Élisabeth Vallet: By 2016, the United States had 45.5 million migrants for 324 million people, or 14% of the population. In itself, it is not enormous if we remember that North America is historically a land of immigration where, in two hundred years, the majority of the population was born abroad. By way of comparison, Canada has 21% of migrants without any particular problem.
But beyond the net figure, what matters is the dynamics of this movement. Projections by the Pew Research Center by 2065 show that current immigration will upset the face of America. At this date, out of a population of approximately 440 million people, white people will represent 46%, Hispanics 24%, Asians 14% and Afro-Americans 13%. In other words, the predominantly white America today will be a minority tomorrow and this is probably what places immigration at the heart of the political debate.
The other important trend to highlight is the continued decline in Hispanic immigration – including illegal immigration that has been declining since 2009 – and the rise in Asian immigration. A phenomenon that does not take into account the new occupant of the White House of Donald Trump, who continues to base his speech on the fight against immigration from Mexico and the construction of a border wall with this country.
Is this immigration an opportunity or a weight for the American economy?
Élisabeth Vallet: All the studies show that immigration is a positive sum game for the American economy. In any case, on the medium and long term. Of course, hosting the first generation sometimes has a cost to the community, especially when it comes to integrating refugees who have not necessarily chosen to migrate and need to be supported with money public. But this cost is largely offset, if you will, by the positive contribution of the second and third generations in terms of growth, investment, business creation and employment.
The argument often advocated by advocates of border closure that immigrants would compete with “natives” in the labor market holds no more. Generally, foreign workers are in low-paid, often low-paid jobs that the Americans are abandoning. If jobs have been lost in the United States, it is more the fact of the relocations and robotisation of the factories that of the competition of the migrants.
How do you explain the success of Donald Trump’s speech?
Élisabeth Vallet: If the economic arguments fail, the strategy of the scapegoat works in full with a white, rural America that feels that the “outsider” Trump will allow them to take back, finally, Their destiny in hand.
It must also be noted that the American democratic system based on the search for compromise between the executive and the Congress no longer works, the Republican majority in the Senate and the House of Representatives being for the moment incapable of opposing resistance To the dictates of the President.
If we add to this the fact that Trump seems to make a complete mockery of the criticisms of the media as well as the opinion, one finds that one is in a situation unpublished whose no one can say how it will evolve.
One can draw a parallel with the time of the second term of Nixon, another president very contested following the Watergate affair. But he eventually resigned in 1974 to avoid a likely dismissal. It is not certain that Donald Trump does not prefer to break everything rather than withdraw.
Provided by: La Croix