By Joe Guzzardi
President Donald Trump wants more people to come to the United States! With my own two ears, I heard the president say on back-to-back days that he wants historically high immigration levels, and more people that he foolishly claims “we need.”
Since Trump was referring to more legal immigration, one could be forgiven for thinking that he had never heard of chain migration, where eventually one legal immigrant petitions an average of 3.5 family members to come to the U.S. But analysts who follow and study the nation’s suicidal immigration laws and their loopholes know that the president fully aware of chain migration and its consequences.
Last year, in his State of the Union address, Trump touted ending chain migration. At various times in 2018 he enthusiastically supported Reforming American Immigration for a Stronger Economy (RAISE), legislation from Republican senators Tom Cotton and David Purdue that favored skill-based over the current family-based immigration which drives more than 75 percent of the nation’s population growth. Assuming the status quo continues, by 2065, America will see an increase in population from today’s 328 million to more than 400 million.
Ignore for the moment the effect adding more work- authorized immigrants has on job competition and stagnant wages, and concentrate on the practical significance of adding ever-more people to the ever-swelling population of our country. Of course, adding more and more people to an already overpopulated country is something that apparently neither President Trump, nor private citizen Trump, has a clue about.
Whether Trump is in the White House, Trump Tower or Mar-a-Lago, he’s isolated from the everyday reality of getting from one place to another. Among the many headaches the president doesn’t endure that are all too familiar to the rest of us are paralyzing beltway traffic jams, maddening Florida I-95 traffic jams, and the stifling, undependable DC Metro or NYC Subway. Trump will never be forced to, as I recently was, make a half-mile sprint and then jump on a tram through the sprawling Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport, carry-on luggage in hand, in a failed and frustrating effort to make my connecting flight.
When Trump returns to private citizen status, he will travel on his personal 757 equipped with 24-karat gold seat belts. In American presidential history, President Trump is the only office holder for which Air Force One represents a downgrade. For those shorter jaunts, the president owns a $7 million Sikorsky S-76 helicopter. The president sails through city streets preceded by a Secret Service manned motorcade.
But for most of us, more people means we’ll have to deal with more cars and buses that will hit the road, generating more traffic and inevitably more sprawl. Hard to believe though it is, air travel will become more uncomfortable as airports expand, and airline manufacturers produce larger seating capacity commercial jets.
On immigration and specifically on more immigration, Trump is rejecting Americans’ wishes. A survey of 1,000 voters after the 2018 mid-term election found that 53 percent want to reduce legal immigration from its annual level of more than 1 million, while only 30 percent of voters want immigration increases.
With Trump’s promotion of more immigration to grow our population even larger, it appears the Swamp has swallowed whole the country’s chief executive.
Joe Guzzardi is a Progressives for Immigration Reform analyst who has written about immigration for more than 30 years.