Marriage Promotion? Try Immigration Demotion!

[Also
by Linda Thom:


School Overcrowding: The (Unspoken) Immigration
Dimension
and

The U.S. Government Is Electing A New People
]

In this

election year,
President Bush renewed his proposal
to spend

$1.5 billion to promote marriage.
Bush first
announced his idea during the 2002

welfare reform
overhaul.

Welfare reformers correctly believe
that unmarried parents generally live in
poverty
. That, in turn, makes it difficult for their
children to be nurtured into healthy and happy adults.
Statistics support that theory.

But statistics also support the
view that, to reduce the growing numbers of unmarried
mothers, the president and Congress would get more
mileage by spending the $1.5 billion on reducing
immigration. And lowering immigration would also have
the direct effect of cutting

poverty
because so many immigrants do not have the

job skills
to escape

minimum wage jobs.

In December, the National Center
for Health Statistics (NCHS)

released
its annual report,

“Births: Final Data for 2002.”
According to the
data, annual births in 1990 were 4,092,994. In 2002,
they were 4,021,726—a decline of 71,268 births.

During the same period, births to
unmarried women rose from 1,165,384 in 1990 to 1,365,966
in 2002—an increase of a little over 200,000.

The birth rate for married women
declined from 93.2 to 86.3 births per 1,000 women. That
caused the decline in overall births.

The birth
rate for unmarried women also remained virtually
unchanged—from
43.8 births per 1,000 unmarried women aged 15-44 years
in 1990 to 43.7 births per 1,000 women in 2002.  

But, as the NCHS report puts it:


“Increases in the number of non marital births since
1995 are due almost entirely to the 10-percent rise in
the number of unmarried women of childbearing age.”

The important point is that a large
proportion of these unmarried women are

immigrants
and their

first-generation daughters
.

Further, the NCHS report states:

“In 2002 the [birth] rate for unmarried, Hispanic women was highest at
87.9 per 1,000, followed by black women at 66.2,
non-Hispanic white women at 27.8, and Asian or Pacific
Islander women, at 21.3. The birth rate for

unmarried black women
has

fallen steeply
during the 1990`s through 2002, from
90.5 per 1,000 to 66.2 in 2002.”

The birth rates for unmarried,
non-Hispanic white and Asian women remained essentially
unchanged while the rate for Hispanic women “has
trended slowly up since 1998 (82.8).”

Between 1995 and 2002, annual
births declined but annual births to Hispanic women
rose. Annual births to Hispanic women increased by
196,874 and births to non-Hispanic white and black women
declined by 40,551. Of the increase in Hispanic births,
Mexican-origin women accounted for 157,890 or

80 percent of the Hispanic increase
.

Births to non-Hispanic women
declined. Births to Hispanic women increased.

Essentially, therefore, Hispanics

caused the increase
in births outside of wedlock.

And these unmarried Hispanic women
are immigrants and

children of immigrants
.

According to the NCHS, in 2002,
Hispanic women gave birth to 876,642 children and 63
percent of these mothers were foreign-born, mostly from
Mexico (627,505).

Of the 210,907 Asian births, 83
percent (175,264) were to immigrants—but recall that
Asian women have the lowest birthrates of all groups for
unmarried women, 21.3 per 1,000.

President Bush wants to reduce the

welfare caseload
by spending $1.5 billion to assist
immigrant parents to get married. That`s really the
bottom line.

But what`s the point if President
and Congress keep importing a population with a high
propensity to be poor, and to have children out of
wedlock?  

Linda Thom [email
her
] is a retiree who fled California three years
ago. She formerly worked as an officer for a major bank
and as a budget analyst for the County Administrator of
Santa Barbara.