Immigration and Public Resources
Jenna argues that even if our per-capita resources are higher than they were doing the last wave of immigration, that still doesn't mean that we can accomodate another large wave of immigrants.
We should not deduce our ability to handle a large flow of legal immigrants in comparison to the past. The two time frames have no bearing on each other whatsoever. In 1920, the US population was just over 100,000,000. Today, we are reaching 300,000,000. So yes, our infrastructure has expanded since the early century, but that is to accommodate current US citizens. Resources are higher, even at a per capita, but that is not indicative of an ability to drastically increase our domestic population. That is indicative of our lifestyles.
Perhaps so. I know I enjoy having lots of open spaces and uncrowded roads. But I don't buy the arguement that immigrants are making the country more crowded. Immigration opponents will point to two main negative effects of immigration: crowded schools and crowded emergency rooms. Both of these things have something in common: government intervention. Your local public school monopoly is under the direct control of government. Local emergency rooms are forced by the government to treat everyone who walks through their doors. The negative effects of these policies are all too easy to predict.
Public schools are completely unable to allocate resources in a rational manner. By its very nature, the school must cater to every constituency -- including the teachers unions. Schools are unable to handle sudden population changes because of their bureucratic nature. Emergency rooms face a similiar dilemma. The government mandates that they provide service to everyone. Unfortunately, government reimbursements for those services are somewhat on the stingy side. As a result, emergency rooms are a huge drain on a hospital's resource. The hospital responds by rationing care in the only way they can: lengthy wait times.
Immigration -- legal and illegal -- is revealing the down-side of government provided services. The solution isn't to limit the number of people who can come into the country, but to allow market incentives to provide what those in the country need. When was the last time we heard of shoe shortages? Or clothing shortages? Or shortages of kitchen supplies, office supplies, or any of the other thousands of items that litter our lives? There is no rational reason why medical care and education should be subject to sudden shortages. The solution isn't to limit immigration, it's to remove the barriers that prevent the market from working. After all, isn't that one reason why we're supporting Mark Green for governor?