Newsweek has an interesting perspective to tag onto my earlier post. The controversy over our country’s immigration policies are tempering any major celebrations of the 300-million population mark. The story provides some solid context on our historical immigration leanings – and why we’re now wary of population growth.
At 11:03 on the morning of Nov. 20, 1967, a giant “census clock” in the U.S. Department of Commerce building in Washington marked the moment when the population of the United States reached the 200-million mark. The crowd in the lobby interrupted a speech by President Lyndon Johnson on American “greatness” to burst into applause. “‘The bigger the better’ is almost an article of faith, as American as turkey on the Thanksgiving table,” wrote Newsweek in its Nov. 27, 1967 issue. …
When the population of the United States passes 300 million, probably some time later this week, there will be no elaborate official celebrations staged by the White House. At a time when about half the 1.5 million immigrants entering the United States are illegal, the Bush administration is not eager to call attention to America’s out-of-control borders. … Even back in 1967, some Americans worried about unlimited population growth. Now that roughly half the population growth comes from immigration, the country is taking a turn towards nativism, away from welcoming the outsiders who traditionally provided the wellsprings of American dynamism.”
More on this can be found here.