask, These numbers raise profound questions that are seldom asked: What number of immigrants can be assimilated? What is the absorption capacity of our nation’s schools, health care system, infrastructure, and, perhaps most importantly, its labor market?
Well, at the rate we’re going, we’re about to find out, sooner rather than later.
[Note: This article was written by Michele Hickford]