Currently our internal population growth rate is actually negative. It is only through immigration that we have a modest overall growth rate of .6% per annum. Our economic growth as measured by GDP has averaged over 3% per annum over the past two decades. Combined with the aging of our population and the slowing of the birthrate we need immigrants to bolster our labor force.
Prejudice against immigrants is not a new phenomenon. You might remember the movie “Gangs of New York” where the earliest immigrants considered themselves the true “Americans” and all later arrivals (like the Irish) were considered as intruders. I do wonder what the Eastern Native Americans were thinking?
My opinion is that we all need to be reminded of the words of Lady liberty:
“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “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,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Emma Lazarus – 1883