In his recent essay in The Des Moines Register, Jonathan Wilson wrote regarding the Earth’s population, “The current rate of population increase is simply not sustainable.” That statement is literally true. The rate of the world’s population increase has been slowing for decades. According to a forecast by the United Nations, which is more pessimistic than other forecasts, the world population is expected to peak at about 11 billion people near the end of this century and then begin to decline.
A clear pattern has been established. As countries around the world have become more affluent, their population growth rates have slowed. As people gain more income and wealth they have better access to birth control and respond to the various costs associated with having more children by having fewer of them. So, maybe the best thing we can do to further slow the rate of population increases is to help people in poorer countries to improve their economic situation. We might best do that by reducing barriers to free trade. Good jobs in poor countries will also result in fewer people wanting to illegally immigrate to other richer countries like the U.S.
About 200,000 Salvadorans have been living in the U.S. legally for almost 20 years. They came here under a temporary protected status (TPS) program after a major earthquake in 2001. As reported in the Register recently, (see link below), President Trump has ordered an end to their protected status and they are required to return to El Salvador by September 2019 or become undocumented immigrants. Maybe they should have been sent back to El Salvador long ago, but now they own homes and businesses. The vast majority have jobs and pay taxes. And they now have almost 200,000 children who are legal citizens. Surely most citizens of the U.S. don’t consider it a priority for us to kick them out of our country? We should end their TPS but give them the option to stay in this country legally, but without the possibility of citizenship. It is quite clear that they are a net benefit to our country.
President Trump made the right decision to give a 6-month notice to Congress that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will be ending. These children and young adults, who were illegally brought into the U.S. as children and have lived here for many years, should be given permanent legal status – and not be subjected to the temporary whims of any President. The vast majority of U.S. citizens agree that these young people should be allowed to stay in the U.S. legally. Even if Congress cannot come to an agreement on general immigration reform, they should be able to come to an agreement to let these kids stay. Contact your U.S. Senators and Representative and let them know that you want a permanent solution to let these young people stay in the U.S.
If President Trump wants Mexico to pay for The Wall, he can not do it by putting a tariff on imports from Mexico to the U.S. A tariff on imports is a tax paid for by U.S. consumers in the form of higher prices. If the tariff stops the imports, it will allow the higher prices to be charged for U.S. made products. It will be a “win” for the company and its workers who get the protection, but it will be paid for by U.S. citizens, not Mexico.
Some Democrats have suggested that President Obama pardon the 750,000 “Dreamers” who fear that President-elect Trump will deport them. The Dreamers are young people who, while they were still young children, were brought into the U.S. illegally by their parents . President Obama used his executive power to grant them temporary legal status if they registered with the federal government through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The dreamers, and their friends and family, fear that the registration information they provided to the government will now be used by President-elect Trump to find and deport them. Surely, we should not penalize these children and young adults who have made a good faith effort to become legal residents. For many of them, the United States is the only home they have ever known. Maybe they should not be given a path to citizenship, but we should allow them to stay there legally. I hope that President-elect Trump will support these young people, and announce his support publicly. This good faith effort would very much help to allay the fears of many of those who have continued to protest the election of Trump.
In 1862 California passed the, “Act to protect free white labor against competition with Chinese coolie labor, and to discourage the immigration of Chinese into the State of California.” Some things never change. Even though we are not that many generations away from our own ancestor immigrants, once we get settled, we don’t want others to come in and change things.
Immigrants are both producers and consumers. They are mostly honest and hard working people – looking for a better life for themselves and their families. We need to allow illegals some way to become legal. I don’t think there should be a pathway to citizenship, but there should be a pathway to legality. The path should require payment of a penalty, and immigrants should not have access to our taxpayer funded safety net until they become legal, but deportation is not the right answer.
David Young has the right position on immigration. What penalty should be paid by illegal immigrants, some of whom have lived and worked here for many years? Just as the penalty for most crimes is not death or prison, the penalty for illegal immigration should not be limited to deportation. Those who illegally immigrated as adults should be subject to some type of penalty, such as a fine, but still be allowed a path to legal status. That legal status does not necessarily have to include a path to citizenship. That penalty might also limit access to our welfare safety net for a specified number of years. Young suggests that we provide a path to a guest worker status or a “green card” status. He recognizes that we need to secure our borders, but he also understands that we need to, “put a face” on these fellow human beings.” Most immigrants, including illegal immigrants, are just looking for a better life for themselves and their families, just like most of our own ancestors. By taking this position on immigration, Young has shown that he is an independent thinker and does not blindly follow the Republican party line. Although I disagree with him on other issues, I believe he is clearly the best candidate to represent Iowa in Congress.