Tuesday, May 23, 2006

More Immigration Please

In the highly integrated world of 21st century, population of a nation or block is a fundamental asset. Humanity as a whole produces enough of basic needs for all people or at least have means to produce basic needs for all humans. As long as core distribution and political system are there in place, most of the humanity can get a decent living. In short the time when population size used to work as Malthusian drag is over. On the other hand, in the Globalized Economy, size of domestic market for MNCs become important and larger domestic market tends to nurture stronger and dynamic economy; again as long as the basic law is in place and basic ‘market economy’ infrastructure is in place. Further, in times of war, larger population does tend to lend necessary heft to the country as long as the country is united.

This explains why eventually China and India are likely to play a dominant role in world affairs; why population reduction is of grave consequences to Russia and Japan and why Europe finds it increasingly difficult to halt it’s diminishing importance in world affairs.

So naturally, which America is better if America intends to hold her turf against assertive global powers like China and India – America with 300 million people or America with 440 million people? Clearly the latter. So how does America go to this higher population – the same old way of supplementing natural births by immigration. One of the basic reasons why America has been able to avoid fate like Europe is the healthy population growth rate and immigration is the key component to sustain this high growth rate.

So what better way to get to this higher number than integrating Mexico with 110 million and Canada with 33 million quite tightly within a North American Economy? Hence, immigration from Mexico is essentially non-issue; except that whatever care USA needs to take to avoid terrorists slipping through these borders. Fortunately, America is vast enough to accommodate larger population and the political system is well entrenched to handle larger immigration flow in orderly manner. That does not mean improvements are necessary; it is just that America is in better shape than many other countries to manage large immigration.

In effect, it is not fruitful to debate the usefulness of immigration or ways to block or reduce it. The debate should be what is the best way to attract best immigrants from all over the world and how to make immigration orderly over the borders without compromising America’s safety. Granting citizenship is the obvious answer.

Umesh Patil
San Jose, CA 95111
May 23, 2006.

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