Author: Jacob

The U.S. Census is a Good Start

The U.S. Census is a Good Start

Analysis: The question of how old is too old to serve is under a new spotlight in the Republican party. As much as the conservative base likes the idea of a more conservative government, there is a growing clamor to take a harder line on immigration. Some of it is tied to Trump’s rhetoric, but I think most Americans, and voters generally, would be just as satisfied with a Republican party that takes a more compassionate approach.

There are two distinct ways to look at the question of who can and should be granted citizenship. One option is to look at the actual numbers of immigrants who cross the border illegally each year. Using that model, roughly 1.7 million people are deported each year, and we have a record number of asylum seekers on American soil. We don’t deport one single person each year.

The other way to look at the issue, and what Republicans seem to be talking about more and more these days, is to focus more on the number of people who have been in the U.S. too long. The U.S. Census provides a window into these numbers.

According to the 2010 Census, there were 50.2 million people in that age group across the country, with 3.3 million people in their teens. A look at their median household income and median age shows a different picture. There were more people in their 50s and 60s in 2010, and they tended to have lower incomes and higher age-adjusted rates of poverty than the 20- to 29-year-old group.

That’s not surprising. Poverty tends to settle in the middle or lower class in America, unless the economy is doing well. You could argue that these statistics are an indictment of our welfare system and our immigration laws, and that we should get rid of our existing social programs. But these people are still there, and they have to be dealt with, because they’re part of America’s great experiment.

In addition, young people still want to come to the U.S. to live and work, and a low-cost or free path to citizenship is a good incentive to encourage them to come.

These are the folks who are getting

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