The Need for Immigrants
Robert A. Levine 12-19-23
The population of virtually every advanced nation in the world is either stable or declining. The United States would be in the same situation aside from an influx of immigrants. To replace a country’s population, there has to be an average of 2.1 children per woman. According to the UN’s listing of fertility rates, the U.S. has 1.66 children per woman as of 2023. A number of nations in a similar range in terms of fertility rates are not replacing their populations. These include France at 1.83, Mexico 1.82, Ireland, Denmark and Columbia at 1.72, Australia 1.70, Sweden 1.67, Netherland 1.62, Germany 1.58, UK and Norway 1.56, Russia 1.49, Canada 1.43, Greece 1.39, Poland 1.33, Japan 1.30, Italy 1.25, Spain 1.19, China 1.16, South Korea 0.81. Virtually every nation with high birth rates, from 4-6.8 children per woman is in Africa. And almost every country whose birth rate is enough to replace their population is in the developing world.
There are a number of reasons the birth rates of various nations are what they are. Those nations with the highest birth rates do not have contraceptives readily available, abortion is prohibited, women are mostly uneducated and stay at home, and there may be religious reasons. Low birth rates in developed nations are because women are educated, have jobs outside their homes and like to have feelings of independence. Also, good, inexpensive child care may not be available and the women don’t want to surrender their careers. Many women are remaining single until later in life or throughout their lives, and if they marry may not have children or have fewer children. Women are also generally more educated than men and may not be able to find proper mates.
In addition, because of pollution and plastic infestation of our bodies, men and women are not as fertile as previously and may have difficulty getting pregnant. Sperm counts in men and in different species are down from previous levels and the quality of the sperm is not as good, also believed due to various pollutants. Women’s reproductive apparatus has also been affected. So the drop in population in developed countries is both voluntary and involuntary.
Migration is being driven by lack of opportunity in some nations, crime, lack of freedom, and climate change which may make living conditions intolerable. Migrants to the United States come mainly from Latin America- Mexico, Central and South America, but also from other nations around the world.
The United States as other developed nations needs to maintain its population if we are to keep our position of power and keep a capitalist system functioning. Capitalism needs people to produce various goods and needs consumers to buy them. If our population continues to decline, we will not have enough producers or consumers. In addition, America has an aging population and we need enough young people to take care of our elderly. We need blue collar workers- caregivers, agricultural workers, factory workers- H2B immigrants to fill jobs that are going begging. Some of these jobs may eventually be automated with robots performing the work. But right now we need people.
If we are going to maintain our technological advantage in the world, we also require H1B, or educated immigrants. These fill high tech jobs and are also responsible for many of the patents in our nation and the start-up companies that are formed. They also fill positions in the community and in hospitals as physicians, nurses and pharmacists, all of which are needed. These immigrants go to our universities and graduate schools, often remaining as professors, teachers and researchers in biological and physical sciences if we allow them to stay. Though H1B immigrants come from many nations, most of them are from India and China.
Our immigration system must also be fixed so immigrants and asylum seekers do not enter illegally through our southern border. But the delays and back-ups in our legal immigration system must be corrected so that people can be vetted and accepted or rejected within a period of days to weeks rather than waiting sometimes for years. We must also make it easier for migrants to get green cards and to become citizens if we see that they are the hard working people we want.
Many right-wingers and Christian nationalists do not want immigrants in our country, believing in white superiority and that immigrants will somehow dilute our blood line, an egregious bit of misinformation. However, the opponents of immigration have to decide whether they want an America that is a great power and on top technologically, with a capitalist economic system. Or if they would prefer a smaller, second rate nation that is scientifically backward and no longer powerful.
Buy The Uninformed Voter on Amazon or Barnes and Noble