Re: Population

Hal Finney (
Tue, 11 Nov 1997 22:30:23 -0800

Dan Clemmensen,, writes:
> I try to keep up with this stuff, and I am aware that rich countries
> are currently not maintiaining their populations solely by reproduction.
> The increase in rich countries is by illegal immigration.

I didn't get beyond this point without a mental "huh?". Immigration, sure,
but illegal? A quick altavista search led to:

an article about the 1996 immigration bill:

> But the Senate rejected an important legal immigration provision when
> it buried efforts led by Simpson to cut the number of legal immigrants
> permitted to enter the country, now about 750,000 a year.
> [...]
> The centerpiece of the Senate bill aims to curb the flow of the
> estimated 300,000 foreigners who enter the United States illegally or
> overstay their visas each year, and to make it more difficult for
> those who do come here illegally to obtain jobs and government
> benefits. The Immigration and Naturalization Service estimates that
> four million illegal immigrants now live in the United States.

The article appears to have no axe to grind, and from this it appears that
at least in the United States, legal immigration is much more important
than illegal immigration. I would expect the imbalance in favor of legal
immigration to be even larger in European countries, which don't have
the U.S. situation of a long border with Mexico.

It is misleading to say that the rich countries are growing because
of illegal immigration, when legal immigration plays a significantly
larger role.