We’re adding the size of our 6th largest city every year. At what cost?


The population of Philadelphia is about 2 million people. That makes it the sixth largest city in the US.

Did you know that we are, in effect, adding a new city the size of Philadelphia to our country every year?

That’s how many illegal immigrants came into the United States in 2021 and will in 2022. 

I totally get why people want to come here. I’m sure I’d do the same if I were in their shoes.

In America they can earn more money than where they’re from.

In America there’s the rule of law.

In America there’s opportunity.

And in America there are generous government benefits—housing subsidies, free education for their kids, free medical care. 

That’s the illegal immigrant’s side of the story and it makes perfect sense.

But what about our side of the story—the American taxpayers’ side of the story.

Do we get a say in this? 

Seems like we should. 

It’s estimated that Americans spend $200 billion a year to house, feed, school, and care for illegal immigrants. 

If you say that we’re a rich country, that these people are fleeing poverty and war, and it’s simply the compassionate thing to do for us to let them come here and stay here, then I would ask: where do you draw the line, if you draw the line at all? 

Should we let anyone from anywhere into the country? Wouldn’t that be the compassionate thing to do?

The people who come across our southern border are overwhelmingly poor with very limited education. This isn’t a judgment. It’s a fact. 

Doesn’t it seem likely that these illegal immigrants would work for almost any wage to make money?

Wouldn’t that drive down wages for low-skilled American citizens—of every race and ethnicity—with whom they would be competing for jobs?

What happens to those citizens, including legal immigrants, if they get priced out of the job market altogether? Is anybody thinking about them?

Violent crime is increasing across the country at an alarming rate. Under these circumstances, does it make sense to allow two million people a year into the country about whom we know nothing? We don’t know if they have a criminal record, if they’re carrying a disease, or anything else about them. 

We often hear the phrase, “we are a nation of immigrants.” But until relatively recently the only way immigrants could enter the country was legally.

Maybe you remember the scene in the classic movie Godfather II when young Vito Corleone comes to America from Italy. When he arrives, he has to go through Ellis Island. He has smallpox, so he’s quarantined for three months. That was over a hundred years ago.

Do we do anything like that now? 

And what are we going to do with these millions of illegal immigrants once they have been here, say, five years or ten years or longer?

Forcibly deport them? 

We all know that’s never going to happen.

Make them citizens?

After they broke our laws to get into the country?

We know the drug cartels control the border on the Mexican side. We know that you can’t cross into America without paying them a sizable bribe. We know that this bribe money adds up to millions, maybe billions of dollars. 

Doesn’t this mean that we are helping to make the cartels richer and more powerful? What do you think the cartels do with this money? Give it to the Red Cross? Or use it to further corrupt Mexico’s police and government officials, not to mention buy weapons or anything else they want.

We also know that the cartels use migrants to smuggle in drugs like fentanyl that are killing our young people; that these same cartels engage in human trafficking, especially of young women.

Aren’t we encouraging this criminal activity by allowing illegal immigration to proceed virtually unchecked? 

If you add a new Philadelphia worth of illegal immigrants to our population every year, is it reasonable to suggest that this will alter the character of the nation? 

These are people, after all, who were raised in a different culture with different traditions and values than ours. 

We will either change them or they will change us. Which do you think is more likely to happen?

One reason countries have borders and immigration policies is to preserve their national culture. A country without borders is not a country. So, isn’t it just common sense to want to protect our borders?

Why do people say walls don’t work? 

Countries all over the world—in Europe, in the Middle East—have border walls. They work. Why should our border wall be any different?

If we’re willing to send $40 billion dollars to a country in Eastern Europe to defend its borders, why are we unwilling to spend half of that to defend our own border by building an effective border wall?

We have a border, but we don’t guard it, and we have immigration laws, but we don’t enforce them. For all practical purposes, our borders are open. 

How many more cities the size of Philadelphia are you willing to admit before you say “enough”?

Just asking. 

I’m Will Witt for Prager University.Close

Guest Contributor

Self-Reliance Central publishes a variety of perspectives. Nothing written here is to be construed as representing the views of SRC. Reproduced with permission.