Frank Bernheisel: The View From Here
Frank Bernheisel
Frank Bernheisel
Posted 7.25.18
Just Outside Washington


Politcal Drumbeats

The July 18 Gallop poll, indicates that 22 percent of Americans say immigration is the country's most important problem. Immigration replaced "Government", which had been the top problem in polls since January 2017.

Immigration jumped up from 14 percent in June to take the top spot. Further, 22 percent is the highest percentage naming immigration in Gallup's history of asking the "most important problem" question beginning in January 2001.

What could account for this increase? Gallop indicates the July survey was done as news outlets and social media were filled with reports of immigrant children being separated from their parents at the border. However, I think President Trump's incessant drumbeat of tweets have an impact:

"Build the wall" -- "Build the wall" -- "Build the wall" Over and over and over.

"I want to take a moment to address the current illegal immigration crisis on the Southern Border ... it has been going on for many, many decades..."

"Republicans should stop wasting their time on Immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November. Dems are just playing games, have no intention of doing anything to solves this decades old problem. We can pass great legislation after the Red Wave!"

It appears to me that President Trump does not want to solve the problem of immigration into the U.S. because it is too good of a political issue (see last tweet). If Central American immigrants were a problem that we wanted to solve, wouldn't a Marshal Plan for the area be a help? Or how about some family planning and birth control assistance?

The birthrate per 1000 population in: Honduras is 24.16; Nicaragua is 18.77; El Salvador is 17.22. For comparison the U.S. is 13.66 per 1000 population and most developed countries are lower than the U.S.

Also, why is it that the drumbeat on immigration is all about Mexicans, Central Americans ,and the southern border? That does not appear to be the big problem. According to the Census Bureau, in 2016, 1.49 million foreign-born individuals moved to the United States, a 7 percent increase from the 1.38 million in 2015. India was the leading country of origin, with 175,100 arriving in 2016, followed by 160,200 from China/Hong Kong, 150,400 from Mexico, 54,700 from Cuba, and 46,600 from the Philippines.

If we want to solve problems facing the U.S. we should analyze the data, propose alternate solutions, discuss rationally, decide on an approach, and implement.

Damn! I forgot; that is what we pay the Members of Congress and the President to do.