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The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

The importance of immigration in America

As+America+struggles+to+solve+its+demographic+situation%2C+immigration+offers+a+viable+alternative+that+can+keep+the+population+stable+and+sustainable+for+a+long+period+of+time.+Photo+by+Metin+Ozer+via+Unsplash%2C+Creative+Commons
As America struggles to solve its demographic situation, immigration offers a viable alternative that can keep the population stable and sustainable for a long period of time. Photo by Metin Ozer via Unsplash, Creative Commons

In the 1970’s, political theorists and ordinary citizens feared that overpopulation would cripple the United States, and make living in the US impossible. However, 50 years later, the opposite problem is unfolding.

And the US is not alone in this complication. Several developed nations in Europe and in East Asia all suffer the same problem, with populations struggling to keep ahead of themselves. Not only is this a major problem, but if left unchecked, It could spiral out of control and negatively harm the US economy.

Demographic collapse, by definition, is a situation in which the country’s distribution of people, say based on age or race, is unable to sustain themselves. In the context of the United States, this means a younger population being unable to handle the stress of older generations. 

The reason why this is significant is because no country has ever had to deal with this kind of situation before in their history. Because a demographic decline is a gradual process, it means that noticing their effect ahead of time is difficult. 

For the Quad Cities, this demographic crisis is even worse, as thousands of retirees could produce significant strain on the local economy, particularly in goods consumption. Retirees already make up 25% of the current population, which means that the working age population will have to support the needs of more than 6500 retirees, in a city that is only 25,000 people. 

This is because senior citizens consume everything that is part of the economy, without providing labor in return. This could eventually lead to the young people out of Bettendorf due to the economic strain that senior citizens are putting on them. 

However, there is a viable solution that could help alleviate the high concentration of senior citizens. Legal immigration is one of the best ways that any city economy can bounce back from a demographic crisis. The quad cities is one of the few cities in the midwest that is blessed with this feature, with John Deere world headquarters located in close proximity. 

With so many immigrants coming to the US, it can give the US a large working age population, making it much easier for Americans to be able to live with a larger older population. 

Contrary to popular belief, increased immigration won’t harm the economy, as most  people who immigrate to the US legally are more likely to have high-skill jobs like engineers or doctors, according to several studies. The Quad Cities alone has benefitted hugely from the influx of immigration, as hundreds of immigrants have chosen to live here, revitalizing the local economy.

Additionally, Pleasant Valley Junior Andres Bravo Garza argues that having a large diversity is one of the biggest strengths that the PV has compared to other places “ Different cultures give you different views. If you only view things from a single culture you only see a certain view, while if we have a team from different places, everyone has different cultural background and so my nature has different viewpoints. So, combining viewpoints on different problems and issues can greatly improve the success of any team or organization” he emphasized. 

To counter the demographic strain, a comprehensive strategy that could be taken to avoid a demographic situation involves encouraging later retirement, supporting family planning, and investing in education. Integrating immigrants into the workforce enriches diversity and fosters community strength, vital for the Quad Cities to thrive. 

With PV housing so many immigrants, many of them like Sophomore Leo Rosas reflect with optimism that his presence at PV was beneficial. “I feel better and more confident that I am able to achieve what I can here. There is tons of variety at PV and I feel I have grown so much as a person. I have met so many people, I have the time for friends, and being a part of PV’s diverse community,” he noted. 

The United States faces a looming demographic challenge, but by embracing immigration and fostering diversity, it can pave the way for a thriving community. Immigrants enrich the economy and cultural landscape, offering a beacon of hope for a balanced, vibrant future.

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About the Contributor
Aditya Narayan
Aditya Narayan, Copy Editor
Aditya Satya Narayan is a senior at Pleasant Valley High School and serves as a copy editor for the Spartan Shield. After high school, Aditya plans to major in Aerospace Engineering at an undecided university. Besides Honors Journalism, Aditya's favorite classes are AP Physics 2 and Statistics. During his time in high school, Aditya has been one of the most committed members of the Pleasant Valley Spartan Marching Band, which led him to be selected as a co-section leader for the Clarinet section. In concert Band, Aditya was selected to be in the Iowa All-State band for clarinet in his junior year. In his free time, he enjoys watching movies, hanging out with friends, and excessively typing away on 10fastfingers.com to get to his goal of 100 WPM. 

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