At a time when California’s budget is busting the bank, a new study has revealed nearly all of the state’s population growth between 1990 and 2000 was due to immigration – legal and otherwise.
“Virtually 100 percent of California’s population explosion between 1990 and 2000 (and continuing through 2002) was the result of a massive inflow of immigrants and births to immigrants, not from internal growth, according to two separate studies,” said the findings of an analysis commissioned by Californians for Population Stabilization, or CAPS, a nonprofit group dedicated to stricter management of the state’s population size.
According to U.S. Census Bureau figures, California – the most populous state in the union – grew from 29.8 million people in 1990 to 34 million-plus in 2000. The study’s authors concluded that rate of growth of about 4 million was “greater than the combined increase in population of all the northeastern states from Maine to Virginia during that same period.”
And, the study says, the state’s population will double again in 40 years at the current rate of growth.
“A number of things are very clear from these vitally important studies,” says Dr. Diana Hull, Ph.D., president of CAPS. “The first and most important is what we all know in California – we are in the midst of a population crisis that is already affecting virtually every aspect of life in our state and which is only going to get worse.
“The second finding that nobody in California wants to talk about, due to political correctness, is the underlying cause of our problem, which is totally uncontrolled immigration and the high fertility rates associated with major immigrant groups,” she continued. “Stop immigration and we’ll be on the way to saving our quality of life; do nothing and we will soon reach the limits of livability.
“And third, there is a message of hope in the findings,” she added. “The first step in fixing any problem is determining the cause, which we have now established conclusively. Now it’s up to Californians to have the courage to address this growth crisis head-on.”
The group has said too much immigration has added to the “myriad” of California’s problems, not the least of which is financial.
The Washington Post reported Monday state lawmakers and Gov. Gray Davis, a Democrat, faced an overnight deadline to solve the state’s $38 billion budget deficit, one which wasn’t met. Without a budget that would include a number of new tax increases – something minority Republicans have refused to sanction – schools, state agencies, colleges and nursing homes could begin facing financial crises of their own.
Davis “and his allies have gotten the last three budgets they wanted and we’re nearly bankrupt,” said James L. Brulte, the Republican leader in the state Senate, who has threatened to work against the re-election of any GOP colleague who sides with Davis in the budget battle.
California’s economy has been rated the seventh-largest in the world. It’s deficit is larger than any other state budget, with the exception of New York, and represents about one-third of the state’s annual spending.
Republicans say Democrats are to blame for the state’s budget woes, since California has essentially been under one-party Democratic rule for years.
“Somebody has to stand up and say enough is enough. That’s what Republicans in California are doing,” Brulte told the Post.
CAPS says immigration is a big part of the state’s financial problems.
“Traffic congestion, schools, the water crisis and the state’s record … budget shortfall have all emerged … because there are too many people for the state’s now beleaguered resources,” said CAPS.
“The crisis in which California finds itself today is just the beginning of a population nightmare that will continue to worsen unless immigration is slowed considerably or brought to a halt,” the group said.
Other experts and lawmakers agree.
“The problem of illegal immigration continues to grow in California,” says U.S. Rep. John Doolittle, R-Calif., a member of the House Immigration Reform Caucus. “We must enact provisions which not only heighten enforcement of our borders but also eliminate the social welfare benefits that attract illegal immigrants to our country.”
One research group, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, says California is home to 28 percent of the nation’s immigrant population, but only 10 percent of the U.S.-born population.
“This large-scale population growth is bringing traffic, pollution, overcrowded schools, and lack of affordable housing to the state, decreasing quality of life and straining natural resources,” said a FAIR analysis. “The net cost of immigration to the state was $28 billion in 1996; 71 percent of the cost was due to legal immigration (illegal immigration cost California taxpayers $8 billion).”
“As California has become a magnet for unskilled immigrants who are low-wage employment in restaurants, fields and factories, poverty remains pervasive,” said the analysis, adding: “A RAND report finds: ‘A declining demand for low-skill workers combined with a continuing influx of low-skill immigrants has increased competition for low-skill jobs within the state and has hurt the earnings of some low-skill workers. It has also contributed to a growing disparity between the wages of foreign- and native-born workers.'”
David Ray, a spokesman for FAIR, told WorldNetDaily, “California is a prime example of Congress’ unwillingness to gain control of our borders.”
“Now it has resulted in an overcrowded, congested, socially volatile future for California’s youth,” Ray said. “The state is suffering under the burden of mass legal and illegal immigration,” which is costing it its future.
As an example, Ray said most illegal immigrants who take low-paying jobs don’t pay enough in taxes – if they pay at all – to reimburse taxpayers the $5,000-plus annually it takes to educate each of their children.
“Here you have a huge population of people who pay little in direct taxes, but rely heavily on basic services that are provided by state and local governments,” said Ray.
Another immigration reform group, the Center for Immigration Studies, says that while illegal immigrants – reports say there are up to 3 million in California alone – don’t use a great deal of entitlements, they get into taxpayers’ pockets in other ways.
“Even though illegal aliens make little use of welfare, from which they are generally barred, the costs of illegal immigration in terms of government expenditures for education, criminal justice and emergency medical care are significant,” said a CIS study. “The fact that states must bear the cost of federal failure turns illegal immigration, in effect, into one of the largest unfunded federal mandates.”
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that so much cheap labor comes at a high cost.
“Based on fiscal estimates developed by the National Academy of Sciences for immigrants by age and education at arrival, the lifetime net fiscal drain (all taxes paid minus all services used) for the average adult Mexican immigrant is a negative $55,200,” the paper reported Aug. 20, 2001.
“In effect, Mexican immigration acts as a subsidy to businesses that employ unskilled workers, holding down labor costs while taxpayers pick up the costs of providing services to a much larger low-income population. Like any subsidy, businesses who receive it want it to continue, but for the nation as a whole, it’s a bad deal,” the paper said.