Tucker Carlson
Tucker Carolson. Image from Fox News broadcast

By Raoul Lowery Contreras

Since the day Fox News Channel higher-ups were forced to rid themselves of “King of Cable Ratings” Bill O’Reilly for “sexually-tinged” peccadillos, Tucker Carlson has filled that time slot. Innumerable times, Tucker has tried to embarrass pro-immigration guests with this question: “How many immigrants should we allow?”

For some unknown reason, Tucker, who has hosted shows on CNN and MSNBC and been fired from them, has strenuously taken an anti-immigrant position that exceeds his colleague Laura Ingraham (she who suggested that immigrant children separated from their families were attending “summer camp”) and every other Fox host, including Sean Hannity.

Tucker, who ironically grew up in La Jolla, keeps asking when Americans voted to allow any immigrants in, much less in the numbers that have entered since 1965,

Most guests stumble around and don’t give rational answers for the simple reason that neither they nor many other pro-immigrant people have ever calculated an answer to that question. The United States, until Donald Trump became President, was the world-class champion in welcoming immigrants.

Here are the numbers from 2016: 1,183,505 immigrants were granted permanent residence (Green Cards), of which 172,726 were Mexican, 77,658 were Chinese (both Mainland China and Taiwan), 66,120 were Cuban, 61,691 were Indian and 60,613 were from the Dominican Republic. Because none of these immigrants were Trump’s preferred “Norwegians,” they are presumably from “S-hole” countries. It’s not a stretch to think that Trump views Mexico, India, China, Cuba and the Dominican Republic as such.

If Carlson were to ask me how many immigrants the United States should allow, my answer would be complicated, perhaps too complicated for Fox viewers, because it would include these facts:

Fact number one. The U.S. birth rate has fallen to 1.76 children per woman, well below the average of 2.1 needed to keep our population stable. So one response to Carlson’s question is the number of immigrants needed to equal babies not being born.

Raoul Lowery Contreras

Fact number two. Baby Boomer workers are retiring at the rate of 10,000 per day. Where will their replacements come from? Probably Hispanics, since they represent the youngest ethnic group with a median age of just 28. That 28-year-old Hispanic is typically the son or daughter of an immigrant, legal or otherwise. So another answer is enough immigrants to replace the retiring Boomers.

Fact number three. According to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, 60 million births have been aborted in the United States since 1973. Our society and economy could have depended on those babies growing into adults. They would be replacing the 10,000 Boomers leaving the work force every day. So a final response is enough immigrants to offset abortions.

So, how many immigrants would I want to allow into the United States? Well, we would need to fill the gap between our current birth rate and replacement level. We would also need to replace the 10,000 Baby Boomers retiring every day so as not to disrupt the economy. And we would need to replace all the babies that have been aborted since 1973.

So, Tucker, the answer to your question is simple: More immigrants than you and President Trump want to allow are needed. You want a number? Looks to me like maybe 3 million to 5 million new immigrants annually might fill the empty jobs and get us truly growing again.

If our population doesn’t grow, America slowly dies. Just look at Japan today, Russia soon and Germany in 20 years. If we don’t grow, Tucker, we die.

Raoul Lowery Contreras is a political consultant and the author of “The Armenian Lobby & American Foreign Policy” and “The Mexican Border: Immigration, War and a Trillion Dollars in Trade.” Frank D. Gomez is a retired senior foreign service officer.