Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine has brought devastation or death to hundreds of thousands of people.
Whenever and however the brutal war ends, millions of Ukrainians will be displaced, as well as Russians vocally opposed to the war who fear President Vladimir Putin’s retaliation. Between the invasion’s beginning and March 6, more than 13,000 anti-war protesters were arrested. Russia’s crackdown on dissenters includes blocking access to Facebook and Twitter which could disseminate anti-war news that Putin wants hushed up. In early March, Putin signed legislation under which people suspected of spreading “fake news” about Russian forces could face up to 15 years in prison.
The U.N. Refugee agency reported that 2 million Ukrainians have fled their country, mostly to Moldova, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. But the news agency Reuters found that, at the U.S.-Mexico border, a growing number of Russian and Ukrainian nationals have been encountered. In Mexico, the migrants buy “throwaway” vehicles and drive across the border into the United States to seek asylum. Assuming the Russian invasion continues, tens of thousands more displaced Eastern Europeans could eventually reach the U.S. to make their asylum claims.
Illegal entry attempts could increase as visas become increasingly difficult to obtain. A Miami immigration lawyer fluent in Russian, Andrey Plaksin, said he is overwhelmed with calls and emails inquiring about the visa process and their availability. One option that might help Eastern Europeans get to the U.S. would be if they applied for a nonimmigrant tourist or work visa, assuming they could find a U.S. consular post open and accepting appointments.
Once inside the U.S., they would face minimal chance of deportation. Almost immediately after the invasion began, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas granted Ukrainians living in the U.S. before March 1 temporary protected status for 18 months, protecting them from deportation for that period. Historically, TPS is quasi-automatically rolled over in 18-month increments for periods as long as two decades.
By an overwhelming margin, Americans and Congress wants to help Ukrainian citizens and other countries that Putin may be determined to destroy. Eight in ten voters are following the Ukraine crisis closely, and 70 percent favor strong sanctions against Russia.
But with the Russia-Ukraine war coming just weeks after the U.S. airlift that took Afghan nationals to overseas U.S. military bases and the American homeland, and with the illegal immigration invasion ongoing, many question how the country can environmentally sustain itself.
Projecting Biden’s first year immigration totals over his four-year term – about 2 million illegal immigrants, 650,000 “got aways,” 1 million-plus lawful permanent residents and tens of thousands of Afghan evacuees – and the U.S. will have about 8 million illegal immigrants that Customs and Border Protection processed, and roughly 2.5 million “got aways” now in the interior, safe from deportation. The Afghan resettlement is over, but a Ukrainian surge could surpass those numbers.
To the existing totals, remember that demographers must include the roughly 3.1 family members that lawfully present immigrants, including refugees/asylees, will petition to be admitted to the country, as well as the families that they’ll start or add to once in the U.S.
Despite the Biden administration’s ballyhoo about a future green America, he’s ignored the huge carbon footprint that thousands of new immigrants will make as housing, roads, schools and hospitals are built to accommodate the needs of them and their offspring.
Fifty years ago, the Rockefeller Commission Report, “Population and the American Future,” was submitted to Congress. The report urged population stabilization at the 1972 level, 211 million. Instead, population has soared to the current 334 million, and is projected to reach about 400 million by mid-century. Be mindful that these totals are pre-Biden’s expansive open borders and resettlement policies.
Fewer people would relieve, at least in part, many of America’s social ailments, including most obviously sprawl and overcrowding. Yet stable population’s obvious benefits have escaped every presidential administration, Republican and Democrat, since Richard Nixon. A half-century of disregard for population growth has had no noticeable benefits for most Americans. For the donor class elite, however, growth is good – for them.
Copyright 2022 Joe Guzzardi, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.
Joe Guzzardi is a Progressives for Immigration Reform analyst who has written about immigration for more than 30 years. Contact him at [email protected]