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Not Full Yet: Huron, Brookings Grow with Immigration

While Dusty trolls the border, this morning’s New York Times notes how much less full our not-nearly full country would be without immigration:

International migration helped rural counties record their second straight year of growth, according to local population estimates for 2018 that the Census Bureau released on Thursday. And immigrants bolstered urban counties that have been losing residents to more affordable areas. Even so, the three largest metro areas in America — New York, Los Angeles and Chicago — all shrank slightly.

Without these international moves, 44 percent of the nation’s population would be in shrinking counties, instead of the current 27 percent. Dense urban counties and sparse rural areas, despite typically being on opposite sides of the political spectrum, share economic concerns related to population decline [Jed Kolko, “How Much Slower Would the U.S. Grow Without Immigration? In Many Places, a Lot,” New York Times, 2019.04.18].

Kolko finds Huron and Brookings among ten cities in the U.S. with the highest rates of international migration:

Highest rates of international migration 2017-2018, Kolko 2019
Kolko, 2019.04.18

So remember: if you back the Jacks or Jeff Sveen’s turkey plant, you can’t say “America is full.” You have to say, “Welcome!”


  1. El Rayo X 2019-04-18 08:51

    Would Mar-a-Lago fall in the #2 Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-West Palm Beach position. A lot of immigrant cooks, waiters and housekeepers moved there last year. Very unsavory, the place needs a wall.

  2. Steve Pearson 2019-04-18 10:01

    Okay, a legit multi-part question here.

    Why is immigration now completely opposite for the parties? Dems recognized what illegal immigration was doing before and now welcome it? I’ll always say it’s for a voting block and I know you’ll “disagree.” So let’s just accept that.

    But really, why is stemming illegal immigration bad? Why aren’t Dems or Reps for that matter bringing forth legit, cost effective ways for immigration? So many stellar candidates are here that end up requiring sponsorship for work. Why not do speedy immigration for those individuals that can contribute to America? Why should we allow illegals here that provide little to no value to our society? Seriously, why? We can’t solve our own problems and look at San Francisco as an example. SFO airport is now being overrun with homeless. We have sky-rocketing debt and mandatory benefits like social security that have been pillaged by BOTH parties. But Cory just says “take them all in.” WHY? The rest of the world has tougher immigration laws then we do.

    Stop demonizing (R) for stances on immigration and start proposing something valuable.

  3. TAG 2019-04-18 10:49

    Steve, you asked, like, seven direct questions, and made a few more claims/assertions that I consider false, or at least misleading. I’ll ignore the partisan claims, and try to answer the most important one:

    “Why aren’t Dems or Reps bringing forth legit, cost-effective ways for immigration?…”

    One of the reasons, unfortunately, is simple politics. It’s easier to get re-elected by riling up your base than to actually solve problems. Solving problems typically involves compromise, and there doesn’t seem to be much of that going around these days, from either side.

    Another reason is the large amount of misinformation emanating from Trump, his supporters, and conservative media. This rhetoric is both false and unhelpful. It plays on our worst impulses of racism and xenophobia. And it drives the Left farther from a compromise position.

    I’m disappointed that the Dem candidates haven’t yet proposed a solution (other than Julian Castro), but I’m more disappointed that Rebublicans blindly follow Trump’s lead, and parrot his demonstrably false claims.

    I agree with you that we need a better way of limiting illegal immigration, and we need a better path to both legal immigration and citizenship. You mention efficiency, and I agree. More wall is horribly inefficient and expensive. That money would be better spent expanding capacity for processing assylum-seekers at ports of entry, and beefing up the visa program. Did you know that the majority of our illegal immigrants are from visa overstays rather than illegal border crossings? I doubt you will read that on Fox News or Breitbart.

    Also, Illegal immigrants do not “provide little to no value to our society”. There are entire industries that would implode without the hard work and low wages that they provide, especially agriculture. Most illegals DO pay local, State and Federal Taxes.

  4. bearcreekbat 2019-04-18 12:11

    One other falsehood that Pearson and other anti-immigrant propagandists use as a tool to gin up hatred against innocent people is use the derogatory perjorative “illegal immigration” as a catch all for people from south of our border seeking safety, freedom and econiomic opportunity in the USA.

    Not only is this derogatory labeling a cheap and cruel effort to dehumanize these people, it also misrepresents the status of most current individuals seeking admission to the USA. Most are refugees and it is not against the law for any such individual to seek asylum whether or not thery cross the border at a Port of Entry.

    Any alien who is physically present in the United States or who arrives in the United States (whether or not at a designated port of arrival . . . , irrespective of such alien’s status, may apply for asylum in accordance with this section or, where applicable, section 1225(b) of this title . . . .(emphasis added)

    Calling seeking asylum “illegal immigration” is simply untrue and serves no legitimate purpose.

  5. mike from iowa 2019-04-18 12:22

    Bear’s comment cements the fact that illegal activity on the border is perpetrated by Drumpf and his administration. They are refusing to allow asylum seekers into America. They have also violated court orders to reunite kids and families and who knows what else.

  6. Chris S. 2019-04-18 12:31

    Want to cut down on illegal immigration? There’s a very simple solution: Arrest, heavily fine, and jail people who knowingly employ them.

    That will never happen of course, because big business and big ag want cheap, cheap labor. As a bonus, illegal immigrants won’t complain about wages or workplace safety violations, because the employer can threaten to deport them and face no consequences himself.

  7. Steve Pearson 2019-04-18 13:30

    You have got to be kidding me bear. It’s illegal because it is breaking US law, hence illegal. Amazing how we try to humanize the behavior but dehumanize the killing of unborn babies. I even had a crazy liberal tell me on twitter yesterday that a human being isn’t a human being until they can take care of themselves completely and until that point are subject to abortion. The intelligence in this world is baffling.

    I don’t care about the companies that want them. Get laws passed to fix this and talk about the immigrants being important. Until then they are not American Citizens and it’s not our need to care. Unless you plan on fixing American problems first.

  8. Steve Pearson 2019-04-18 13:33

    And I’m not talking about asylum seekers. There should be better laws for that too and comprehensive background check to verify before allowing in. Simple as that. If Central America is that bad then just go to Mexico until the validity can be proven. Their life shouldn’t be threatened there.

  9. jerry 2019-04-18 13:51

    100 years ago, we were hating immigrants, nothing changes only country’s of origin. Always the most productive people are belittled and made to feel second class.

    “Under the new majority, the chairmanship of the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization passed to Albert Johnson of Washington, a newspaper owner and fervent supporter of the anti-immigrant movement. In his new post, Johnson, who wrote in one editorial that “the greatest menace to the Republic today is the open door it affords to the ignorant hordes from Eastern and Southern Europe,” set about creating a completely new immigration system. Under his plan, immigrants would be admitted on the basis of country-by-country quotas that heavily favored northern Europeans, while drastically reducing immigration from less favored European countries. (Asians were already banned under previous legislation.)

    What has made America great is immigration. We need the new blood, along with new ideas, to take us into the future.

  10. mike from iowa 2019-04-18 13:54

    Caravan migrants come from Central America where the US resposibikity for their country’s poor condition is patently obvious and undeniable.

    Furthermore, the mow rawn in the kremlin annex has cut off aid to these countries which will send even more of the citizens to America to seek asylum.

    Keep ignoring the causes, Steve. Be a good little wingnut and blame the victims of American foreign policy.

  11. mike from iowa 2019-04-18 13:57

    One more thing, bone up- on asylum laws and treaties so you don’t keep making a fool of yourself, Steve.

  12. Steve Pearson 2019-04-18 14:07

    Mike, a well known quote from Thomas Edison comes to mind with EVERY one of your posts of conjecture.

    “You will have many opportunities in life to keep your mouth shut: YOU should take advantage of every one of them.” -Thomas Edison.

    Nothing I have seen come from you has any facts, proof etc. Always posts calling Drumpf or wingnuts or some other stupid label.

    And Jerry, that doesn’t answer any of my questions. And if we are going with 100 years ago then does that mean we should also look at all policy then and go with that also? It’s 2019 now, not the same time. We also didn’t have millions of homeless Americans then. Veterans living on the street. Countless wars, HUGE crippling debt and lawmakers that spend their lives in Congress getting wealthy and FAT.

  13. bearcreekbat 2019-04-18 14:43

    I can’t speak to Pearson’s motive in attempting to dehumanize people he likely has never even met who merely seek safety, freedom and economic opportunity in the USA. He may simply be acting as duped “useful idiot” for those who seek to justify hurting these people, or if he perhaps is so full of hatred that he makes a conscious effort to inculcate hate in others against these folks by demonizing them. I would hope it is the former and he soon realizes he is being used by others to achieve this nefarious goal by labeling people.

    I do know this, in the numerous written comments on DFP under his name that I have read I cannot recall Pearson even once labeling Kristi Noem an illegal Congresswoman, Governor or illegal anything despite the fact that her public record of criminal convictions is much worse and posed much more danger to innocent victims than some individual’s misdemeanor of crossing the border at the wrong location, or the non-criminal noncompliance with an administrative rule requiring visa renewal.

    Indeed, the USA and South Dakota in particular have many well known people who have been convicted of more serious and dangerous crimes, yet I have never once read a comment by Pearson calling these folks “illegal” – not even former Governor Janklow whose illegal conduct killed an innocent biker.

  14. Steve Pearson 2019-04-18 14:56

    Are they Americans Bear? If they want to come here for those reasons, minus true asylum seekers, then follow the F’n law.

  15. bearcreekbat 2019-04-18 15:13

    I have to concede that Person’s question – “Are the Americans?” is telling. Since we are talking primarily about people coming across our southern border I will speculate that most of them are Americans, whether born in South American, Central American or North America.

    It is interesting how someone can attempt to place intrinsic value on another human being based only on where that human choose to leave his mother’s womb. I suppose the smart ones analyzed the pros and cons of various locations before deciding when to come out, and this must be the group that deserves favor and special treatment for being so smart.

    As for me, I didn’t have a clue and felt no control whatsoever that I call recall about where to make my mother pop me out.

    Anyway, I guess characteristics that people like myself are too stupid and ineffectual (pehaps even lazy?) to control, such as place of birth, sex, sexual orientation, skin tone, disabilities, etc., constitute sufficient justification for smarter folks to treat us as undeserving pariahs in their worldview.

  16. jerry 2019-04-18 15:38

    Americans indeed. Call Thune rich on the government dime, yeah, but Fat, nope. Ol’ Stretch is like a pencil and I’ll bet, could outrun you Steve.

  17. Debbo 2019-04-18 15:38

    I have heard of several plans for immigration from Democrats that include a path to citizenship for those who’ve been living in the US for some time minus the proper documentation. I don’t know where to find them and I’m not very good at internet searches, so perhaps others can help me out.

    There have also been Democratic suggestions to increase assistance to the Central American nations in great turmoil because most of the people in the caravans escaping violence and seeking asylum come from them. Using the assistance to help bring order and security to those nations would decrease the number of asylum seekers and be cost effective. White Whiner has just done the opposite, exacerbating the problem.

    Rather than building a wall and more cages for children and adults, Democrats have suggested using that $ to hire more legal professionals to get applicants through the asylum process more quickly. Then, if their request is denied, they can be swiftly deported.

    Last and by far most effective at stopping illegal immigration is criminalizing those who employ them. Chris S has ably explained why that’s unlikely.

    GOP plans? Build an ineffective, unAmerican, $ wasting, habitat devastating, family separating, environment degrading, ugly wall. I know of nothing else from them.

  18. Debbo 2019-04-18 15:39

    Mike, why is Fairfield, Iowa, growing with immigrants? Is it that Maharishi Vedic Center?

    Just curious.

  19. RJ 2019-04-18 15:46

    Steve, I don’t know any Dem that has said just open the floodgates. We have an asylum process in place that has been completely disregarded by Pub’s on a national and state level. You posed a question about what certain immigrants bring to the USA? Based on what I’ve seen..Immigrants who are coming from Mexico or South American Countries prejudged, condemned and treated horribly. We don’t do the same thing for white immigrants. And we don’t get an huge influx of immigrants from Norway or Germany because they have it better. This has nothing to do with character, just color. Just stereotypes. We could provide you with multiple statistics supporting the economic and cultural benefits immigrants being to this country, but it just falls on deaf ears.

  20. mike from iowa 2019-04-18 16:45

    Keep whopping Steve with the truth, RJ, and he will either get a clew or run back to the safety of fake noize sites.

  21. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-04-18 18:43

    Steve, read more carefully: at no point did I say I support violations of immigration law. I whole-heartedly support an orderly, regulated, and efficient immigration system that facilitates the kind of population growth and importation of skills on which our economic survival depends.

  22. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-04-18 18:48

    And Steve, when you put words in quotations marks, you are saying that the person you are citing said exactly those words. For instance, if I say that Steve Pearson said, “Cory Allen Heidelberger is a public policy genius,” I’d better be able to point to the exact documented statement where you said exactly that. Otherwise, I’m lying by putting words in your mouth.

    For the record, I use the quotation marks above to provide a hypothetical example, not attribute actual words to the actual Steve Pearson. I am not aware of any instance in which Steve Pearson, frequent Dakota Free Press commenter, has ever uttered those words in oral or written form. (I suspect he’s thought some sequence of words like those, and it drives him nuts that such words are true, and that’s why he keeps coming here throwing distractions, hoping no one notices how poorly informed and reasoned his worldview is compared to mine, but he’ll die before he admits it. :-D )

    Steve, you said that I said “take them all in.” I respond to nothing else you said until you provide me the exact source of that exact quote coming out of my mouth or keyboard.

  23. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-04-18 18:50

    I’m with Chris: if undocumented workers are a problem, cut off the demand by fining, jailing, and shutting down the employers. It’s just like drugs: cut off gringo demand, and supply will disappear.

    But employers don’t think immigrant workers, documented or not) are a problem. Employers obviously think immigrant workers are a solution.

  24. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-04-18 18:53

    Debbo, yes! The NYT article mentions exactly that institution of higher learning. Ommmm….

  25. Debbo 2019-04-18 23:21

    Thanks for the link Mike. Very good info. For example:

    “Creative Edge makes intricate flooring for some of the world’s best known hotels, casinos, hospitals and universities. Bovard Studios makes and restores stained glass windows for churches across the country. And a host of businesses manufacture agricultural parts, iron castings, polyethylene piping and laundromat washers and dryers.

    “So many things are made in Fairfield that the Iowa Economic Development Authority will host an export conference here in the fall.”

    Sounds like Aberdeen, RC, Huron, Pierre and several other SD towns ought to look into that fall conference. Hey, the lege could send people, help their constituents!

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