- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Net immigration to the United States rose dramatically by 1.4 million in each of the past two years, about half a million of whom were listed as illegal aliens, a report said yesterday.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) said if the numbers remain unchanged, this decade will mark the most massive wave of immigration in American history, with 45 million immigrants — about 14 percent of the country’s total projected population — forecast to be residing in the United States by 2010.

The extensive FAIR report also said the figures show that immigration totals are unrelated to the labor needs and economic conditions in this country. Despite a weak U.S. economy and rising unemployment in the United States since 2000, the report said, immigration significantly has outpaced record levels seen in the 1990s and has shown no sign of abating.

“Advocates of mass immigration justified the record-breaking immigration levels of the 1990s on labor-market demands during the high-tech, bubble-driven economy of that era,” FAIR executive director Dan Stein said. “One would have expected that when the bubble burst, the overheated immigration would have cooled along with the economy.

“In fact, the opposite has been true,” he said. “The past two years prove conclusively that immigration today is wholly unrelated to economic needs and conditions in this country.”

The report, based on a study by FAIR of the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual population survey for 2000 through 2002, issued in April, said an immigration base of 14 percent in 2010 nearly would double the figure posted in 1990.

FAIR is a nonprofit, public-interest organization with more than 70,000 members nationwide who support increased border enforcement to stop illegal immigration and have called for a cap on annual immigration levels of about 300,000.

In September, the U.S. Census Bureau said the foreign-born population in the United States had grown to more than 33 million in 2002, a jump of 5 percent in one year, and accounted for nearly half the country’s population growth last year. The foreign-born population accounted for 44 percent of the total U.S. population growth during the year.

The FAIR report also noted that mass immigration had become a “nationwide phenomenon,” meaning that it was no longer confined to a handful of states. It said North Carolina, Colorado, Georgia, Arizona, Nevada and Michigan saw current rates of immigration increase by more than 100 percent during the 1990s, with North Carolina leading the way with a 355 percent increase.

New immigrants in the traditional major settlement states of New York, California, New Jersey, Florida, Texas and Illinois were running more than a quarter million immigrants higher each year than during the 1990s, the report said. It also said 19 states now receive more than double the rate of new immigrant settlements than before 2000.

“With almost every state in the country struggling to maintain vital public services and infrastructure, mass immigration is increasing the burdens on education, public health care and requiring enormous investment in new infrastructure, when local governments are hard-pressed to keep existing infrastructure funded,” Mr. Stein said.

According to the report, California is projected to have more than 12 million foreign-born residents by 2010. Based on current estimates, California will have an additional 3.4 million new immigrants during this decade, as the tax-paying middle class is leaving the state for the first time in its history, the report states.

“Whatever flimsy arguments the proponents of mass immigration were able to concoct during the illusory economic boom of the late 1990s about immigration serving some national interest, they have been utterly dispelled by the reality of the post-high-tech bust,” Mr. Stein said.

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