Pressure is growing for Congress and the Trump administration to do something about America’s immigration situation.
President Trump keeps beating that drum, focusing on the negative impacts associated with columns of immigrants swarming toward our southern border.
The two major party leaders in Congress continue to make speeches about the need for immigration reform, the strategy for which way to go dependent on which party that lawmaker pledges his or her allegiance to.
As usual, nothing is being accomplished, except that potential candidates for president in the 2020 race have a basket full of campaign-trail talking points.
One thing nobody seems to be talking about is the fact that America’s birth rate is falling, precipitously, and if the trend continues this nation will not have enough workers to do the jobs needed to maintain and grow our economy.
The U.S. birthrate fell — again — in 2018, to 3,788,235 births, 2% down from the previous year. It's also the lowest number of births in more than three decades.
That news caught demographers by surprise. Experts say that with the U.S. economy and jobs market continuing their growth, they had expected the birthrate to stabilize or increase. Instead, the drop could force changes to forecasts about how the country will look in the future — an older population with fewer young workers to sustain crucial businesses.
If you dig deeper in such statistics, the inevitable and inescapable conclusion is that if U.S. birth rates continue to tumble, American commerce will need all the immigrants it can draw in to keep us economically viable and competitive in global markets.
The problem involves more than just overall birth rates. There also is the matter of the United States being woefully bad when it comes to infant mortality rates, which suggests that the nation’s healthcare and social programs are failing.
In America, nearly 26 out of every 100,000 pregnant women die each year. The U.S. maternal mortality rate is rising while most other countries are seeing their rates decline. The United Kingdom has a rate of around nine in every 100,000 women dying.
The lowest rates globally are three deaths per 100,000. Which means that compared with women in countries such as Finland, Iceland and Greece, mothers in the U.S. are dying at a rate nine times greater.
That data seems to be scaring younger American women away from bearing a child, but there are other factors to consider. The infant mortality rate is unacceptably high in America. Having a baby costs a small fortune, and having an infant cared for while mom goes back to work can cost as much as an apartment rental each month.
California is not an exception in the birth rate trending down. This state’s birth rate fell to its lowest level in more than a century in 2017, falling below rates experienced in the Great Depression. Meanwhile California’s death rate is increasing.
The math just doesn’t work out when it comes to planning for a strong economy in the future. Our future workers are simply not being born, and demographers don’t see that statistic changing anytime soon.
So, in a very significant way, Congress and the Trump administration have legitimate reasons to undertake immigration policy reform that is not dependent upon partisan political dogma, and which has little or nothing to do with the nightmare unfolding along our border with Mexico.
Birth and death rates are a red-flag warning about this nation’s future, as is the apparent reluctance of young couples to bring children into this sort of world.