IMMIGRATION TO THE UNITED STATES
SELECT COMMITTEE ON POPULATION
APRIL 4, 5, 6, 7, 1978
Printed for the use of the
Select Committee on Population
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
28-94 WASHINGTON : 1978
SELECT COMMITTEE ON POPULATION
JAMES H. SCHEUER, New York, Chairman
MICHAEL HARRINGTON, Massachusettsi--'YOHNN. ERLENBORN, Illinois
CARDISS COLLINS, Illinois PAUL N. MCCLOSKEY, Ja., California
STEPHEN L. NEAL, North Carolin'al1 THOMAS N. KINDNESS, Ohio
FREDERICK W. RICHMOND, New York HAROLD C. HOLLENBECK, New Jersey
PAUL SIMON, Illinois DAVE-STOCKMAN, Michigan
DANIEL K. AKAKA, Hawaii
ANTHONY C. BEILENSON, California ,
RICHARD A. GEPHARDT, Missouri
DALE E. KILDEE, Michigan
BALTASAR CORRADA, Puerto Rico
MICHAJL'S TEITBLBaUtM, Staff Director
THOMAS PJ1 U( ERPgAN, Deputy Staff Director/Counsel
MARISA.' VINoSKiss, Assistant Staf Director
FRED ARNOLD, Research Director
MARY KRITZ, Special Consultant
ELAINE DANIELS, Professional Staff
DAVID F. O'LEARY, Assistant t the Counsel
A. DIANNE SCHMIDLEY, Research Assistant
dl (~1 ~4j t /
TUESDAY, APRIL 4, 1978
Opening statement of Mr. Scheuer_-- ---_----- _------------------- 1
The Honorable B. F. Sisk, a Representative in Congress from the State
of California ---_---------------------------------------------. 4
Ms. Doris Meissner, Deputy Associate Attorney General, U.S. Depart-
ment of Justice -----_-------------------------- 21
Dr. Charles Keely, Visiting Associate, Center for Policy Studies, Popula-
tion Council ------------------------------------ 32
Mr. David North, Director, Center for Labor & Migration Studies, New
TransCentury Foundation_ --------------------- 51
Dr. Roy Bryce-Laporte, Director, Research Institute for Immigration and
Ethnic Studies, Smithsonian Institution ..--------------------- 64
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 5, 1978
Opening statement of Mr. Scheuer----------------------------- 81
Dr. John Tanton, Vice-President, Zero Population Growth_ ------- 81
Dr. Mary Powers, Department of Sociology, Fordham University------- 88
Dr. Vernon Briggs, Department of Economics, University of Texas, Austin- 94
Dr. Michael Piore, Department of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of
Technology--_ ---------------------- --------------- 11
THURSDAY, APRIL 6, 1978
Opening statement of Mr. Scheuer-------------------------------- 135
Mr. Leonel Castillo, Commissioner, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization
Service, U.S. Department of Justice, accompanied by Dr. Guillermina
Jasso, Special Assistant to the Commissioner, and Mr. David Crosland,
General Counsel .---------------- ------------------------- 135
Mr. Daniel Stanton, Associate Director, U.S. General Accounting Office,
accompanied by Mr. George Grant, Los Angeles office, General Account-
ing Office .----------- ---------------------------------- 166
Ms. Evelyn Mann, Director of Population Research, Department of City
Planning, New York City --- ------------------------------- 174
Mr. Burdette Wright, Senior Administrative Analyst, County of Los An-
geles, (Washington Office) ------------------------------- 183
Dr. Sheldon Maram, Department of History, California State University,
Fullerton-- ---------------------------------------- 190
FRIDAY, APRIL 7, 1978
Opening statement of Mr. Scheuer-------------------- --------- 199
Dr. Milton Morris, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution----------- 199
Ms. Melanie McClintock, Policy Analyst, Alan Guttmacher Institute--- 211
Dr. Earl Huyck, Social Demographer, Behavioral Sciences Branch, Center
for Population Research, National Institute of Child Health and Human
Dr. Guillermina Jasso, Special Assistant to the Commissioner, Immigration
and Naturalization Service, U.S. Department of Justice-------------- 235
Mr. Robert Warren, Demographer, Office of Planning, Evaluation and
Budget, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, Department of
Mr. Jacob Siegel, Senior Statistician for Demographic Research and Anal-
ysis, Population Division, U.S. Bureau of the Census---------------- 246
Dr. Alfred Blumstein, Urban Systems Institute, School of Urban and Pub-
lic Affairs, Carnegie-Mellon University-------------------------- 261
PREPARED STATEMENTS, AND ADDITIONAL MATERIAL SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD
Tuesday, April 4, 1978
Hon. B. F. Sisk-------- ---------------------- -- 269
Ms. Doris Meissner .------------- ---- ----------.---. 297
Dr. Charles B. Keely -------------------------- ------ 316
Mr. David North--------------------------------------- 347
Dr. Roy Bryce-Laporte- .------ -------------------- -------- 355
Mr. Ivan Timonin ------------------------------- ----- 379
Wednesday, April 5, 1978
Dr. John Tanton ------------ ----------------- ----- 404
Dr. Leobardo F. Estrada-------............---------------- ..--- 421
Dr. Mary Powers------------.-------..----- -- -------- 438
Dr. Vernon Briggs ----- ---- -- -- -----------------. 462
Dr. Michael J. Piore---.--.. ------ ------------- ------- 472
Thursday, April 6, 1978
Mr. Leonel Castillo.----- ----------------------------- 497
r. Daniel Stanton and Mr. George Grant. ----- ---------------- 505
s.Evelyn Mann------- ---_-----------_----------------- ----. 554
Mr. Burdette Wright -.------------------ ---------------- 572
Dr. Sheldon Maram...............-- -------------------------. 584
Friday, April 7, 1978
Dr. Milton D. Morris_---.------------------------------- 632
Ms. Melanie J. McClintock.--------------------- ------ 647
Dr. Earl E. Huyck- --..----------------.. ---------.--------.. 654
Dr. Guillermina Jasso---.-------------- ------------------- 687
Mr. Robert Warren.-----.--. ------------------------ 704
Mr. Jacob S. Siegel---------------------- -------------- 707
Dr. Alfred Blumstein--------.---------------.-----------------. 727
IMMIGRATION TO THE UNITED STATES
TUESDAY, APRIL 4, 1978
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SELECT COMMITTEE ON POPULATION,
The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:30 a.m., in room 2337,
Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. James H. Scheuer (chairman
of the Select Conmittee) presiding.
Members in attendance: Mr. Scheuer, Mr. Erlenborn, Mr. Akaka,
Mr. Beilenson, Mr. Stockman, and Mr. Gephardt.
Staff present: Dr. Vinovskis, Ir. Arnold, Mr. O'Leary, Esq., Ms.
Daniels, Ms. Parks, Ms. Schmidley, and Mr. Rafferty.
Mr. SCHEUER. The first hearing of the Select committee on Popu-
lation on the subject of immigration will come to order.
I notice there are some people in the back who do not have seats.
There are a number of seats behind us and if any of you would care
to take them, we would be perfectly happy to see you do that.
Could we close the door, please ?
There are few subjects that can match immigration, both legal and
illegal, in their impact on our society, in the complexity of the policy
making process, and in the stark lack and almost total dearth of hard
factual information upon which policymaking can be based. In the
next 4 days, we hope very much to stop cursing the darkness and
perhaps light a few candles. We think we have a very distinguished
group of witnesses to help us in that process.
There seems to be a complete unanimity in this country that immi-
gration is a problem and that the 400,000 people we admit an-
nually is a troublesome figure. There is almost total unanimity that
the current rate of illegal immigration-sometimes referred to as
the entry of undocumented workers-cannot be permitted to continue,
although there is no unanimity on what that figure is. We do not
know how many people are coming across; we do not know how
many illegal immigrants we have in this country. The estimates vary
from 1 million to 10 or 12 million. We do not have the vaguest clue
as to how many are coming in each year. We know that we are mak-
ing over a million apprehensions, but we know that many of those
apprehensions are of the same people who keep coming and coming
and coming until they finally make it. And we know that large num-
bers of people come across without being apprehended at all. The
three or fourfold increase in apprehensions that has taken place in
the last few years can mean either that we are catching a lot more
of them so that the inflow of illegal migrants is diminishing, or that,
since we have apprehended three time as many the flow has increased
three or four times.
Second, we do not know the impact of either legal immigrants or
illegal immigrants on the labor market. You can hypothesize and you
will hear testimony that illegal immigrants take up jobs that native-
born Americans and legal immigrants would like to take and should
have available to them. On the other hand, you will hear that illegal
immigrants generally take jobs that American citizens and legal im-
migrants, too, would find unacceptable-the low-paying, unpleasant
jobs in the hotel, the restaurant, and the laundry industries.
We do not know the impact of immigration on the job market. We
do not know the impact of immigration on social services at the
Federal or State or local levels. There are those who say that illegal
immigrants are a tremendous burden: that their kids are going to
school; that they are causing enormous expenditures in health services,
welfare and unemployment insurance. Others say that because of
their illegal status here, illegal immigrants are mostly hidden, often
timorous, and do not take advantage of existing social service pro-
grams. The fact that their taxes are deducted when they are employed
means that they are contributing to the American economy and tak-
ing out very little in exchange. The fact is, we simply do not know
which is true.
We do not really know the impact of immigration, legal and illegal,
on our population. We do know that apart from immigration, legal
and illegal, we come very close to zero population growth. If you
hypothesize approximately 400,000 legal immigrants annually, the
projected population is about 245 million for the year 2000 and about
253 million for the year 2020.
If you hypothesize 800,000 illegal immigrants each year, then that
245 million in the year 2000 would go up to about 280 million, and the
253 million in the year 2020 would go up to about 320 million. Even
those figures are very rough because we do not know whether illegal
immigrants are mostly men or mostly women. If they were predomi-
nantly women in their young, childbearing years who had a fertility
rate similar to fertility rates for young fecund women in sending
countries, then these figures that I have given you would be very con-
servative and the add-on to our population would be substantially
greater than those I have indicated.
All of these problems are batted about with great emotion, but
with little factual basis. And I must say that the Domestic Council
Report did not enlighten us very much on the factual basis for policy-
making. Nor did it lay out what I consider to be a very helpful
Federal program to develop the data base on which we can make
policy and on which we can make intelligent analyses of the problems.
The Congress, as well as the administration, has its job cut out for
it. We do not intend to get into the area of law enforcement, which is
the jurisdiction of the Judiciary Committee. We hope to analyze and
try to develop some rational judgments on the number of illegal mi-
grants we have in this country, the number that are coming in, their
impact on the labor force, their probable impact on population, and
their impact on the taxpayer in terms of their use of public services
funded by the Federal and local governments.
This is a tall order. We may not complete the job to anybody's
satisfaction. In fact, I am not sure when, if ever, the job will be
completed, but we hope to add to the total sum of our knowledge and
perhaps make policymaking a little more rational and a little less
emotional on the Executive level as well as here in the Congress.
We welcome all of you who have come here. We think we have
excellent witnesses and we look forward to today's testimony.
I would like to introduce the ranking minority member of this
committee who has been a very hard-working, constructive, and pro-
ductive member of this committee; he served with me with great
distinction as a member of the Commission on Population Growth
and the American Future. He is one of the very most knowledgeable
members in the field of population, Congressman John Erlenborn, of
OPENING REMARKS OF JOHN ERLENBORN, CONGRESSMAN OF
Mr. ERLENBORN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I personally have been
looking forward to this set of hearings with great anticipation. This
area of inquiry of the Select Committee is of the greatest interest to
me. I think that there are explosive political and social issues involved
in immigration and I am hopeful that the witnesses that we will be
hearing this week will be able to add greatly to the sum of knowledge
of this committee and, through the activities of this committee, the
sum of knowledge that the public generally has relative to the issues
of immigration, both legal and illegal.
I fear as a result of some of our preliminary inquiries that the
total sum of knowledge that we find exhibited through these hearings
because of the real lack of extensive investigation in this area in the
past will be less than totally satisfactory. Possibly one of the most
important and helpful things this committee can do is to show the
development of information in this area and possibly show that it has
not proceeded sufficiently to give us answers to some very perplexing
questions. Therefore, possibly one of the first and most valuable
recommendations that this committee could make would be to fund
and mount more intensive studies to answer some of the questions
that we, I suspect, will find are unanswerable today.
Many solutions have been proposed to questions of immigration-
including the hiring of undocumented workers or illegal immigrants-
some of which are not acceptable to the public generally. I suspect
that if the public were aware of the size of the problem, the social
costs, and even the dollar costs of the illegal immigrants and the cost
of their employment in the United States, possibly some of the pro-
posed solutions would be more acceptable. And again, I think that if
we could add to the public knowledge in this area, possibly after
further investigation, it might be helpful in finding solutions that
would be acceptable publicly.
With that, let me say again that I am looking forward with great
anticipation to these hearings. Mr. Chairman, let me apologize at this
point for having to leave the hearings sometime during the morning
because, as you know, with our multiple committee assignments, we
often find conflicts. I seem to find them every day. This morning the
Education and Labor Committee is marking up the Elementary and
Secondary Education Act and I probably will be needed down there.
So if I do leave, please understand that it is not because of a lack
of interest in the subject matter or the witnesses who are coming
before the committee, but only because of the pressures of multiple
Mr. SCHEUER. Thank you very much, Congressman Erlenborn.
There has been no member of this committee who has been more
diligent in attendance or more productive in contribution than your-
self. We appreciate your continuing contributions.
We will have a panel of four witnesses: Ms. Doris Meissner, Deputy
Asociate Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice,
Dr. Charles Keely, of the Center for Policy Studies of the Popula-
tion Council of New York, Mr. David North, of the Center for Labor
and Migration Studies of the New TransCentury Foundation, and
Dr. Roy Bryce-Laporte, Director of the Research Institute for Immi-
gration and Ethnic Studies at the Smithsonian Institution.
We welcome all of you and we look forward to your testimony. Our
leadoff witness is our distinguished colleague from California,
Congressman B. F. Sisk. I know of no congressman who has been
more deeply involved over a longer period of time and who has taken
a more sensitive and enlightened approach to immigration than
Congressman Sisk, of California. We welcome you here today, Bernie.
Your testimony will be entered in its entirety at this point in the
record and you can either read it or read excerpts from it or chat
with us informally-whatever your pleasure is.
Mr. SIsx. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, I would like to have Miss
Gwen Luty accompany me.
Mr. SCHEmUER. By all means.
Mr. SISK. Miss Luty has been very active in this field for quite
some time and I have depended upon her substantially for a great
deal of the information and work that we have done relating to
immigration, population, and the environment.
STATEMENT OF HON. B. F. SISK, REP. IN CONGRESS FROM CALI-
FORNIA, ACCOMPANIED BY MS. GWENDOLYN LUTY
[Prepared Statement in Appendix on p. 269.]
Mr. SISK. I have a statement that I think will not take too long.
I think I will run through it and stay fairly close to the text.
Let me say in the beginning, Mr. Chairman-
Mr. SCHEUER. Do you have copies, incidentally?
Mr. SISK. I believe copies have been distributed to everyone. There
is also some attached material, Mr. Chairman. I have some material
from the Environmental Fund which I would recommend, either for
the record or for the file, and that depends, of course, upon the com-
mittee and how voluminous you want or wish to make your record.
Also, "Malthus and America," which was a report prepared several
years ago, some 4 years ago, in fact, by the Committee on Agriculture,
which is very interesting. It is a part of the research work that we
have done in this field which I would recommend either for the file,
or for the record, depending upon the desires of the committee.
Mr. SCHEumn. Very good.
Mr. SIsK. Mr. Chairman, before starting this statement, let me say
we will be using some figures here which may sound a little shocking
to some people. I am not sure about that. We have attempted to back-
ground these through research with the Environmental Fiiud people,
with Congressional Research Service and a whole variety of other
In California, as well as the rest of the Nation, we are faced with
some pretty serious problems in connection with immigration, both
legal and illegal.
Certainly, Mr. Chairman, I am grateful for this opportunity to
appear before you today to discuss immigration, its effect on our
population, and ultimately, our environment. Forty-seven million im-
migrants have come to the United States since the founding of the
Republic. They have come in hope, to build a new and better life, to
take part in the great democratic process and to become Americans.
The United States will probably continue for some time to come to
admit more potential citizens through its legal immigration system,
each year, than all other countries combined. But there is a new
system of immigration to the United States, which has been growing
dramatically and which has largely superseded the old one. The new
system has grown entirely outside of our laws-the most lenient in
the world-in conflict with our most basic beliefs.
There is no more serious problem facing America today than illegal
immigration. It has been ignored for too long.
Every year, over 3.4 million people are added to the population of
the United States-more people than are being added to any nation
on earth with the exception of China and India. And yet, witnesses
before this committee have cheerfully told you that not only does
the United States not have a population problem, but that the current
growth rate is satisfactory. That is quoting from some information
that we have.
According to the Environmental Fund, by the end of this century, a
short 22 years away, the United States could have, and again, Mr.
Chairman, as I indicated, these are certain assumptions based on
present occurrences, the United States could have over 420 million
people within its borders. Fantastic as that number sounds, it will
become a reality should only the current increasing rate of illegal
immigration continue. What will this mean to this country? It will
probably mean an end to our exporting of food in any appreciable
quantity; it may spell the end of most of our energy supplies; it will
bring massive unemployment and civil unrest; it will severely reduce
our wilderness, national parks and scenic areas; the health burden of
water and air pollution, of chemicals in our workplace will have be-
come very serious; our Government will have mushroomed to the
point where our democracy will be nearly crippled; and our lives will
be so regulated, our liberties so few that today will be looked back
upon as a paradise.
I do not use these words lightly, Mr. Chairman. Let us assume for
a moment that there are no illegal immigrants in this country. Should
this even be true, would it mean that the United States should not
worry about illegal immigration ? No, not at all.
The major source of illegal immigration is Latin America, most
notably the Caribbean and Mexico. But I want to emphasize that
illegal immigration is not just a Mexican problem. Those who have
portrayed it as such are doing a grave disservice to the people of this
nation. Illegal immigrants are coming to America from virtually
every major country in the world. Close to 2 million came to America
within the past year, based upon INS figures for surreptitious entries,
fraudulent entries and overstays.
These are the figures that constitute the handwriting on the wall
if we would only look at them. In the past 28 years, the population
of Latin America has more than doubled; the population of Central
America has increased 133 percent. The population of Mexico has
increased 136 percent and it is important to note that during the past
28 years, these populations have grown at substantially slower rates
than the rate at which they are growing now. The populations will,
then, double again in a considerably shorter time. Today with but
65 million people and growing at 3.5 percent a year, doubling every
18 years, Mexico has an unemployment rate of between 40 and 52
percent. Millions are hungry and live in misery. It has not enough
arable land to feed its hungry population now and must import well
over 3 million metric tons of cereals every year.
Throughout Latin America, the soil is being overused and washed
wr. SCHETErn. May I just interrupt--
Mr. SISK. Yes.
Mr. SCHEUER [continuing]. To add one more figure to your figures
about Mexico. I have it from our highest governmental levels that the
present population of Mexico, is, as you say, around 64 million.
According to our best estimates at top levels of our Government. the
Mexican population will stabilize around the year 2020 at 254 million.
Now, I think you would agree that it is a mathematical absurdity to
even posture that the Mexican economy-the land, the air, the water,
the resources-could support even a large fraction of that 254 mil-
lion. I doubt that they could support half of it. That means. I would
think, that either there is going to be a mass starvation in Mexico, or
revolution, or as the more likely prospect, vast acceleration in the push
factors that are propelling Mexicans across the border. I would think
that a third or half or a quarter of that 254 million are likely to
find themselves living in the United States absent a major
Mr. SISK. The chairman certainly emphasizes the very problem
we are pointing out and brings it more vividly into focus. I do not
think there is any question of that because, as I indicate here, through-
out Latin America, the soil is being overused and washed away;
forests are being levelled, permanently reducing the water table and
causing erosion and floods on an unprecedented scale. It is doubtful
that the dramatic food production gains of the past generation can
be repeated in the face of such widespread environmental destruc-
tion. According to Robert Fox of the Inter-American Development
Bank. the population of Latin America will increase in the next 22
years by a number twice as great as in the preceding 28. The number
of people who will be unemployed will number in the tens of millions,
if not hundreds. In 22 years, Latin America will contain 660 million
people. And this, again, is throughout Latin America. Over half of
this population will be demanding employment, assuming that the
number of women now employed will not increase.
Ambassador Marshall Green, our State Department Coordinator
for Population Activities, has noted that the widespread unemploy-
ment confronting all of Latin America as well as the third world, is
the immediate danger which the population increase is creating. Mil-
lions may die of famine. In the urban centers of Mexico City, of Lima
and Santiago, millions of unemployed live in shantytowns stretching
miles into the distance. It is this army of unemployed which will be
heard and will be explosive.
As long as we permit people to come to this country and find
employment, they will come, not only from Latin America, but from
Africa, Asia, and even Europe. And contrary to popular belief, the
population bomb is not defused. The latest material from the United
Nations indicates that the world's population growth rate has in-
creased. By the way, Mr. Chairman, I did note some recently pub-
lished figures. Certainly our figures do not indicate that world popu-
lation as such has stabilized. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates a
world growth rate just as high as 5 to 10 years ago.
If one examines every one of the almost 125 less-developed nations,
almost every one is adding more people every year to its population
than at any time within the past 10 to 15 years.
For some time now, Americans seem to have realized that a high
birth rate was not in the country's best interest. So it has been low-
ered. Yet, all the benefits we might see from a stabilized population-
or even a declining one-are now being eliminated.
Mr. Castillo, our Immigration Commissioner, recently said that we
had no right to tell any other country how many people it should
have. No doubt this is true. But I wonder if the Commissioner would
agree that at least the United States has the right to decide the size
of its population ? Numerous press reports on this question have given
out the impression that millions of people from other countries have
a right to come and live here, and do so illegally, and in so doing
tell us how many people we should have.
There are even those who suggest that since some illegal immigrants
pay taxes, all such immigrants have a right to come here. This is cer-
tainly a novel view of jurisprudence-if one pays, one can break the
law with impunity.
And what is this doing to the millions of legal immigrants who
have worked hard to come to this country, take part in her life, and
become Americans? They see a nation supposedly run by the rule of
law allowing its flagrant violation. What value is there then in U.S.
citizenship if anyone can simply walk across the border, overstay
one's visa or produce forged documents, and then reap the same
benefits as the native born citizen or legal resident alien who studied
long and hard to become naturalized?
There are those who insist that illegal immigrants take only menial,
dirty jobs that pay below the minimum wage and, therefore, are not
taking jobs from Americans. If the pay is below the minimum wage,
no wonder Americans will not take the jobs-and its illegal to pay
such wages anyway. There are millions of Americans who work in
rough, menial jobs. Many who are now unemployed would welcome
work, of any kind. For example, in Chicago, 120 janitorial jobs
were opened up as a result of removing illegal immigrants from these
jobs. The next day, over 1,000 people applied for the jobs, all of them
But more fundamentally, I cannot understand the logic of those
who take great solace in the fact that illegal immigrant workers will
work for substandard wages in horrible working conditions. Are we
proud that we are simply perpetrating a form of institutional slav-
ery? Are we proud of the people who smuggle and deal in human
flesh like slave traders of old? Are we proud of the violence done to
these people? Is this the legacy we wish to leave our children? And
by the way, Mr. Chairman, the word-the use of the term "coyotes"
is currently in vogue in California and in the Southwest. I assume
the chairman knows what we are referring to in that connection.
These are the smugglers. These are the people who deal in human
Illegal immigration is forming a large underground population,
unprotected by the laws, apart from American society. What effect
will this have on the operation of a democratic society? Just consider
the increase in the size of your constituency and your workload since
you first came to Congress. Need I say more?
Mr. Chairman, the most serious problem which our population
growth is causing has been largely ignored by the press and hardly
discussed by Congress at all. I believe that the current population
growth in America is seriously undermining our agricultural system,
and with it our balance of payments, our currency and our national
economy. In the 93d Congress, the Subcommittee on Department
Operations of the House Agriculture Committee published an excel-
lent report on the food-population equation entitled "Malthus and
America." I have a copy here and would ask that it be made a part
of the committee record, or, as I have suggested, the file.
The yields from our major cereal grains and other crops have re-
mained the same since 1970. Over this 8-year period, we have been
losing agricultural land at the rate of nearly 5 million acres a year.
We have 175 million acres which produce about 257 million metric
tons of cereals. We export about 25 percent of this cereal.
By the year 2000, in a short 22 years, we will lose over 100 million
acres of agricultural land from urban sprawl, sewage, plants, high-
ways, shopping centers, strip mines, power plants, et cetera. This
will more than cancel out the 100 million acres of new land we could
bring into production with major investments of energy, water,
capital, and labor.
Should the current increase in the growth rates continue (due to
illegal immigration) the population of the United States could well
increase to about 428 million people in the year 2000. At my request,
Mr. Wilson Prichett, of the Environmental Fund, has prepared an
excellent in depth analysis of this trend, a copy of which I have
attached to my testimony and which I believe each member of the
committee has before you.
We now have 175 million acres of cereals and 48 million acres of
soybeans harvested in this country. Our cereal production of 270
million metric tons feeds 225 million Americans with a surplus of
64 million metric tons which is exported.
In the year 2000, if all the cereal grain and soybean land was de-
voted to domestic consumption, it could feed 358 million Americans
at our current diet, leaving no cereals for export. But at that time,
our population could very well be the 428 million, fully 70 million
more than could be fed from our domestic production. Where are we
going to get the extra food? What will be the result of dramatically
increasing domestic food prices?
Surely, these rough figures should be cause for serious alarm here
in Congress. We may very well lose more of our agricultural land
than in the past, especially since the number of people being added to
our population is accelerating. Our nation is now using more water
than is being replenished from California to Florida and in many
of our metropolitan areas. What if water supplies are not found?
And what of the enormous amounts of fertilizer we will need, another
resource in short supply ?
I believe it would be unwise to plan for a population of such a
magnitude. We must act, and act swiftly, to bring our domestic popu-
lation growth to a halt. This task will be formidable. But we are, in
a real sense, trustees of our country for our children. Many have
questioned whether the United States has a right to put its own house
in order when many other parts of the world are living in such
severe poverty. I would ask an additional question: What right do
we have to leave our children a broken and resource poor, environ-
mentally exhausted nation? We must treat our trusteeship seriously
and with due reverence.
Does this mean we should do nothing with respect to dealing with
the cause of this problem, the population growth m the Third World ?
Of course not. I, for one, believe we should establish a major economic
and trade program for Mexico, a sort of Mexican Marshall plan. But
for us to continually accept the overflow of people from Third World
nations is to put off a solution to the problem. By doing nothing about
the problem of illegal immigration, we insure that the comfortable
elites of many nations will not find it necessary to change any of their
Certainly we can continue to accept legal immigrants. I fully sup-
port such a policy. We could lower our birth rate even further, and
thus experience no net increase of people even with a liberal legal
Otis Graham, Jr., an associate at the Center for the Study of Demo-
cratic Institutions in California and a professor of American history
at the University of California at Santa Barbara has put it about
as well as anyone, and I quote:
The social cost of absorbing and extending equality to a massive new under-
class will be paid by our children, not by us. Our generation has its secure
professions. All we want is our garbage to be carried away cheaply. No one
can defend such flouting of the law and such exploitation of a mass of non-
There are, of course, those who do not view population problems
with urgency, nor do they see the need for environmental respect.
There are also those who see the United States as responsible for the
lives of millions of others overseas, even at the expense of our chil-
dren's lives here at home. Many see only global solutions to these
There is no global government to exercise sovereignty, to insure
that all parties or governments act responsibly. Our greatest mistake
would be, Mr. Chairman, to assume the responsibility for change in
the Third World which we cannot accomplish. I would suggest that
before we try and make hillside farming in Mexico profitable, we
learn how to solve the problems of farming in Appalachia; that be-
fore we seek to provide housing in restless Bombay, let us first learn
how to rebuild our own ghettos; that to eradicate malaria in India,
we learn how to eliminate gonorrhea in Los Angeles; to help solve the
unemployment in Mexico, let us first learn how to do that in America;
to lower the sewage content of the Ganges, let us first learn to clean
up the Hudson, the Potomac and Lake Erie; to eliminate the chronic
hunger that afflicts nearly one billion people worldwide, let us learn
how to end the malnutrition which afflicts millions of Americans; and
finally, to help bring the population of the world under control, let
us first learn to do that at home.
Mr. Chairman, in conclusion, let me commend you and your com-
mittee on your endeavors and the dedication you have shown in deal-
ing with this subject about which we all know far too little. I recog-
nize that ,many of the figures I have quoted here may sound pretty
farfetched, but again, it seems to me that as we have looked at these,
there is just cause for real concern and for worry. And so I want to
thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and commend you and com-
mend your committee in the hopes that much may be accomplished.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SCHEUER. Thank you very, very much, Congressman Sisk. This
very thoughtful statement of yours is testament to the deep interest
and concern you have shown for so many years.
You talk about a Marshall plan for Mexico. One of the things that
the Mexicans want very much is to create more jobs in Mexico. Some
of us feel that rather than provide jobs for Mexicans in the United
States, which has all kinds of implications, politically, sociologically,
economically, we ought to be thinking about how we can provide
more jobs for Mexicans in Mexico. That would mean giving them
greater access to our markets, both for their agricultural products and
for their manufactured products. In other words, it seems to me that
the intellectual underpinnings of a Marshall plan for Mexico would
have to be that of providing jobs for Mexicans in Mexico, and not
providing jobs for Mexicans in the United States. We cannot assume
the posture of not accepting their people and also not accepting
their goods. Yet, we know that there are problems in lowering bar-
riers to products manufactured under cheap labor abroad. We know
the problems we have been facing with imports from the People's
Republic of China, from Taiwan, from Hong Kong, from Singapore,
from Korea, et cetera. The American labor movement talks about the
exporting of jobs, and that is bitterly resented. I suppose you would
know, as well as anyone else, the sensitivities of the farmers in the
Southwest whose crops would find competition with Mexican crops
of all kinds.
SWhat, in your opinion as a sophisticated political leader, would
be the reaction of our farm communities, and our industry, both
manufacturers and labor unions, to the suggestion that we give pref-
erential treatment in trade matters to Mexico? Inasmuch as the U.S.-
Mexican border is the only place in the world where a developed
country is cheek-to-jowl with a developing country, lowering trade
barriers seems to be one of the better ways we can ease off some of
that pressure from the push and the pull.
Mr. SISK. Well, Mr. Chairman, your question is an excellent one
and certainly I do not consider myself very sophisticated even though
I spent 25 years in this game, I think everything, of course, is a
matter of judgment. Let me say that I agree completely with the
basic tenor of your comments that we do need to open up more
markets. It is necessary to establish increased employment in Mexico.
It is necessary, hopefully with cooperation between our two govern-
ments, to increase the economic well-being of that nation by invest-
ment. Now, in discussions with many people, and purely unofficial
and you understand outside the direct realm of government, with
Mexico, there is a great need for investment in Mexico. We desper-
ately need nitrogen, for example. We have a nitrogen shortage; we
are a nitrogen short nation and Mexico is wasting a great deal of
nitrogen. They need investments. And of course, some assurance has
to come from the Mexican people and the Mexican Government to
American investors to go back into Mexico because as my colleague
knows, we went through this many years ago. We had a lot of Amer-
ican investments and they, through expropriation, were taken over.
And, therefore, there has to be a restoration of confidence by the
American investor and the American businessman to, in fact, go back
into Mexico with large sums of money.
It is my understanding that the Mexican Government desires to
give such assurance. That, again, I cannot speak officially, but, as I
say, we have talked to a great many people. And I think we should
do that and, as you say, through that kind of implementation, hun-
dreds of thousands of new jobs can be developed there.
Now, on the specific question of opening up more trade, I agree
with this. And as to the sensitivities of the farmers and to agriculture
of course-I realize what my colleague is talking about because I
represent a substantial agricultural district-but even our people who
produce a great deal of the specialty crops, the vegetables and fruits
and so on, which are in direct competition sometimes to that flowing
in from Latin countries, we have had many meetings and broad dis-
cussions and very frankly, I think generally that the fruit and vege-
table people of California, Arizona and the Southwest have shown
an unusual amount of cooperation with their Mexican neighbors by
virtue of working out reasonably voluntary agreements because of the
differing climates and the fact that Mexico has a good deal of what
we almost call tropical climate where they can produce fruits and
vegetables at a time of year when ours are not currently moving.
That through a series of agreements-we have actually worked some
of these agreements to the point that we are to date, for example,
permitting the flow through Nogales and many of the border
points of tomatoes and of other commodities, at certain times in the
year and the Mexicans, in turn, have agreed to shut off that supply
at a time when American products are moving from Florida, the
south Texas, and the Arizona and California areas. So that, again,
this is a demonstration of what can be done. Now, it is not perfect
and there are still some hassles going on, but I would say I agree
with my colleague-we must, we must make possible more jobs in
Mexico-a better economy. That is what I am talking about when I
mention the so-called Marshall Plan for Mexico.
Mr. SCHEUER. Congressman Akaka, do you have any questions?
Mr. AKAKA. No questions at this time, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SCHEUER. Thank you, Congressman Akaka.
Do you believe that there is a role for State governments in coping
with the problem of illegal immigration? Or does the Federal Gov-
ernment really bear the moral responsibility, since it has the authority
and the funds?
Mr. SISK. Of course, under existing law, Mr. Chairman, I think it
has to be a Federal responsibility. Now, we in California, again, be-
cause of our 'proximity to a problem and because of a whole variety
of kinds of problems dealing with health care and welfare and as my
colleague knows, many of the problems that are affecting, frankly,
the State budgets and State programs, the State, of course, has at-
tempted to get involved in the State legislature in various kinds of
State laws. Yet, when it is all said and done in the final analysis, the
Federal Government has preempted for all practical purposes the
field in connection with immigration law, as I think it probably
should be, and therefore, I maintain that in the final analysis it is
our responsibility. It is a Federal responsibility. And I would feel
that it almost has to continue to be because of the vast pressure that
exists in various areas.
Mr. AKAEA. Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SCHEUER. Yes.
Mr. AKAxA. Congressman, we thank you very much for your testi-
mony this morning and your discussion on illegal aliens coming into
Do you believe that the illegal aliens are really taking jobs away
from our American citizens? I ask that question because in your
statement you mentioned that they are taking jobs that normally
American citizens do not want.
Mr. SIsx. If I can just comment on that. It is a rather current bit
of conversation in my State, particularly among-well, let us say
agricultural interests and others as well-the so-called hand labor,
menial tasks, that generally the domestic American will not do those
jobs and many times they will say, well when the pressure is on, the
only people we can really get to work are, let us say, the illegals. Well,
to me, I think that is oversimplification of the problem.
Now, there is not any question-I have had numerous occasions
where I have actually directly gotten involved because of a call from
an individual here or there which claims that jobs are being taken
from American people. If I can just cite an example and I will do
this very quickly, Mr. Chairman, because I know time is running on.
Last year, a gentleman called me up one day, very unhappy; in fact,
very agitated. He had two sons; one was 18 and the other was 20 and
they had been down to a certain processing plant-packing plant, if
you want to call it that-and had been refused jobs. And as he had
walked through the plant, he had, in his own mind, made a determina-
tion or felt that there were a good many people in there that were of
questionable legality as far as alienage was concerned. Well, to make
a long story short, I, as we sometimes do, called the Border Patrol and
asked them if they had checked this particular place, because they are
a pretty busy group out there. The facts were that within 24 hours
they did go through that plant and the facts were that 75 percent of
the employment of that particular plant was illegal. And, in fact, a
number of domestics, local labor, did go to work within the next 48
hours at that particular plant.
Now, I only cite this as an example.
Mr. SCHEUER. Excuse me. I want to identify this clearly. Those
were jobs that Americans were perfectly willing to fill because, in
fact, they did fill them?
Mr. SISK. Yes; there were people actually there wanting a job.
And, as I said, this matter was brought about by virtue of a father
who was trying to help his sons get employment.
Now, I recognize that very often we have a widely fluctuating need.
For example, today we may need 20,000 workers in San Joaquin
Valley, Calif. and in 60 days we may need 300,000 workers in Califor-
nia because of the vast difference in range of handwork, harvesting
of crops, picking of peaches, of grapes, of all kinds of things. So it
creates all kinds of problems.
The facts are, though, I think anywhere you go into, let us say, into
Los Angeles and you look at the laundries and the restaurants and
the bars and the hotels-there is where there are an enormous number
of illegals. I just question that when we have people on our unem-
ployment rolls to the extent that we do in many of these cities, and
from talking to these people, I think we have domestics who would
like to have those jobs. That is my honest opinion.
Mr. SCHETER. From you experience in your own district?
Mr. SISK. Yes.
Mr. SCHEUER. I would like to ask you about remittances from
Mexicans in the United States to their families. Let us take as an
example Mexicans who come up here and work and send a good deal
of their pay back home. Do you have any evidence from your own
district that this is occurring on a large scale?
Mr. SIsK. Let me say this. I have a great deal of respect for these
people who are coming across.
Mr. SCHEUER. The fact that they send home large portions of their
income, which is from fairly low-pay jobs in the beginning, indicates
a tremendous concern for family and self.
Mr. SisK. That is right.
Mr. SCHEUER. You cannot help but admire people who are willing
to do that.
Mr. SISK. That is what I was going to say. I respect these people
as human beings, in spite of the fact that they are illegal, and natu-
rally something has to be done about the situation. You cannot help
but feel sorry for these people. In many cases-and I know instance
after instance-individuals who will come and they will work like
heck and they are very conservative and they send that money home
to Mama and Papa to take care of the kids and to live on through the
winter down in the interior of Mexico, 3- 4- 5- 600 miles from the
border. I know actual cases, many cases, and you cannot help but
admire these people.
As I have often said, the nub of the problem is that you have got to
remove the motivation, Mr. Chairman. I think I have discussed this
Mr. SCIIEUER. Yes.
Mr. SISK. It is a human trait that if you were over there working
and you were making more money in an hour that I make all day
over on my side of the fence that in an effort to better serve my family
and feed my kids, I am going to take almost any chance to get over
there and get a little piece of that action. This is just a human trait.
I cannot-really, when you get down to it, I cannot morally fault that
individual. I admire his initiative. But we have the job of some way
removing that motivation and making it possible for him to get that
living somewhere else.
Mr. SCHEUER. On the question of health care, I believe the city of
Los Angeles is now involved in litigation with the Federal Govern-
ment to get the Federal Government to take over the costs of emer-
gency health care for illegal immigrants in the Los Angeles area. If
my memory serves, they are spending something like $30 million a
Mr. SISK. Pardon?
Ms. LrrY. Fifty.
Mr. SCHEUER. Fifty million dollars a year to provide health care
for illegal immigrants. In your opinion, as a moral matter, on whom
should the responsibility fall for providing health care?
Mr. SIsK. Mr. Chairman, again, my firm conviction is that this is
a Federal responsibility. Let me cite to you-I represent a number
of what we call cow counties in California. These are small counties;
these are agricultural counties. I have five counties or parts of five.
Literally, I recall one situation where a Mexican gentleman, an illegal
in this case, was injured in an accident and it cost that one county
$115,000 to take care of that individual.
Mr. SCHEUER. What kind of an injury was it?
Mr. SISK. It was an automobile injury, and we have them by the
hundreds, because these people come in and they get a hold of an old
jalopy somebody-you know, one of our good American car salesmen
sells them a bunch of junk and they go out and get in a wreck first
And what happens? The taxpayer within that county winds up
footing enormous bills in the hospital. Again, it is a taxpayer problem
at the Federal level, but it literally has bankrupted the funds from
some of these small counties. It is a tragic situation.
Mr. SCHEUER. Congressman, you pointed out that the INS Investi-
gative Force is smaller.than the police force of the District of Colum-
bia. Do you believe increased border enforcement capacity would pro-
vide an adequate deterrent to stem illegal immigration, or do you
think that we ought to devote more resources, and assign higher pri-
ority to creating jobs in Mexico? Should we turn off the pull here
by making it an employer obligation not to employ illegals? Where
do you think we ought to be investing the resources ?
Mr. SisK. Mr. Chairman, in fact, just yesterday I spoke with
Mr. John Slack, of West Virginia. As you know, our friend from
West Virginia is chairman of the Subcommittee on Appropriations,
handling the appropriations for INS, and I asked him about what
the administration was asking for this year. He indicated they were
asking for a substantial increase in connection with enforcement.
But here again, we are talking simply of a temporary solution. We
could line Border Patrolmen from Texas to California, shoulder-to-
shoulder on that border, and with the kinds of motivation, with the
difference in economic situations, with the problems that exist today,
if we leave them alone, they are going to come over them or around
them or under them or some other way. Now, that is only a temporary
Again, I am not opposed to more enforcement. I think we need to
do a better job. That is the only way we are going to find out really
how serious it is-maybe to really spend a little more time to deter-
mine how grave the problem is. But that is a temporary solution. We
need to seek the long-range solution, Mr. Chairman. I hope this is
where you and your committee can be helpful.
Mr. SCHEUER. What are the elements of a long-range solution?
Mr. SISK. The elements, of course, and this is over simplification,
would be to remove that motivation, that pressure, against that border
down there. That is only going to be accomplished by having jobs
down there for people at some kind of a reasonable economic level.
Mr. SCHEUER. That is not going to happen in your lifetime or in
my lifetime. You gave us a brilliant collection of statistics indicating
the incredible population explosion that is taking place in the devel-
oping world. Those figures themselves are eloquent testimony to the
inability of their development programs to provide for food, and
for education, and for health services, and above all, for jobs, to keep
up with this incredible flow of population.
It is not as if there were any credible evidence that the gap between
their living standards and our living standards is narrowing. All
the evidence is that whatever disparity exists now-and it is a painful
and a tragic one-is going to be increased. Now that seems to be the
long-term prospect. And you have given us that data.
Commissioner Castillo, who is a very decent and compassionate
and thoughtful human being, was quoted in the New York Times not
long ago as saying that it is a foolhardy mission to try to harden
that border. Our only hope in the long pull, he said, is to eliminate
the disparity between living standards. Yet, all the objective, cred-
ible evidence is that those disparities are going to increase in the
middle and long run, and not diminish. You have given us some very
excellent evidence supporting that theory. Where are we going in the
Mr. SISK. Well, again, let me say it is my understanding that
Mexican officials, even up to the President in his meetings with our
President some time ago, are very much interested and very much
concerned with this subject. I understand that-and I cannot speak
for them-but indications are that they are interested and concerned
in some type of cooperative arrangement.
This is the long-range solution that I seek. It is again a restoration
of confidence and more exchange. I have talked to some pretty sub-
stantial American companies who would be interested in going into
Mexico. Right now there are things down there that we need desper-
ately. They need development. For example, they are flaming off
today in connection with their oil production fantastic amounts of
nitrogen which we desperately need. And yet, they do not have the
money to go in there and invest, to capture that and we have got the
investors here ready to do it, provided we can work out the assurances.
Now, this again is just one small piece of this whole thing. But,
again, I believe if we put our minds to this and we use enough effort
and hopefully get the State Department and our Government in-
volved and sit down, I think we can work out some things with a
great country like Mexico, representing an enormous number of
human beings who have got a right to a reasonable hope and expecta-
tion of a decent life.
Mr. SCHEUER. Yes. What you are saying, as I understand you, is
that there ought to be some kind of a comprehensive understanding
with Mexico that would provide for various benefits that we could
give to them, various assurances that we could give to them, lowering
some barriers that impede their access to our markets for both agri-
cultural and manufactured goods, and perhaps various kinds of long-
term subsidized loans for developing jobs in Mexico.
Would you say that as a quid pro quo in such a package of bene-
fits it might be appropriate for us to request the Mexican Govern-
ment to take more responsibility for hardening up that border on
their side to help contain this movement?
Mr. SrsK. I do not think there is any question but that we are
going to have to use-and I would not like to use it as intimidation
or a threat-what we might call a carrot and the stick. Mexico has
the fastest growing-I understand according to figures-the fastest
growing population in the world. We have not-and here again,
getting back to the prime concern, I know, of your Committee on
Population and what we are going to do about it-they have not
scratched the surface in connection with doing anything in that area.
Now, I recognize basically Mexico is a Catholic nation, that there
are certain implications involved there. We cannot tell Mexico how
to handle its population growth in a way, and yet, if, in fact, we are
going to make a contribution or we are going to cooperate, they, in
turn, must indicate some willingness to cooperate. So there are some
things they can do there without you and I spelling out in finest de-
tail all those things.
My understanding is that the present Government of Mexico is pre-
pared to make some commitments. And these are the areas that could
substantially change this picture in the next 20 years between now
and the year 2000. We could change all these figures, I think, very
radically simply by cooperative effort, by and between two friendly
countries. Maybe I am blowing smoke and overly optimistic of the
possibilities. I think they are there if we just crack the nut of getting
the kinds of discussions going. Maybe we haven't gone as far as we
should at making proposals. I am not sure.
Mr. SCHEUER. I am not sure that we have made proposals of the
kind that you and I have discussed in terms of lowering the barriers
and giving them some kind of preferential access to our markets.
You are absolutely right that the Government of Mexico has
turned around in the last 18 months or 2 years during the Lopez
Portillo government. As a matter of fact, I just got back from Tokyo
the night before last where I attended an international conference of
parliamentarians concerned about population. We set up a Steering
Committee to plan for a major international conference in August
of next year. We elected a Mexican woman as chairman of that
Steering Committee, a very dynamic Mexican woman by the name of
Martinez, who assured us that the Catholic Church was not opposing
plans for widespread dissemination of contraceptives and materials;
that it was sort of looking the other way; and the Government of
Mexico was not standing on a conservative Catholic position. Indeed,
the Catholic Church in many parts of the world, to my personal
knowledge, is a major deliverer of maternal and child health serv-
ices, including all of the known techniques for family planning.
Ms. Martinez assured all of us that the Catholic Church in Mexico
was not an impediment to the widespread dissemination of all kinds
of family planning systems and approaches and techniques.
Do you have any further questions, Mr. Akaka?
Mr. AKAKA. I would like to comment and say that the conference
that we both attended in Tokyo-
Mr. SCHEUER. Yes, I forgot to mention that Congressman Akaka
was one of three members of the delegation. Congressman Pete Mc-
Closkey of California, from your distinguished State, and the Con-
gressman from Hawaii, and I comprised the delegation. And Congress-
man Akaka made a really fine contribution to the conference. Danny, I
apologize for not mentioning that you were there with me. I must
still be suffering from "jet lag."
Mr. AKAKA. Congressman Sisk, I just want to say that it was very
encouraging to meet with representatives from nine nations and dis-
cuss the impact of population on their countries, especially develop-
ing countries, including Mexico. I was interested in hearing from
them as to their focus upon the serious problem of population. So for
us, it was very encouraging and we hope that some of your very
serious concerns can be communicated to them in our future confer-
ences. We are very hopeful as to the resolution of some of the world
problems in the distant future.
Mr. SISK. Thank you very much. I am certainly hopeful. These
kinds of conferences are certainly all tending to move in that
Mr. SCHEUER. Congressman-another distinguished Californian, a
very diligent member of this committee--Congressman Tony Bei-
Mr. BEILENSON. Mr. Chairman, I have no questions for Congress-
man Sisk, but I just want to congratulate my friend and colleague
from California for his very thoughtful and very thought-provoking
statement here today-especially for his focusing our attention on
some problems which we really had not been considering at these
hearings to date-such things, for example, as pending problems of
our domestic food production here in the United States itself, the
problems of overuse of our water supplies in this country which may
well be the next big crisis before this country.
I personally found his remarks very helpful .and I wanted to join
with you, Mr. Chairman, in expressing our appreciation to our
friend, Mr. Sisk, for joining us here today.
Thank you very much.
Mr. SISK. Thank you very much, Tony.
Mr. SCHEUER. Congressman Dave Stockman.
Mr. STOCKMAN. Just one brief question. I want to apologize be-
cause I did not hear your statement, but I read through it quickly. Of
course, I can understand, coming from California, the unique way
this problem affects you there and, why you take the generally dim
view that you do. But is there not anything to be said for immigra-
tion? I look back at the history of this country and our greatest
period of economic growth and expansion was during that period
when large waves of immigrants were digested into our labor force
and so forth.
You mention, for instance, the problem of agricultural production
and supplying the food needs of people. Right now we are consider-
ing legislation to pay farmers to take 30 million acres out of pro-
duction. Maybe we could use some more mouths to feed in order to
satisfy or to take up the surplus production or extra capacity we
have today. I mean, should we take an entirely negative view and
formulate a policy design to kind of close off the borders?
Mr. SISK. Well, let me say I appreciate very much the comments
from my colleague. Of course, we have, as I indicate, 47 million legal
immigrants who have come to this country. In our greatness, it is the
blending of many peoples, many cultures from throughout the world
and there is no question that we are all basically immigrants. There
are very few native Americans left around. We did not treat them
too good. But the facts are, though, that as time has gone on, I think
there comes a time when you and I as representatives of the people
and as Americans, we have to look, I think, to the future as to just
how far we can go and what has developed into rather an illegal type
of immigration. Now, again, I have supported legal immigration
traditionally. We have amended the law several times in the last 25
years or 24 years that I have been in Congress and certainly I sup-
port continued legal type of immigration.
What we are faced with, of course, is the impact within the last,
say, 10 years or so-it has not been the normal kinds of immigration
which you and I have talked about and which has made this country
great. It has been an illegal type; it has been a type that is not ac-
cording to law; and it is one that has, in my opinion, gotten much out
of hand and in some way, somehow, we simply have to get a handle
I am not, again, opposed to people coming here legally wherever
they are. But I recognize that either we have to face up to illegal
immigration and do something about it or else our economy is going
to be pulled down to the level of, let us say, the lowest of the so-
called sending countries. And I do not think we want that as the
common denominator. In turn, if we can, through a proper approach,
and as I have suggested the so-called Marshall plan, with Mexico,
bring their economy up and begin to remove that motivation that is
forcing the compulsion at the border, that in my opinion, is the only
Now, getting back finally, then, to food, yes. We have seen times-
we only go back to, I think, 3 or 4 years ago when we actually had
a shortage and we saw bread prices jump and we saw soybean prices
at 12 dollars or 15 dollars. In other words, there again, we get broad
fluctuations in this food chain and the point is let us not become
overly optimistic because right at this particular point in time we do
have certain surpluses.
When we look at what is happening 'to our acreage and the amount
of it that is going out and we look at what is predicated on the
growth, not only in our country, but in other countries, there are a lot
of people going to bed hungry every night even now, in spite of the
fact that we do show some little surplus. But that is something, in my
opinion, we cannot count on as any continuing thing for the future.
Mr. STOCKMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SCHEUER. Let me just footnote that. You talked about what
we are facing now. Let me just give you a paragraph about what we
may be facing in the future and get your reaction to that. President
Boumedienne, of Algeria, said recently, "No quantity of atomic
bombs could stem the tide of billions .. who will someday leave the
poor southern part of the world to erupt into the relatively accessible
spaces of the rich Northern Hemisphere, looking for survival."
Would you care to comment on that ?
Mr. SISK. Well, that, of course, is a part of what we have been
talking about this morning, Mr. Chairman. I tell you, it is an ex-
plosive situation and it is one in which I just firmly believe we can-
not sit idly by and watch; otherwise, we would suffer the conse-
quences or our children will suffer the consequences. I may not be
here to suffer it, but I think we owe it to our children and our grand-
children and future generations to do the best that we can to try to
solve this and to remove the dynamite from a very serious potential
Mr. SCIIEUER. Congressman Akaka.
Mr. AKAKA. I would like to just add that the Population Confer-
ence in Tokyo underscores the importance of what we were just
talking about in regard to the population explosion. I would like to
further add that our chairman here was very instrumental in helping
to establish a permanent council for the world.
He was elected as the vice president of that conference. The presi-
dent and chairman as elected was the former Prime Minister Kishi.
Our chairman was one of the three vice presidents elected and also
placed on the Steering Committee that will be formulating plans for
another conference in Sri Lanka. I would like to say that our chair-
man made quite an impact on the other participants there.
Mr. SCHEUER. I want to say how sorry I am I forgot to mention what
an outstanding member of this committee Congressman Akaka is.
Mr. SCHEUER. Are there any further questions from any Member
of Congress for our distinguished colleague from California?
Mr. SCHEUER. Bernie, thank you very, very much.
Mr. SISK. Thank you very much.
Mr. SCHEUER. We are very sorry to have taken up so much of your
time. You have been here about an hour and 15 minutes, but it is
obvious that what you had to say challenged us and stimulated us.
We are very grateful to you as well as your colleague.
Mr. SISK. Thank you.
ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS ASKED OF CONGRESSMAN SISK BY THE CHAIlMAN
Question 1. You cited a report by the Environmental Fund that the U.S. may
have 420 million people within its borders by the turn of the century. This is
a far greater estimate of the size of the U.S. population than any of the esti-
mates this Committee has heard previously. This figure assumes, among other
things, that of those who enter the U.S. illegally, none ever returns to his
country of origin. All of the studies done, however, have underlined the phenom-
enon of return migration. They indicate, for example, that a large percentage
of those coming from Mexico stay six months and then return to their homes.
Do you believe that migration from Mexico is of a seasonal nature?
Recognizing this, do you think the population estimate of 420 million might
Answer 1. I recognize that in the past year or so it has become increasingly
popular in some quarters to portray illegal immigration as simply a cyclical
migration pattern and, thus, not a problem for this country because, in the final
analysis, everyone benefits-the alien, the employer and the consumer.
I absolutely cannot subscribe to that view, regardless of the studies which
have come forth from the academic community lately. To the best of my knowl-
edge no rigorous scientific study on illegal immigration, taking into account
return migration, has yet been done. The consistent urging of witnesses before
this Committee for in depth research into the broad field of immigration would
appear to bear me out on this.
Certainly some migration from Mexico is of a seasonal nature, particularly
to our rural farming areas. But to say that all Mexican migration or even the
bulk of it is seasonal is, in my view, a gross misrepresentation of the true
picture. In the days when the Bracero program was in force, the Mexican farm
workers returned home after the harvest. They had to. That is not necessarily
true today. It has been my own personal observation that an ever increasing
number of Mexican "undocumented workers" are bringing their families here
and staying. This is not only true in our urban areas, where the bulk of the
illegal alien population now migrates to, but in rural farming communities as
well. Furthermore, according to the Border Patrol, who I am sure you will
agree has first hand knowledge of the subject, there has been a drastic increase
in apprehensions of family groups at the border in the past year. So even if
one were to concede that illegal immigration is cyclical, recent observations
of the Border Patrol clearly suggest that any such patterns is changing.
The second part of your question assumes that I believe Mexican migration to
be seasonal and that, therefore, the population estimate of 420 million for the
year 2000 is excessive.
Since I can't agree with your premise, I cannot agree with your presumed
conclusion. As indicated above, I cannot agree that Mexican migration is sea-
sonal. But equally important I cannot accept the clear implication of your
question that illegal immigration is primarily a Mexican problem. I would hope
your Committee would not attempt to perpetuate that myth which I believe
will only do a grave disservice to the people of this nation. Let me emphasize
here, as I did in my testimony, that illegal immigrants are coming to America
from virtually every major country in the world.
I am willing to concede that the figures drawn from the Environmental Fund's
first analysis may be too high. But on the other hand, they might well be too
low. I would have to say that the Environmental Fund projection is as valid
as any other in circulation today.
Nevertheless, in the interest of cooperating with the Committee and, in my
view, bending over backwards to avoid any possible source of overestimation
in the projection, Mr. Wilson Prichett of the Environmental Fund has revised
his paper to include the maximum possible estimate for return migration. I
would ask that the revised version of the paper, Mr. Prichett's May 4, 1978
letter regarding the revision and the May 4, 1978 letter to me from the Presi-
dent of the Environmental Fund, Mr. Justin Blackwelder, be made a part of
the Committee record.
Despite his use of the most conservative of estimates, Mr. Prichett has still
projected that the population of the United States will be a minimum of 306
million by the year 2000 should the current increasing rate of illegal immigra-
tion continue. Again let me stress that we are not saying that such growth will
necessarily occur, but that it could, if specific actions aren't taken to curb it.
It is apparent that 342 million people are more than Latin America can
presently cope with. By the year 2000 that region will have to cope with over
650 million people, unless the excess has migrated to the United States. You,
Mr. Chairman, commented on that phenomenon earlier during my testimony
and suggested that short of "a major intervention" as much as half of the
projected population for Mexico in the year 2020 would be residing in the
United States. The excess cannot migrate anywhere else, as other countries
will not permit it. If this occurs, Mr. Prichett's original projection of 420
million will, unfortunately, prove to have been too low.
Question 2. You noted in your testimony that in California you are faced with
serious problems in connection with immigration, both legal and illegal. What
problems do you see in connection with legal immigration?
Answer 2. It is true that even legal immigration is causing problems in
California and elsewhere. Government mandated bilingualism is placing increas-
ing pressure on local governments and businesses to provide a service they are
not equipped or financed for. As I have repeatedly stated, in our completely
understandable desire to avoid discrimination at the ballot box, we have opened
a Pandora's box instead. The ballot in San Francisco this year will be printed
in six languages. The telephone company must now have multi-lingual personnel
available around the clock. The price for this linguistic pluralism, ranging from
higher costs for government and business to political strains tending toward
fragmentation along linguistic lines will, I fear, only increase. We have also
found many legal aliens on our welfare rolls. The SSI problem has been widely
discussed in the media, wherein primarily the elderly parents of citizens and
resident aliens end up on the rolls shortly after arrival because the sponsor
refuses to keep his promise of support. We are also finding an increasing number
of legal aliens on AFDC in California, costing the State and Federal Govern-
ment millions of dollars each year.
Question 8. The current ceiling for legal immigration is 170,000 persons from
the Eastern Hemisphere and 120,000 from the Western Hemisphere annually.
Do you think that these are realistic levels?
Answer 3. I believe that the current ceiling for legal immigration for prefer-
ence applicants of 170,000 for the Eastern Hemisphere and 120,000 for the
Western Hemisphere is quite realistic. As I am sure you realize, immediate
relatives of U.S. citizens (spouses, children and parents) are not subject to
that numerical limitation and thus the actual number admitted each year for
the past several years has been above 400,000.
Mr. SCHnunE. We are going to conduct this hearing fairly infor-
mally. Each witness will be making a statement of 8 or 10 minutes.
We hope you will not read your testimony, but just talk to us as if
we were all in a living room together. We will then be asking you
questions, and if anyone wants to direct questions to the speaker,
please do so. Let us get a little cross-fertilization here.
We took a long time with Congressman Sisk-longer than we nor-
mally would have. It is 10 minutes to 11. I am perfectly willing to
continue chairing this session until all of us are finished, so do not
feel that you are under any particular time constraints because we
are running a little late.
Let us here from Ms. Doris Meissner, Deputy Associate Attorney
General of the Department of Justice. Your testimony, as prepared,
will be printed in its entirety in the record. You can summarize or dis-
cuss any subject you wish.
STATEMENT OF DORIS MEISSNER, DEPUTY ASSOCIATE ATTORNEY
GENERAL, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
[Prepared Statement in Appendix on p. 297.]
Ms. MEISSNEi. I have been involved in immigration issues in the
executive branch for the last several years. You have asked me here
today to talk specifically about the Domestic Council Committee on
Illegal Aliens. I was the executive director of that committee which
was established in the last Administration by President Ford.
The testimony that I prepared is very straightforward. I will just
give you a few brief summarizing points and then I think it prob-
ably is most constructive if I respond to your questions.
The Domestic Council 'Committee on Illegal Aliens made a fairly
comprehensive, but quite preliminary, report about 1 year ago.
Among the most interesting things that happened in that process was
what we who worked on it found out about the Government and the
state of its information and interagency relationships on the issue
of immigration. When I talk about immigration, I am talking about
both legal and illegal immigration because they are related and as a
policy issue, we need to look at them in the whole.
Immigration has largely been an isolated and esoteric area of pub-
lic policy. It has not been viewed, in my opinion, as one of the major
issues of our time. It has certainly engendered strong emotional re-
sponses in our history, but they have occurred in spurts and phases.
We don't view immigration with the kind of continuity that we
apply to a variety of other issues that are possibly of less impact to
us. Therefore, minimal resources are directed to the policy issues
raised by immigration. Bureaucratically, immigration is handled as
an operational matter, a law that must be implemented. There is
little concern for policy development or analysis. In addition, very
few conceptual connections are made within the Government about
how immigration affects or relates to other social policy issues. For
example, the Labor Department does not look at the relationship be-
tween immigration and the labor market; HEW does not expend
much effort to understand its social services role in relation to im-
Very likely, this situation is due to the fact that the Congress has
historically taken immigration upon itself to be largely its exclusive
prerogative. There hasn't been the kind of interaction between the
Congress and the executive branch in the formulation of immigration
policy that we see in many other policy areas. I cannot explain why,
but it has contributed significantly to the circumstances I have de-
scribed. I think the picture is changing and will need to change
significantly in order to address effectively the concerns of your
The Domestic Council Report, itself, was simply an effort to as-
semble the larger issues and the connections between those issues that
illegal immigration presents. It did not attempt to put forth a pro-
gram or construct legislation. It simply tried to provide a conceptual
framework for future policymaking and that framework has been
the one employed by this Administration in developing a specific pro-
gram which, as you know, is currently before the Congress. This Ad-
ministration, very early on, exhibited a great interest in the problem
of illegal immigration.
One of the most interesting things about the Administration effort
has been the continuity with which it has approached the issues that
we developed in the report.
Probably the most interesting proposal in the Administration pack-
age for this committee is our mandate to undertake a comprehensive
study of immigration with a view toward presenting legislation to
reform the immigration system.
That study is getting under way now. The Congress is considering
a similar undertaking. There is legislation to create a Select Commis-
sion of the Executive and the Legislative Branch.
Mr. SCIIEUER. This is Congressman Eilberg's proposal?
Ms. MEISSNER. That's right. And should that legislation pass, we
would, of course, fold our effort into it so that it can go ahead as a
cooperative arrangement. Now I would be happy to answer your
Mr. SCHETTER. Thank you. Congressman Beilenson, do you have
Mr. BEILENSON. I have no questions at this point, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SCIIEUER. Congressman Stockman?
Mr. STOCKMAN. I didn't get from your description a very clear
view of what areas you probed into during the course of this task
force study. Did you look at all at the question of absorption of im-
migrants, whether legal or illegal, into the economy and into the
mainstream of society?
In other words, for some groups it works better than others. The
Cubans who came in after Castro assimilated pretty well. Apparently
the Vietnamese refugees did. Now was that due to the fact that they
were middle class and had skills or had motivation and so forth?
Did you do any work in that area at all?
Ms. MEISSNER. Not a great deal, but I think what you're citing is
absolutely true. One must look at the educational background and
society from which the immigrants have come. Regardless of the
ethnic backgrounds of immigrants, however, there are a variety of
fairly typical things that happen and 'they vary by ethnic grouping.
Some of the other people on the panel have a great deal more exper-
tise in this. However, it is true that the first generation of immigrants
from any particular country finds it far more difficult to assimilate,
tends probably to come with lower skills and to have more difficulty
with the language. However, assimilation does begin to take place.
The Cubans have been very successful. The Vietnamese refugees are
somewhat different from those who come willingly, voluntarily.
People who have-
Mr. STOCKMAN. Weren't the Cubans refugees ?
Ms. MEISSNER. Yes, the Cubans were refugees. But they came from
a close island country where there had been a great deal of inter-
action between the two countries and were, more than the Vietnamese,
I think, escaping for ideological reasons.
The Vietnamese largely would have preferred to stay in Vietnam.
So there 'are psychological differences Ithat influence people who come
here. For example, the Latin Americans are far less interested in
assimilating than some of the other ethnic groups that have come
Their cultural ties are closely interwoven with church, family and
small groups as opposed to society at large. These are sociological
issues that are very interesting. However, we didn't concentrate our
effort on them.
Mr. STOCKMAN. Well, the reason I ask is that it seems to be, if
there is a problem with immigration, it's the strain caused by rela-
tively unsuccessful assimilation, and not just the numbers. It seems to
me that if you look at our land area and our population densities
and so forth, we can absorb an enormous number of people if there
weren't assimilation problems related to the rate or the source of
That's why I was wondering what could be done about this. It
seems to me, if there is any real problem, it's the assimilation and
not just the raw numbers.
Ms. MEISSNER. There are many people who feel that we do a fine
job in this country of saying: "Come. We want you here for a vari-
ety of reasons." And once people come, we don't do a thing to ease
The Canadian system provides a direct contrast. There are a vari-
ety of services available to help people assimilate.
We leave it almost totally to voluntary agencies. The Government
plays no role other than that it funds the programs that are avail-
able to all people.
Mr. SCHEUER. Of course, we have a whole segment of our society
that we haven't assimilated into the mainstream of American life.
We have 22 million Americans whom we don't seem to know how to
educate, we don't seem to know how to employ, and they are people
who've been here several hundred years.
There aren't any quick fixes on that problem. We've had a poverty
program for a decade in this Congress and we funded it inadequately
in my opinion. But after 10 years of experience and expenditures of
several billion dollars a year over most of that period of time, we
still don't know what kind of remedial education propels kids into
In New York City and in other major urban centers, low-income
people in this country are completing 12 years of education and
coming out of that system functionally illiterate, without reading
and writing skills as everyday tools of life.
We talk about illegal immigrants taking jobs that Americans
would like to have. You heard Congressman Sisk talk about those
120 janitorial jobs. These are jobs at the bottom of the economic
pyramid. We haven't really integrated this large, low-income pool
of people who've been here, many of them for generations, into the
mainstream of life.
We talk about structural unemployment. What does structural un-
employment mean? It means that there's a group of people in this
country who, for whatever reason, do not respond to employment op-
portunities at a time when employment is very tight for the main-
stream of the economy.
These people are structurally out of the statistical universe in
terms of employment. Now if we haven't been able to cope with our
own people-native-born Americans-many of them, if not most of
them, whose ancestors were brought to this country perhaps 200 or
300 years ago, it doesn't come as any surprise to me that we're not
able to cope all that effectively with this new flood of immigrants
who've come into our country, whether illegally or legally, not even
speaking our language-an advantage that the native-born Ameri-
They don't speak our language. They have less than 6 years of
education. They're not really literate, even in their own language.
They have no skills. It doesn't come as any great astonishment to me
that having done so poorly with our own low-income population, at
least the minority population, that we've also not done spectacularly
well with this incredible flood of people coming into our borders,
most of them entering illegally, but some of them quite legally.
SThe whole business of how you get people with a low level of skill,
little or no literacy, into the mainstream and successful, is one for
which we have no readymade answers.
Mr. STOCKMAN. That provokes a question. Is there any evidence
that you've encountered that there's any significant problem with un-
employment or dependency-that whole syndrome-among recent
immigrants, whether legal or illegal?
My impression is that somehow, despite the language barriers, the
unfamiliarity of the culture and so forth, that most find jobs.
Ms. MEISSNER. That's the incredible thing about it. They are ex-
tremely motivated and-
Mr. STOCKMAN. Yes; and so it's not necessarily the structural bar-
riers of the economy, but rather the motivational basis of the groups
we are talking about.
Ms. MEISSNER. That's a fair statement.
Mr. SCHEUER. I think that is a fair statement, but remember that
these people are in very low pay jobs, frequently illegally low
Mr. STOCKMAN. Yes; but they're a lot higher paid than they would
be in the country from which they've come.
Mr. SCHEUER. That's absolutely right. Then you have the question:
Is it a good thing four our country to have a whole sub-stratum of
people who are out of the social services system, let us say-if you as-
sume that because of their state of illegality here they don't use our
Many of their kids are not going to school. They're being paid il-
legally low wages, with illegal conditions of work. Is it a sound so-
cial practice for our country to perpetuate this two-tier labor system
when the vast majority of our labor force is protected by traditional
unionism and the minimum wage and hours law ?
This substratum, because it's here illegally, is unable to avail itself
of the protection of our laws. What about their kids? Their kids are
born American citizens. Will their kids 10 and 15 and 20 years from
now be willing to accept those conditions for themselves and their
It seems to me that those kids are going to be ripe for all kinds of
protests. It seems to me they could very well become a very alienated
and envenomed and bitter element in our society. I think that the
sheer fact of a two-tier labor system is of very questionable social
I think it has the potential of being a poisonous element in our
society. I think it bears very close scrutiny. Do you have any further
Mr. STOCKMAN. No further questions.
Mr. SCHEUER. Thank you. Your testimony is very forthright and
direct, Ms. Meissner, and I must say we've all been impressed by
But one of the things that bothers me about your Domestic Coun-
cil report is that, while you have acknowledged freely that we don't
begin to have the data base and that we haven't really looked at the
population impact of immigration, we haven't looked at the labor
market impact of immigration, we haven't looked at the social serv-
ives impact of immigration, I see nowhere in the Domestic Council
report, unless I've missed something, that mounts a systematic effort
to (1) develop the data base that we need to make policy and (2) to.
determine what some of these impacts are.
It seems to me that you're in a better position-you out there in
the executive branch-to mount a holistic approach to the multiple
impacts of immigration, both legal and illegal, than we are over here.
With all the tremendous resources of the executive branch and your
computer capability and whatnot, you dwarf our capability. But
you've pretty much left the field by default for us to deal with. Now
why is that----
Ms. MEISSNER. I think one of the purposes of doing a report like
that and one of the reasons that the whole effort was undertaken was
to produce what you are describing with the recognition---
Mr. SCHEUER. But they not only didn't produce it,. they didn't even
talk about'the need for producing it.
Ms. MEISSNER. No; that's not true.
Mr. SCIEu-ER. Not true?
Ms. MEISSNER. There were-
Mr. SCHEUER. I saw no systematic outline of the kind of research:
and investigation that ought to take place at the Federal level such
,s you have implied, if not actually stated, in your own testimony.
: Ms. MEISSNER. Well, obviously in such a document there are many
things presented. But there was quite a bit of effort devoted to de-
soribing the.research that is needed. And a great deal is going on
now which will produce the information you're requesting. The very
fact that this committee is having a set of its hearings; deal with
immigration, is evident of a connection that has not until recently
been made. There definitely is more interest in the-
Mr. SCIIEUER. A connection between what and what ?
Ms. MEISSNER. Between population, and the growth of population
in'this country, and immigration.
Mr. SCHEUER. Well, I mean it's no top security item that---
Ms. MEISSNER. Well, it may not be a top security item, but it is
Mr. SCHEUER. But I mean, did that wholly escape the perception
of your domestic task force?
Ms. MEISSNER. No, of course not, it was in there and it was very
Mr. SCHEMER. Good, but there was no-unless my memory fails-:
there was no systematic' outline of the kind of comprehensive, re-
search and evaluation program that ought to be undertaken by the
Federal Government to quantify. existing illegal immigration, to
qiinntify the number of people coming across our borders annually
n ml to quantify the impact of both legal and illegal immigration. a.a
I said, on the employment market, on the body of .social services
funded.ai. the Federal, State'and local government,
We have no studies, that I know of, that indicate the impact of the
young females who are coming into this country on future popula-
tion. Where is even a comprehensive research outline ? Forget about
the research itself. Where is the comprehensive program of research
that we need to even begin to make sound policy judgments and
sound program design?
Ms. MEISSNER. Well, it was my impression that all of those things
were implied in the conclusions and recommendations made.
Mr. SCHEUER. Well, they may have been implied. They may have
said these things ought to be done in some fuzzy way, but there
wasn't a specific outline of the research that had to be undertaken.
Now all of this is going to cost money, and all of this is going to
have to be funded by Congress.
I wonder whether you would be kind enough to consult with the
other agencies involved-and this would include many, if not most,
of the agencies in the Federal Government--and present to us in the
next week or two a comprehensive research program that, in the
course 'of a year, let us say, or 18 months, would begin to give us the
data base that both the Congress and the executive branch need to
engage in intelligent policy formulation, as well as intelligent pro-
gram design. We'll keep the record open for that purpose. Could
you do that for us ?
Ms. MEISSNER. We certainly can do that. But I think a great deal
of that kind of research is currently underway.
[Requested Information in Appendix with prepared statement.]
Mr. SCHEUER. Then, why don't you tell us what is underway and
what further research we need to fill the interstices?
Ms. MEISSNER. It would be a good idea to draw some of the other'
individuals in, because some of the key actors in a number of things
that have already been done or are being done are here.
Mr. SCITEUER. Today ?
Ms. MEISSNER. Yes.
Mr. SCHEUER. Very good. And, also, do you have our schedule of
witnesses for the last day ?
Ms. MEISSNER. Yes.
Mr. SCHEUER. Well, we will have some very excellent people who
will tell us what our research needs are.
Ms. MEISSNER. That's right.
Mr. SCHEUER. I don't know if you would have the time to come up
the last:day. If you would, we'd be happy to have you join them in a
panel. But there may be some formal or informal way where they
can be brought into that process too.
And I don't mean to suggest that this is an adversary position
I'm taking. We're all in this together. The Congress, frankly, has
not, until very recently, taken a very comprehensive look at all of
the implications of immigration, legal and illegal.
We're all coming into a new consciousness of the importance of
looking more closely at the problem and all of its ramifications. I
don't know if you've read Dr. Keely's testimony, but he dilated on'
many of the ripples and the ramifications of immigration on almost
all aspects of American life.
This is not an adversary proceeding. We've all been a little dere-
lict. We've all failed to look at the problem closely until now. And
I think a joint effort would be very much appreciated. We could
make a good start if you could give us sort of a-from the mountain-
top over there in the executive branch-a view of (a) what is going
on and (b) what further effort is needed to complement what is
going on; in other words, fill the gaps and present us with a compre-
hensive research program that would really put us in the position a
year or two hence to begin to formulate intelligent policy. Could you
Ms. MEISSNER. That's fine. I'd be glad to, but I would make one
cautionary remark and that is that I think one tends in a subject
area like this to have a tremendous appetite for information in order
to reveal what decisions and programs ought to be.
There is a great deal of information on this subject that we will
never know, regardless of how much effort and trouble we put into
research. And there is a point, I believe, at which we are simply
going to have to be willing to either actively make decisions or the
decisions will be made by inaction.
Mr. ScHEUER. Well, we're making decisions every day by inaction.
Ms. MEISSNER. That's right.
Mr. SCHEUER. We're trying to figure out whether we should take
5,000 or 10,000 refugees or 200 refugees from some of these troubled
areas in Asia, while everyday something like 10,000 or 20,000-5,000,
10,000, 15,000, or 20,000 nobody knows how many-aliens come
over our border illegally.
We've spent all kinds of time and effort trying to prevent or de-
port one girl who has come here for open-heart surgery from some-
place in Asia. All of the ponderous machinery of the Federal
Government, in all its grandeur, is cranked up to prevent this one
girl from coming here with her parents to get open-heart surgery.
While at the same time, thousands and thousands-be it 5,000 or
20,000-daily are pouring over this border. If you think I'm trying
to overdramatize the situation, go down to the Southwest border
and have the INS people take you out to one of these open fields and
just look at the scene at 1 or 2 a.m. through the nightscopes that
they have there. You'll see that that movement of people looks like
Yankee Stadium at the end of the ballgame.
By not doing anything, we are most definitely making decisions.
But we're making irrational decisions. I think we both agree that
the time for that has passed.
The Congress has been derelict. The Administration has been dere-
lict. There's no point in pointing fingers. We ought to have a joint
program to attack this problem. And we, at least in the initial in-,
stance, would like to have your perception of what kind of data we ,
ought to be seeking.
If we don't get it, we're going to act on our own. But I think it
makes a lot more sense for us to know what you think we ought to.
have. OK? Just a couple of questions on your written testimony..
You state that you're making a study to address the question of.;
"equal quotas for source countries regardless of size or preferential:
treatment for certain nations, for example, contiguous neighbors."qi,
Can you tell us what you mean by that ?
-What do you mean by "equal quotas for source countries"?
Ms. MEISSNER. Well, one of the big issues in the immigration law,
as it's currently written, is the question of whether or not countries
from which immigrants come ought ito be granted an equal number
of immigrant visas per country.
The present law dating from 1965 embodies a major effort to get
rid of what was known as the "national origin system." It was a
very discriminatory system, and favored some countries over other
countries by setting quotas for entry. This system was replaced by
an equal number per country system.
In other words, no country may send more than 20,000 people per
year. But as we all know, countries differ tremendously in size and
there is a great range of demand from Upper Volta compared to the
Dominican Republic, for example.
Mr. SCHEUER. Or India or Pakistan or Mexico.
Ms. MEISSNER. That's right. So the question is whether or not this
20,000 limit and the principle of our treating nations as equals for
purposes of immigration is a sound one, given today's demands and
what we might face in the future.
Mr. SCHEUER. Yes. And I take it, without putting you on the spot,
that you would feel that some kind of preferential treatment for con-
tiguous neighbors is indicated. I don't know how many contiguous
neighbors we have besides Canada and Mexico.
Ms. MEISSNER. No, I'm not trying to advocate that. I'm just say-
ing that one way that has been suggested of dealing with the ques-
tion of preference versus equal treatment is that one might give
preference to contiguous neighbors.
Mr. SCHEUER. Yes.
Ms. MEISSNER. Contiguity might be one rationale.
Mr. SCHEUER. Yes. It seems to me that we have to have a special
relationship with Mexico.
Ms. MEISSNER. It would seem that way on the face of it, but the
problem is this. Mexico is a large country and sends us many un-
documented aliens. But the percentage of its population which comes
to this country illegally is probably smaller than the percentage of
some of the Caribbean countries, who are much smaller but to whom
it is more important for their survival that a certain group of their
people leave every year.
Mr. SCHEUER. Yes.
Ms. MEISSNER. It then becomes a more complicated problem, if
one's looking at it from the point of view of .what immigration can
do to relieve pressures in source countries.
Mr. SCHIEUER. What our immigration ican do?
Ms. MEISSNER. That's right.
Mr. SCHEUER. Do you think that should be a major determinant
of our immigration policy ?
Ms. MEIssNER. I don't think so, but there are many who argue that
it should be.
Mr. SCHEUER. It seems to me that with the world doubling in popu-
lation by the year 2010 or 2015 that, if we perceive ourselves as the
safety valve for the world's excess population, we have a whole
mare's nest of problems that we had better face up to.
It seems to me that's ,an impossible option for us.
Ms. MEISSNER. Well, we don't need to be the safety valve, but there
are many who argue that we need to provide some assistance in
getting countries over the hump that they're at right now. That
maybe, as we export capital, we should ,be willing to reciprocate with
agreements to import labor.
Those are complicated issues but its these gray areas tha~ we're
Mr. ScmEUER. I don't think there's any question about helping
these countries; we can help them in many ways. We can help them
with maternal and child health and family planning programs, as we
do in almost all of the developing world. Even more important than
that, we can help them in integrating the population-sensitive and
population-relative components into almost all of their development
programs for food, education, health, industrial development, and
Too much of the aid that we offer them ignores the impact, or the
interrelationship, of population on the whole scheme of their devel-
opment programs. We ignore the potential for injecting population-
related and population-sensitive elements into development pro-
grams, which we help to design. We're missing a tremendous bet on
that. That's one area in which we certainly can be more effective than
we are now. Dave, if you have any further questions?
Mr. STOCKMAN. No further questions, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SHrEUER. You again discuss the recommendations of the Do-
mestic Council to "initiate high priority exchanges with illegal immi-
gration source countries to develop strategies for development that
touch the basic 'push factors.' Have we developed any kind of com-
prehensive program, let us say, for Mexico, which would include a
number of different types of aid programs for them, such as reducing
the barriers to their access ito our markets, such as long-term loans,
such as assistance to their efforts to institute family planning and
maternal and child health programs?
Ms. MEISSNER. We're in the midst of very active exchanges with
Mexico, far more active in the last year than had been so prior to
that time. You probably will recall that the first foreign head of
state that President Carter welcomed was the Mexican President.
And that gave rise to a very active consultative mechanism, as it
has been known, between the two countries in which a lot of these
ideas are beginning to develop. Secretary Vance--
Mr. SCHETuER. Are you involved in that process?
Ms. MEISSNER. Yes.
Mr. SCHEUER. I spent a lot of time down at the State Department
a few months ago trying to get some perception of what kind of
comprehensive program we are developing to propose to the Mexi-
cans and I was unable to come up with anything.
Ms. MEISSNER. Well, it is very difficult, because it is not in the
immediate interests of Mexico to be terribly enthusiastic as a partner
in such an enterprise. But it certainly is beginning to develop and I
think the thing that we are looking toward, as is Mexico, is what it
is that Mexico can do with the tremendous revenues that it will be
deriving from its energy resources.
Mr. SCHETuE. Is there any effort on our part to develop a list of
incentives for them that would also carry some kind of an obligation
on their part to do more to police the border from their side ?
Ms. MEISSNER. We have not gotten that far. That begins to touch
on very tender ground.
Mr. SCHEUER. Mexico, itself, as you know, has a fairly strict or
conservative or Draconian immigration program. They do not wel-
come immigrants from around the world. They have a very specific
list of people that they will permit into Mexico and they are pro-
fessionals and middle class entrepreneurs.
If you state that you want to start a business in Mexico, you have
to deposit $5,000. If you state that you don't want to start a busi-
ness, but you just want to immigrate, you have to deposit $1,000 and
find a Mexican who will state that he will support you if you need
If you come in illegally, there's a 10-year prison sentence, plus a
substantial fine. I have no perception that the Mexican immigration
law itself is one where Mexico takes on the obligation of being a
part of the solution for the population of other less-developed coun-
tries than Mexico. After all, as tough as things are in Mexico, Mex-
ico is one of the more developed of the developing nations. And it
is not apparent that Mexico perceives herself as a safety valve for
other less-developed of the developing nations. I wonder why it
should be so difficult for us to ask the Mexicans to respect the fact
that we and they perceive ourselves rather similarly.
In fact, our immigration policy is far more liberal and less strin-
gent than theirs. It would seem to me appropriate that we could sug-
gest to them, without arousing anybody's great sensisibilities,
"Physician, heal thyself." They might, at least, patrol their borders
and take the first preliminary steps to stop their own people from
leaving their country without proper documentation, which as I un-
derstand it, is a violation of Mexican law, as well as our own law.
Ms. MEISSNER. Well, those suggestions have been made, but I think
one has to be quite sanguine about what one can expect in results.
Mr. SCHEUER. Yes. Yes. Tony, do you have any questions?
Mr. BEILENSON. No questions, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SCHEUER. We appreciate your testimony and we appreciate
your very forthright answers very much. I'm sure you'll be involved
in the give and take that's about to come upon us.
ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS ASKED OF MS. MEISSNER BY THE CHAIRMAN
Question 1. You have noted in your written testimony that the Domestic
Council Committee rejected any expanded temporary foreign worker program.
Can you tell us why? Would you personally support such a program?
Answer 1. The Committee concluded that the temporary worker program,
known as the H-2 program, which is authorized under current law, is adequate
to meet the legitimate needs of employers for labor. We felt that the procedures
used by the Department of Labor to administer that program were unduly
complex and recommended that they be reviewed and streamlined so as to
make the program more responsive. For your information, the Department of
Labor has recently issued revised regulations in the area of H-2 agricultural
My own view is that there is insufficient reason to institute major temporary
worker programs given our continuing high rate of unemployment in the U.S.,
the negative experience in our recent history of the bracero program, and the
difficulties currently being experienced in Europe by nations that have had
Question 2. On page four of your written testimony, you note the Domestic
Council Committee found that illegal immigration was, "rooted in powerful
social and economic forces endemic to both host and sending countries." If that's
true, how optimistic are you that the United States will be able to curb illegal
Answer 2. I am optimistic that we can curb illegal immigration in the long
run but only if we begin by taking strong measures now and by treating the
phenomenon in a comprehensive rather than piecemeal fashion.
Question S. On August 4, 1977, President Carter directed the creation of the
Interagency Task Force on Immigration. That was 8 months ago. Why has it
taken so long to assemble, as you put it, "a small core staff," and why hasn't
an executive director been chosen?
Answer 3. An executive director for the task force has been selected. It has
taken a long time because the three agencies involved-the Departments of
Justice, Labor and State-had been unable to agree on a candidate.
Question 4. One of the conclusions reached by the Domestic Council Commit-
tee was that "a dramatic lack of reliable information makes thorough analysis
of illegal immigration impossible at this time." The Interagency Task Force
has been charged with the task of making precisely this kind of thorough
analysis of both legal and illegal immigration trends and policies. How can
such an analysis be made at the present time, if reliable information isn't
Answer 4. The Interagency Task Force is to review and analyze the operation
and effect of the Immigration and Nationality Act as amended in 1965. It will
not concentrate on illegal immigration since that issue is being addressed, due
to its magnitude, separately in the legislative package currently before the
STATEMENT OF DR. CHARLES B. KEELY, CENTER FOR POLICY
STUDIES, POPULATION COUNCIL, NEW YORK
[Prepared Statement in Appendix on p. 316]
Mr. SCHEiUmE. Our second witness will be Dr. Charles Keely of
the Center for Policy Studies of the Population Council in New
York City, who will discuss-will give us an overview of U.S. im-
migration trends and policies. I want to thank you for coming here
today, Dr. Keely, and thank you for your many past courtesies to
Dr. KEELY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to just under-
line a few of the conclusions and recommendations and not go into a
great deal of detail, which is in the written presentation. That's al-
ways a little dangerous, I know, but I would rather do that.
The first thing I would like to do is respectfully recommend to
you and the committee that you support the concept of a National
Commission on Immigration as contained in Chairman Eilberg's bill,
H.R. 7175, to form a commission with representatives from both
Houses of Congress, the executive and public members.
Mr. SCHEUER. Without in any way committing other members, be-
cause we haven't discussed this, I personally favor that very much.
Dr. KEELY. Let me just briefly say why I would support such a
move. One is the complexity of the whole situation on immigration
policy, which you alluded to yourself in your opening statement. The
second is a whole raft of stalled legislation, the most recent of which
is the legislation containing the Carter proposals on undocumented
aliens, for which hearings have been postponed in the Senate.
And the third is the lack of concerted action in the executive it-
self, which I think is reflective of a number of deep disagreements
among departments and the inability even within departments, if I
can put it colloquially, to get their act together.
The second item I would like to underscore is something about
which you will hear much more, as you well know, on Friday. And
that is that we need a great deal of attention to data. Data on immi-
grants, not only undocumented but the legal immigration and what
happens afterwards, is in a sorry state, indeed.
There has been some progress, as you will hear, particularly in the
Immigration and Naturalization Service. Although not a statistical
agency, INS is the major collector of annual data on the flow of im-
migrants, as well as the stock of the alien population through the
alien registration program in January of each year.
I don't think that improvement is going to go much further unless
there is interest from Congress and pressure by Congress on the
executive to tell them exactly what you want to know and that you
will, in fact, support efforts in those directions.
One particular item I would like to call to your attention-per-
haps recall to your attention-I know you have some interest in it-
and I would like to see and recommend, therefore, to you some im-
mediate action on the question of the 1980 census where it is proposed
that we leave out the question on the place of birth of parents of the
respondents, which means we will lose all the data on the second gen-
We will have no way to compare the changes over time of immi-
grants and the children of immigrants in their absorption or assimi-
lation or integration into this country.
Mr. SCIIEUER. Excuse me. Why do you think the Census Bureau
has decided to leave out that question?
Dr. KEELY. I don't know for sure, Mr. Chairman. In talking to
the Census Bureau officials, I get vague references to pressure from
the White House asking them what are they going to do for ethnic
groups now that we have a 100 percent question on the Hispanic
population. All kinds of-
Mr. SCHEUER. What do you mean "100 percent"?
Dr. KEELY. We have a question that everybody will be asked in
the census for 1980, "Is this person of Spanish origin or descent?"
And there are some particular categories-Mexican, Cuban, and a
number of others-or you put down "Not Spanish origin."
That is a question that will be asked of 100 percent of the popu-
lation, not the sample portion of the census, which will go to about
16 percent of the households, the long form as it's called.
My point is that as limited as the data are by only having second
generation information, we are throwing that out for a question which
asks: "What is this person's origin or descent ?"
And then you fill in the blank. Now we can think of all kinds of
scenarios. For example, a person recently from Poland-because he is
very proud now that he is in the United States and that his children
are born here and are citizens, puts down "American." But a fourth
generation person, who is imbued with the renewed ethnic interest,
who doesn't know a word of Polish, except perhaps his family name,
puts down Polish. Well, my point is that we'll get numbers, but we
don't have a measure of anything.
And a lot of times we are mesmerized. Numbers are not always
measures. First we have numbers about an ethnic identity, and we're
not sure what it really measures-it could measure all kinds of
things depending on the group, depending on the political organiza-
tion-and then we start cross-tabulating fertility, median income.
I can see the 1980's will be treated to all kinds of studies based
on this question about the underrepresentation or the bad deal gotten
by the Irish Cubans of America. [Laughter.]
An Irish Cuban, by the way, is a category which will be accepted
under the Census Bureau's current program to code these answers.
Mr. SCHEUER. I would think that they would be very much under-
represented in the present Congress.
Dr. KEELY. I do too. [Laughter.]
Mr. SCHEUER. I know of no Irish Cubans.
Dr. KEELY. In some work that I prepared for your staff, I go into
more complete analysis of this issue, but I want to call it to your
attention in the public testimony. I can go into more detail on the
questioning if you want.
The third item I'd like to underscore is on the question of popula-
tion growth and legal immigration. I conclude, Mr. Chairman,
from my prepared testimony that this is, in fact, a false issue. I refer
to the work by Ansley Coale in a paper prepared for the commission
on which you served, the Commission on Population Growth and the
American Future, where he concluded that the path to a station-
ary-that is, a zero growth population-will not be interfered with
if we continue immigration at the current levels of 400,000.
My own work, which I summarized in the testimony, indicated
that net alien immigration, because there's a good deal of outmove-
ment of aliens from this country, is well below 400,000.
Mr. SCHEUER. Do we know when an alien leaves this country?
D)r. KEELY. We do not have an exit control in the sense that we-
say--somebody who is a permanent resident alien decides to go
home, we do not collect their visa.
Mr. SCHEUER. Do you think we should?
Dr. KEELY. I think it would be close to impossible, Mr. Chairman.
The Immigration and Naturalization Service now makes one-quarter
billion inspections of people entering the country. That includes citi-
zens returning, but they have to inspect those passports.
That's one-quarter billion. Now try to add on top of that an exit
control and suppose, for example, somebody shows up without the
document. What do you do? Keep them off the plane?
Mr. SCHEUER. Well, most countries do make a record of their own
citizens. I'm not saying it should be restricted to resident aliens.
Dr. KEELY. The problem, Mr. Chairman, is how to get accurate
information. First of all, does everybody know when he or she is
leaving permanently? And to get them to admit that is difficult.
Just like many people come to the United States on the assumption
that they're going to be here for a few years and get a stake and go
back home, but eventually stay and stay and stay.
So, too, when people leave the country, it's not always with the in-
tention of necessarily permanently going. So it's a very difficult col-
Mr. SCHETER. Yes.
Dr. KEELY. Now I think it's a very important function of research
that it comes up with-I put in quotations-"negative findings";
that is, to tell us that certain things just do not exist or are insig-
nificant or unimportant or perhaps are false; that certain hypotheses
are wrong or at least unproven at this point. The quotation marks
that I want to put around the idea of the "negative function" of
research is justified since deflating bad ideas and cleaning out the
closet and finding no skeletons is a highly meritorious act.
It seems to me that scanning the skies and finding no great mes-
sage that we ought to do something may be a very important func-
tion of research, particularly in the fields of population and immi-
gration-important and crucial fields which all too often in the past
and even currently have generated, I think, disproportionate amounts
of quackery and misplaced and counterproductive missionary zeal.
Continued research, in and out of Government, it seems to me, has
a very important function of making sure that absurd ideas cannot
last too long. Mankind and this country can be served as much by
preventing bad things from happening as from accomplishing good
things. And I would argue sometimes that we are served a good deal
better by making sure bad or stupid things aren't undertaken.
Let me move to the question of population growth and illegal im-
migration or undocumented movement. A number of analyses and
proposals concerning the undocumented or the illegal reflect what I
would think of or call the unresisted temptation to short circuit
thinking, in order to get a quick fix on superficially diagnosed prob-
lems and then have subsequent efforts by designated problem solvers
to defend their vested interest in applying their particular solutions.
And in the undocumented area I think we have been treated to
that for the last 5 years. I don't, by that statement, mean to under-
estimate the importance of the question. By saying that some solu-
tions are inappropriate or some analyses are, in fact, very superficial
does not mean that the question is not important.
In a discussion of projections, for example, of population growth
of the illegal aliens I would ask you to please request anybody who
gives those-and unfortunately I would ask you, Mr. Chairman-
would you please tell me in -addition to the assumed total of undocu-
mented how you know the age and sex structure and the fertility of
the particular assumed totals that you're going to use for a projec-
tion of population growth into the future.
If we say it's 800,000, how many are female? On what basis can
we say that even a birth rate, so many per thousand, will be true of
that population, if, for example-let us say just for purpose of dis-
cussion-50, 60, 70, 80 percent, whatever the number is, are males,
not females ?
And if we don't know, in fact, if those females in that population
are, in fact, as fertile in their behavior in this country as they were
in the old country or similar to people in the old country or perhaps
closer to people in the new country-you know these are these up-
wardly mobile people we're hearing about, these get-up-and-go peo-
ple-on what basis do we estimate fertility?
Maybe, in fact, they do have a, what we would call, modern ap-
proach to contraceptive behavior and have less children. We don't
know that. But my point is, you see, we cannot assume that we can
take, for example, the number of "apprehensions" (and I put that in
quotation marks because some ",apprehensions" by the Immigration
Service are records of people who were never in custody), about
800,000 or a million more recently, and say, "Let's take that as the
number," that is not enough information. And we can get all kinds
of Draconian projections about the future that we really don't know
In fact, oh, I'll just leave it at that. Permit me just to end then by
reiterating my respectful recommendation to you to support the con-
cept of the National Commission. I'm sure that the demographic
trends and implications that you'll be hearing about and you and
your own staff have been discussing, including needed data and the
related issues developed in these hearings, will be welcomed by such
a National Commission land will be welcomed by your colleagues in
Congress who ultimately have to decide what the future immigration
policies of this country will be. That will be all and I thank you.
Mr. SCHEUER. Thank you very much, Dr. Keely. Your prepared
testimony, I must say, was extremely provocative and thoughtful
and challenging, as well as your oral testimony. Congressman
Mr. BEILENSON. No questions, not at this point, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SCHEUER. Mr. Stockman?
Mr. STOCKMAN. I will defer to my colleague.
Mr. SCHEUER. Dick?
Mr. GEPHARDT. No questions.
Mr. SCHEUER. You mean you're leaving the burden entirely to me ?
A couple of questions from your testimony, Dr. Keely. In your writ-
ten testimony, you say, "It is not difficult to think of various eco-
nomic, social or foreign policy considerations which may outweigh
a population concern." Could you give us a list of the economic, so-
cial and foreign policy considerations which would be countervailing
forces, let us say, to a population concern where we would have to
weigh them on some kind of a-
Dr. KEELY. Well, a social one, for example, would be that, assum-
ing that immigration is a major problem in terms of reaching zero
population growth, if that is our goal, that we cut out legal immi-
gration. I would say there are a lot of people in this country who
would disagree with that and there would be a tremendous political
Mr. SCHEUER. You mean that we cut out legal immigration?
Dr. KEELY. That's right.
Mr. SCHEUER. I don't think that anybody seriously suggests that.
Dr. KEELY. How about severely curtailing?
Mr. SCHEUER. I know of no responsible group that would severely
curtail the current rate.
Dr. KEELY. Less severe. How about 150,000 a year?
Mr. bCHEUER. I would say that would be severely curtailing it.
Dr. KEELY. There is a responsible organization which proposes
that, Zero Population Growth.
Mr. SCHEUER. Yes. I would say the real target of opportunity, if
you're talking about immigration into this country, is illegal immigra-
tion. I think we've managed to cope in a rather civilized and compas-
sionate way with legal immigration. As a matter of fact, if we could
get a handle on illegal immigration, I think most American people
would be willing to do far more in terms of admitting refugees from
such places as Cambodia and Vietnam. I'd be willing to go an extra
mile for them, whether it's 50,000 or 100,000 or 200,000, if we didn't
have the burden-the add-on burden-to legal immigration of, per-
haps, several million illegal immigrants.
Dr. KEELY. I don't think it's--
Mr. SCHEUER. There may not be that many. The problem is, as you
say, we don't lnow, and I'm just as aware of that as anybody else.
Dr. KEELY. I don't think there's a disagreement on that. Let me
give an example. Let us assume that we have at least a good enough
fix to say we ought to do something about the undocumented and the
illegal population and we have the current proposals by the ad-
One of those proposals is that persons who are admitted under the
temporary resident .program should not have access to programs
funded by the Federal Government, including Medicare. Now I
would say that's a bad public health policy.
Mr. SCHEUER. I would say that's bad public policy to begin with.
It's immoral to say that a young child in this country shouldn't have
a public education and that in an emergency shouldn't receive health
care. First of all, it wouldn't work, because their health problems
would obviously tend to have implications for the community in
which they live. Man is not an island, isolated from the community.
There would obviously be health implications for the community.
Even if there are kids born in this country of parents who might be
here illegally, the fact is that these children are presently American
citizens and to deny them an education is, to my mind, totally un-
justifiable and offensive.
I find it incongruous that the administration could have seriously
suggested that we create a subgroup of people in our society, recog-
nizing that they were here, legitimatizing their status for a time,
and then structuring them into a position of inferiority. I know of
nothing comparable to this in American history. To the best of my
knowledge, our Government has been consistently opposed to such
inferiority and discrimination. It may happen de facto, but it cer-
tainly doesn't happen de jure. How this administration could have
come up with a de jure program of structured inequality and struc-
tured inferiority and structured substatus, I find totally baffling.
Dr. KEELY. I guess, Mr. Chairman, that that really answers the
question that people can agree there's a problem and can agree on
some of the dimensions and broad outlines and can sincerely disa-
gree, as I think you have expressed vis-a-vis the Carter proposal.
Mr. SCHETTER. Can you give us some of these countervailing factors
that you talked about-economic, social or foreign policy considera-
tions-which would outweigh population concerns?
Dr. KEELY. I would say, for example, the kinds of solutions that
we may undertake for the Mexican (undocumented could lead to po-
litical instability in Mexico. That's a possibility. I would say on the
social front, we just discussed that-medical care.
My point is that disagreeing with a particular policy, because it
may have some undesirable effects, does not necessarily undermine
the contention that there's a serious problem. It's just that a par-
ticular analysis or proposition has spinoffs, which may not be desir-
able. I think we have to recognize that.
Mr. SCHEUER. Yes. Do you have a question, Dave?
Mr. STOCKMAN. Yes, I do.
Mr. SCHEUER. Go ahead, Dave.
Mr. STOCKMAN. I would like to focus on this undocumented prob-
lem for a bit. It seems to me that people don't undertake that jour-
ney, given all the hazards involved, legal and otherwise, to exchange
one form of squalor for another.
It seems to me they're motivated by the desire for, and the fact
of, better opportunities. From all the information that I have been
able to gather, they seem to do pretty well, either staying here on a
temporary basis or on a permanent one.
For that reason I can't understand entirely all the alleged negative
and adverse ramifications of absorbing or ingesting people who seem
to assimilate, at least economically-I'm not talking about culturally
and so forth-as well as they do.
They don't become burdens to society that I can see. Let me give
you a radical suggestion land get your reaction. What would happen
if we just let in 300,000 a year on a legal basis?
Dr. KEELY. I think the problem with that is-and I think it has
really always been the problem in making our policy-it's not the
number-it's who comes in and by what criteria ?
Mr. STOCKMAN. Right.
Dr. KEELY. 300,000 who?
Mr. STocKMAN. Well, let's talk about from those areas where the
clear per capital income differentials or economic opportunity differ-
entials are the greatest-I mean across the Mexican border, the Car-
ibbean and so forth.
Dr. KEELY. The question I would have in my mind-why would
we do that? If we're doing that in some way to-
Mr. STOCKMAN. Well, we're doing it de facto now, so why don't
we make it---
Dr. KEELY. Well, why would we do it-you know-de jure? Why
would we make it our policy? It's not going to help the population
growth very significantly to decline or to stabilize in those countries.
Emigration, as a technique, is not going to work.
I mean it's mathematically-it's not going to work. All right. Why
would we do it for our own country? Could we do it? You know
probably we could. What would be the effects, however, and that's
precisely the argument on the undocumented. If they had no adverse
effect and if we knew exactly how many there were, I don't think
there'd be all this concern.
I think there's two things that bother us. One-we're really not
sure. And if there's something you all know, it's that when we're not
sure in Washington, we've got to do something about it. And we
have a can-do approach. That's part of the American spirit, if you
And the second thing is it may be affecting the labor market. That
is, there is an unresolved argument that-over whether these people,
in fact, do reduce wages and working conditions. And it's the argu-
ment that's come up here already.
Do they reduce wages and working conditions or replace Ameri-
cans or are they going into a secondary or dual labor market? Really
the question is what combination of those is happening ? And I would
say the next question is, even if they are lowering wages and working
conditions, would cutting off the number open up jobs for
Suppose employer sanctions worked 100 percent tomorrow. There
are a lot of other things you can do besides raising wages. You can
close the factories.
Mr. SCHEUER. You can invest more in capital-equipment.
Dr. KEELY. You can do that. You can go abroad. You can try
to get Congress to take away the minimum wage protection for juve-
niles, as has already happened. And it would create another low
wage market, since we don't have the housewives .that we used to
have, we don't have the blacks, we don't have the Puerto Ricans.
These have been traditional low wage labor sources in this country.
Undocumented are so now. Now that is not an argument to permit
continued undocumented movement. On the other hand, that does not
automatically translate into, "Well, let's have employer sanctions."
That may not work either.
Mr. STOCKMAN. Well, here is the point I want to get to. You've got
the differential there, which is clearly acting as a kind of vacuum,
drawing them across on an undocumented basis now, and everybody
perceives it as a problem.
Now, an alternate given is, "Well, let's have a Marshall Plan for
the redevelopment or the more rapid development of Mexico and
maybe certain other areas of the Caribbean." It seems to me that if
you're successful at that-and I'm sure we won't be because we don't
know how to do it and we've been trying it for 30 years and it hasn't
been too successful elsewhere-but let's say you're successful at rais-
ing the per capital income of 30 million people from $400 to $4,000
and you do it in Mexico instead of here.
I can't see what the difference in impact really is, most things
being equal, in terms of demand for food or any other commodities
that are in short supply around the world. If you raise peoples' per
capital income, they're all drawing on the same pool.
So the point is I don't see why that is necessarily a preferable
alternative. It seems to me, if we want to remove the vacuum as a
way of stabilizing population flows, I'm not sure why the income
leveling could not be more efficiently done by absorbing more here
instead of trying to export foreign aid and capital to artificially in-
duce or step up the rate of development there.
And we don't know how to do it there. At least we know how to
make an economy grow here, when a town starts to boom and new
jobs come in. We certainly don't know how to do it from a distance.
Dr. KEELY. I would say income leveling is probably not necessary.
Mr. STOCKMAN. I don't mean leveling; I mean raising.
Dr. KEELY. Raising.
Mr. STOCKMAN. Right.
Dr. KEELY. Another thing is this question of the Marshall Plan.
And I've heard words here like aid to other countries and so forth.
Perhaps you should ask Secretary Schlesinger to come in and tell
you why we won't pay the Mexicans the $4.20 for whatever number
of cubic feet for their gas that they want.
Mr. STOCKMAN. They only want $2.60.
Dr. KEELY. $2.60. Excuse me. In other words, what my point is, is
that this is not just that there's an excess of people, because somehow
persons in developing countries are, if I may say, irrational in bed
and are producing too many people.
It is a question of the structure of these countries, of their rela-
tionship to this country and other developed countries. And if you
notice, it's countries like Mexico, Korea, the Philippines, which are
the more advanced, that are having population problems and are
ma ior contributors of undocumented to this country.
That is, development, not underdevelopment, in a short run period
may produce high population growth rates and the pressures. Espe-
cially, note here it's not only push pressures, but when you have a
country with an economy that, in fact, welcomes these people, you
have powerful pulls.
So there's always the other side of the equation. It's not just a
demographic determinism-more people. There's a question of people
that cannot be absorbed in jobs and who have .a place to go. And
when I say a place to go, I don't just mean because our border is a
sieve. I mean because our economy can absorb them. As a matter of
fact, I'd also mention-
Mr. SCHEUER. Of course, we don't know that our economy could
absorb them. We don't know the impact. It may be that our economy
is very enriched by this. Who knows? We simply don't know and
Dr. KEELY. What I should say is our economy apparently absorbs
them in jobs. What it displaces is the problem. We don't apparently
have large numbers of undocumented or illegal people on unemploy-
ment. I don't think anybody has proposed that.
I would also point out that the fact that the Mexican border may
be a sieve may be a part of our salvation at this point. That, in fact,
the possibility of getting back across the border and entering again
may mean that there's a good deal of seasonal movement, unlike, for
example, the situation in New York City, which, I'm sure, Congress-
man Scheuer is more aware of, where it's darn hard to get a visa
now-a tourist visa-say in the Dominican Republic-and we may
be heading to a permanent 'population.
The Mexican movement is somewhat unique, because, remember, we
stopped the bracero program in 1964. And to a certain extent I would
suggest and hypothesize that the undocumented movement over the
Southwest border to a certain extent-not entirely, to be sure-is
the Bracero Program without the benefit of documents.
Mr. GEPHARDT. Can I interject and link on to what Representative
Mr. ScHEUmE. Please go ahead.
Mr. GEPHARDT. If you did as he said at a reasonably low number
and absorbed more, would that have an effect on the undocumented
Dr. KEELY. I doubt it. I doubt it because those kinds of people,
because of other aspects of our law, would have to have certain char-
acteristics to let them in in the first place--for example, they would
have to get a labor certification. OK. Even if we brought in-
Mr. STOCKMAN. Assume we didn't do that.
Dr. KEELY. Well, we're really in Alice in Wonderland then, be-
cause the AFL-CIO, I don't think, would let you get to first base on
that. And I think that's the reality. When I say that, I think we're
talking the realities.
There is such strong support for that concept that we should not
let people into this country who have job skills that are clearly going
to replace Americans. And labor certification is a feeble attempt, to
be sure, to try to do that. But I don't think we're going to get rid
of those kinds of provisions; realistically, I don't think so.
Mr. STOCKMAN. But isn't there an interchange here? What's the
difference if you--say-build a plant where they're fabricating jeans
in El Paso and hire those who would be willing to come in, say
under this kind of program, or not do that-dry up the supply of
minimum wage people who'd work 'at 'a productive rate and force
that company to build its plant in Mexico and hire them there.
It seems to me you've got interchangeability between labor and
capital and to the extent that we try to hold off the low skill labor
supply we're only going to encourage the outward exit of capital to
those areas where the supply is. And that has clearly happened.
Dr. KEELY. I can see that. My only problem with your example,
and I think it's an apt example because we've done similar things,
is that when we start thinking of an industrialization program,
either on this side or the other side of the border, and the value
added kind of approach, the kinds of people- who are hired in those
industries are not the unemployed young males. It's females and-
Mr. SCHEUER. You mean when it's done across the border?
Dr. KEELY. Yes; and it's a pattern that's repeated in country after
country-fast, female, nimble fingers to put together garments, elec-
tronics, and so forth. It's the same pattern that we had happen in
Operation Boot Strap in Puerto Rico. Now if you said to me, "Let's
put a steel mill and automobiles," OK, then it seems to me that we
may be talking in large amounts which we can't do obviously. You
know we're again in Alice in Wonderland then.
Then we're talking about creating jobs for the currently unem-
ployed as opposed to bringing females, usually unmarried, into the
labor force who are not there now and not particularly strengthening
the economy in terms of male oriented jobs or family life, quite
Mr. SCHEUER. Those are capital intensive industries that employ
comparatively few people per dollar of investment. So the contribu-
tion that a steel mill or an automobile manufacturing facility makes
to solving the unemployment problem is comparatively minuscule.
Dr. Keely. in 1975 you authored a very excellent 'book called
"Whom Have We Welcomed." Now supposing I were to sort of take
editorial license. If you were to write a book "Whom Should We
Dr. KEELY. Now that book was written.
Mr. SCHEUER. What group would you include?
Dr. KEELY. That book was written in 1952. It was called "Whom
Shall We Welcome." And it was written after the McCarran-Walter
Act, which kept the national origins quota system intact over Pres-
ident Truman's veto.
And Truman appointed this commission about "Whom Should
We Welcome." And I would say, "Whom should we welcome?"; we
should welcome refugees, we should welcome close family members
for family reunification. I think we should not particularly welcome,
that is, give preferences to, persons who have skills.
They are competing with American workers. And it does nothing,
I think, to help increase the opportunities for our own Americans
in such positions as physicians, nurses, engineers, and so forth. I
would recommend maintaining the family preferences, the refugee
I would suggest expanding the refugee definition to the U.N. pro-
tocol to which we have 'acceded rather than the very narrow defini-
tion we have. And I would suggest eliminating the occupational
preferences. If after using these visa numbers, there are some left
over from an overall ceiling, then I would say perhaps we should
have some new seed immigrants-first come, first served-perhaps a
But even that, I would not particularly-I don't think is necessary
in terms of our needs. It may be a useful, symbolic gesture to say
that we do recognize this important group in our past, but, in fact,
we really can't have large numbers.
So I'd say that immigration ought to be for refugees and family
reunification. It's the cornerstone now and I think there's every rea-
son to continue it.
Mr. SCHEUER. But that's a fairly small group.
Dr. KEELY. No; that would be a group of approximately 350,000 to
Mr. SCHEUER. I would think that's a comparatively small group.
Dr. KEELY. Current numbers?
Mr. SCHEUER. Yes.
Dr. KEELY. So yes. The current-if you're going to put it that
way-the current small immigration totals should be continued.
Mr. SCHERER. Dick, do you have any further questions ?
Mr. GEPHARDT. No further questions.
Mr. SCHEUER. Dave?
Mr. STOCKMAN. NO further questions.
Mr. SCHEUER. Tony?
Mr. BEILENSON. No further questions.
Mr. SCHEUER. Dr. Keely, I'd like you to give us an answer to a
question you raised in your written testimony. I'll read the question:
Will these permanent additions to the population produce a second generation
who will be Americanized on the one hand, not willing to stay in low skill,
low paying, dead end jobs, joining or even competing with minorities for ex-
panded opportunities but on the other hand ill-equipped to compete due to
years of neglect and poor training?
Must we not stop or curtail the flow of permanent additions in order to avoid
the civil rights problems of the 1980's and the 1990's?
Can you give us an answer to that ?
Dr. KEELY. I would say "Yes."
Mr. SCHEUER. In other words, this is the problem of structural
Dr. KEELY. Yes.
Mr. SCHEUER. Are we admitting into our country a large group of
people who are economically unabsorbable, except in the low paying,
unpleasant jobs at the bottom of the economic pyramid that certainly
their sons and daughters will be unwilling to fill? Are we going to
have the same frustration and resentment and alienation on the
part of the sons and daughters of these immigrants that we've seen
during the sixties and the seventies on the part of minority group
people who've lived here for generations and who are still structurally
Dr. KEELY. I would say there's a very high probability, especially
if we deny access to education as some States are now doing. I would
also say, however-let me say that our problem-
Mr. SCHEUER. Let's assume that we didn't deny them. I think it's
unconstitutional and that'll soon be decided by the courts, in any
event. Let's assume we didn't deny them access to education. We're
not denying our American born population access to education, but
apparently the education opportunities that we're giving them, for
whatever reason, are insufficient to give them viable, valuable job
skills that the market will recognize.
Dr. KEELY. I think the basic answer, Mr. Chairman, is that this
country is not ready to face the massive reorganization of our
Mr. SCHEUER. What massive reorganization?
Dr. KEELY. OK. We're not willing, for example, to fund full em-
ployment. We haven't done it since we said we were going to do it
since 1946. Even if we did it, some would argue, "Well, that's just
one more invitation for people to come across the border."
Then we say, "Well, there has to be development in those countries
where enough jobs can be produced to keep the people there." Imme-
diately in the next breath is, "But that won't happen in the medium
and probably not in the long term. It's really impossible."
Well, if it's that impossible, let's pack up and go out to lunch. It's
getting late. But if its not impossible, perhaps we should be thinking of
changes in terms of investment, in terms of, for example, opening up
the Food for Peace Program to the markets of Mexican agriculture, so
it doesn't compete with our agriculture.
We can also conceive of other kinds of schemes where we can start
transferring and distributing labor in a different way-for example,
we may have to say that we do have to import our shoes and garments.
Now what are we going to do for American manufacturers and Ameri-
can laborers-workers who would be further pushed out by Korean and
Italian and Brazilian shoes and garments, et cetera?
Are we going to undertake to try to absorb those people, to try to
change our economy, to try to get incentives for capital in other
areas than the kinds of industries that are absorbing these people? I
would suggest that if there isn't a possibility in the medium term for
significant development to keep people in jobs in developing comn-
tries, then we're just talking to one another.
We're all collecting salaries for doing it, but we're not helping any-
thing anywhere and nothing is going to result from it no matter how
much we talk about it. If there is a possibility, then the conclusion
is we should support the continued, difficult, sensitive kinds of dis-
cussions that Ms. Meissner was referring to.
And that we ought to put pressure in any way that we can on our
State Department, on the other departments of Government to, in
fact, try to come up with foreign aid development, foreign policy
which takes into account the effects of population and international
If I can just be permitted one short story. I spent about a week
a little over a year ago in the State Department with a group of
academic scholars talking with the diplomats, called the Scholar
Diplomat Program on Latin America. And that entire week we were
talked to by all sort of persons in the Inter-American Affairs Bureau
and the country officers from the various desks and AID officers that
work in this hemisphere and so forth.
One time, one mention by an AID officer about a small project in
Mexico which may keep people down on the farms was the only-
mention of population. By "population" I mean population growth;-
I mean fertility; I mean internal migration; I mean urbanization
I mean international migration. Population-
Mr. SCHEUER. How long ago was that ?
Dr. KEELY. January-February, 1977. Population is not a substan-
tive-and that's a buzz word-substantive issue in the State Depart-
ment. It is not systematically monitored and integrated. Consular,
officers are not reporting officers.
They're not political or economic officers. The consular officer is on
the low end of the totem pole in the Foreign Service hierarchy.
They're not expected to talk about the impact of their functions on
the countries that people are coming from, like Santo Domingo, like,
Mexico, et cetera.
That has not been the pattern. So I would say we have a great deal
of work to do in a place like the State Department. Then between
State and Justice and Labor and HEW and then between the execu-
tive and legislative, we have a long, long way to go.
And when somebody says to me or I listen and somebody says,
"But it won't work in the medium or the long term." My answer to.
that is, "You know we've never really tried." In fact, my perception
is they've never really thought about it in the State Department.'
Mr. SCIEUER. There are a few, isolated people who are thinking
about it. And I say isolated advisedly, because they don't consider
themselves in the mainstream. Without putting any words in their
mouths, people like Ambassador Marshall Green have been thinking
about it very deeply, and he is one of the most brilliant and inno-
vative public officials I've ever met.
Jack Gilligan is thinking about it in the foreign aid program.
Sandy Levin, who is head of the population program, a very able and
thoughtful guy, is thinking about it. But they aren't integrated. They-
aren't plugged in to the policy- and decisionmaking process.
For example, I will bet you dollars to doughnuts that when Presi,
dent Carter went to Brazil and Nigeria, he didn't talk about their
population problems. And they have enormous population problems.
I wrote President Carter before his last trip to India and asked him
to take up the question of population then, and he didn't, and I doubt
whether he is now.
I visited six African countries about a year ago and asked each of
our six ambassadors, among whom were some extraordinarily capable
men, when they last talked to the Chief of State to whom they were
accredited about the population problem of that country.
Not one of them ever had, and they had good reasons why they
hadn't. It's too sensitive an issue. And they said that in countries
where, not an hour before, the Minister of Health had been pleading
with me for more assistance for family planning programs, for the
design of the programs, for the implementation of the programs, for
the oversight and review and appraisal and evaluation of the
An hour before or an hour after that visit, the Ambassador would
tell me how sensitive this whole problem was, and how the time wasn't
ready yet that we could really talk to them about it. And then they-
told me, "Well, they're continuously busy putting out brush fires."
Well, of course, they're putting out brush fires of all kinds. The.
big problem with the State Department and our embassies abroad is
that the population program is never a current, burning issue. It's
always a long-term issue and it requires current inputs for a long--
And we, in our country, haven't had such an admirable record. VWe
still have 31/2 million women in our country who have no access to
family planning. It's understandable that in a country fighting for
survival, it's a tough decision for a chief executive to put desperately
needed dollars for food and housing and jobs into a program that'll-
only have a long term output.
That's the problem. You're absolutely right in your evaluation.
Are there any further questions?
Mr. SCHEUER. In your written testimony, you wrote that "Under-
standing these processes"-and you're talking about macro- and
micro-level conditions making migration an attractive alternative-
Understanding these processes may lead to designing development, trade and.
investment policies which more successfully address meeting basic needs of-
people and the needs of economies and nations to guide and direct their futures
with some autonomy.
Could you elaborate on that a little? I wasn't quite clear on what
Dr. KEELY. I was referring there, Mr. Chairman, to a good deal
of the conventional wisdom which has been somewhat dispelled, I
think, among what you might call the population fraternity, both
the academics and the agencies involved in delivering programs.
The conventional thinking was that there was excess fertility
that basically what you had to do was get contraceptives and informa-
tion out there and everything would take care of itself. We know-
that's simplistic now, but we know, in fact, that we acted on that.
And we know that those kinds of programs are still the most fund-
able, because it involves jeeps and clinics and condoms and personnel,
whereas much more intractable problems involve convincing some-
body in a country like Brazil, living in Sao Paulo and working in a
garment factory, and for whom it makes good sense to have a lot of
,children because they can bring home money from that garment
factory when they get a little older, to change their evaluation and
That person will have three or four incomes, if he or she sacrifices
now and brings up four or five kids, and maybe most of them will
survive. They'll bring home those incomes and you'll have a more
secure middle and perhaps old age. That is not, on a microlevel, from
an individual point of view, a very irrational thing to do.
It is, what we might say, irrational from the long term needs of
that economy and so forth. Now the question is how can we use the
whole spectrum of U.S. policies to help develop these economies to the
point where that kind of very rational, individual behavior becomes
more and more irrational?
As it is, for example, in our country, I and anybody, I think, in
this room is probably not going to go out and have five or six kids and
figure by the time I'm 45 or 50 I'm going to have a comfortable old age
because they're all going to be out selling papers or shining shoes or
putting together toys in a factory in Queens.
So what I'm saying is that we've got to stop saying or acting as if
these people are doing something that's irrational. We've got to give
them incentives to say large families are no longer a rational thing
for you, not for the country, not for the nation, not for the future,
but for you.
Now, and I also say in the next breath, that's a tall order. I wish I
had the answer to that. If I did, I wouldn't be telling you. I'd be
writing a book about it and collecting a lot of money for it. I don't
have the answer to that and none of us does obviously.
But my point is that the problem here is more than just people
Mr. SCHEUER. If we decided, as a matter of policy in the next few
years, that the flow of illegal immigration should be substantially
reduced, can you perceive or believe that we could do this in a com-
passionate and humanitarian way?
Dr. KEELY. In the next few years?
Mr. SCHEUER. Could we design programs that would do this in a
civilized, compassionate, humanitarian way.
Dr. KEELY. I'm not sure. I honestly am not sure. If we continued
the way we are now, there is a question in my mind whether there is
*a massive impact now. The impact has been sometimes portrayed as so
vast. There's also a certain amount of inertia in these kinds of proc-
esses and some of them do come to an end on their own.
For example, if the economy picks up, I would suggest that the
political visibility of this issue will lessen. If the economy has further
downturns, I think there'll be a lot more openness to take more
stringent measures. I just don't see how-I honestly don't see how
we can do it in a rational and a humane way, both for the people in-
volved who are undocumented, as well as our own population.
There are a lot of people in this country who already have been
.affected by the fallout in terms of enforcement procedures because of
the undocumented scare. The U.S. Civil Rights Commission is doing
:a national study now on precisely the civil rights violations of U.S.
citizens and permanent resident aliens because of enforcement.
So there are-it's not easy you know-and I guess I can't give you
a yes or no. I just am not sure.
Mr. SCHEUER. Do you think we should try to achieve zero popula-
tion growth in this country, or something close to it ?
Dr. KEELY. I think we will. There's no question about it.
Mr. SCHEUER. You think we will?
I)r. KEELY. We will. I think there's absolutely no question about it.
Mr. SCHEUER. We'll achieve zero population growth including ille-
Dr. KEELY. Sure.
Mr. ,SCHEUER. How do you come up with that result?
Dr. KEELY. Well, let's start off with the current natural increase.
You know-our fertility rates are low. They've been up a little bit
recently, but there seems to be every indication that we will achieve
approximately around 2015-if you look at Professor Poston's testi-
mony to you-about 2015, stationary, zero growth.
With 400,000 legal immigrants, we'd achieve it. Now the question
is what would this "tremendous tide"-I'd like to know what the
number of the tide is?
Mr. SCHEUER. Well, we don't know that.
Dr. KEELY. Well, then I would say my answer, "Yes, we will," is
as good as anybody's answer "Yes, we won't." [Laughter.]
Mr. SCHEUER. Any further questions ?
Mr. SCHEUER. I think that last sentence of yours is an excellent
leitmotif to end your testimony. [Laughter.]
I think we're all in the state of total confusion and you dramatized
that with your last sentence. In all seriousness, Dr. Keely, you really
are one of the creative thinkers in this field. We thank you very much
for your fine testimony and I'm sure there'll be some more questions
asked of you.
ADDITIONAL QUESTIONs ASKED OF DR. KEELY BY THE CHAIRMAN
Question 1. In testimony given to the Select Committee on April 7, Mr. Jacob
Siegel of the Demographic Division at the Census Bureau, stated that the net
immigration figure for the United States fluctuated between 325,000 and 425,000
per year. This figure conflicts with the figure of 264,355 you have cited in your
written testimony. Could you explain, specifically, why your figures and those of
the Census Bureau do not agree?
Why do you use different assumptions about the size of emigration?
Answer 1. The estimates by Mr. Siegel refer to net civilian immigration. Net
-civilian immigration includes: Alien immigration, net arrivals of civilian citi-
zens, net arrivals from Puerto Rico, and emigration (native and foreign born)
from the U.S.
Each of these overall categories includes subcategories and each requires
My estimates are of net alien immigration. This includes: Alien immigration
and foreign born emigration.
Further, my figures for alien immigration follow the Immigration and Natu-
ralization Service numbers which differ from the Census Bureau methods of
counting annual immigrants. The difference is due to methods of counting
My estimate of 264,355 is the result of averaging alien immigration for 1968-
73 and estimating annual foreign born emigration based on the work of Robert
Warren and Jennifer Peck who used Census survival techniques. Thus, my
estimate is one approximating recent experience of net alien immigration. This-
is a subset of the more inclusive net civilian immigration estimated by
I wish to note that frequently net civilian immigration estimates are referred
to as just "immigration" and used as a proxy for net alien immigration. The
above discussion highlights the fact that Such a substitution is not warranted
in discision of immigration policy. Even if, for example, all alien immigration
and foreign born emigration were to cease, thier would still be net civilian
immigration due to the other categories. Thus if we want to discuss the
effects of altering immigration laws on the movement to this country, we should
use the appropriate category. The Census Bureau's net civilian immigration
concept and estimates are appropriate in discussions of estimates or projections
of population in U.S. territory (50 states) from all sources (aliens, Puerto
Rican movement, citizen children born abroad coming to U.S., U.S. federal civil
servants returning from assignments, etc.).
In sum, Mr. Siegel and I are talking about different concepts. His is much
broader and inclusive and appropriate for population estimates and projections.
of population in the 50 states. Mine is more narrow and refers to net alien
Question 2. In your testimony, you have not discussed the contribution of
immigration to the changing composition of the United States population.
Do you think this is an important aspect of immigration trends?
Do yop.think someethnic goups in the U.S. are imperiled by the controversy
surrouniiig the 'visibility' of-the new ethnic groups?
Answer 2, From the wording of the question, it seems "composition" refers
mainly to ethnic composition. Age-sex and labor force effects, as well as popula-
tion distribution are also affected. I have not analyzed the latter topics. The
numbers of immigrants are relatively (to U.S. totals) small and effects on age,
sex, labor force would probably be minimal currently. Impacts on local (urban)
areas may be greater but data to do such analysis, while collected (Alien
Address Report), are not available to study the impact of immigrant settlement
and mobility patterns.
I think, however, the point of the question is ethnic composition. First, ethnic
group needs some definition. This is not a ploy to avoid the question. Is there
such a thing as "Hispanic" or "Spanish origin" or does each nationality and
culture with a Spanish base get treated separately? And the same is true of
"Asian Ainyrican." Sbo-too, do we lump Nigerians and Haitians into Black
American? Without answers to these questions, basically what are the ethnic
categories to be impacted, it is hard to respond.
Others have responded to this kind of question. We have seen charts and
tables about the "changing composition of immigration." These presentations
usually have categories like Northwestern Europe, South and East Europe, Asia,
Latin America, Africa and Oceania. The main point is to show that European
immigrants have proportionately declined and within Europe the shift is to
the South and East. Asian immigration has increased greatly in numbers and
proportionate share of the total. Western Hemisphere movement has been
steady but at the price of Canadian movement and to the benefit of Latin
countries, especially around the Caribbean basin.
I do not think these trends are important in terms of causing us to alter
our laws to affect country or continent of origin. We have gotten rid of national
origin quotas, the Asia-Pacific triangle and its.predecessor the Asiatic exclusion.
I am totally opposed to reintroducing, such measures. I especially oppose doing
so covertly and using code words like composition when the concern is clearly
the Black, Asian and Latin peoples which indicate the racism, sometimes latent,
which we must squarely face in this country.
My language is blunt. I quickly point out that I do not assume any such
motives by the distinguished Select Committee individually or collectively or
by the outstanding staff. I say that based on experience in dealing with the
staff during these hearings and professional contact with a number of them'
prior to their current service. But I also feel obligated to respond as I have .lest
your work and inquiries be coopted by others who think that place of birth or
ancestry should govern who can come to the U.S. Given our overall ceilings
:and the individual criteria (health, criminality, family relations, labor certifica-
tion) built into our law, I see no cause for alarm about current immigration.
Race has no place in our law as a factor in choosing people. I agree with that.
Birth place is there only in the 20,000 per country ceiling to insure in a rough
way that no one country monopolizes the limited visas for each hemisphere.
I purposefully left this discussion out of my prepared testimony in order not
to provide any fuel for those who might want to misuse the work of the Select
Committee for what I see as perverse ends given the ideals of this country so
painfully worked out and still in the difficult process of becoming a reality in
our everyday life.
On the question of "visibility" I would say that visibility is not what is
important but the meaning attached to differences. If we do not attach weight
to a "visible" difference, it eventually becomes less visible and, more important,
irrelevant even if noticed. I suggest that the "visibility" and concern with it is
a measure that some still attach importance to race and ethnicity in the choice
*of immigrants. To that extent, the "visibility" does imperil new ethnic groups.
I suggest we reaffirm the principle of nondiscrimination by race or national
origin and resist efforts to increase discrimination along racist or origin lines
in our immigrant selection process.
Question 3. Aside from the ethnic diversity that makes the U.S. a "more inter-
'esting place ."
SWhat benefits accrue to the United States from its liberal immigration policy?
What benefits accrue to the sending countries?
Answer 3. The benefits to the U.S. and its citizens are numerous. We reaffirm
the importance of human rights by our refugee policy and the generous efforts
by Americans individually and through voluntary agencies to resettle refugees.
Families are reunited. We get skilled persons. We get ambitious persons. We
receive individuals who, through their work, create jobs. This is true through
their inventiveness (vis. the remarkable group of refugees from Germany in
the 30s and their contributions in physics, mathematics, computer science, etc.)
and by their entrepreneurial ability. Performing artists are another group, who,
although small in number, enrich our life and create jobs by their performing.
The benefits to sending countries are also not negligible, although sending
countries' costs are high. Some pressure is relieved in the population redistribu-
tion that accompanies economic development. Italy, for example, has had large
population redistribution in the post war period with its industrialization.
The temporary workers to northern Europe and emigration to the U.S., Austra-
lia, Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina have eased this transition. Italy projected
no net outmigration by the early 1980s and has already achieved that. Despite
what other problems Italy has, this kind of movement eased this transition.
Italy now faces a prospect of labor shortages for the 1990s.
Movement also possibly relieves destabilizing pressures especially of educated
persons who cannot find employment. Although this may be due to inappropriate
investment in education or incentive structures to lure workers to needed places.
the outlet is useful. The danger is that the existence of the outlet may inhibit
necessary changes. The conflict is between that and short term solutions.
The existence of an ethnic group in the U.S. can be helpful to the foreign
country and its governments in relations with the U.S. A delegation of Amer-
icans of Mexican origin and descent recently went to Mexico with just that
suggestion and pointed to other ethnic groups and their role in having the U.S.
government get a sympathetic understanding of other countries' points of view.
This can be a benefit to sending countries.
I am aware that these lists of benefits to U.S. and sending countries raise
questions also. What is a benefit to the U.S. may be a cost to the senders and
vice versa. But that is a longer and more complicated question requiring careful
analysis. It is the next and necessary step in considering specific immigration
proposals. My list merely points out in very broad strokes benefits to the U.S.
Question 4. Should the United States have a national population policy?
Answer 4. I think the more pertinent question is can the United States have a
national population policy. I am not sure that the form of government, the
compromise and give and take, and the plurality of values regarding birth,
death and freedom of movement, preclude anything more than a general, and
temporary, set of goals. I doubt we can get agreement on zero growth as a
fixed and never to be changed goal. Some want negative growth. Some would
argue that changing circumstances may call for flexibility. Even if we agree
on zero growth, how soon and at what level will inevitably lead to disagreement.
And what if we do agree on zero growth by year X with a total population of
Y? Suppose we go on a path that is beyond our target. Do we then try to
encourage or force contraceptive use, sterilization or abortion? What if we
are below target? Do we encourage childbearing? By whom?
My point is that, if we mean by policy a set of specific targets and a set of
procedures to achieve them, I do not think such a policy is possible at this time.
Further, given the nature of the topic, I do not think a "policy" in the above.
sense is possible under the present functioning of our system of government.
Our current approach seems to me to be to get a set of general, but widely
interpretable, goals (e.g., come to zero growth sometime in the next century)
through a consensus process. Within such a frame, we monitor population,
processes and trends and evolve compromises which are within the broad
bounds of the goals concerning methods (e.g., regarding immigration, abortion,
contraceptive knowledge and supplies, etc.). Obviously the compromises over-
individual issues such as those just mentioned recognize other than popula-
tion related values and interests (e.g., labor force and foreign policy in regard:
to immigration). Such an approach has served us well on other issues. It is not
neat and tidy and it requires much work and the resources of many competing
interests. But as the Federalist Papers point out, such competing interests are-
to be judged a strength and safeguard of a democratic republic. As our new
awareness of population and environmental issues shows, such a form of
government is open to new goals, is able to change agendas and ways of seeing
and evaluating past practices and their consequences. I have not had demon--
strated to me that such a system of governance is incapable of dealing with.
population policy in a way which will prevent the costs of uncontrolled growth,
preserve the freedoms and principles championed by this nation and avoid'
the rigidity of technocratic solutions to public policy (i.e., political in the
broad sense of the word) issues.
Mr. SCHEUER. Before we go on to the next witness, T have one ques-
tion that I want to ask Ms. Meissner. In your testimony, you mentioned
the study which will be underway by May 1. This is going to be an 18:
months to 2 years study.
You indicate there'll be an effort made to work closely with all
interested parties, but especially with the Congress. Can you tell us
how you plan to work with the Congress? What your modus vivendi
will be? How you will structure that effort and which committees:
you will be dealing with and so forth?
Ms. MEISSNER. Primarily we would be dealing with the immigra-
tion subcommittees of both the House and the Senate Judiciary
Committees. Those would be the committees that eventually would
act on the legislation. But to the extent that any other committees
show any interest whatsoever-for instance, the members of this
Mr. SCHEJER. We certainly would be interested.
Ms. MEISSNER. We would like to involve you.
Mr. SCHEUER. Wouldn't the International Relations Committee-
have a deep interest in terms of our aid programs and the various
comprehensive packages that you're talking about developing with
Ms. MEISSNER. Well, that's true, but I don't want to oversell what
the effort is. The effort is not one of trying to relate immigration to
all of the development needs of the world. We need to be concerned
about what immigration does in sending countries, what causes mi-
gration. But historically, immigration has been treated as a domestic-
Mr. SCHEUER. That's been one of the problems.
Ms. MEISNER. Well, but-
Mr. SCHEUER. MS. Meissner, you're just telling me that the State
Department has not yet-and this echoes my experience with them-
come up with a comprehensive program of dealing with Mexico.
Ms. MEISSNER. I'm not objecting to that and that is a concern of
Mr. SCHEUER. Wouldn't what you're contemplating be of interest to
the International Relations Committee?
Ms. MEISSNER. Yes; I would hope so.
Mr. SCHEUER. The problem is the fragmented way in which these
problems and projects have been examined; for example, shouldn't
we be thinking m terms of a comprehensive approach to our relations
with Mexico, suggesting a list of incentives, and asking a few quid
pro quo's from them in exchange?
We recently completed a treaty with the Mexicans giving them
very valuable shrimping rights in the Gulf of Mexico and in the
Pacific. That was certainly a significant event to them. It seems to
me the International Relations Committee should have known about
that. The Immigration Subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee
should have known about that, too.
The only congressional committee informed of that treaty and of
those negotiations was the Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee.
It seems to me that this fractionalization, if I may use that per-
fectly awful word, by which both the executive branch and the legis-
lative branch has dealt with immigration and population matters in
general, is responsible for our total failure to produce a comprehen-
We haven't looked at it in a holistic way. I hope that you're going
to make an effort to reach out to the various standing committees of
Congress that have jurisdiction in an area impinging significantly on
Ms. MEISSNER. We are.
Mr. SCHEUER. Thank you very much, Ms. Meissner.
STATEMENT OF DAVID NORTH, CENTER FOR LABOR AND MIGRA-
TION STUDIES, NEW TRANSCENTURY FOUNDATION
[Prepared Statement in Appendix on p. 347]
Mr. SCHEUER. Now we'll go ahead with our third witness, Mr.
David North, Center for Labor and Migration Studies of the New
TransCentury Foundation, who will discuss with us the determinants
of illegal immigration flows and the characteristics of undocumented
We're very happy to have you here, Mr. North, and your remarks
will be printed in their entirety in the record. You might want to just
chat with us for 8 or 10 minutes and then I'm sure we'll have some
questions for you.
Mr. NORTH. Mr. Chairman, I think there's a request that I delay
my statement until he can take care of this tape.
Mr. SCHEUER. Fine.
Mr. SCHEUER. The meeting will come to order. We still have a couple
of extra seats in the back. Would somebody close the door back there ?
OK. Mr. David North, Center for Labor and Migration Studies
of the New TransCentury Foundation.
Mr. NORTH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to really touch
on two subjects.
Mr. SCHEUER. Incidentally, when we finish the four witnesses, I'm
going to ask the panel members if they have any questions of their
colleagues so we can get an exchange between the very bright, well-
informed and highly articulate members of our panel.
If you have any questions of each other, just jot them down and
you'll have your chance later. OK, Mr. North, please proceed.
Mr. NORTH. I'd like to discuss the impacts on our society, particu-
larly on the labor market, of illegal immigration. That's one thing
I'd like to cover; I do that from a background of work in what used
to be called the manpower field.
I had been assistant to the Secretary of Labor, Willard Wirtz, in
a previous Administration, as well as the staff director-the first and
last Anglo staff director of President Johnson's Inter-Agency Com-
mittee on Mexican American Affairs. I also would like to talk a little
bit about data and research.
I've been in that field for several years now. And we've done work
for the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, for the Immi-
gration and Naturalization Service, for the Department of Labor
and for the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.
As a preamble for what I would like to say about the labor market
I will read a paragraph from the Washington Post, of March 27 in
their otherwise perceptive series of articles on "MexAmerica."
"Illegal immigration can perhaps best be regarded," the Post
As a covert economic bargain that benefits everyone involved. It is beneficial
to the immigrants, even if they earn less than a minimum wage. It is beneficial
for the big growers, the hotel owners, and the factory managers who have a
huge cheap source of readily available labor. It's undoubtedly beneficial to
Mexico, providing a safety valve for that country's rural poor and discontented.
The bland assumption that lies behind that statement is that there
apparently are no indirect results. Everything is straightforward and
only the people involved are concerned or affected by it. I think that
the committee will want to look beyond that simplistic point of view.
In terms of the labor market impact, we've talked about-
Mr. SCIIEUER. Would you dilate on what some of these indirect
effects would be?
Mr. NORTH. Yes. Yes. I will. Most of the conversation about em-
ployment has been on a question of replacement. Are the illegal immi-
grants taking jobs that American workers- I would rather say
resident workers--would accept or wouldn't accept and to what
Is there direct competition between U.S. workers on one hand and
illegal immigrant workers on the other? There is a much more com-
plex and I think significant thing happening out there. That is, as
most of us know from looking at unemployment statistics, we have a
fairly loose labor market.
At least 5 percent of the labor force is apparently not working.
The loose labor market that we already have has been substantially
loosened, further than it would be otherwise, by the influx of a large
number-and I'll get to that number a little later-a large number
of docile, hard-working, super-motivated, illegal immigrants.
Now that loosening of the labor market has a number of indirect
effects. It makes wages and working conditions remain constant, if
not depressing those wages and working conditions. It causes employ-
ers, who might otherwise mechanize, to not mechanize.
It maintains, as Secretary Marshall has pointed out in research
conducted before he joined the Department of Labor-it maintains
highly wasteful labor utilization devices. It maintains the piece rate,
for instance, in many agricultural areas.
And if there is a piece rate, there is no pressure on management to
see to it that the workers' time and energies are organized in the most
useful way. These are some of the indirect effects on the labor market.
But typically this is a human situation and there are winners and
And one of the things I've noticed today is that there has been very
little conversation about those who lose. And the ones who lose, as
one might predict, are the people who might otherwise be working
in the secondary labor market.
They are people who are typically disadvantaged and, therefore,
powerless. They're more likely to be black. They're more likely to be
women. They're more likely to be Puerto Ricans.
They're more likely to be teenagers. They're more likely to be
handicapped. These, essentially, are those who are directly and indi-
rectly affected by the competition with illegal alien workers.
The current group of legal immigrants, on the one hand, those
coming in since the 1965 amendments, flow very quickly into the U.S.
labor market and do very well and do not depress labor markets. We
sense that the difference between the illegal immigrant and the legal
immigrant in the labor market is very pronounced and it relates
directly to the legal status.
We have on the other hand, as the Washington Post points out
correctly, some winners. And the winners are the Government of
Mexico, which doesn't have to face some very real problems that it
might have to face a little more vigorously were the flow of workers
The winners include certain kinds of employers in this country-
agribusiness, the service industries, as the chairman has pointed out,
and to some extent perhaps the consumers of some of those services
to the extent that the employers pass along their wage savings in the
form of lower prices.
So the winners in this situation have a vested interest in continuing
this flow of workers or at least not disturbing it. And they are people
of power. The losers, as Ive suggested, are not. It is not the members
of organized labor per se who suffer from the competition from
illegal workers in most instances.
Auto, steel, coal-the major industries that produce most of the
membership of the AFL-CIO-have not been reached particularly
by illegal workers. The members of the AFL-CIO, with the exception
of some people in the service trades and some people in the garment
industries, are not suffering.
It's the people I talked about before, who are essentially America's
disadvantaged workers. And one of the reasons why I despair of
any forward motion in terms of changing the situation is because the
forces that would benefit most by change are among the least power-
ful forces in our society.
Secondly, I'd like to talk a little bit about immigration research. I
agree with much that Charles Keely has written about how the Immi-
gration Service could improve its data collection and methods. Poten-
tially the Immigration Service knows a lot about illegal immigration
-if they only troubled themselves to focus on their own records. On
the other hand, I would like to suggest that there is probably more
known than is generally realized.
I would also like to suggest that many governmental decisions have
to be made with relatively shaky data. The whole question of our
energy policy, I'm sure, is based on a series of assumptions-on
assumptions that perhaps could be documented better.
The extent of the supply of potential natural gas under the United
States, for instance, I'm sure is as hotly debated by the people in-
volved as the number of illegal aliens in the United States. Yet
we're trying to move ahead on an energy policy and I would say that
we know enough to move ahead, on immigration, legal and illegal.
I am particularly concerned about illegal immigration and I will
focus my attention to that. I'd like to suggest, to quote my former
colleague, Marion Houstoun, that there is an "Underground literature
on an underground subject."
Material written about illegal immigration is, with a few honorable
exceptions of some things that Charles has published, generally
Xeroxed. That says something. There's very few hardbound books-
My friend, Julian Samora, of the University of Notre Dame, pub-
lished a hardbound book on this subject about 6 years ago, "Los
And I think he has the world's record of the most recent hardbound
book published on illegal immigration. It's a good book. I would
suggest that, partially because of a lack of publishing interest in
this subject, partially because the research has been fragmented
among a number of academic and governmental institutions, that
there may well be more there than immediately strikes the eye.
I note, for instance, as we're sitting here, and I have an advantage
which the chairman lacks, which is, I can look behind that potted
palm at the back of the room and see a medallion that says "The
Central Intelligence Agency." And if it weren't for that medallion,
I would not be reminded of the fact I once had lunch with a person
who was doing research on Mexican illegal aliens for the Central
I share that with you for whatever use it is. But I bring that up
to indicate that there are some things that the Government is doing,
which are more useful than the CIA study, which I'm told is largely
a recitation of some things that I had written earlier.
It might be helpful if some segment of the Government pulls some
of these things together in a coherent fashion. You asked, Mr.
Chairman, of Doris Meissner, was there a plan for meeting the research
needs in this field.
About 3 years ago, the Law Enforcement Assistance Administra-
tion funded what I must admit was a very primitive activity, which
I took charge of, in which we outlined eight ways of estimating
things that needed to be calculated about the illegal alien population
in this country.
The Immigration Service has, in fact, completed one of those
eight suggested projects and has several others underway. But there
has been an agenda, at one point, in addition to the things that
Doris suggested. But again it's an underground literature and there
is no reason why anybody in this room should know about it.
Similarly, the Social Security Administration, of all people, has
put together an estimate of the number of undocumented immigrants
in this country, as of April 1, 1973. They have no ax to grind in this
They came up with the best estimate, in the range of estimates, of
3.9 million illegal immigrants between the ages of 18 and 44. I would
suggest that you might expand that by 10 or 20 percent to get the
total population at that time, April 1973.
I think that's useful and I think that the Social Security Adminis-
tration might be encouraged to bring that up to date. They use a
technique which I'm not statistician enough to explain to you satis-
factorily. It essentially relates to matching data series, including
social security beneficiaries, social security tax, income tax, and cur-
rent population survey data.
And then they use a technique called the capture/recapture tech-
nique to work out their estimates. It would be very interesting to see
what that technique would record over time. Are we holding at about
4 million illegals as estimated by the Social Security Administration
or has that number increased or decreased ?
That's something, I think, that might be encouraged. Similarly-
Mr. SCHEUER. Do you think the Social Security Administration
-could find that out and develop that ?
Mr. NORTH. The Social Security Administration could do that with
the expenditure of some money. Similarly, there has been a study,
which perhaps you might want to ask the Immigration Service about,
in California in which all AFDC recipients have been screened for
legal alien status.
This is not a sample study. This is done for operating reasons.
Every year all AFDC recipients, I think in the whole State of
California, I know in San Diego County, are screened, first by social
workers and then by Immigration Service personnel.
And it's the only instance I know about where an entire population
is studied. The Immigration Service may or may not have data on
this. I found out about it in the field. I have not seen any statewide
For the county of San Diego, however, about 1 percent of the
AFDC load, which costs about a million dollars a year, was found
in the first year to be in illegal status. Now San Diego County, of
course, is the county which has probably the largest apprehended
illegal alien traffic in the country, probably in the world.
And that 1 percent of the AFDC caseload there is illegal is
interesting but not sensational. What it is in Los Angeles County,
what it is in San Francisco might be very different-might be more,
might be less. But that's something that is clearly knowable and
somebody might examine it.
Furthermore, I would like to suggest that there is quite a bit
known about the characteristics, as opposed to the numbers, of illegal
aliens.. I will draw a distinction that hasn't been made here today-
there is a lot known about the characteristics of ever-apprehended
An ever-apprehended illegal is one who has fallen into the hands
of the Immigration and Naturalization Service at some point in his
life/her life. There is another population of the never-apprehended
illegals, which we know less about, though Dr. Keely has done a study
of a couple of groups of nonapprehended illegals in New York, as
Ms. Houstoun and I did as well.
I would like to suggest that all of the studies on the characteristics
of the apprehended illegals-bear in mind I'm talking about a finite
population-people who have had a brush with the Immigration
Service and lost-all those studies tend to agree-my study, Julian
Samora's, Jorge Bustamente's studies.
All lined up with the same kind of picture, essentially, of a basically
young, male, poor, well-motivated, ill-educated work force. Now to
some extent that relates to those the Immigration Service apprehends.
The Immigration Service tends to pick up men rather women. It
tends to pick up Mexicans rather than non-Mexicans. It tends to pick
up blue collar types rather than white collar types. It is particularly
loath to pick up women with children.
But, nevertheless, there are a million such brushes with the law
annually and that must relate to a sizable population and the data
on that group is fairly clear. It's also fairly clear what the impacts
are as far as I'm concerned. I am describing the results of the impo-
sition on the American labor market of a large body of ill-educated,
very docile, very attractive, low skilled workers. One of the things
that very rarely is mentioned is the noneconomic attractions of either
illegal aliens or nonimmigrants in a Bracero-type program.
Mr. SCHEUER. Would you elaborate on that ?
Mr. NORTI. Yes. I had the opportunity of interviewing some non-
immigrants who were British West Indians working in sugarcane in
Mr. SCHEUER. Nonimmigrants?
Mr. NORTH. Nonimmigrants. Nonimmigrants, sir, are people-
Mr. SCHEUER. Resident aliens ?
Mr. NORTH. No, sir. A resident alien I would call an immigrant.
Mr. SCHEUER. Yes.
Mr. NonTH. A nonimmigrant is one who is here briefly, legally, and
may work. There are several categories, but the ones we are dealing
with are essentially the Braceros or nonimmigrant workers. They
were here legally. They worked in specific situations where they were
employed and then, when they were done, they went back or they
were supposed to go back.
The nonimmigrants we talked to, as well as the captured illegals,
tended to be people without any sense of their rights in this country.
They want to please. They do not want to cause trouble. And they do
not want to cause trouble because, if they do, they do not get a cut
in wages, they do not just lose their jobs, they get thrown out of the
And that's true for both groups. If they get in trouble, they get
thrown out of the country. That makes a very responsive work force.
And those who talk in terms of the economics of illegal immigration
sometimes overlook the fact that one of the most attractive elements
is a work force that does not talk back.
They don't join unions. They don't go talk to the wage-hour people.
They are a very attractive work force and that's one of the reasons
why very large segments of the employer class in this country-that
part of the employer class that uses illegal aliens-want illegal aliens
to continue to be available.
It isn't just money. It's a question of a docile work force. Now I
think that we know enough about the characteristics of this work
force to know what it's doing in the labor market. And I think that
we know enough about the general flow of the numbers.
I think we have a problem and we should be doing something,
whether there are 2 million or 4 million or 6 million. I think that's
very clear. We have a good idea of what the characteristics of these
workers are. We know what they're doing to the American economy.
We know who they are hurting. And I think that we can operate on
that knowledge to go ahead and make some public policy decisions.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SCHEUER. You say, "We know who they are. We know who
they're hurting." Have we documented that in any statistically cred-
ible way? Do we know that they're causing unemployment among
Americans? Do we know that they're filling jobs that American
citizens would like to fill and would fill? Has this been quantified?
Mr. NORTH. I would like to suggest that it's more complicated than
that and I tried to get to that a little earlier. I would like to suggest
that it isn't just a question of holding jobs that Americans would like
to fill. It's creating an atmosphere in the labor market which leads
to the self-fulfilling predictions that no American worker wants the
jobs held by illegal aliens.
And it's creating an institutionalization of the dual labor market.
It's creating a two-caste system, as you suggested earlier.
Mr. SCHEiUER. Well, I may have suggested that as a possibility,
but I'm sort of footnoting everything I say with the single footnote,
"We don't really know." We don't really know. And we need to know.
Is our knowledge sufficient to make policy ?
I've got to leave for a rollcall vote. But, is our knowledge sufficient
to make policy and to design programs, when illegal immigration
results in the creation of this secondary labor market and denies
Americans jobs that they would like to fill?
Mr. NORTH. Since you have to run along, I will say, "Yes."
Mr. SCHEUER. We do know that? I think Dr. Keely might disagree
with you. In any.event, I will declare at this point a 10-minute recess
while I catch this rollcall vote.
[Short recess taken.]
Mr. SCHEUER. Do you want to add anything to the remarks you
Mr. NORTH. No, thank you. I think I said what I wanted to say and
I appreciate very much the opportunity, Mr. Chairman, to have an
opportunity to speak to this group.
Mr. ScHEmER. I'd like to ask you about the possible advantages of
this dual labor system that we're talking about. If the illegal aliens
are involved in labor-intensive work at a low level on the economic
pyramid, might not this, in fact, benefit their citizen coworkers, who
would be displaced if capital-intensive production methods were sub-
stituted for labor-intensive production methods?
Mr. NORTH. Let me understand the scenario, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SCHEUER. They might be both citizens and legal aliens.
Mr. NORTH. You're suggesting that some U.S. workers would bene-
fit from the presence and the work of undocumented workers. Is that
What you're suggesting?
Mr. SCHEUER. Yes. In other words, to some extent U.S. citizens-
low skill-to a large extent minority citizens-benefit from this two-
tier labor system. And if you were to eliminate it, employment oppor-
tunities would disappear, not only for the illegal aliens, but also
for some legal aliens and American citizens. This is a-
Mr. NoRTH. Yes. I suspect that if we have 4 million working ille-
gals in the country, to some extent they are occupying jobs which
perhaps designed differently might be occupied by U.S. workers and
to some extent they are creating products and creating some markets
which create more jobs for somebody.
I do not see that as a major factor, however. I see the presence of
the undocumented workers in the labor force as essentially a depress-
ing influence on that labor market and, therefore, the most logical
result of that activity would be to depress the wages and the working
conditions for the people that they might be competing with in the
secondary labor market.
Now that may be useful for some lucky members of the American
labor force--better off workers than the ones who lose out in the
secondary labor force. Conceivably, an industry can be kept alive
through illegal alien workers.
And if the industry is kept alive, the foremen and the clerks
in that industry have jobs which they might not otherwise have. I do
not think that's a very good way of doing business, but I suspect that
that's one of the possible consequences.
Mr. SCHEUER. Yes. Another point of view might be that we have
always had a secondary labor market in this country and that it's
always being filled by the newest immigrant group, whether it's.
Irish or German or Polish or Eastern European Jewish stock and
that the illegal immigrants from Mexico happen to be today's inhabi-
tants or today's workers in that secondary labor market. You may
eliminate the illegal immigrants, but you re not going to eliminate-
the secondary labor market.
Mr. NORTH. Well, I think that there are two things to be said about
that. First of all, yes, we have a long history of having immigrants do
the least attractive work in this country.
Mr. SCHEUER. Much as the gast-arbeiters and the legal invitees do.
this kind of work in many European countries-England, Germany,
all the Scandinavian countries and so forth.
Mr. NORTH. I am aware of that parallel. I do not want to get into
that. That's fairly complex. But I would suggest that, if we are going
to have a constant flow of immigrants into depressed, secondary labor
markets, the least we can do is make them legal so that they can be
covered by the minimum wage laws and all the other protections.
If the difference between what was going on, say, in 1910 and now
relates to the fact that in 1910: (a) there wasn't much in the way of
labor protection legislation anyway and (b) everybody who was in-
volved was as protected or as unprotected as anybody else.
Now we have a kind of a two class system. One group is not pro-
tected. And I think that that's one of the most worrisome elements
Mr. SCHEUER. Dave, do you have any questions ?
Mr. STOCKMAN. I just had a chance to look through your paper
briefly, but the problem I have is the term, or the concept, "dual labor
market." That's kind of evocative. It has some very strong imagery,
and I'm wondering just how much practical, economic sense it makes.
What it sounds to me like you're saying is: we have a continuum of
job slots in the economy-some that pay very well with attractive
working condition -and you move on down until you get to the least
well paid, least attractive working conditions and so forth.
People move in and out of those job slots depending on their skills
and on the relative supply and demand. So it seems to me that if
those bottom slots, which have always been characteristic of the labor
market, are now being filled by illegal aliens and we were to suddenly
make a concerted effort to shut off that supply, the likely thing that
would happen in the predominant share of the cases is the slots would
disappear. Those people would move back or they would migrate back
to where the low-skill, low-paid labor was available. We're clearly
seeing that in all our labor-intensive industries. They're shifting to
those countries with economies that have an abundant supply of low-
I was just commenting before that I have seen the impact very
clearly in the big fruit and vegetable growing region in part of my
district. When they shut off the Bracero Program in 1964 or 1965, it
didn't create new jobs for native Americans, it just accelerated the
rate of mechanization in fruit and vegetable harvesting. (1) No jobs
were created at all for native Americans. (2) A couple of the indus-
tries that were big in this area, like the strawberry industry, migrated
to Mexico, where the low-skill labor is abundantly available. I don't
really see a great deal of value in this dual labor market idea, because
it doesn't seem to accord with the economic reality of the world
economy we live in today.
Mr. NORTH. Let me ask a question of the chairman, which relates
to the witness list, because somebody who knows a lot more about the
dual labor market, I think, is due to appear. Is Michael Piore on the
Mr. SCHEUER. Yes; tomorrow.
Mr. NORTH. Michael is the one you ought to ask about in terms of
the dual labor market. It's his thought. He and I disagree quite
vehemently about the significance of illegal immigration-but he's the
one to talk to about the dual labor market.
He has written extensively about it. The general idea is that there
is not a continuum in the labor market, that there is a group of per-
sons who are disadvantaged and who are unlikely to get out of the
bottom kinds of jobs.
I would like to speak a little bit about the laws of economics. I
know a little something about the pickle harvest in Michigan in 1965.
The Braceros, as I recall, were not used in Michigan in 1964 for any-
thing except pickling cucumbers.
One of the things that one can do, which I do not advocate, is to
adjust the work force to meet the needs of jobs as they're currently
defined. In other words, if you don't have enough people readily
available at $2 an hour to do whatever you want to have done, then
what you do is you go get more people.
That's one thing that can be done. And those who do not want to
do anything about illegal immigration suggest that the labor force
be adjusted to meet the needs of employers and that wages and work-
ing conditions remain the same.
The other thing that can be done, I'm giving them as an either/or,
but in real life they get all mixed up together-the other thing that
you can do is you can adjust the nature of work and the rewards for
work and the location for work.
Now one of the things that happened in the pickling cucumber
harvest in Michigan-and this was hard on some people-was that
the crop moved. And the crop didn't move out of the country. It
moved to North Carolina.
In North Carolina there's a large seasonal, agricultural work force
that's resident. They didn't have to move. They didn't have to be
migrants to go pick the cucumbers. And what was done in that case
was, I'm sure, hard on your district.
But eventually it caused a rationalization of the distribution of,
in this case, pickling cucumbers, which are now grown where the
workers are, rather than having workers brought to where the pickl-
ing cucumbers are. Now it's that kind of adjustment that I would
like to see more of and you may want to see less of.
Mr. STOCKMAN. No; I'm not objecting to that. But I'm only saying
that we can't treat the economy-the U.S. economy-as a closed sys-
tem, sealed off. Now maybe the pickles went to North Carolina, but I
know the strawberries and tomatoes went to Mexico. And I know
that they use Braceros to harvest them, because that's where I grew up.
Mr. NORTH. Well, I'm aware that there are some portable industries.
Mr. STOCKMAN. Most of them are. Almost any labor intensive activ-
ity is portable, international.
Mr. NORTH. A laundry, a restaurant, a hotel?
Mr. STOCKMAN. Well, services aren't, but any tradable good is,
whether it's an agricultural crop or any kind of manufacturing com-
modity. It seems to me that's the bulk of it.
Mr. NORTH. I don't know about to what extent-I just am not
enough of an economist to know what part of the economy is portable
across international lines. And I would suggest that-it's very
dramatic when it happens-but I would suggest that a lot of the
economy, including the entire public sector, is nonportable.
Mr. SCHEUER. To the extent that it's portable, maybe that's a good
result. We're talking about the desirability of giving Mexico greater
access to our markets for agricultural products. If the strawberry
industry migrated to Mexico and created jobs there, that would give
them access to some hard currency they can use to purchase goods
from us. It may be tough on your district, Dave, but isn't this what
we're talking about?
Mr. STOCKMAN. It didn't make any difference to me, except they're
all growing corn there now and we have too much corn. What's more
desirable, to move the crop, to move the people, or to have some bal-
ance of the two? I'm just saying that you can't merely shut the border
and expect that there won't be any internal, economic repercussions
the other way. Capital is far more fluid than labor. It seems to me
that capital is going to flow back if you shut off the border tighter.
Mr. NORTH. I think there are a lot of other adjustments besides
leaving the country. One of the adjustments, which is never men-
tioned, is that the employer simply takes a smaller profit. The
employer, particularly in a small activity, works longer hours.
Mr. SCHEUER. You're talking about a Mom and Pop store or some-
thing like that ?
Mr. NORTH. I'm talking about agriculture. One of the things I
found in Eagle Pass, Tex., a couple of years ago was that people
were commuting-these were legal green card commuters-commut-
ing across the border at Eagle Pass to go work in the melon fields.
And they were working 3 hours. And I said, "Why do you work
3 hours?" "Well, that's all the boss wants us." And then it dawned
on me, with an inexhaustible supply of labor, why should the boss be
there supervising the harvest of melons for 8 hours with 10 workers,
when he could be supervising the harvest of melons for 4 hours with
And the employers figured that out and made use of the loose labor
market for that kind of reason. There are a whole series of adjust-
ments besides leaving the country.
Mr. SCHIEUER. Do you have any further questions ?
Mr. STOCKMAN. No questions.
Mr. SCHEUER. Thank you very much, Mr. North. We appreciate
your testimony very much indeed.
ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS ASKED OF MR. NORTH BY THE CHAIRMAN
Question 1. You stated in your oral testimony that the Immigration and Natu-
ralization Service could know a lot about illegal immigration, if "they troubled
themselves to focus on their own records."
What specifically, should the INS do to analyze its data on legal and illegal
Answer 1. This is a complex subject and one which might well be the subject
of a whole series of hearings, not merely the response to a single question. For
a comprehensive answer to the question, I would refer the Committee to the
proposal submitted to Edward Guss, the Deputy Associate Commissioner of
INS by Westat Corporation and the Center for Labor and Migration Studies
on September 8, 1976.
Let me suggest here four examples of potential better utilization of existing
INS data collection systems; if each of these suggestions were adopted, we
would secure much better information about three populations which are al-
ready in contact with INS-apprehended illegal aliens, identified fraudulent
entrants, and legal immigrants.
The first step would be to fingerprint a small sample of each day's group of
apprehended illegals, all over the nation, and then continuously compare these
fingerprints with those of previously captured illegals. By the end of the first
year, we would have a good idea as to whether the 1,000,000 apprehended annu-
ally represents two thirds of a million different persons caught on the average
of one and a half times a year (which I suspect is the case), or 100,000 particu-
larly persistent and unlucky persons, each apprehended on the average of 10
times a year (which I think unlikely).
The second step would be to redesign the INS 1-213 form, which records the
arrest of a deportable alien. The form currently collects information of some
utility to those managing the INS, but of little use to those concerned about the
impact of illegals on U.S. life. By a minor adjustment, one could ask how long
the migrant had been in the United States in the last five years, and from
these data one could quickly build up retrospective information on the stock
of the ever-apprehended illegal aliens in the nation. Better labor market data
could be collected, and for those with social security numbers, these labor
market data (on wages and duration in the country) could be cross-checked
with existing Social Security tax information. Finally, the I-213s should be
The third step deals with identified fraudulent entrants. These are persons
who are found at the ports of entry, attempting to make a malafide entrance to
this country. The same arrest form should be completed for these persons-
which is not now the case-so that comparable data is available on these two
groups of illegal aliens, and so that useful stock information could be gained
on fraudulent entrants as well.
The fourth step would be to computerize each year's collection of alien
address cards (form 1-53) and match them with the previous year's collection
of these documents-which are supposed to be filled out by all legally present
aliens. This would supply us with a rich collection of useful demographic and
labor market information on the nation's legal immigrants.
Question 2. In your oral testimony, you mentioned that the Law Enforcement
Assistance Administration made eight proposals for immigration research and
Can you tell us what these were?
Answer 2. The eight proposals I recommended, along with a brief description
of each, are:
1. Residential Survey-to estimate the total number of resident illegals in the
nation, by creating a set of ratios, nationality-by-nationality, and by geographic
location, between legal resident aliens and illegal aliens.
2. Border Patrol Staffing Experiment-to estimate the total flow of EWIs
(aliens who entered without inspection) over the southern border, by adjusting
Border Patrol staffing patterns upwards in a structured manner and thereby
determining the ratio of apprehended to unapprehended EWIs.
3. Border Patrol Sensor Experiment-to secure data that yield an estimated
ratio of unapprehended EWIs crossing the southern border to those apprehended
by Border Patrol line stations.
4. Fraudulent Documents Study-to estimate the total flow of those with
fraudulent documents, those using genuine documents belonging to others, and
those who make false verbal claims to U.S. citizenship status.
5. Characteristics Study-to determine the characteristics of illegal aliens,
by conducting a series of sample studies, using different cross sections of the
6. Industrial Survey-to estimate the total number of employed illegal aliens
in the nation, by determining a set of ratios between the number of employed
legal and illegal aliens within major categories of employment.
7. Impact of Illegal Aliens on Legal Aliens and Related Minority Groups-
to assess the impact of illegal aliens on legal aliens and members of related
minority groups, and to assess their perception of that impact in specific areas
with high concentrations of illegals.
8. Role of Illegal Aliens in the Labor Market-to gather data on the charac-
teristics and labor-market experiences of illegal aliens in the work force (via
a survey of apprehended illegals), to present those data within the context of
current information on illegal immigration, and to examine the resulting policy
implications, with special reference to the question of the role and impact
of illegals in the U.S. labor market.
Question S. Would you agree that the presence of illegal alien workers in the
labor market does not, by and large, depress wages below the minimum wage?
How much would you guess wages could rise if illegal aliens were effectively
excluded from the labor market?
Answer 3. Generally I think that concentrations of illegal workers tend to
depress (or conserve) wages and working conditions when they become a
significant factor in a given labor market, or a portion of a labor market;
clearly, in some of the more dramatic instances, such as in the counties along
the U.S.-Mexico border, this effect is strong enough so that wages are depressed
below the minimum wage level. In the North-Houstoun Report, written for
the U.S. Department of Labor, we found that 23.8% of the apprehended illegals
interviewed, across the nation, were paid less than the minimum wage, while
more than 50% of them were paid below that level in the border counties.
The survey was conducted in the spring of 1975, and the minimum wage has
been increased substantially since that time; I would assume that, if anything,
a comparable survey conducted today would show an even higher incidence of
minimum wage violations.
The question seems to suggest that only if wages are depressed below the
minimum wage level is there an adverse labor market impact. I would resist
that interpretation, sensing that wages below the minimum wage are simply
one of many measures of exploitation; others include non-payment of overtime,
non-payment of taxes, denial of what have become regarded as normal fringe
Question 4. Michael Piore has suggested to us in his testimony that if we
want to reduce the size of the secondary labor market, we should do so directly,
by increasing the minimum wage, for example. He further suggests that any
attempt to reduce its size by restricting the supply of illegal alien workers will
fail or have counter-productive effects. Would you like to comment on this?
Answer 4. I would agree that a direct attack on inequitable wages and work-
ing conditions in the secondary labor market would be helpful, and that a
stricter enforcement of the minimum wage law, and a higher minimum wage
would be useful. I disagree with Michael Piore's assessment that an effort to
reduce the size of the illegal work force will either fail or have counterpro-
ductive effects; our labor market is so loose that no serious argument can be
made that the illegals are needed workers (though they are often preferred
workers because of their docile nature); our enforcement efforts have been
so minimal, except right at the border, that I would argue that we have never
seriously tried to reduce the size of the illegal alien work force. Should we be
able to reduce the size of the illegal alien work force, either by legalizing some
major part of it or through tighter enforcement techniques, this would presum-
ably lead to some long-overdue restructuring of the secondary labor market
(through higher wages for some work now done by illegals), but I would not
term these expected results as generally counterproductive, awkward as they
may be to an occasional employer.
Question 5. It has been suggested that the United States should legalize the
illegal alien flow from Mexico by permitting large numbers of Mexican citizens
to work six months out of every year in the United States, wherever and for
whomever they wanted, as long as they returned to Mexico.
Would you support such a policy?
What do you think its impact would be on the American labor market?
Answer 5. I would not support the suggested policy on the grounds that the
United States has an over-abundance of unskilled workers without admitting
any more of them; further, any such program would reduce the already slack
pressures on the Mexican government to put its own house in order and to
arrange for a more equitable distribution of personal income.
The impact of such a program in the U.S. would be the creation of a new
caste of less-than-equal workers, and to further stratify an already too-strati-
fled labor market. If anything, these six month workers would have even fewer
rights in the labor market than those proposed for the "temporary resident alien
status" by the Carter Administration-in that the temporary resident aliens at
least could hold a job for a full year.
We already have a mechanism for handling genuine short-term labor short-
ages, through the H-2 program, and there is no need for an additional scheme
at this time.
Question 6. Some concern has been expressed that the children of illegal
aliens may become yet another underclass of disadvantaged American citizens.
However, there are other observers who claim that this is not a problem .asiu
the overwhelming majority of illegal aliens are males who do not settle do.n in
the United States.
What is your opinion on this issue?
Answer 6. I am concerned about the children of illegal aliens and their
future in this country. If they are allowed to stay (and some of them are U.S.
citizens), they should be given all the educational and other services available
to other Americans; if they must leave, they must leave. The problem is that
many fall into the gray area in between, no one is forcing them to leave, but,
at the same time, many schools and other public facilities are closed to them.
It is convenient (if misleading) to deny that this is a problem on the grounds
that most illegals are males who do not settle in the United States; as I have
pointed out on numerous occasions, this argument, that illegals are a primary
male population, is based on the concept that the Immigration Service, which
apprehends a population which is 90-plus percent male, is apprehending some-
thing like a cross-section of the illegal alien population. The INS systems are
such that the role of women among the illegals is consistently understated by
a wide margin. INS staff members do not like to arrest women; they have made
few provisions for detention centers for women; while a majority of the de-
tected fraudulent entrants are women, this group of illegals is not included in
counts of apprehended aliens, etc. There is a substantial, and I suspect growing,
population of illegal female migrants, many from nations with high fertility
rates; thus I would argue that there must be a substantial population of
children of illegal aliens who face serious problems of deprivation of services.
STATEMENT OF DR. ROY BRYCE-LAPORTE, DIRECTOR, RESEARCH
INSTITUTE ON IMMIGRATION AND ETHNIC STUDIES, SMITH-
[Prepared Statement in Appendix on p. 355]
Mr. SCHEUER. Now to our windup man, Dr. Roy Bryce-Laporte,
director of the Research Institute for Immigration and Ethnic Stud-
ies of the Smithsonian Institution. We're delighted to have you here
and your remarks will be printed, perhaps with some editing. We
may ask you to take your 40-page document and give us a synopsis
of 18 or 20 pages. But whatever, it will be printed in the record, so
why don't you just chat with us for 10 or 12 minutes and then we'll
have some questions for you.
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee,
thank you for the invitation.
Mr. SCHEUER. Why don't you move the mike over there?
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. I wanted to thank you and the members of
the committee for the invitation and suggest to you, if you have not
captured by way of the reading, that you may have a problem with
my accent. It simply testifies to the fact that amongst you is one who
cannot deny that he is an immigrant. And that I would like to, in
fact, use some of the time to speak from that perspective, both in
terms of personal experiences as well as a student of the subject.
To begin with, in order to economize on the time, I would say that
a good number of the points that I would have made and elaborated
upon, I think were largely made by Professor Keely. But there are
some particular things that I would like to add or clarify, either
that may have been found in a document or not found in a document
or that he may have said. To begin with let me suggest just what my
own identity means in terms of immigration, because I think that
sometimes immigration is viewed in very simplistic terms.
Many times we have to make the decision between understanding
it as a kind of macro-subject or sometimes in micro-terms. Because
we are not doing a thorough study of both at the same time, we are
inclined by choosing one or the other to see contradictions where
contradictions may not be.
In fact, if one were to take the life history of some people who
have been immigrants to the United States, you'll find that immi-
gration, at least among the new immigrants, is not a simple matter,
and in some cases it was something generated over generations, over
many years, and their final location here in the United States, as
much as their initial movement from wherever they came, is not the
consequence of a one-sided decision, but in many cases may involve
the United States and its own policies over time.
I say that because I've been somewhat bothered by some of the
comments made in some of the early presentations and interchange.
It would seem to want to skirt the issue of what the United States
may have to do with the immigration which it faces now.
I would like to say that even though on one hand the present im-
migration may be viewed as part of a continued peopling of the
United States; if there is one significant factor about this immigra-
tion, it's the fact that the United States perhaps is more responsible
for this one than any other.
That is, up through the European immigrations, the United States
may have been viewed, in fact, as a country with opportunity and
a country that simply welcomed. I think, when one studies the new
immigration, one finds that, in fact, the United States in many cases,
not only induces immigration in some inconsistent way, but also that
in many cases it has displaced people who are now coming to the
United States. So that you have the ironic situation that at the same
time in particular countries that you have high American invest-
ment, at the same time you have displacement of labor, you have in-
crease in unemployment and you, therefore, have outmigration
toward the United States.
Wherever there may be an opportunity to go elsewhere, they may
go. In some cases by the closing of those other alternative targets,
they then direct themselves to the United States.
Mr. SCHEUER. How do we induce that?
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. Basically, I suspect, by two principal ways.
One of them has to do with the nature of the kind of investment the
United States has engaged in in many of these countries. That is, the
U.S. has engaged in labor intensive types of investments, which many
times destroy or detract people from agricultural areas.
It pushes people out of jobs and many people, not being-
Mr. SCHEuER. How does a labor intensive industry push people
out of jobs?
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. Well, for a number of reasons. One is that
when you're talking about a society, which is largely agricultural in
its economy, you have a number of people who live on little or
nothing and they live partially by way of a quasi-peasantry type of
That is, they may work half-day, but some of what they're doing
in terms of their lands-are used for their own consumption. In
many cases then you move into a kind of industry, using Puerto
Rico or places like this as an example, where in some cases not even
the raw product, per se, is coming from that country, and what
you're simply doing is putting up an industry which employs people
at a lower salary. It draws-
Mr. SCHEUER. Lower than what ?
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. Lower salary than it would have been in the
United States, but higher than it would be there.
Mr. SCHEUER. Right.
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. It may draw significant people or may move
into areas which normally were used for other types of sources-you
know-secondary types of impacts; and, therefore, but not enough
to employ all the people that are being displaced. Consequently-
Mr. SCIIEUER. How does that displace anybody?
Mr. STOCKMAN. Aren't you really talking about the generic rise in
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. Well, both things are happening at the same
Mr. STOCKMAN. But that is aggravated by the local employment
situation, and so on.
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. I'm saying both things are happening at the
same time. On the one hand, if you take people who might be pro-
ducing things like tomato or something like this and there is a
major airbase to be built or some firm to be built, sometimes the land
must be appropriated for that. Sometimes people will be distracted
from what they were doing there to come on to do this kind of pro-
duction. What they usually used to produce then becomes unavailable
to them and eventually you find a number of them having to either
buy things that are imported or, in fact, by way of lifting or rising
aspirations, start to demand things that cannot be gotten easily lo-
cally and, therefore they move.
I happen to have done some work once in the cacao fields in Costa
Rica. And one day I simply asked for some cocoa to drink. And even
though these people were planting cacao, they were unable to do any-
thing about it for refinement or consumption.
Now it may be true that some other types of industries were taking
place, but not the kinds of industries that would have employed
enough people, let us say, who may have left there to go on to the
cities to either make them able to buy that cocoa, once it was manu-
factured, or to find other kinds of employment consistently.
So what I'm saying is that it is a kind of displacement factor in
two ways. One-that direct way, but more significantly, because in
many cases the United States on the one hand, by way of its own
image and by way of its heavy propaganda salesmanship, introduces
into a number of these countries styles of life and levels of aspirations
which the countries as they are simply cannot satisfy.
So I'm saying there are really two. And perhaps in some cases the
latter is much more effective even though harder to measure than the
former. I remember hearing of studies that suggested that some of
the new illegal immigrants were coming from the Caribbean rimland
of Latin America.
It is often forgotten that a number of these people are old immi-
grants who came to the rimland by way of American enterprises to
begin with and that as soon as there is an economic change-and
there are certain kinds of shifts in the relationship between the
American investor in the national governments, these people have to
seek other places to come; therefore, they come to the United States.
I'm just simply suggesting there that I think what we have to
begin with is an assumption that we are contributors and not simply
the recipients of immigration-one. And second, that immigration is
not simply a cause-in many cases on the international level, it is
really symptomatic of more complex sorts of relationships that you
It is not sufficient to say that Latin America is the major source
of your illegal immigration without understanding that a number
of these countries, once you extend a list, are also contributing to
legal immigration. And more than that, that these countries have a
high rate of population growth and economies which depend highly
upon the United States.
This suggests something about either insufficiency or the quality
of investments that are taking place, as well as some other implica-
tions relative to those governments themselves. So there is interna-
tional inequality, as well as national inequality taking place.
Immigration, in that sense, is really more a symptom than a cause
of problems. And it will never be understood, never will be resolved,
if what we seek are short-term, immediate, sensational types of an-
swers. Another problem that I see with the presentation as it is is
that there is a problem about the definition of the United States.
And it bothers me as one who not only happened to come from
the Caribbean rimland, but also happened to have lived for a while
in Puerto Rico and have kept in contact with that. And that is, some-
how the American territories are not taken into the picture.
So that when we speak about the problems of immigration, we
speak about the problems as if they were only located in the conti-
nental United States and in some cases even suggest that some of the
problems happen to be coming by way of those territories.
I would say that a more precise look at the territories would sug-
gest a number of things. One is that in many cases they are also
the recipient of the problem; that is, Puerto Rico and the Virgin
Islands, in particular, which I know something about, are both coun-
tries that receive immigrants, illegal and legal, as well, and are in
less of a position to either sustain this or to do anything legislatively
or in terms of Government policy about it because of the nature of
their relationship to the United States.
On the other hand, they also produce, either as an interim stopping
place or as a basic generator, immigrants themselves, into the United
States. And in many ways a greater look at what the relationship
happens to be, economical and political, with them, even though
extreme, may give some inclination or some insight into what is hap-
pening in the larger Caribbean where the land space can sustain just
so many people, the economies are relatively limited, the relation-
ships with the United States are almost one-sided in most cases.
I think there's a second aspect to it, which has not been paid a
lot of attention to, and that is, it's not only the question of what to
do about controlling people who are coming into or to determine
who are the persons that should come in, but what to do once they're
One of the things that bothered me before and still bothers me
after hearing the testimony, even in the case of some of the more
enlightened questions and suggestions, is that in large part either
the immigrants are viewed as burdens or the questions are directed
toward them as individuals with motives and with characteristics,
which are good or bad, without paying some attention to the re-
sponsibility of the American society, itself, in terms of resolving the
problems that these people have (to the extent that you admit
that the United States is partially responsible before the movement).
It would seem that there should be some anticipation of the coming
and some adjustments in American institutions for the coming and
the presence of these people.
Mr. SCHEUER. Would you elaborate on that?
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. Yes; I think that what we have, in terms of
many of the public positions, have been positions such as discon-
tinuing health care, discontinuing public education, looking at the
speaking of another language or the teaching of another language
as something which is going to threaten American society and so on.
I'm trying to suggest that there are really two implications or two
alternatives or two related alternatives. One of them is that, to the
extent that we are responsible, we either have to start thinking inter-
nationally about ways which will discourage movement-that is, by
reducing the inequality between this nation and theirs, by helping
to motivate a more productive and dynamic economy from which
they come and two, by preparing ourselves to look at some of the
benefits as well as some of the demands of their presence.
It strikes me that a place like New York City should be multi-
lingual. Rather than that, there's a constant fight as to whether or
not English will be lost in the face of Spanish, which is nonsense
relative to Mexico or relative to Europe and so on.
And I'm saying that to me, rather than take this kind of paranoid
position to the presence, that one ought to look at the necessary
contributions as well as the challenges that must be accepted as part
of the larger responsibility.
You can't have it and eat it, in a sense. You cannot, on one hand,
be participating in this migration, admittedly or not, and not want-
ing to deal and share in some of the responsibilities. Finally-
Mr. SCHEUER. Let me just interject there. Let's assume for a mo-
ment that the Congress would agree that it wants to eliminate illegal
immigration and that whatever figure we've decided upon for ac-
ceptable legal immigration, be it 150,000, 300/400,000, 500,000, would
be the ceiling.
We still have several million or a very much larger amount of
illegal immigration than legal immigration. And let us say that we
wish to substantially eliminate that. What are the policy changes
that you think we ought to make, in terms of our international and
economic programs, that would stop the United States from encour-
aging or supporting this flow of illegal immigration?
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. I had a note about Mexico that I wanted to
use as a way of getting to this question. I am bothered by the fact
that Mexico is somewhat singled out as the target for assistance,
even though I can understand, because of contiguity and for other
historical reasons, that Mexico presents a particular type of prob-
lem or challenge.
But the fact is, if what I have heard today-and I've heard this
before-if one concentrates on Mexico, and ignores at the expense of
the rest of the surrounding Latin American countries, Mexico will
have the problem the United States has today.
It will not resolve the problem, because what you simply will do
is shift the theater of peoples' movement or the target of peoples'
movement. I would hope that that is not satisfactory to the forward
thinking American statesmen.
So I'm saying, to begin with one necessarily must view the problem
as a larger problem than international-meaning between two coun-
tries. It has to be viewed in world terms. Secondly, I think that some of
the arguments that one hears would lead you to believe that the solu-
tion to the problem of illegals is simply to make them legal or to
simply extend-to move the target from this country to another.
And I'm simply saying that in a sense you will always have ille-
gals. As long as you have a numerical limit, you're always going to
have illegals for a number of reasons-secondary types of migration,
the fact that certain people cannot get in by certain types of stipula-
tions, and so on.
I would think that rather than deal with the question from that
point of view one must begin with an orientation which assumes that
people normally will remain where they are, rather than move to
someplace else, providing things are reasonably satisfactory-polit-
ically, economically, and otherwise.
And this is not simply to ask the United States to be humanitarian,
because, in fact, in a number of cases, if the United States does not
deal with this problem in terms of provoking or stimulating devel-
opment, it will have to deal with the problem in more serious diplo-
matic terms-political types of crises, political types of shifts, which
it can hardly afford to see happen in those countries.
So I would say that there is need for some-not only national type
of debates like these-but there is really need for a sort of interna-
national type of debate on the issue, both on the level of scholars as
well as on the level of statement.
I think that concern with immigration must not be isolated, but it
must be presented as part of a larger problem of development, re-
ducing inequality and so on. And unless we do this, we haven't even
started to deal with the problems.
Mr. SCHEUER. I agree with that. Last week I participated in a
world conference of parliamentarians in Tokyo on the problems of
population. We drafted a call to action to the developed world to be
more concerned with the problems of equity and fairness in dealings
between nations, internationally.
When I suggested in the drafting committee that we ought to make
reference to equity and fairness and justice within societies, there
was much umbrage taken, and these suggestions were not well re-
ceived by the representatives of the developing world.
And then I said:
Look, it's fine to talk about a global income tax and it's fine to talk about
Americans reducing their standards of consumption and changing living styles.
Perhaps that's right and moral. But, if we're talking about a global income tax,
how about a Nigerian income tax? How about reducing inequalities within
these nations? How about reforming their land holding structures? How about
progressive tax structures?
It was perfectly obvious that that was ia most unwelcome inter-
vention and that that was deemed as interference in domestic issues.
It was considered quite inappropriate. So you know, there is a limit
on the degree to which we can reach out and tell other societies how
to restructure themselves.
One of the witnesses-I forget which one-made a passing refer-
ence to the fact that the elites in these countries aren't frequently
willing to make the necessary structural changes in their own coun-
tries, to aggregate the capital to finance an adequate level of social
programs and development of all kinds.
We know that fertility rates are related to the status of women.
We know that women act out the roles that they perceive society has
designed for them. And when women are considered chattels to work
in the field and to bear children, they tend to have high fertility
When they're provided with elementary education and given lit-
eracy tools, and when they are provided with job opportunities off
the field land out of the home, then their fertility rates fall, because
they feel that society no longer perceives of them as exclusively child-
But, when you start talking about the status of women in Moslem
countries and in Africa, where there is a whole tribal heritage that
in a very real sense relegates women to an inferior position, you're
rubbing up against some real sensibilities. You're given to know that
this is not a welcome intervention and that questions like the status
of women are muoh better left to local judgments and local concerns.
There is a limit to the degree to which we can tell other societies
how to restructure themselves to be more fair, to provide better
standards of living, to give women the feeling that lower fertility
rates make sense.
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. Yes. I think so, but----
Mr. SCHEUER. There's a very real limit on what is doable in the
international sphere. We have found in our country that our re-
sources are finite. We have major needs. I don't have to tell you this.
You know this far better than I.
On a cost-benefit basis, it's a real dilemma we're in. How do we in-
vest resources overseas and how can we induce those countries to
make changes in their own structural organization-their social or-
ganizations, their economic organizations-to enhance living stand-
We can't do it by ourselves. We can't just pour money into these
countries and expect the results to happen, because where there is a
rigid social structure that structures women into inferior roles.
Where there is no income tax and where there is a Latafundia type
of land organization, or other kinds of land owning organizations,
where people can't even hope to acquire their own little bit of Eng-
land, so to speak, ingestion of further development funds doesn't
help the average person.
The presence of substantial oil income in Nigeria hasn't helped
raise living standards there. It has put a lot more Mercedes Benzes on
Apart from financing a great many Mercedes Benzes for the elite
there, it hasn't done much to enhance the living standards. When
you talk about creating fair and just societies around the world and
raising living standards around the world, there are very strict
parameters on what we actually can do.
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. I would say, nevertheless, that we have seen
efforts, despite your observation-I would say that, in fact, efforts
have been made in certain areas. We have seen that simply by an
utterance about human rights a number of countries have re-
sponded-governments have responded almost in panic by the no-
tion that they may not be able to get military aid or whatever it
may be from the United States.
I think also that, if one were to take your posture and carry it to
the extremes, then there would be no reason to have even engaged in
the question of trying to propagandize family planning. What I'm
trying to say is that there are other areas in between these which
could perhaps benefit from-
Mr. SCHEUER. As you very well know, we have family planning-
maternal and child health/family planning programs going in vir-
tually every developed country.
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. Yes. Well, the point I was simply making is
that it suggests a certain kind of manipulation or intervention, too.
And so the question is why the choice to pursue certain kinds of
programs and not others ? I am simply saying that I think that once
the problem of immigration is thought out more properly, more
fully, that it may be that some of these kinds of incentive programs,
as well as certain types of pressures or threats that come from the
other extreme, such as the human rights and birth control, may also
be directed to problems that are intermediate and to questions like
immigration and national equality and so on.
Mr. SCHEUER. Do you think that we ought to systematically in-
clude some quiet pressure for the enhancement of human rights and
the improvement in the status of women?
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. Yes; as well as economical.
Mr. SCHEUER. As part of all of our aid programs? Should that
be part of-
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. Yes. I would say so, as well as with other as-
pects of national equality. I think it should.
Mr. SCHEUER. How about our progressive tax structure? Should
that be something that we should "encourage"?
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. I think that when you start to get specific in
terms like these, that's where the question has to be studied more lo-
cally. But the ideals themselves, and the parameters-the outer
parameters ought to be well stated.
Mr. SCHEUER. A fair society and a just society.
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. Questions of national equality in terms of dis-
tribution of wealth and in terms of employment possibilities. I would
go even further, because you see I think we also have the other kind
of irony. There are countries that, as they move into other directions
of orientation, in fact, may reduce their outmigration to the United
States, such as, I think, is happening with Jamaica.
To some extent that happened in Cuba. Of course, that brings qn-
other kind of complication because the choice that they are making
obviously is not the kind of choice that the United States normally
would want to see them make anyhow.
So what I'm saying is it's not a simplistic problem. It is going to
require negotiations, with mutual respect for sovereignty and inde-
pendence, of course. Maybe you'll never have absolute answers, but
you have to be in a position to give and take. And if, in fact, one
is saying that one would prefer that his neighbors do not move in a
certain ideological-political-economic direction, even though it could
resolve the migration problem in this country, then he has to make a
contribution in another way to assist them not to have to go that
way in a manner which resolves the true course of migration in the
But you can't have it-you can't eat it and have it.
Mr. SCHEUER. You're saying we can't have it both ways. We can't
have our cake and eat it. We are trying to help countries in the de-
veloping world with maternal and child health programs, with a fam-
ily planning component, with elementary education programs, with
food production programs, with job programs, with housing programs.
This is nothing very new. We've been doing it for a generation,
sometimes with excellent results and sometimes with mixed results,
but it's something we've spent many billions of dollars on.
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. Let me say-I remembered a discussion in one
of the earlier presentations, which reminds me of a paper which was
done by one of my colleagues on the question of the flow of capital
into Jamaica and movement of people.
Obviously one of the preoccupations of one of the earlier pre-
senters was the question of once you started to speak about Mexico,
concerns about the attractiveness to American businessmen-OK-
well and good-
But I'm saying that there may be some other kinds of investments
that have to be made that need not have to do with business-short-
run business attractiveness. That is, a place like Jamaica--one of the
things that was found was, that at the time of highest capital inflow
from the United States, most of the technical and middle range pro-
fessionals were leaving.
And one reason they were leaving obviously was that these kinds
of investments were not creating jobs necessarily for them but in
some cases, displacing them. There was a top being put by the high
technical requirements. There were no attempts to train people that
would replace American and other alien experts that went there
and so on.
And so I'm saying that any, even if it has to do with extensive
private investment, you ought to consider the impact of its presence
and what it can do to reduce immediate or near immediate out-
migration by people who are affected.
See, because this is a case in which the payoff would have been that
you would have reduced emigration rather than simply the question
of increasing profits because you had labor that will cost less than
that in the United States.
And I'm decrying the notion that emigration is not really wedded
into a number of major decisions that are made in terms of either
private investment or development and international relations. And
it must be part. If I could, too, I wanted to make one other sugges-
tion-a response to a question that had been made here.
You made a request of Ms. Meissner about making an inventory
of the ability of the Federal Government or its agencies to provide
data for a more comprehensive view of immigration.
Mr. SCHEUER. Yes.
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. And I welcome that. In fact, one of the first
things that I attempted to do when I came to the Smithsonian was
to suggest to that institution that it could have participated in that
in a significant way.
The fact is that even though the data may not be good in itself,
you do have a set of institutions which almost represent every crucial
step in the natural history of an immigrant from the time of appli-
cation for visas through entry through naturalization through death
and whatever intervening experiences, but there is no coordination.
We, ourselves, attempted a very quick inventory and found that
the state of the data happens to be different and not very equal in
quality nor in range. Also, that there is an absence of interchange
just intellectually as to what is needed and what the implications
are of what we have.
More than that, there is an absence of real appreciation on the part
of the American public as to what is really happening with the new
immigrant, beyond the question that he poses some problem or is dis-
placing labor, which is not necessarily always true.
So that, even at the Smithsonian we have failed to capture this as
an historical process and to demonstrate the potential or the actual
contributions of people who have come here in the last 20 years.
Yet it is very easy for me to establish a litany of maybe 20 people
who are of foreign birth, who have come here within the last 20
years-I mean just simply off the top of my head-you know-immedi-
ately-I could do that- and who have done extremely well in contrib-
uting to the culture, to sports, to the technology, to the civil rights
situation of this country.
Mr. SCHEUER. I suppose that's part of the brain-drain that we
have talked about?
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. That is the point that I was going to make-
that we are somewhat concerned here with immigration. Because we
view it on one side in a sense, we forget that immigration has really
sort of a dual meaning to the sending countries.
On the one hand for many it may be a safety valve. For a number of
others it may be a brain-drain. And they, themselves, have to deal
with how to resolve this problem in terms of its meaning. And then
there are the peculiarites on the part of the United States that per-
haps the countries where you have the greatest need for safety
valves, such as a country like Haiti, where you have significant eco-
nomic and political problems-these people would be dubbed illegal
immigrants rather than refugees simply because of certain kinds of
On the other hand there are countries in which the question of
brain-drain is not realized at all, because, in fact, we speak in terms
of preference relative to the need of the United States rather than
understanding, as well, the needs of those countries.
And it is just imperative, it seems to me, that we understand-if
there is one thing that we should understand, it is that immigration
is an international process and that, in fact, it represents a number of
levels of linkages, even in terms of problems, that, unless we deal
with them forthright, we will continue to make the same kinds of
Because what we do is simply tip the scale constantly in a kind
of dynamic disequilibrium with people constantly flowing here for
one reason or the other without even returning or hoping to retain
people because we have assisted those countries to have improved
their economic and political situation and, therefore, reduce some of
the necessary problems here.
And finally I think that we ought to ask the serious question-
what if, in fact, immigration ceased? We speak as if to say immi-
gration is of no benefit to particular parts of the American society
and economy and as if immigrants do not make contributions, as if
to say this country could persist without them.
And yet when you take just illegals for 'a case in point, the illegals
are raided at particular times when certain segments of the American
population happen to be frustrated economically. When they are not
frustrated economically, in fact, you have something tantamount to
the Bracero Program.
It is not a one-sided picture. The problems are complex and so are
the benefits. We have got to deal with that complexity.
Mr. SCHEUER. I'm afraid we haven't really documented the benefits
or the detriments. Until we do that, it's very difficult to talk in any-
thing other than rather meaningless generalities. Let me repeat a
question that I asked before-maybe I didn't ask it clearly enough.
Let's assume that the Congress decided that they wanted to cut
down sharply on illegal immigration-to eliminate it as much as
humanly possible. Let's assume further that we had decided that our
current 400,000 or some other figure-500,000 met our needs, what-
ever they might be, for infusions of fresh labor into our labor
What are the policies in our Government, specifically, that you feel
tend to encourage illegal immigration, and how should they be
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. First, I'd say this. One is that I think illegal
immigration in part is a consequence of a legal statement.
Mr. SCHEUER. Of what ?
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. Of a legal statement. It's a legal definition.
Mr. Carter suggested he would resolve it simply by redefining who is
legal and who is not illegal. So what I'm saying, partially it is a
legal situation; that is, who is illegal and who is not illegal.
Mr. SCHEUER. Well, look, under generally accepted tenets of inter-
national law, when people go from one country to another country
without benefit of documentation, that is illegal. And if I break into
your home and steal your television in the middle of the night and
walk out, that is illegal.
We call that a crime.
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. I can understand that. I understand it. But
I am just saying that one example or one effort to resolve that prob-
lem was a legal redefinition of who is illegal and who is not illegal.
Now I don't know that that would have solved the problem in toto,
but it certainly meant that certain people who are so stigmatized
would have ceased to be so.
Now I'm not saying that that is the answer. I'm just trying to sug-
gest that in part the notion of illegal is partially a question of law.
Mr. SCHEU ER. It's totally a question of law.
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. All right. All right.
Mr. SCHEUER. An accepted international law. We won't have to re-
invent the wheel to agree on that.
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. No. It is not-it is more than that. It is-ille-
gality is a question of law. But the question of immigration-the
aspect of immigration itself, would persist, law or no law, because
it is a phenomenon-it is a process to this part of our economic re-
Mr. SCHEUTTE. You have said to us that our policies, whether
they're conscious or not, encourage illegal immigration.
Dr. BRYCE-LAPoRTE. I said it encourages immigration, period-not
only illegal immigration. It encourages immigration-period.
Mr. SCHETJER. We've agreed, let us say, that we're going to take
400,000 or 500,000 legal immigrants into this country.
Dr. IRYCE-LAPORTE. Right.
Mr. SCHEUER. And the rest of it, which we've encouraged, we don't
want. We want to eliminate that. What policies should we change in
order to stop encouraging illegal immigration that, let us presume,
we have decided as a country we don't want?
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. I have just suggested among other things that
one is the country has got to encourage as part of any major kind
of aid program or as part of any major kind of private investment
that is encouraging-including the multi- or trans-nationals-that
the consequences of this on the population and its movement must be
Therefore, that the kinds of investments that are to be encouraged
in these countries not be simply those that will accrue profit without
also trying to embrace a larger part of the population in employ-
ment. And I gave you the case of Costa Rica as an example.
In fact, it may have been possible not only to have encouraged
plantations that would produce cacao or banana or so on. But there
are products that come from cacao, banana and so on, which also could
have been processed in a place like Costa Rica, Belize, whatever it
This is the point I'm trying to make. That when we start to en-
courage investments, that we must look at it in a total sense to see
not only how much profit it will accrue, but how much employment
in a broad sense, direct and indirect, it will trigger.
And I don't think that this kind of decision is made. Generally,
what happens is that the primary industrial activities are directed
there and the rest may be brought to this country. In some other
cases what you have is service agencies or service industries which in
themselves do not encourage permanent employment of native people
beyond being waiters or something of this sort.
And I think that you have to get into that secondary level of
studying the ability of these countries to have fully developed indus-
tries, which in some cases they do. With the hydroelectric type of
possibilities in countries that have rivers like Costa Rica, yet you
have light industry, light processing going on in the United States,
which could have been done there and would have reduced the possi-
bilities or the need for people who can refine cacao to have to go to
another country in order to make enough money to even drink cocoa.
So that's the kind of suggestion that I'm making-is that (1) you
must engage in an exploration of how those investments can expand
to create a greater revenue for those countries in terms of govern-
ment and greater employment for the people that are being dis-
placed or temporarily employed.
Secondly, I think, despite all the questions of intervention, if
you're going to have intervention, it can be positive as well as nega-
tive. I'm saying that somehow the United States has got to get in-
volved in encouraging a better distribution of wealth in these
Mr. SCHEUER. Within those countries?
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. Within those countries. And thirdly, that the
Mr. SCHEUER. You feel that we could tie such movement toward a
more fair and a more equitable society to the availability of our for-
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. Yes. Yes, I think you can try. I don't know
whether you'll succeed in each case. You may have the kinds of reac-
tions that you suggested, but so is the case with other types of issues.
But there is no serious, clear effort in that direction.
And I say also that there are questions of the responsibilities once
these people come here. There must be a certain kind of responsibility,
because the fact that they came is not a one-sided decision made by
them, either in terms of their motives or simply the structures of their
Why is it that these are the countries? Why do the countries
which are leading in terms of sources of immigrants to the United
States, legal or illegal, happen to be countries with peculiarly tight
economic and other kinds of relationships with the United States?
I don't think this is purely accidental. I think in part you may
explain it in terms of this intermediate stage of development, which
explains perhaps why Japan, which has reached the highest point,
does not need to export its labor as compared to Taiwan, for instance,
which is in some medium position.
But the fact still remains that you're talking about countries with
a peculiar relationship with the United States; and, therefore, it must
also engage in understanding the consequence of that relationship.
This is my simple suggestion.
Mr. SCHEUIEn. Yes. I still don't understand and I'm not going to
ask it again. Let's just try this last time.
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. Yes.
Mr. SCHEUER. What are the policies on the part of the United
States that seem, against our own wishes perhaps, to encourage this-
flow of illegal immigration?
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. You want to know the policies which encour-
age it or the ones-
Mr. SCHEUER. Yes. You said that we're really, in part, responsible
for the flow of immigrants and that we have encouraged it.
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. All right. I would say this. Some of them may
not be policies, per se. Some of them may be simply the bombardment
of these countries with that good American way of life, because of
ideological types of contests, because of actual business propaganda,
the fact that they are bombarded with buying things that they simply
really could do without-in the same way that it's done in many of
the ghettos and a number of other poorer parts of American society.
Some of them are not policies in a sense of Government. Some of
them are responsibilities that we have to take as Government, insofar
as it reflects an American attitude. Others may be policies, in fact,
such as those that I suggest in terms of the kinds of investments, the
absence of any kind of proviso or pressure for these governments to
feel responsibility for equality and human dignity, the support of
certain kinds of governments, the ignoring of refugees from certain
countries because of the fact that these are not coming from countries
that are dubbed Communist.
There are a number of cases that are policies. There are others
that are not policies. In fact, as I say, there are questions of private
sector, operating, which we have to be aware of. Now I want to say
more than that and that is that I don't want to pretend to be the
I think this is one of the problems that I see here. I view myself as,
by way of an education which I've gotten much of in the United
States, to have put myself in the position to understand the kinds of
things that are necessary for an overview.
That's what I see myself as. And I suspect that the policymakers
maybe don't have the time for the overview so they can benefit from
this kind of expertise, as they benefit from a statistical type of
expertise from Mr. Keely and so on.
We may have some suggestions to make, but the responsibility of
the policymaking in the long run lies across the table. And what you
have been getting, in fact, is a number of articles which are devastat-
ing in the long run and will look really silly and ridiculous in the
next century, from people who have neither the expertise nor policy-
making orientations, but who have gone about writing some of the most
vicious and shortsighted statements about what to do.
I have seen "policies"-and I'm saying this not with any personal'
direction to any particular person, but just looking at, as was sug-
gested, zero population growth as a notion. I think as a notion and
as a moral and humanistic objective, it is a good one.
But I think that to put it as policy without understanding the full
implications or looking at other countries which once pursued or had
it is running a serious risk. The fact is that certain European coun-
tries had zero population growth, which led to them having to increase
their immigration policies for labor reasons and now have a subse-
It cannot be just simply done without an overview. I think the
questions of numbers that were asked of Mr. Keely, such as whether
or not a particular number will be appropriate or not, just are pre-
mature questions. They cannot be answered immediately.
And for them to be answered well, you have to put the problems
within context. That is my suggestion. If you need some time to
simply get it done that way, use that time to get it done that way.
And the fact that people seem to think that you're moving at the
problem intelligently and with compassion perhaps would do more
than a hurried decision to satisfy a sensationally created or exag-
Mr. SCHEUER. Do you have any questions to ask Dr. Keely ?
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. Do I?
Mr. SCHEUER. Dr. Keely, do you have any questions to ask
Dr. KEELY. No.
Mr. SCIIEUER. Dr. Vinovskis ?
Dr. VINOVSKIS. No questions.
Mr. SCHEUER. Dr. Arnold ?
Dr. ARNOLD. No questions.
Mr. SCHETTER. OK. Well, thank you very, very much, Dr. Bryce-
Dr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. I appreciate it very much. Thank you.
Mr. SCIIEUER. We've been very much enriched by your testimony
and we're grateful for your time and your patience.
ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS ASKED OF DR. BRYCE-LAPOBTE BY THE CHAIRMAN
Question 1. The three premises underlying our immigration policy in the
United States are (1) the protection of the labor force in the U.S., (2) the re-uni-
fication of families, and (3) asylum for political refugees. Do you think these are
appropriate premises on which to base U.S. immigration policies?
Answer 1. These three premises alone are insufficient. In addition, the follow-
ing should be included: (1) The economic consequences of the activities of
American enterprises, including the withdrawal of those enterprises, especially
those of government, on the labor and migration patterns of the source coun-
tries; (2) special considerations for the U.S. overseas territories as recipient
*or interim stopover points for aliens seeking to obtain permanent residence in
the United States.
Question 2. What are the expected impacts of the new immigration on U.S.
race relations and culture?
What policies and planning projections can be seen to accommodate the new
immigration, especially with regard to second generation Americans emerging
from these groups?
Answer 2. Since the inception of the new immigration legislation of 1965 the
leading sources of immigration to the United States have shifted from Western
Europe, the traditional source which composes the American ethnic majority, to
Southern Europe, the Caribbean/Latin America and Asia. Generally, this means
:an influx of people whose culture and ethnic phenotype will make them visible
relative to the present American mainstream. They are likely to be treated
in a manner similar to that of other traditionally visible American minorities
whose color and culture are treated as low status minorities stigmatized un-
assimilables, thereby becoming victims of various levels of institutional
Unless there is some effort on the part of the American society to make its
institutions more receptive to the needs and cultures, and the demands for
participation and shared leadership by these new ethnics then it is possible
that they will be (1) absorbed into the traditional minorities (i.e., Blacks,
Asian-Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Indo-Americans), thus increasing
the number and demand of these clientele for already inadequately, stringently
apportioned resources, opportunities, and awards; (2) created into a source
of internal dissension and competition between old and new minorities, or (3)
become a new and distinct tier of middle or low status ethnics. Their fate
depends primarily on the degree to which the United States institutions begin
to reflect their culture and aspirations as citizens rather than wards of the
system. In the long run the answer lies not in the effort to ignore or change
these people into All-Americans or to exploit and reject their labor, but in the
ability of the American society to view itself as having undergone cultural
changes as well, while continuing to pursue policies based on equality and open
opportunity for all.
Question S. Several Latin-American and Caribbean countries are also experi-
encing large inflows of illegal workers. Since some of these countries such as
Ecuador and the Dominican Republic are also sources of illegal migrants to
the United States, how do you account for this anomaly?
Is it due to demographic or population growth differentials between the coun-
tries-(It would not seem to be since Colombia has a lower birth rate than
Venezuela, yet there are estimates of 1 million illegal Colombians in Venezuela?)
Is it economic?--(While illegals tend to be drawn toward countries where
the incomes are higher relative to their own, the unemployment rates are very
high in many of these countries receiving illegal migrants.)
Answer 3. RIIES has had two conferences in which discussions involving
the movement of people within the Caribbean/Latin America has been discussed.
The first conference, "The New Immigration: Implications for the United
States and the International Community," held in November 1976, purposefully
invited the participation of Colombian scholars Reyes Ramos and Carmen
The second conference was sponsored in conjunction with the 1978 annual
meetings of the International Studies Association, in Washington, D.C. The
topic of discussion was "Movement of West Indian Labor to Panama and
Central America" and included the participation of scholars from the West
Indies, Panama and the United States. Proceedings from both conferences are
In the first conference the point was made that Colombia has experienced
significant out-migration movements to almost all those countries which con-
stitute her boundaries, in addition to movement to the United States. In gen-
eral, irrespective of time, these have been in response to economic difficulties
within that country. The motivation for the movement has been found in the
relatively better economic conditions in those surrounding countries.
Since the turn of the century a significant number of Colombians have been
moving to Panama in search of employment due to the relatively better eco-
nomic and employment situation of Panama, as a consequence of the Canal
Zone, United Fruit Company, U.S. military presence, and other developmental
projects. In addition, noticeably recent movements have been to Venezuela,
Ecuador and to the United States. This movement is also a response to perceived
and real economic advantages which these other countries present. This leads
to a conclusion which is not the result of birth-rate differences per se. It would
seem to suggest that either Colombia must further intensify efforts towards
the reduction of the birth rate, or that it must develop economically to meet
the needs created by the present birth rate. Whichever alternative or approach
is emphasized, there is no reason why both plans could not be integrated so as
to meet halfway, or be done simultaneously, the issue of equality becomes a
crucial one. National equality will have to be a purposeful end within Colom-
bia's efforts to arrive at a demographic and economic balance. The discrepancies
in economic situations which will urge Colombians to spill over their boundaries
and to seek residence in such distant locations as the Dominican Republic,
Puerto Rico, and the United States must be rectified.
Finally, countries like Ecuador and the Dominican Republic simultaneously
receive Colombians and produce immigrants. It is a situation similar to that
of the American territories especially Puerto Rico, in this case. It suggests
that, among other things, immigration, regardless of the specificity of sources
and targets, is a demographic response to both national and international
inequality (and instability).
At present it can be anticipated that there may be movement of people into
the United States from Panama. I speak of those persons who may be displaced
or dislodged by the conversion of the Canal Zone from a U.S. operation to aw
Panamanian operation. It seems likely that some displacement will take place
unless extensive development and equalization of opportunities are implemented
by the Panamanian successors. Panama presents an example, perhaps more
distinct than Colombia, of a country with a low population but with relatively
higher employment and standard of living. The answer to preventing out-
migration like that experienced by Colombia lies largely in a comprehensive,
humane and sensitive planning program on the part of Panama. Additionally,
the pursuit of a delicate balance between Panama and the U.S. as well as
surrounding countries is necessary so that it neither becomes, overnight, the
target of a massive influx of immigrants from the surrounding areas, or victim
of an exodus of its skilled and bilingual population to the United States, of whom
many are Black Panamanian citizens of Caribbean origin who initially entered
the Isthmus in response to the building of such American enterprises as the
Panama Railroads, the United Fruit Company, the Panama Canal, as well as-
United States military installations.
Mr. SCHEUER. The hearings will be adjourned until tomorrow
morning at 10 o'clock. We will resume after the Democratic caucus,
but no later than 10 o'clock in room 2255 in this building. The hearing:
[Whereupon, at 2:20 p.m. the hearing was concluded.]
IMMIGRATION TO THE UNITED STATES
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 5, 1978
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SELECT COMMITTEE ON POPULATION,
The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10 a.m., in room 2255,
Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. James H. Scheuer, chairman,
Members in attendance: Mr. Scheuer, Mr. Beilenson, and Mr.
Also present: Dr. Vinovskis, Dr. Arnold, Ms. Daniels, Mr. O'Leary,
Esq., Ms. Schmidley, Mr. Lieberman, and Ms. Bryen.
Mr. SCHEUER. The second day of hearings on immigration of the
Select Committee on Population will come to order. We have a very
distinguished list of witnesses this morning and we have orders to be
out of this room by 1:30. So, we have a little over 3 hours for five
You can do your own arithmetic. It comes out to about 35 minutes
per witness on an average. The practice we have been following is
that the prepared testimony of each witness will be printed in full
in the record.
We'd like each of you to speak for 8 or 10 minutes-something on
that order-and then let us have an opportunity to throw some ques-
tions at you. Anytime during this process in the morning-we'll keep
it informal-any of you would like to ask questions of the witnesses
after we have finished, please feel free to do just that. We hope we'll
get some interesting cross-fertilization that way. All right, we'll take
it from the top. Do the witnesses have the list of witnesses?
Dr. ARNOLD. I believe so.
Mr. SCHEUER. You all have the list of witnesses?
Dr. ARNOLD. It's from left to right.
Mr. SCHEUER. From left to right. Yes. We'll start off with Dr.
John Tanton, an ophthalmologist, and vice president and former
president of Zero Population Growth.
We're very happy to have you representing ZPG. Your testimony
will be printed in its entirety. Why don't you just chat with us in-
formally for 8 or 10 minutes and then we'll have questions.
STATEMENT OF DR. JOHN TANTON, VICE PRESIDENT OF ZERO
[Prepared Statement in Appendix on p. 404]
Dr. TANTON. Fine. I appreciate the chance to be here and tell you
something about ZPG's interest in immigration policy as it ties in
with population policy for the United States. ZPG was founded in
late 1969. And in the early 1970's, our interests focused largely on
Mr. SCHEUER. Dr. Tanton, our time is limited. Your reputation and
ZPG's reputation run far ahead of you. We're all intimately familiar
with the work that ZPG does. Your folks were very helpful when
this committee was being organized and we had the benefit of their
insights and assistance all along the line.
Why don't you get into the substance, if you would, of your
Dr. TANTON. In trying to assess the effect that immigration would
have on population growth in the United States, we ran our own
projections based on a series of assumptions that seemed like it
would embrace the range of possibilities that we could look to in the
And, basically, those show that legal immigration at a rate of
around 400,000 per year can be expected to add about 12 million
persons to our population between now and the turn of the century.
And if continued on for another 25 years beyond that, a total of 25
million persons would be added.
Mr. SCHEUER. Dr. Tanton, let me just ask you this. Your figures
have been the subject of a good deal of controversy here. Yesterday
Dr. Keely, particularly, evinced a great deal of skepticism about your
figures on the basis of the fact that 400,000 entrants does not mean
that 400,000 people stay here permanently in the United States.
He stated that there's an ebb and a flow and that the net immigra-
tion couldn't be the total migration; there had to be some return.
What would your answer be to that?
Dr. TANTON. Well, we don't have data in the United States on
emigration from the country. There have been estimates ranging all
the way from the 36,000 per year that I believe the Census Bureau
has used for a number of years to recent studies that have indicated
that it might be as high as 120,000 persons per year.
And that goes to make our point, I think, that if we're going to
begin to look at immigration as a part of the population picture in
the United States, then we need to have some data on exactly what
these flows are. We don't have them.
We should attempt once again to develop data on emigration as
was done up through, I think, 1957. Now the figures that we've used
here, we're not saying that these are projections of what's going to
happen-I mean predictions of what's going to happen.
We've used the term "projections" in the best demographic use of
that term, which is to say that if there were legal immigration at a
rate of 400,000 per year, then this is what the numbers run to at the
year 2000 and the year 2025. The assumptions that we've used in
developing these numbers were first of all that there are no illegal
immigrants in the United States at the present time.
So we started from ground zero from that standpoint. We used
very conservative fertility assumptions, using the total fertility of
1.8, which may or may not apply to the resident population. And
there are certainly good reasons for thinking that that would be
very low fertility use for immigrants who came to this country from
less developed countries where very high rates of fertility were tra-
ditional and especially for persons who came from the lower socio-
economic groups in that country where perhaps that was even
Other factors that we haven't really taken into account in those
projections are the possibility of amnesty of some perhaps sizable
number of persons to the country and what we've called the multi-
plier effect-additional persons that they would bring with them as
immediate relatives-nor have we taken into account what children
those persons might have once they came to this country.
We know that many of them now have fairly large family pat-
terns. The fertility that we've used in these projections for persons
immigrating to the United States has also been the 1.8 rate, in spite
of the fact that now more than half of our immigrant-legal im-
migrant flow comes from the less-developed countries.
So that may be a conservative assumption as well. So once again,
I would emphasize we're not using our projections as predictions of
where we will end up, but as projections of the type of increase in
numbers that could take place using, as we see it, a fairly conserva-
tive set of numbers.
And what comes out of this is our conclusion that there is po-
tential here for a significant impact on the United States and it's
something that we should look to expectantly rather than find out
about afterwards and wish that we'd been more perceptive in the
Mr. SCHEUER. I asked that question as sort of an advocates di-
abolae, to elicit from you justification for it, because as I say, your
figures have been controversial. One thing that no one has cranked
into the computer in making these projections is the increase in the
push factor. I think such an increase can reasonably be expected as
population pressures build up and as that pressure cooker builds up
a tremendous head of steam.
We have a set of figures here that have been produced by our
Government that indicate, for example, that the population of Mex-
ico, which is presently about 63 or 64 million, is expected to peak-
to level out-assuming that in the future it can be predicted that
Mexico will achieve some kind of flattening out as predicted for most
other countries; that it will flatten out in the year 2020 at 254 million.
Obviously that's just a guesstimate. It could be 250. It could be
260. It could be 275. It could be 240. But it's perfectly obvious that
Mexico can't sustain a population level of anything like that. There
isn't enough land and water and air and resources to maintain that
kind of a population.
If this present demographic gap continues and there's a continuing
reduction of mortality in Mexico, without a significant reduction in
fertility, and the 31/2 percent annual increase continues over a period
of a generation, either there will be mass starvation, which is un-
likely, or there'll be revolution, which is probably more likely, or
what seems most likely is that there'll be a vast increase in the push
Of the close to 200 million additional people in Mexico, I could
conceive of half of them coming across the border in the course of a
generation. That's hyperbole, but it's based on what's happened in
the last 10 years as those push factors have increased and it's based
on the cheap availability of jet air transportation.
To me it's not inconceivable that there will be a geometric increase
in the present levels of illegal immigration. I don't know that any-
body has tried to figure out how that push factor is likely to acceler-
ate if population continues further to outstrip resources, jobs, and
the social service infrastructure in Mexico and the other developing
Dr. TANTON. That's a point that we're particularly interested in
because we think a lot of time has been wasted in the last couple of
years in trying to find out exactly how many illegal immigrants are
in the United States. The important thing is not an exact number at
some point in time but rather the understanding of the causes and
And we think-I would agree with you-that the causes and the
trends look like they're going to be a good deal worse than in the
past, especially if we look at the trends over the past 10 years. If
you use such things as apprehensions as a measure of where things
are going, all of the factors seem to point upward.
Now the exact slope on that curve, I guess, is anyone's guess, but
I think the curve is a very important thing in terms of considering
legislative action to deal with this problem, because as happened
after the 1965 revision of the immigration laws, it took about 3 years
before the changes fully took effect and another 4 or 5 years before
you're able to measure what the effects were.
And it's going to take a number of years to make new changes.
So if you're legislating for a situation that is on an upward curve
and you peg your legislation for where it is today without realiza-
tion of the slope of that curve or its direction, then by the time the
legislation is passed and goes into effect and you're able to assess its
impacts, you're another 10 or 15 years down the line and you've got
an entirely different situation.
So I think it's vital in addressing this problem to look at our
projections of what the seriousness is going to be and to deal with it
on that basis, rather than on the basis of where it is today. And
there's another reason for doing that. I think there's a great deal of
concern that if the discussion of immigration becomes public-a pub-
lic issue in this country-that we may see it decline to the level of
debates of some of the earlier years.
That would certainly be a very bad thing. When there has been a
lot of social tension, as happened in the 1910's and 1920's when the
law of 1924 was passed, I think the only way that is really going to
be avoided is if those of us who see the problem now are willing to
address it at its current level of severity and try to prevent the horse,
as it were, from getting out of the barn.
If we all sit around and say, "Well, the problem isn't bad enough
now that we really can deal with it," or "We're not quite sure that
the data are good enough," or "Let's just sit tight and let things run
on for another 10 years until things get bad enough that every man
in the street is really concerned about it," then we're going to have
another one of those immigration donnybrooks like we've had in the
past. And I think that's one of the most potent reasons for trying to
deal constructively with this problem at this still relatively early
stage in its development.
Mr. SCHEUER. Have you finished your remarks?
Dr. TANTON. I'll just make one or two other points here. I think
that we have to realize that in dealing with this problem it's a situa-
tion where we're not going to find a solution that doesn't hurt some-
one. There is going to be some pain to bear somewhere along the line.
You can look at that from two standpoints. Will it hurt more to
deal with the problem now or to deal with it later? Certainly there
is a temptation to say, "Let's let things ride along. Let people in
future years deal with this thing."
But ZPG's analysis of the situation is that even though there are
many difficulties that will come from trying to address the immigra-
tion problem we face, they'll be more easily dealt with at this point
in time than they will 10 or 15 years down the line.
From the standpoint of population policy, it's our perception that
in a country that has very low rates of natural increase and a fairly
high level of immigration that in a very real sense immigration pol-
icy comes to equal population policy.
We know from experience elsewhere around the world that the
things that governments can do either to decrease the 'birth rates or
increase them, if that's the goal, are fairly limited in their
Mr. SCHEUER. I'm not so sure of that.
Dr. TANTON. Well, there is that point of view anyway. But in a
country that has a fairly low birth rate like the United States does
now and fairly high levels of immigration, adjustment of immigra-
tion rates is one of the main things that can be done to affect the
future population levels of the country.
Mr. SCHEUER. It's certainly one way that you can affect the spigot
quickly. But I think we're seeing a lot of evidence around the world
that some developing countries have made rather remarkable strides.
Japan is one example. The island states, Singapore and Hong Kong,
Taiwan, Korea, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand are all areas that
have made rather remarkable impacts on fertility rates.
Some of them have been in small areas where they've been able
to concentrate resources and social services. It's to be hoped that the
same thing will happen in Mexico and elsewhere in the Western
Hemisphere. Certainly the Mexican Government has done a 180 de-
gree turnaround in the last year or 2 under the Lopez Portillo ad-
ministration and we can hope for significant progress.
Congressman Beilenson, do you have any questions?
Mr. BEILENSON. No questions, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SCHEUER. You note that the current set of Census Bureau pro-
jections doesn't include illegal immigration estimates, nor is there a
projection based on the current fertility level. What exactly do you
mean by that? This is on attachment A, explaining your projections.
Do you mean that the Census Bureau hasn't--
Dr. TANTON. The Census Bureau has not made any estimates or
projections of illegal immigration.
Mr. SCHEUER. And you say they haven't made a projection based
on the current fertility level?
Dr. TANTON. They use the same assumptions for fertility for the
immigrant-for the legal immigrant population-as they do for the
resident population. And that's another area in which we don't have
data to indicate whether that's a reasonable assumption or not.
It probably was more of a reasonable assumption up until 1965
or actually through 1968 or 1969, when under the previous immi-
gration law, much of the legal immigration was from the more de-
veloped countries of the world that already had low birth rates,
probably approximating our own.
Since the 1965 change, the immigrant stream has changed to
come much more now from the less developed countries where higher
birth rates are in vogue. And it may be that those birth rates ac-
company the person to this country for the first generation or so.
It's simply not known. It's one area that should be investigated in
order that reasonable projections of the growth from legal immigra-
tion can be made.
Mr. SCHIEUER. What you're saying is that the Census Bureau pro-
jections of future population probabilities are flawed in these two
respects. They do not take into account illegal immigration?
Dr. TANTON. That's correct.
Mr. SCHEUER. And they project our own fertility levels to the-
Dr. TANTON. To the immigrant population.
Mr. SCHEUER. To the legal immigrant population. I think those
are two points well taken. You also note that the United States
hasn't collected emigration data since the 1950's.
Dr. TANTON. Right. Emigration data are difficult to collect. The
way it was done back then was to go to other countries around the
world and ask them how many people signed up in their countries
and said they'd come from the United States.
But even the definition of an emigrant gets to be a sticky thing
when you come right down to it. If someone, say, moves to Australia,
even with the intention of taking up permanent residence there and
then subsequently comes back to the United States because he didn't
like the lay of the land, it's hard to know if he should be classified
as an emigrant and subtracted from the population of this country.
Mr. SCHEUER. It seems to me that at least we ought to have the
statistics on resident aliens or Americans who leave the country for
whatever reason. We ought to know where our citizens are.
Dr. TANTON. Well, you're-
Mr. SCHEUER. As I understand it, countries in western Europe keep
a check on their citizens who are leaving.
Dr. TANTON. That sounds plausible on the face of it, but the diffi-
culties are very great in trying to keep track of people who leave
the country. We do a very poor job actually keeping track of people
who enter the country.
There are about 8 million visitors a year to the country, some 10
percent of whom never turn in their chips when they leave the
country. So there are 800,000 people a year who are unaccounted for.
Mr. SCOHEUER. Yes, it seems to me we ought to be doing a better job.
Dr. TANTON. And you have to keep in mind the border crossings
in the United States-there are a quarter of a billion border crossings
Mr. SCHEUER. Yes, but each one of those people who leave the
country show credentials of some kind to someone. They don't just
walk out or fly out. They show a passport or a visa or something to
'Dr. TANTON. I stand corrected on that, but I think you show that
coming back in rather than leaving. You could pretty much leave
the country at will and nobody counts or keeps track of anything.
Now when you try to get back in, then you have to demonstrate that
you're legally entitled to enter and show your passport and your visa
at that time.
So I'm sure that something better than nothing can be done in
terms of trying to enumerate emigration. But it's not a simple
Mr. SCHEUER. It's apparent that none of these problems that we're
touching on in connection with immigration are simple problems.
There wouldn't have been any need for the establishment of this
committee if these were simple problems. Congressman Beilenson, do
you have any questions?
Mr. BEILENSON. No questions.
Mr. SCHEUER. Thank you very much, Dr. Tanton. We'll move ahead
to Dr. Powers.
ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS ASKED OF DR. TANTON BY THE CHAIRMAN
Question 1. In your written testimony, and in your article published in the
"Ecologist," you use the estimate 800,000 for the number of illegal aliens who
settle here permanently each year. How did you arrive at this figure? We ask
this question because some experts have argued rather vigorously that most
illegal aliens, at least those from Mexico, do not become permanent residents,
but return home regularly.
Answer 1. In 1975 and 1976, when ZPG was first preparing projections, we
considered several factors: a) the broad range of estimates of annual illegal
immigration-from 500,00 to more than a million; b) the level of apprehensions
-about 800,000 at that time; c) the estimates of repeat apprehensions and un-
apprehended aliens; and d) the fact that while INS apprehensions included a
high percentage of Mexicans who were more lilely to return to their homes,
the agency's enforcement strategy has not been geared to apprehension of
individuals who overstay their visas and are more likely to remain in the
U.S. and establish community and family ties.
For all of these reasons, we considered 800,000 a reasonable estimate of
illegal immigration. As more sophisticated studies are completed and more
data become available, we are planning to revise and improve our estimates.
Question 2. You argue that it would be difficult, if not impossible, for the
U.S. to reach zero population growth if current immigration rates are continued.
Why do you think the U.S. should have a no-growth population policy?
Do you think the U.S. should try to attain a negative rate of population
Answer 2. In supporting a policy which would guide the nation to an end to
population growth, ZPG recognizes that if achieved, a no-growth population
would still experience fluctuations and changes from one year to the next.
In general, we view continued population growth and unplanned population
change as placing additional pressures on our human and natural resources
and limiting the time in which reasonable and effective solutions to resource
problems can be developed. A ZPG pamphlet, "The Benefits of Zero Population
Growth," describes in more detail the benefits we believe would accompany an
end to population growth.
In addition to the domestic benefits, ZPG also recognizes international bene-
fits to an end to population growth in the U.S. Our population and its consump-
tion habits already account for more than thirty percent of the annual consump-
tion of the world's non-renewable resources and energy. Continued U.S.
population growth will aggravate this drain on resources on which many other-
nations depend. We also believe that U.S. adoption of a population policy
seeking an end to national population growth would demonstrate the U.S.'s
commitment to the same kind of policies it recommends to developing countries.
ZPG believes there is a need to consider the possibility of a negative rate
of population growth. In part, this consideration now is important to respond
to public concerns about the low fertility rate and its long term implications
for natural increase. It also is important because, as some ZPG members point
out, with our existing population we already are experiencing deterioration
of our national parks and wilderness areas, water shortages, and excessive
Question 8. You have written that "international migration could become free
and unfettered if the world was in a stationary state-one in which people
in different regions are in equilibrium with resources." Since this is not now
the case, do you think we can deny opportunities for a better life to those
seeking entrance to the United States, such as the large number of Vietnamese
refugees who are currently seeking asylum in the United States?
Answer 3. ZPG believes that any revision of our immigration policy must give
high priority to the entry of refugees. But we do not believe that should be
accommodated through increases in our immigration quotas. Today, more than
70 percent of the world's annual population growth occurs in less developed
countries-amounting to more than 50 million additional people each year.
The economic pressures for international migration are growing tremendously.
We believe that the "opportunities for a better life" would soon be few if the
U.S. tried to accommodate this population growth and pressure for migration
through immigration into this country. For that reason, we believe our policy
should give high priority to refugees in the quotas we set and support comple-
mentary trade and aid policies to improve opportunities in sending nations.
STATEMENT OF DR. MARY POWERS, DEPARTMENT OF ANTHRO-
POLOGY AND SOCIOLOGY, FORDHAM UNIVERSITY
[Prepared Statement in Appendix on p. 438]
Mr. SCHEUER. Dr. Powers is from the Department of Anthropology
and Sociology at Fordham University in New York City. She will
talk about ethnic fertility differentials in the United States. Dr.
Powers, we're very happy to have you here.
As I mentioned, Dr. Powers your paper will be printed in its en-
tirety in the record. Why don't you just speak to us informally and
then we'll have some questions for you.
Dr. PowERs. Listening to the discussion so far, I think I can speak
both informally and briefly with respect to the contribution that the-
fertility of immigrants makes to overall population growth. I'm not
as convinced as some that it is critical. The materials we have from-
surveys, censuses, and everything else shows us that over the last
20 years the immigrant populations tend to follow the same general'
trends that native white women follow with respect to fertility. That
is, when the fertility of the native women goes down, the fertility of
most foreign born women also declines.
Mr. ScIrUEnR. Say that again, please.
Dr. POWERS. For example, during the baby boom when the fertility
levels of native white women went up, there was a slight increase-
for some of the foreign born women. When fertility declines as it has
since the late fifties and early sixties, it has gone down for almost
all of the large foreign born populations.
Mr. ScHEUER. Are you saying that there's no difference in fertility
levels, domestically, between young people of foreign origin, people
who've come from Latin America or the Caribbean, and the young
native born women?
Dr. POWERS. No; I'm not saying there's no difference. I'm saying
that if you look at all of the ethnic groups and the nativity groups
who are in the United States at the present, you tend to find between
1950 and 1970, a tendency toward convergence around low rates.
There are a few high fertility populations left, but-
Mr. SCHEUER. Which are they?
Dr. POWERS. The Mexican-Americans are the group you're con-
Mr. SCHEUER. This is the group that we're looking at. Would it be
Mexican-American or Latin Americans as a group?
Dr. POWERS. No; some of the Latin American populations have low
Mr. SCHEUER. Which would they be?
Dr. POWERS. Cubans, for example.
Mr. SCHEUER. Well, isn't that because the Cuban immigrants have
been mostly middle class professional entrepreneurs, and business
people, while the Mexican immigrants have low education, low skills,
and low income. Isn't that the difference really, rather than Mexican
Dr. POWERS. Probably.
Mr. SCHEUER. If you brought in a middle class Mexican popula-
tion comparable to the Cuban population, I suspect they would show
the same fertility levels.
Dr. POWERS. Well, as a matter of fact, the most recent research
we have on the Latin populations in the United States shows exactly
that. When you do control for educational level, marital status, and
labor force activity of women, the Mexicans have almost the same
fertility rates as everyone else.
Mr. SCHEUER. Exactly. The point is that the people who came over
from Cuba came for ideological reasons, to get away from the Castro
regime. This was an educated middle-class professional, business
Dr. POWERS. A good part of our legal immigration is that popu-
lation, too, given the current laws.
Mr. SCHEUER. Yes; but it would not be true of the illegal immi-
gration, I would think.
Dr. POWERS. Again, unfortunately, we don't know.
Mr. SCHEUER. We had over one million apprehensions last year. I
would suspect we had a fairly good profile on the kind of people they
were. And we heard witnesses testify yesterday that they were over-
whelmingly a low-income, low-skilled, low-education population.
I would think they could be expected to have, therefore, a higher
fertility rate than native American population groups.
Dr. POWERS. I think I'd feel more comfortable with that state-
ment if I knew the age and sex and marital status composition. In
other words, if our illegal immigrants or undocumented immigrants
are all young men who leave their families back home, they aren't
going to contribute much of anything to future growth.
If they are predominantly young women who stay here, then they
:may contribute a great deal. The fact of the matter is we really don't
know a great deal about the sex differences, the marital status, and
so forth of all of them. And without that information, it's very dif-
ficult to project any accurate information.
So I would hesitate to make any statement to the effect that they're
going to contribute a large number.
Mr. SCHEUER. Yes, proceed, Dr. Powers.
Dr. POWERS. I think what we do have, and here again with all of
the weaknesses that may pertain, the best data we have comes from
the Census Bureau. And if you look at the data they've turned out
based on the 1960 and 1970 censuses, it tends to show that the fer-
tility of foreign born women generally is lower than that of native
And you can see ethnic changes. In other words, in the sixties
there was still high fertility among some of the European immigrant
populations-Irish and Italian, for example. By 1970, that seems to
have pretty well disappeared. It certainly dropped.
The 1970 data, if they show us anything, and I think you had
papers by Mary Kritz and Douglas Gurak and others using it, seemed
to show a tendency toward convergence. And while there's still
some diversity, I think we are getting much more convergence of
fertility rates around lower levels.
This is not to say they're going to be the same, but it suggests to
me that the residents of the country at present, whether foreign born
or native born, seem to be responding to the same constraints, the
same pressures, the same kind of social forces when it comes to fer-
The other thing I would note here is concern with the sources of
data. You've probably heard this one before in the testimonies-but
until now, looking at trend data for 1950, 1960, and 1970, we have
been able to examine fertility behavior by looking at the fertility of the
foreign born population by nativity and looking at the fertility of their
children by nativity. By 1980 this is going to be an academic question
because we're no longer going to ask the place of birth of parents of the
children of the foreign born. So we won't be able to talk about first
and second generation fertility differences. We'll only be able to do it
on a self-identity basis.
Mr. SCHEUER. As a demographer-I take it you're a demographer.
Dr. POWERS. Sociologist demographer, yes.
Mr. SCHEUER. Sociologist demographer. Do you consider that an
unfortunate omission and do you feel that that's -going to deprive us
of valuable data.
Dr. POWERS. I do. I don't know as everyone would take that point
of view. I think it's a serious omission. For one thing it makes it im-
possible to evaluate what we get with the self-identity question. In
other words, to what extent does one find second and third genera-
tion persons identifying as members of specific ethnic groups in
response to the questions on descent and ancestry? If we have the
place of birth question, it's a fairly simple thing to check out the
first and second generation. And so, yes, I do think it's an unfortu-
To step back one moment to your question on the Mexican-Amer-
icans-I think the pervasiveness of the fertility trends that we see
for other groups is probably going to apply to these newer groups
The evidence in recent analyses by Jaffe, Cullen, and Roswell sug-
gests that the high fertility of the Mexicans is due to a small propor-
tion of women having a large number of children. In other words,
among Mexican-Americans about 30 percent of the women 35-44
years- old had six children or more, compared to about 9 percent of
the non-Spanish white women.
In summary, what I see is a tendency toward convergence around
low fertility rates.
Now your committee is concerned, I suspect, because, given an
overall low rate of growth-1.1 percent in 1970-immigration con-
tributes 25 percent to the growth. We begin to get anxious because
it's suddenly 25 percent of total growth. I think it becomes impera-
tive to remember that it's 25 percent of a very low rate of growth.
Mr. SCHEUER. You're absolutely right. Of course, you're talking
about legal immigration being 25 percent of growth.
Dr. POWERS. Right.
Mr. SCHEUER. Illegal immigration is a big question mark. I'm going
to suspend for 5 minutes. We'll have a 5-minute recess. [Short re-
Mr. SCHEUER. Congressman Beilenson, any questions?
Mr. BEILENSON. No questions, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SCHEUER. One last question, Dr. Powers. You're saying that
there is a gradual convergence taking place in fertility levels of
foreign born women who come to this country and native born
women. There seems to be a sort of an infectious process taking place
by which the foreign born adopt goals and life styles and standards
and contraceptive practices, I suppose, of the native born American
group and that their fertility levels tend to converge. I take it--
Dr. POWERS. I think there's a tendency toward convergence.
Mr. SCHEUER. If that is the case over the long pull, for legal im-
migration, I would take it that there would be no particular reason
why, at the current level of legal immigration-if we could ignore
illegal immigration-we couldn't substantially achieve zero popula-
tion growth more or less when we expect to achieve it now, or per-
has a few years later.
Dr. POWERS. Yes; I am inclined to agree with that. In my written
testimony, I noted the analysis of data that Ansley Coale made for
the Commission on Population Growth, and one that Charles Keely
made. I think those are careful and essentially accurate and both of
them suggest that the nation as a whole is on the road to zero popu-
lation growth. And as far as legal immigration goes, there is no need
to worry about reducing it to achieve that goal. It's not going to
Mr. SCHEUER. That's the message I get from your testimony.
Dr. POWERS. I think overall there is a footnote to add. The whole
combination of socioeconomic variables that were associated with
high fertility in the past is characteristic of a smaller proportion of
our population now-you know-poorly educated, low income, et
Mr. SCHEUER. The contraceptive practices and goals are changing
for them too, I think.
Dr. PowERs-have certainly spread.
Mr. SCHEUER. I think it's perfectly clear there has been a marked
change in the goals of American women, even those that are poor
and undereducated. The Commission on Population Growth and the
American Future polled women at every point in the economic spec-
trum and we found that low income women, minority women, even
those with large numbers of children, when asked what the optimum
family size was, came in only a fraction of a percentage point higher
than middle class women with college educations, living in families
with incomes of $25,000 a year or more.
I don't remember exactly what the figure was. I think the middle
class women felt the optimum family size was two and three-tenths
or two and four-tenths. Low income women, who were women heads
of households with seven or eight or nine kids, felt that the optimum
family size was two and six-tenths or two and seven-tenths-a tenth
of a percentage point or two higher than the goals expressed by
middle class women coming from affluent families.
It's clear that, not only did they hold those goals, but they were
doing something about it over the years. Fertility rates, I think, for
every different element in our population structure, have fallen
markedly except for unmarried teenagers. There has been a remark-
able rise in fertility rates for unmarried teenagers, which was the
subject of a task force hearing we had a couple of weeks ago.
All of this convergence, both in our domestic low income group
and in our foreign born immigrants, leads you to feel confident that
as time goes on that convergence will continue and that it will not
be a substantial block in our achieving ZPG?
Dr. POWERS. No, I think the same surveys that you're talking about
show a continued convergence at least in the expected family size.
They also tell us that we still have a certain amount of unwanted
fertility. It seems to me that that's as likely to be a problem in
reaching the zero population growth goal as the immigration factor.
I'd try to do something about that before I would-
Mr. SCHEUER. There are about 31/2 million women in this country,
mostly low income women, who do not have access to family plan-
ning. It certainly is one of the goals of this committee to meet that
problem head-on. I think that we're going to do something signifi-
cant this year in increasing the funding levels for publicly funded
maternal and child health/family planning programs.
We expect to zero in on that group and do something about it. In
your testimony you have a sentence that reads like this: "Contrary to
much popular thinking foreign born women now have lower fertility
rates than native born women." Did you mean that?
Dr. POWERS. Yes.
Mr. SCHEUER. Then you go ahead and say that: "as early as 1960
the cumulative fertility rates of foreign born white women were
lower than those for native born women." But you don't say native
born white women or native born minority group women-
Dr. POWERS. The comparison was with native born white women.
There's a table in the back of the testimony that's taken right from
the census materials. In other words, this isn't a new phenomenon
that we're talking about. The lower fertility of the foreign born has
been there for a while.
Mr. SCHEUER. It has all been very interesting and very reassuring
and we'll be talking to you anon. Now let's get to our third witness,
Dr. Vernon Briggs of the Department of Economics of the Uni-
versity of Texas at Austin, who will talk to us about the labor force
implications of immigration.
ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS ASKED OF DR. POWERS BY THE CHAIRMAN
Question 1. You have argued that higher fertility among Mexican-Americans
and some other minority groups can be attributed to their lower social and
Do you see these fertility differentials as problematic for the United States,
with regard to population growth and composition?
Answer 1. Some, but not all of the fertility differentials between native white
women and women from several low as well as high fertility groups can be
attributed to their social and economic characteristics. Specifically, when char-
acteristics such as educational level and occupation are controlled, the fertility
differentials between Mexican-American and native white women are reduced,
but not entirely eliminated.
I do not think these fertility differentials are problematic for the United
States as a whole. In some states and local areas the impact of increased
numbers may greatly affect the age and ethnic composition. A serious evaluation
of the possible impact in local areas calls for much more detailed analysis than
we now have of reasonable high and low estimates of fertility for local areas.
Question 2. A few experts advocate raising the immigrant quotas to ameli-
orate the adverse consequences of the shift in the age-sex structure, which
they contend is being brought about by the approaching realization of a station-
How do you feel about this?
Answer 2. I have seen references to such proposals, but they are usually no
more specific than the question. We simply do not know the effects of immigra-
tion with enough precision to enable us to tinker with the age-sex structure.
Immigrants bring more than their age and sex with them. We do not know
the consequences of predicating an immigration policy on some notion of balanc-
ing the age-sex structure, or even whether the mechanism for doing so is in the
realm of the possible. What is the most desirable age-sex structure? It seems to
me that the current laws aimed at the reunification of families are reasonable.
Question 3. What do you think should be done to ensure that there is not a
large undercount of ethnic groups in the 1980 Census? For example, do you see
the inclusion or exclusion of specific questions as leading to problems with
reliability or validity?
Answer 3. There are two sources of undercount: missing some persons in
households, and missing entire households. I think it is important to note that
we know as much as we do about the undercount problem because the Census
Bureau continually evaluates the accuracy of their efforts and publishes their
errors. They told us about the undercount and they are making serious efforts
to correct it. Having said that, I must also note that both the ethnic and race
questions proposed for 1980 present major problems of validity and reliability.
In fact, by definition no undercount is possible if the current questions are used.
The only ethnic group members are those who identify as such. We do not
know exactly what is being measured by the question as no definition of descent
or ancestry is given. This is a validity problem. Also, in the absence of a
specific definition we do not know whether individuals will respond in the same
way over time. There is some evidence to indicate only about 60% consistency
in response to ethnic identification over time. This suggests serious problems
of reliability. Some part of the problem might be alleviated by the inclusion
of the "Place of Birth of Parents" question used on the 1970 Census. The
inclusion of this question would permit an evaluation of the new questions by
permitting an examination of how many first and second generation immigrants
identify as hyphenated-Americans or any other of the numerous categories in
the proposed questions on Race and Ethnicity.
STATEMENT OF DR. VERNON BRIGGS, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT
[Prepared Statement in Appendix on p. 462]
Dr. BRIGGS. Thank you. I'd like to make one brief introductory
Mr. SCHEUER. Please do.
Dr. BRIGGS. Since I am associated with a rather strong position on
believing that illegal immigration and immigration is having ad-
verse effects on our labor force, I'd like to be sure that-
Mr. SCHEUER. That came through in your testimony.
Dr. BRIGGs. OK, I want to be sure it is understood in the way of
background that my views come from a strong effort and a commit-
ment to try and establish unions for low-wage workers, especially
farm workers in south Texas and a deep concern for successful man-
power training programs. I have watched manpower programs being
converted into income maintenance programs. I have seen situations
in which the wages in the local labor market are below nationally
set stipends provided by participation in the programs.
This means that there is a negative incentive to go into a training
program. If you come out of it, you are going to find yourself
working for less than what you were receiving in the program. This
means that it is very difficult to demonstrate to young people that
there is any payoff or any reward for human capital investments
for staying in schools.
We have chronic dropout rates in schools. There is great difficulty
showing people any reason why they should stay in schools in terms
of any payoff that will come from training and education. Cur-
rently, I am evaluating the Youth Employment Demonstration
Projects Act of 1977 and its operations in the Southwest, specifically
in El Paso, Albuquerque, and Corpus Christi.
I have also recently finished a long study of rural labor markets in
the Southwest for the Department of Labor. It's a concern for
Mr. SCHEUER. Dr. Briggs, let me say that your deep concern shines
forth from your testimony.
Dr. BRIGGs. OK, well, I do not want anyone to say that my views
are unconcerned about people in low-wage labor markets.
Mr. SCHEUER. You're a decent and a caring and compassionate
human being and believe me, that shows. [Laughter.]
Dr. BRIGGS. All right. Let me just say briefly then, with respect
to my testimony, that most of what I want to speak about pertains
to illegal immigration. But I also want to say a little about legal
immigration. Our legal system manifests a national policy about
which we should be very proud. It is very liberal with respect to the
number of people we're allowing into this country.
Mr. SCHEUER. You note in your testimony that there are only
half a dozen nations in the world which are still accepting substantial
numbers of legal immigrants. Which are those, just for my curiosity ?
Dr. BRINGS. Well, from what I can ascertain, it's Israel-
Mr. SCHEUER. I wouldn't think so.
Dr. BRIGGs. Well, all I'm saying is-