Without immigration reform, 200-square-foot apartments will be common

Article author: 
Elizabeth Van Staavern
Article publisher: 
The Oregonian
Article date: 
8 November 2013
Article category: 
Our American Future
Article Body: 

In a sign of the times, tiny apartments of less than 200 square feet are to be built in Portland. They will have shared kitchens.

To those familiar with population trends, this isn’t surprising. Tight living quarters may be in the future for all but the richest elite...

Ballooning population increases of recent years are apparent, and thoughtful people wonder: Will growth never stop? Will Oregon and the U.S. become one unbroken sprawl of high-rise apartments from east to west, where a dwelling unit of 200 square feet might even be a luxury?

...The U.S. is headed to grow to one billion or more people with no stopping point in sight, unless present government policies are changed.

Current U.S. population is over 317 million, with one international migrant coming every 44 seconds and a net gain of one person every 14 seconds, according to the Census Bureau population clock.

Levels of immigration are set by Congress, supposedly acting in the public interest. But various lobbies representing businesses, ethnic groups, and idealists who think national borders should not exist have influenced the course of immigration over recent decades, pushing levels of immigration higher and higher.

Birth rates among the native-born have been barely at replacement level for years. The huge increases in population are due to high levels of immigration, both legal and illegal.

There were 40 million immigrants in the U.S. in 2010, according to Census figures; this is the highest number in the nation’s history. Rates of increase in recent years are astounding. The immigrant population doubled from 1990 to 2000. It has nearly tripled since 1980, and quadrupled since 1970 when it was only 9.7 million.

Instead of reducing levels of immigration, as would be prudent for quality of life, or a healthy, sustainable environment, we see the various lobbies combining efforts in a push for greatly expanded immigration.

The Senate’s so-called Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill, S.744, would double legal immigration and vastly expand guest worker programs for both low- and high-skilled foreign workers. The Senate passed the bill, 68-to-32, on June 27, 2013, and both of Oregon’s senators voted for it.

It gives immediate legalization to an unknown number of illegal immigrants: The 11 million official figure has been cited for years while illegal immigration continues daily.

The bill would grant 33 million new green cards in the first 10 years, while 20 million Americans can't find a full-time job...

How many people can live in... the United States and have an acceptable quality of life? Already the natural environment is seriously degraded from overpopulation.

Regimentation into 200 square foot units for all is not inevitable if people understand the reasons for out-of-control population growth and call their legislators to account for Congress’ role in forcing it. Common sense argues for a moratorium on immigration for an extended period. With birth rates among the native-born holding steady or falling, the U.S. could then begin to balance population and environment, improving the quality of life here, and there would be no need for thousands of 200 square foot dwelling units with shared kitchens.


Elizabeth Van Staaveren is with Oregonians for Immigration Reform. Immigration sanity activists in Oregon have placed a referendum on the ballot for voters to decide whether to keep  a new law giving Driver Licenses to illegal aliens in Oregon.