How Many More Deaths on Biden’s Border?

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How many ways are there for illegal migrants to die crossing or trying to cross our border?

The list keeps growing, encouraged by policies and messaging from the Biden administration.

Three people were recently killed, and dozens hospitalized, after a smuggling boat overturned and broke apart off the San Diego coast. The Border Patrol said there has been a 92% increase in maritime apprehensions of smugglers in 2020 as compared with the previous year.

In March, 13 people died when an SUV, filled with 25 illegal immigrants and their smugglers, pulled out in front of an oncoming semi. Another SUV carrying 19 people, driven from Mexico through the same hole cut in a border fence, caught fire after entering the U.S., but no one died.

Two weeks later, eight illegal migrants in a pickup in Texas were killed when the smuggler who was driving veered into oncoming traffic and smashed into another truck. By this time, the media had lost interest and the story of eight deaths did not survive the 24-hour news cycle.

A six-month old baby was tossed from a raft into the Rio Grande by human traffickers but rescued by Border Patrol officers. In another crossing attempt, a nine-year old girl was not so lucky and drowned.

Smugglers have dropped toddlers over a 14-foot border wall and abandoned children in the desert, but, again, they were rescued by the heroes from the Border Patrol, an agency that the woke left wants to abolish. According to the ACLU, “The number of Border Patrol agents should immediately be reduced by 50%.”

As horrendous as these events are, most of Biden’s border casualties will occur on the other side of the border, out of sight of American voters, and unrecorded by American media. An immigration activist admitted, “It’s one of the most dangerous trips in the world…. cartels and local criminal groups … see migrants as commodities, so they’re victims of assault, extortion, sexual assault, kidnapping, and murder.”

The border surge caused by these immigration policies should not have been, and was not, a surprise. When you tell would-be migrants that our immigration laws will not be enforced, they will ignore the laws. When you invite people to cross our border, they will come. Biden and his allies were repeatedly warned of the consequences of his proposals.

Demographer Joseph Chamie, a former director of the United Nations Population Division, warned last year that “the migration surge is coming… with the incoming government’s proposed changes to immigration policies….”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials alerted the incoming administration that removing Trump-era restrictions would lead to a surge of unaccompanied minors along the border. The presidents of both Mexico and Guatemala have blamed the border crisis on Biden administration policies.

At least the U.S. is no longer separating children from their parents. Actually, it is, but in a different, more dangerous, and sometimes permanent way. Some illegal entrants are being returned currently, but that doesn’t include unaccompanied children, so parents in Mexico and Central America pay traffickers to take their children on the treacherous journey to America. The parents realize, correctly, that a child in the U.S. will be their ticket for entry.

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei said coyotes tell families, “We’ll take the children… and once children are there, they will call their parents.”

Of course, some children will not survive the journey and will not see their parents again.

Biden’s blunders seem to be driven by ideology. The important political consideration is to be anti-Trump— “Damn the torpedoes (and border deaths), full steam ahead.”

The deadly consequences of Biden’s immigration policies were as foreseeable as they are tragic.

Copyright 2021 Ric Oberlink. Oberlink is the executive director of the nonprofit group, Californians for Population Stabilization

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Underpopulation in the United States. Is That Really a Thing?

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As someone who has spent a good chunk of his life concerned with and warning about the dangers of overpopulation, I was somewhat taken aback to recently encounter a warning about “underpopulation.”

I had never seen the word before and a search revealed scant usage of the term, but CNBC warned, “Researchers expect the U.S. to face underpopulation….”

With over 330 million people, America is the third most populated country, after China and India. Its population has increased by 50 million during the last two decades, a figure twice the current population of Australia. California’s population density is already one-third higher than the Old World of Europe.

Immediately, I pondered the many dangers of underpopulation in the United States. Fewer and smaller traffic jams, more open space and wildlife habitat, and less air and water pollution were some that came to mind.

In 1972, after two years of research, the bipartisan Commission on Population Growth and the American Future, established by Congress and chaired by John D. Rockefeller III, issued its report to Congress and the president:

“We have concluded that, in the long run, no substantial benefits will result from further growth of the nation’s population, rather that the gradual stabilization of our population through voluntary means would contribute significantly to the Nation’s ability to solve its problems. We have looked for, and have not found, any convincing economic argument for continued population growth.”

Since then, the U.S. population has grown by about 120 million.

Economists are notorious for singing the praises of larger populations – more people mean a larger economy. “At the end of the day, people matter. So the more people there are, the more economic activity there is,” said Wellesley College economics professor Phil Levine.

I get it. That’s why Pakistan with a GDP of $284 billion is richer than Finland with a GDP of $268 billion. Conversely, Finland has a per capita GDP of $48,500 compared to $1285 for Pakistan. I am always amazed at the number of economists who have acquired an advanced degree or two, but have never learned the meaning of per capita. The average bloke understands that Finland is much, much richer than Pakistan even if the average economist does not.

Taiwan, for instance, has achieved population stabilization – after several years of very slight increases in population, it probably had a slight decrease in 2020. Last year, when nearly all national economies were shrinking, Taiwan had one of the globe’s few growing economies, and the fastest among industrialized nations. Its GDP increased by over 3% and is expected to expand almost 5% in 2021, its fastest pace in seven years. Its economy grew not because of, nor in spite of, its achievement of population stabilization, but for factors that had nothing to do with population.

And while we all want a healthy and robust economy that provides a high quality of life and boundless opportunities for its citizens, endless economic growth should not be at the top of our priority list. Remember that the economy is but a subset of the environment and the resources it provides. As economics professor Kenneth Boulding said, “Anyone who believes that exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.”

Underpopulation? A half century ago, The Commission on Population Growth recognized the environmental consequences of an ever-growing human population in America:

“From an environmental and resource point of view, there are no advantages from further growth of population…. Indeed, we would be considerably better off … if there were a prompt reduction in our population growth rate. This is especially true with regard to problems of water, agricultural land, and outdoor recreation.”

Amen.

Copyright 20210 Ric Oberlink. Oberlink is the executive director of the nonprofit group, Californians for Population Stabilization

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Biden Needs a Damascus Road Conversion on Immigration Policy

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In the presidential election, the winning Democratic candidate found it politically expedient to promise a change in immigration policy and implementation of a more open border policy. The year was 1992. The candidate was Bill Clinton.

Fortunately, Clinton reversed course and resumed the (first) George Bush administration policy of interdiction and repatriation of Haitian boat people. He even made radio commercials broadcast in Haiti to announce the policy change, but not before hundreds of Haitians had died trying to reach the United States.

Candidate Clinton knew better and candidate Biden knew better. If you tell would-be migrants that there will be no enforcement of U.S. immigration laws, they will come. If you enact yet another amnesty, they will expect another amnesty after that one, and they will come. The consequences of those journeys are often tragic, but not unexpected. President-elect Clinton made a belated effort to repair the damage. Will President-elect Biden?

Following President Obama’s declaration of a DACA amnesty, there was a border surge of illegal migrants from Central America. Immigration lawyers would have you believe that they were fleeing violence, but violent crime in Central America – while horrendously high – had been high for years and was stable or declining at the time. Moreover, high crime rates are not grounds for political asylum. The homicide rates in Baltimore and St. Louis are three times higher than that of Guatemala. Where should refugees from those American cities go?

What changed was that Obama was implementing another amnesty. Immigration lawyers and the far left are tremendously concerned about the welfare of migrants after they reach the U.S. What happens en route is not important because the lawyers don’t collect legal fees until they are on this side of the border.

Amnesty International reports, “It is a widely held view – shared by local and international NGOs and health professionals working with migrant women – that as many as six in 10 migrant women and girls are raped.” That figure hardly seems credible, but it does highlight the extreme dangers of violence, death, sexual assault, and child trafficking that are part of these journeys. That bothers neither the coyotes in Central America nor the immigration lawyers in the U.S., the two bookends who profit from this trail of tragedy.

The same political expediency, or misguided compassion if we’re being generous, permeates Biden’s proposal to increase refugee admissions to 125,000 per year, exceeding even the levels of the Obama administration. The costs of resettling a refugee from the Middle East to the U.S. are 12 times higher than the costs of care for that refugee in neighboring Middle Eastern countries according to research by the Center for Immigration Studies.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said, “Helping refugees in their regions of origin… is a lot cheaper than it is to help them only when they get here. Real solutions… include enabling people to go home, or at least to stay as close to home as possible.” Trying to assist refugees in the Middle East near their homes makes sense. Bringing them across an ocean to America does not, but that message is lost on the immigration lawyers and the government-funded refugee agencies.

Even the Economist, enthusiastic as it is for massive immigration, admits that Biden’s platform would lead to a new border surge: “It is hard to imagine the Democratic president completely unwinding the new asylum rules on the south-west border, which would undoubtedly invite a new surge of migrants.”

Let’s hope it is right, that Biden will have his Damascus moment and prevent the ensuing tragedy that his current proposals will inflict. If not, much of the suffering will be borne by those he is claiming to help.

Copyright 2020 Ric Oberlink. Oberlink is the executive director of the nonprofit group, Californians for Population Stabilization

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Big Tech Should Stop the Hypocrisy and Hire Black Workers

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In a famous 1895 speech, Booker T. Washington castigated white industrialists for favoring European immigrants over black laborers in their new factories. “Cast down your bucket where you are… among the eight millions of Negroes” to find workers, he declared.

The expression came from Moby Dick, wherein Melville related the tale of a distressed ship in the Atlantic whose crew members are dying of thirst. When they spot another ship, they signal their need for water and receive a reply to cast down their bucket where they are. Eventually they comply and are amazed to find their bucket full of fresh water.

The ship is now at the mouth of the Amazon.

Washington was not the only African-American leader to note that immigration was inimical to the interests of Black workers. W.E.B. Du Bois, commenting on the immigration reductions enacted in the 1920s, said, “[T]he stopping of the importing of cheap white labor on any terms has been the economic salvation of American Black labor.”

Frederick Douglass stated about free Blacks in the pre-Civil War North, “[E]very hour sees the black man elbowed out of employment by some newly arrived emigrant, whose hunger and whose color are thought to give him a better title to the place….”

Big Tech has been quick to issue woke statements of support for Black Lives Matter and banalities about valuing diversity, and equally quick to condemn President Trump for suspending H-1B visas. When it comes to tech companies actually hiring African-American workers, that’s an entirely different story.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said he was “deeply disappointed” by Trump’s decision because Apple “has always found strength in our diversity.” Diversity at Apple means that 6 percent of its tech workers and 3 percent of its leadership personnel are black.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said, “Disappointed by today’s proclamation, we’ll continue to stand with immigrants and work to expand opportunity for all.” Google translates “opportunity for all” as hiring blacks for just 2.4 percent of tech workers and 2.6 percent of leadership positions. For Latinos, the figures are 2.6 and 3.7 percent, respectively.

The visa suspension “is a full-frontal attack on American innovation and our nation’s ability to benefit from attracting talent from around the world,” according to FWD.us, a lobbying group founded by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to support increased immigration and more visas. Perhaps Facebook should try attracting some homegrown talent. Just 1.7% of its tech employees are black and only 4.3 percent are Latino. Blacks hold 3.4 percent of leadership positions, while Latinos hold 4.3 percent.

The H-1B visa program was designed to provide businesses with specialized workers unavailable in America. Instead, tech companies have used contrived worker shortages to convert the program into, in the words of Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, one that is “plagued with fraud and abuse and is now a vehicle for outsourcing that deprives qualified American workers of their jobs.”

There are 600,000 H-1B workers in the U.S., but since many “temporary” workers were able to change their visa status and remain, the number of lost jobs exceeds that. Moreover, some workers learn the job and then return to their homes, taking the job with them. The program is an integral part of deliberate efforts to outsource jobs.

One can only wonder how differently America’s past century and a quarter might have developed had the corporate elite heeded Washington’s “cast down your bucket” admonition. Our future remains uncertain as tech companies insist on importing foreign workers instead of hiring Americans from our black, brown, and underserved communities.

Big Tech offers us buckets of meaningless platitudes and empty rhetoric.

Copyright 2020 Ric Oberlink. Oberlink is the executive director of the nonprofit group, Californians for Population Stabilization

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