By 2025, possibly even earlier, foreign born Americans will account for 15 percent of the population.
|A few years ago, a leading U.S. news magazine featured a cover story on the impending nightmare of a nation overrun by immigrants. Now, a Pew Research Center study reveals, that the xenophobes worst fears may be coming to pass: the United States is rapidly, impressively and steadily turning brown. |
By 2025, possibly even earlier, foreign born Americans will account for 15 percent of the population, or nearly 1 in 7 U.S. residents - the highest ever in the country's history. By the middle of this century, 1 in 5 Americans will be foreign born.
By 2050, only 47 percent of U.S. residents will be Whites. Hispanics will constitute 29 percent of the population; African Americans 13 percent; Asian Americans 9 percent and Native Americans and other groups the remaining 2 percent. The current minority groups will be the new majority.
But there is no escaping the impending reality. Waking up to it would be easier and wiser. This country is simply incapable of rounding up and throwing out all the 12 million "undocumented" immigrants.
Immigrants power the U.S. economy. They enable its organs to function smoothly. The Right may consider them an unseemly growth on the country's social body politic, but they too better learn to live with their "cancer."
Indeed, the Pew study found that the dependency ratio - the number of young and elderly compared to the number of working people who support them - will rise to 72 per 100 in 2050 compared with 59 per 100 presently. But - get this - this dependency ratio will be even higher if the immigration rate is slowed, as the Right is demanding.
2050 is good news, not just for immigrants, but also for "natives." Together, we will show the world that this is truly a nation of immigrants and notwithstanding the accompanying problems and conflicts, an exemplary example for the rest of the world.
This is indeed how the whole world is changing. Here is an historic opportunity for everyone to demonstrate how we can live together, work together and hope together.
The European Union has also embarked on a debate on immigrants. It has its own vision, its own immigrants and its own problems. There are lessons to be learned from them and if we take competition with them seriously, it is time to stop the hate mongering and the politics of fear, buckle up and wake up to the reality that is here, because it is hopeful.
Hope is a four-letter word. Like some other four letter words, it offers pleasure, and for careless minds, it is fraught with nightmares.