WASHINGTON — Immigration policies need to go hand-in-hand with decisions to repair the deteriorating U.S. infrastructure, according to a unique new report to be released on January 13. “The Twin Crises: Immigration and Infrastructure,” by prominent researcher Edwin S. Rubenstein, will be released by the Social Contract Press on January 13 at a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Immigration will be responsible for more than 80 percent of the spending needed to expand infrastructure capability between now and mid-century, according to the report. Ed Rubenstein examines 15 categories of infrastructure: airports, border security, bridges, dams and levees, electricity (the power grids), hazardous waste removal, hospitals, mass transit, parks and recreation facilities, ports and navigable waterways, public schools, railroads, roads and highways, solid waste and trash, and water and sewer systems.
The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that $1.6 trillion dollars is needed to repair and maintain U.S. infrastructure in next 5 years. The massive influx of immigrants into the U.S. is increasing the demands on an overburdened infrastructure, much of which was built shortly after World War II and is outdated and deteriorating.
Edwin S. Rubenstein, a financial analyst and economics journalist, was a contributing editor of Forbes and economics editor of National Review. He was also a senior economist for W. R. Grace & Company, where he directed studies on waste and inefficiency in the federal government for the Grace Commission. He has been an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute and research director of the Hudson Institute. The author of two books, The Right Data (1994) and From Empire State to the Vampire State: New York in a Downward Transition, he has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, the Harvard Business Review, and The New York Times.
“If the infrastructure crisis could be fixed by spending money, there would be no crisis,” Mr. Rubenstein explained. “Since 1987, capital spending on transportation infrastructure has increased by 2.1 percent per year above the inflation rate. At $233 billion (2004 dollars), infrastructure is already one of the largest categories of government spending. Our infrastructure is ‘crumbling’ because population growth has overwhelmed the ability of even these vast sums to expand capacity.
“The immigration debate needs to be framed in terms of resource depletion, declining infrastructure, and simple fairness,” Ed Rubenstein stated. “Population growth requires additional capacity and increases the rate of depreciation of the existing infrastructure. Immigration policy must play a role in making decisions about U.S. infrastructure.”
“The Twin Crises: Immigration and Infrastructure” report will be released at a News Conference at 1 p.m. on January 13 in the Lisagor Room of the National Press Club, 529 14th St., N.W., in Washington, D.C. Advance copies of the report are available for review by working journalists.