I can recall that in my first few days at Rice U. in 1976 explaining to all the non-Californians that while California is still relatively underpopulated, its natural trajectory is to fill up with newcomers until it’s as bad as anywhere else.
Same, of course, for the United States.
This has always struck me as a fundamental lesson about how the world would work if you let it, but it doesn’t seem to be something that, say, Joe Biden was aware of on January 20, 2021, according to a long New York Times article:
An examination of President Biden’s record reveals how he failed to overcome a surge in new arrivals and political obstacles in both parties.
By Michael D. Shear, Hamed Aleaziz and Zolan Kanno-Youngs
Published Jan. 30, 2024
On President Biden’s first day in office, he paused nearly all deportations. He vowed to end the harsh practices of the Trump administration, show compassion toward those wishing to come to the United States and secure the southern border.
For Mr. Biden, it was a matter of principle. He wanted to show the world that the United States was a humane nation, while also demonstrating to his fellow citizens that government could work again.
But those early promises have largely been set aside as chaos engulfs the border and imperils Mr. Biden’s re-election hopes. The number of people crossing into the United States has reached record levels, more than double than in the Trump years. The asylum system is still all but broken.
Perhaps because he’s from meh Delaware, Biden never internalized the lesson that there are countless people out there who want to move to the USA because it’s a better place than the countries that they and their relatives are responsible for:
… It was the first big test of his immigration agenda, and of whether the more welcoming approach he promised would work. During his campaign for the White House in 2020, Mr. Biden pledged to limit raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, invest in the asylum system and close private immigration prisons. On his first day in office, he proposed a vast immigration bill to Congress that would have provided a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants already living in America.
The next day, he paused deportations for 100 days, and even though a federal judge later blocked that policy, some migrants took it as a sign that it was worth a dangerous trek to the U.S. border.
Justin Trudeau’s Canada has been testing the Sailer vs. Biden Theories. Even some Punjabis are getting sick of how Canada is filling up with Punjabis. From the BBC:
By Nikhil Inamdar
BBC News, Bathinda, India
Canada has long been a draw for people from India’s Punjab province seeking new opportunities elsewhere. But has the Canadian dream soured?
It’s hard to miss the ardour of Punjab’s migrant ambitions when driving through its fertile rural plains. Billboards promising easy immigration to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK jut out through ample mustard fields. Off the highways, consultancies offer English language coaching to eager youth.
Single-storey brick homes double up as canvasses for hand-painted mural advertisements promising quick visas. And in the town of Bathinda, hundreds of agents jostle for space on a single narrow street, pledging to speed up the youth’s runaway dreams.
… But some, especially from Canada, are now choosing to come back home.
One of those is 28-year-old Balkar, who returned in early 2023 after just one year in Toronto. Citizenship was his ultimate goal when he left his little hamlet of Pitho in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. His family mortgaged their land to fund his education.
But his Canadian dream quickly lost its allure a few months into his life there.
“Everything was so expensive. I had to work 50 hours every week after college, just to survive,” he told the BBC. “High inflation is making many students leave their studies.”
… The BBC spoke to at least half a dozen reverse migrants in Punjab who shared similar sentiments.
It was also a common refrain in the scores of videos on YouTube shared by Indians who had chosen to abandon their life in Canada and return home. There was a stark difference one young returnee told the BBC between the “rosy picture” immigration agents painted and the rough reality of immigrant life in Toronto and Vancouver.
The “Canada craze” has let up a bit—and especially so among well-off migrants who have a fallback option at home, says Raj Karan Brar, an immigration agent in Bathinda who helps hundreds of Punjabis get permanent residencies and student visas every year.
The desire for a Canadian citizenship remains as strong as ever though among middle- and lower middle-class clients in rural communities.
But viral YouTube videos of students talking about the difficulty in finding jobs and protests over a lack of housing and work opportunities has created an air of nervousness among these students, say immigration agents.
… For a country that places such a high value on immigration, these trends are “concerning” and are “being received with a bit of a sting politically”, says Daniel Bernhard of the Institute of Canadian Citizenship, an immigration advocacy group.
A liberalised immigration regime has been Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s signature policy to counter slowing economic growth and a rapidly aging population.
According to Canada’s statistics agency, immigration accounted for 90% of Canada’s labour force growth and 75% of population growth in 2021.
… The numbers of those leaving are still small in absolute terms with immigration levels at all-time highs in Canada—the country welcomed nearly half a million new migrants each year over the past few years.
But the rate of reverse migration hit a two decade high in 2019, signalling that migrants were “losing confidence” in the country said Mr Bernhard.