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Noah Smith

Demographic Decline Is the Real Threat to the U.S.

Trump says the country can’t admit more people, but immigration is the answer to heartland depopulation. 

There’s plenty of room here.

There’s plenty of room here.

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Some supporters of President Donald Trump argue that his restrictionist agenda only targets illegal immigration, but that idea has now been decisively disproven. Many of the Central Americans now being detained by the Trump administration are legally seeking asylum, rather than trying to enter the country without permission. But during a recent briefing, the president declared:

The president’s actions show that he’s serious. He has initiated a purge of officials in the Department of Homeland Security whom he perceives to be insufficiently tough on immigrants, and said that hardline adviser Stephen Miller is now “in charge” of immigration policy. That could indicate that Trump is planning to renew his contentious family separation policy, close the Mexican border, try to curtail birthright citizenship or enact any other number of harsh nativist policies.