American dream or nightmare?
American dream or nightmare? Gorak key leader in group concerned about number of immigrants
He said the public is apathetic toward and — due to who he called faulty reporting — uneducated about immigration. Gorak sees the influx of immigrants, legal and illegal, as a threat to America’s economy and environment.
“Immigration is not a single issue — it impacts our daily lives,” he said. “I don’t think people grasp how serious this problem really is.”
Eighty percent of U.S. population growth is due to immigration, watchdog groups report. At the current rate, the U.S. population of 316 million will balloon to 438 million by 2050 and, depending on the source, to 600 to 800 million or more by 2100, he said.
December 15, 2012 10:00 am • By Ben Bromley, Capital Newspapers
Gorak compared the U.S. to a home built for four: Sure, you can squeeze eight people into it, maybe more, but in time the infrastructure will break down.
It makes no sense to flood a tight job market with new job seekers, he said.
“Why are we bringing all these people in when we don’t need them?” he asked. “So much of this is common sense: You don’t bring in extra laborers when there aren’t enough jobs.”
Such arguments are troubling because they suggest new citizens are less entitled to pursue the American dream than established residents, said Diane Farasetta, executive director of the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice.
“The basis of that perspective is an ‘us vs. them’ mentality that is problematic,” Farasetta said.
It’s important to be mindful of the limits of our natural and community resources, but also to continue America’s proud immigrant heritage, she said.
“We have always been, and hopefully always will be, a very diverse country,” she said, “and our diversity brings new ideas, new energy, new perspectives.”
The Midwest Coalition to Reduce Immigration calls for Congress to eliminate illegal immigration and cap legal immigrants at 250,000 a year, the annual average allowed before the federal government loosened restrictions in 1965. (Today, more than 1 million legal immigrants enter the country annually.)
Immigrants should be admitted on the basis of need, Gorak said.
“Organizations like mine are not anti-immigrant. We’re simply asking for a return to immigration policy that’s sustainable,” he said.
The challenge in affecting change, Gorak said, is that Democrats like immigrant votes and Republicans like cheap labor. And voters will remain apathetic until they learn how immigration affects them.
“More information has to be made available to the public so they have an understanding of what it’s all about,” Gorak said.
Gorak spent 30 years in the media, with the Chicago Daily News and other publications. In retirement, he has taken his former colleagues to task for failing to capture immigration’s impact, and choosing to frame reports from the viewpoint of the impoverished immigrant, rather than the established American who can’t find work. The Chicago Tribune once labeled him a “media gadfly,” and he has been a prolific writer of letters to editors of Sauk County newspapers since he and wife Joanne retired to LaValle in 2005.
Joe Daleiden, who helped found the Midwest Coalition, said Gorak is an adept spokesman because he’s skilled at explaining complex issues in just a few paragraphs, and rises above the allegations of racism and xenophobia immigration critics face.
Gorak said the issue is about mathematics, not skin color. America’s resources are finite, so its population should be, too.
“While 23 million Americans — and legal residents — are unable to find full-time work, why aren’t journalists questioning the federal government’s policy of allowing 7 million illegal aliens to keep their nonfarming payroll jobs?” Gorak asked, “and each year issuing 1 million permanent work permits to legal immigrants?”This article was originally published in forum thread: American dream or nightmare? Gorak key leader in group concerned about number of imm started by working4change View original post