The world's elderly are heading for the US: study

Just in time for Democrats to offer free medical care for illegals, a study from the Center for Immigration Studies reports that the migrant population in the U.S., both legal and illegal, is aging rapidly.  Immigrants and aliens are coming here older and older, at a time when they will likely be in need of heavy medical services, which means that the Democrat plan is likely to cost a pretty penny. 

So much for the Democrats' (and the Mexican government's) insistence that illegal aliens are young, fresh, vigorous, the wave of the future, and people who "contribute," meaning it's a good thing to have them stay, lawfully or not.  So much for the story, promoted on the Left, as the film A Day without a Mexican argues, that the U.S. economy would simply collapse were it not for its many illegals.

The study, by respected analysts Steven A. Camerota and Karen Zeigler, shows this (editor's note: the following conflates immigrants and aliens):

An analysis of the Census Bureau's American Community Survey shows that immigrants (legal and illegal) are coming to the United States at significantly older ages than in the past. The average age and the share arriving at or near retirement increased significantly in the last two decades. These findings have implications for the often-made argument that immigration makes the country significantly younger. The findings also have implications for public coffers because prior research indicates that younger immigrants tend to have a more positive lifetime fiscal impact than older immigrants. The nation's overall immigrant population is also aging rapidly.

Among the findings:

  • The average age of newly arrived legal and illegal immigrants has increased from 26 in 2000 to 31 in 2017. The newly arrived are those who have lived in the country for 1.5 years or less at the time of the survey.
  • Older age groups have seen the largest increases. The share of newly arrived immigrants who are 50 or over nearly doubled, from 8 percent to 15 percent; the share 55 and over more than doubled, from 5 percent to 12 percent; and the share 65 and older roughly tripled, from 2 percent to 6 percent.
  • On an annual basis, 276,000 immigrants 50 and older now settle in the country, including 213,000 immigrants 55 and older, and 113,000 who are 65 and older.
  • The rise in the age at arrival for immigrants is a broad phenomenon affecting immigrants from most of the primary sending regions and top sending countries.
  • Several factors likely explain the rising age of new arrivals, including significant population aging in all of the top immigrant-sending regions of the world, an increase in the number of green cards going to the parents of U.S. citizens, and a decline in new illegal immigration prior to 2017.

Aging of Overall Immigrant Population

  • Looking at all immigrants, the number of working-age (18-64) immigrants increased by 42 percent between 2000 and 2017, but the number over the age of 64 increased by 108 percent.
  • The average age of all immigrants increased from 39 years to 45 years between 2000 and 2017. This is more than twice as fast as the average age increase for the nation's overall population.
  • Because the population of immigrants 65 and older has grown so fast, the share of all immigrants who are of retirement age now matches that of the native-born — 16 percent.
  • The increase in the age at which immigrants are arriving contributed to rapid aging in the overall immigrant population, though the primary reason immigrants are aging is simply the natural aging of immigrants already in the country.

Seven things can be concluded from this:

One, the Democrats' free medical care for illegals idea is going to be very expensive.  Free medical care acts as a magnet for those who are going to need a lot of it.  A dinner triangle has been rung.

Two, Central America has lost too many people.  If older people are now coming, it means that the young are gone.  The countries in the region, except for Guatemala, are in a population downward spiral.  Mexico and El Salvador are particularly hard hit.  Encouraging illegal immigration from those countries, as the Democrats like to do based on their voting habits, actually drains those countries.  So much for Bernie Sanders's supposed concern for their welfare.  Draining their working-age population doesn't support their future.

Three, immigrants and aliens are using chain-migration privileges.  This isn't such an unnatural thing — if you were an immigrant from, say, South Korea or the Philippines, wouldn't it be natural to want to keep an eye on your doddering elderly parents, to keep them close?  The setup should be workable, but only if the immigrant children of the elderly migrants coming in can be held to paying for their costs as sponsors, which is U.S. law.  Making the U.S. a retirement destination, at public expense, after nations such as South Korea have actually benefited from the labor of the people, is fundamentally unfair.  The Castro government has used this loophole for years — availing itself of the slave labor of its locals and then shipping the too-old-to-work elderly to the States for pensions.

Four, and this isn't cited in the study, but I think it's a big one: Why the heck is the legal process for immigration decades long?  If the U.S. benefits from having a 25-year-old working in the economy, making that person wait 20 years to immigrate legally means he gets here at age 45, which means quite a bit less benefit for the U.S. economy and proportionally more services to the same person as an oldster.  And there really are lines as long as 20 years for legal immigration in some countries.  Legal immigration, by law-abiding immigrants, has got to be made more attractive than the illegal alternative, with less red tape, fewer lost documents, quicker and better vetting, harder rules on who's suitable and who's not.  The need for immigration reform to tackle the long legal backlogs is pressing.

The whole study is extremely interesting because it blows apart lots of leftist myths.  The U.S. media scene is smogged by phony "narratives" about migrants, all contorted to benefit Democrat interests.  This report provides clarity.  Read the whole thing here.

Image credit: Center for Immigration Studies screen shot.

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