The United States should be having a national debate about its legal and expansive immigration system, which contributes to the majority of growth in the nation’s immigrant population, according Steven Camarota, the director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies.
“This is what we need a national debate about,” Camarota said Tuesday morning on Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Daily with Stephen K. Bannon. “Quite frankly all we ever talk about is illegal immigration, but as we make the point everyone agrees only about a quarter of these individuals are illegal immigrants and their children.”
Monday, Camarota and CIS released an analysis of Census data revealing that there are 61 million legal and illegal immigrants and their young children in the U.S. or nearly 1 in 5 U.S. residents. In the 1970s just 1 in 15 U.S. residents were immigrants and their young children.
“What’s driving these numbers is a very permissive legal immigration system. Over a million new legal immigrants each year and 7 to 800,000 long-term temporary visitor — that’s the guest workers, foreign students, that sort of thing and that’s what’s blowing up these numbers.”
Camarota questioned whether such high numbers of legal immigrants — or three-fourths of the immigrant population — is reasonable.
“The question we need to ask is, ‘Does that make sense?’ How many immigrants can we assimilate? What is the absorption capacity of our schools, our healthcare system, our labor market? What does it mean for our physical infrastructure? Our roads and bridges? And no-one even asks the question.”
“We have a discussion about just the 25 percent of immigration that is illegal, not the 75 percent that is legal,” he said.
According to Camarota what is “so striking” about the dramatic increase in the immigrant population in the U.S. is the lack of a national conversation about it.
“Something that affects everything from schools to hospitals that has impact on traffic and things like that — no discussion,” Camarota. “Now we may decide that none of this is a problem, that there is no issue, that we can assimilate twice as many immigrants, whatever we decide. But to not even have a national debate about the wisdom of this seems ridiculous.”