Minnesotans For Sustainability©
Sustainable Society: A society that balances the environment, other life forms, and human interactions over an indefinite time period.
Immigration and the
Growth of America's Poor Population
Steven A. Camarota
September 2, 1999
WASHINGTON (September 2, 1999)—President Clinton's recent trip through poverty-stricken areas highlighted the continuing problem of poverty in America. While a number of explanations have been offered for why the nation's long-term poverty rate and the number of people in poverty have remained persistently high, the primary cause has been little studied until now. A new report from the Center for Immigration Studies finds that immigration accounts for the vast majority of the growth in poverty over the last 20 years.
The study, entitled Importing Poverty: Immigration's Impact on the Size and Growth of the Poor Population in the United States by the Center's Director of Research, Steven Camarota, finds that if immigrant households are excluded, both the number of people in poverty and the nation's overall poverty rate would have changed little over the past two decades.
Among the findings:
"Americans may disagree over the best way to address poverty," said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center. "But there can be no doubt that ongoing immigration is diverting scarce public and private resources that are needed to help the poor already here, native-born and immigrant, improve their circumstances.
Among other findings in the new report:
Factors Not Contributing to Immigrant Poverty
By dramatically increasing poverty, current immigration policy has profound long-term consequences for the quality of life in the United States and kind of society we live in. In concrete terms, increasing the number of the poor through immigration makes it more difficult to the help the poor already here, while at the same time negatively affecting the tax base.
What's more, children who grow up in poverty are more likely to be involved in illicit activity, have higher teenage pregnancy rates, exhibit lower academic achievement, and suffer from a host of other social problems. More subtly, social science research indicates that with more poverty comes less trust, greater suspicion of others, and more social distance.
If current immigration policy remains in place, an estimated 10 million new immigrants are likely to settle permanently in the United States in the next decade alone, and the number of persons in immigrant households in poverty will grow 40 percent to reach 11 million by 2010.
To prevent this situation from continuing into the indefinite future, the United States requires an immigration policy which admits far fewer unskilled immigrants and an immigrant policy which actively seeks to help immigrants already here to escape the poverty so many find themselves in.
note: also see Roy Beck Chapters
Please send mail to
email@example.com with questions or comments about this web site. Minnesotans For Sustainability
(MFS) is not
affiliated with any government body, private, or corporate entity.
Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2004
Minnesotans For Sustainability