We refer Missourian readers to Mark Thiessen’s column on this page on immigration. His words represent some of the best thinking we have read on America’s immigration problem.
Why we need immigrants is spelled out by Thiessen. Not so clear is how to achieve it through a Congress and executive branch that are so divided. Politics has ruled out chances of immigration reforms. With the political situation we have, compromise on solutions is a lost art.
When politics is the main agenda of too many of our members of Congress, progress on major issues is impossible. We have a president who is too tied to campaign promises he made, some certainly good, who mostly is not a compromiser because of his stubborness. He at times has given hints that he is willing to compromise. Politics usually gets in the way. Nothing but a stalemate results.
Thiessen points out that with unemployment so low, there are 6.5 million job openings in the United States. In this area, Wednesday’s Missourian listed 105 job openings. Businesses and industries from some distance from this county are seeking workers. We have never experienced before the high number of “non-local” companies looking for workers. Problem is we don’t have them in our locality. The local companies are as desperate to find workers as those firms that are some distance away who are advertising for workers.
With gasoline prices on the rise, the cost in time and money to commute some distance for a job doesn’t make economic sense to most workers.
Thiessen writes that the U.S. is not producing enough native-born workers. Our population growth rate for fiscal year 2017-2018 was the lowest since 1937, during the Great Depression. Allowing more immigrants to enter the U.S. is the only solution. Many immigrants are trainable for skilled jobs so badly needed in our workforce. Many immigrants have a good work ethic. They just need opportunities that aren’t present in their native countries. In overseas travels, study missions, we found workers in many countries, well educated, who wanted to come to the U.S. for job opportunities. For whatever reasons, they couldn’t make the move.
For President Trump to say “America is full” and there is no more room for immigrants is just political hogwash, but some voters believe it.
Thiessen says the U.S. population is now growing at less than replacement levels. Immigrants account for about 48 percent of U.S. population growth. Thiessen argues that the U.S. needs immigrants to stop the population decline. Thiessen wrote that an overall reduction in immigration “would be disastrous for the country.” He offers suggestions for immigration reforms.
This country welcomed immigrants at one time and they played a huge part in the development and governmental gains the U.S. made. It is true conditions were different in that era. Common sense, recognizing and dealing with conditions today in reforms in immigration, is a must. Politics makes it difficult to overcome the human weaknesses in politicians.