Biden Administration Should Enact a National Population Policy

The fifth of several occasional postings from a life-long Democrat

By David North on January 25, 2021

While the previous articles in this series have dealt with highly specific suggestions regarding parts of our immigration system, today we get into a more fundamental discussion: The nation needs an overall population policy, something we have never had.

Creating a population policy would involve recognizing such basic questions as these:

  • We have 20 million or so unemployed people; do we need to import more workers?
  • Can our aging infrastructure, such as our hospitals, accommodate more people?
  • Wouldn't our vaccine crisis be less severe if there were fewer of us?
  • Is our current tax system generating enough revenue to take care of our population-induced problems and to keep us solvent?
  • More specifically, do we need more low-skilled arrivals, the kinds of workers we get through illegal immigration and, as legal migrants, through the family preferences?

To ask these questions is to answer them.

A national population policy would recognize that immigration policy is but part of a much larger picture, and one that should not be shaped by narrow (and often emotional) considerations, such as viewing ours as a "nation of immigrants" or pleas based on power plays by ethnic, commercial, or partisan interests.

Population growth has become based more on immigration than anything else, and population growth is not linked to better lives for those living in the U.S. now.

Immigration policy should be a sub-set of population policy.

North, now a resident of Arlington, Va., was his party's candidate for Congress in New Jersey's Fifth District more than 60 years ago and was, later, assistant to the chairman of the Democratic National Committee and worked on immigration policy in the LBJ White House.