The discussion of immigration and its impact on American society should be based on facts, on meaningful projections, and on a reasoned discussion of impacts in various areas. The area in which we have the greatest capacity to determine impact is that of demography, though, even here, there are arguments about how good our numbers are. Nevertheless, it seems to be the case that immigrants are contributing about 40 percent of our recent and current population growth.The American population grew by 22 million in the 1980s, and the census recorded nine million foreign born who had entered the United States since 1980. This is larger than the number of legal immigrants recorded, but presumably this figure also includes illegal not recorded in immigration figures, as well as many legal entrants who do not have immigrant status. Conceivably, the number and proportion of the foreign born was greater, since the census probably misses a higher proportion of those here illegally than others. In the states that take in a large proportion of immigrants—California, New York, Texas, Florida, New Jersey–the impact of immigration on population growth (or on moderating population decline) was predictably greater (Daniels, Roger, 1999). There are regions of United States where population immigration is appeared to reach excessive numbers what negatively influence the goodwill of the State and its citizens. One of them is California State and I will discuss its excessive population further in my paper.The immigrants coming to the boarders of California are predominantly from Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. A much larger proportion of immigrants than of the population as a whole are Hispanic and Asian. Thus, the percentage of persons of European origin in the population has been declining, from about 80 percent in 1980 to 75 percent in 1990. The percentage of persons of European origin will undoubtedly decline further since the volume and origins of the immigrant population are not likely to change soon.Something will change, and whether that change will be to increase immigration, to decrease it, or to change its composition racially and ethnically, can’t be said exactly. To try to fix a date when the population of European origin drops below 50 percent, which can be calculated on the basis of various assumptions, is an interesting exercise, but it tells nothing about what will happen: that will depend on us, the American people, taking decisions through our representatives to increase, decrease, or change the character of immigration.The year America becomes “majority-minority,” the meaning of the event will be very different from what it seems to mean to us today. One could have, in 1910, calculated when the population of English and Scottish and Welsh origin would drop below 50 percent, and it might have seemed then very significant, but when that day occurred (and we don’t even know when it occurred because when it did we had lost interest in the question), it meant something very different from what it seemed it would mean in 1910. For in two generations or so, assimilation, intermarriage, and Americanization had worked their effects, and we began to calculate something else: when would the proportion of the population of “European” origin fall below 50 percent? The Poles, Greeks, Jews, and Italians, whose arrival had led to the earlier concern over the eclipse of English, Welsh, and Scots, were now fully incorporated into a new group who raised no question of the degree of their incorporation into America, the “European” population.In the meantime, various predictions are read, noting the date when the population of USA will reach that situation of less than 50 percent European. Such predictions are generally accompanied with a note of alarm. If to make such a projection for California, it will advance the date markedly, since California is already only 57 percent European, and attracts more immigrants than any other state.Because of excessive immigration to USA and particularly to the State of California Americans oftentimes wonder to what extent the impact of immigration will contribute to their interests and hopes. It is much harder to give answers to these questions than to questions of how American population is growing and get imposed from various ethnic and racial groups; with what consequence for the future ethnic and racial make up of the State.In a time of fiscal crisis and resistance to taxes, we seem to take it for granted that we should not expend our limited fiscal resources–federal, state, or local–on welcoming and establishing newcomers unless they in some way pay for themselves (through work and taxes). So, we hope that estimating the costs of immigrants to public agencies, as well as their contribution to the public fisc in taxation, may be a way of answering the immigration question on pragmatic grounds. Since we are concerned with the fate of poor Americans, perhaps we can also determine whether immigration helps poor Americans or hurts them by taking the jobs they would have held or reducing the wages they get for these jobs. This is another way of answering the question practically.It is also unclear what the larger and more significant impacts on our economy are. Are native workers “displaced” by immigrant workers? Huddle and Borjas disagree. Is the overall impact of immigration beneficial? Simon argues it is, while Borjas would say it could be if we altered our immigration policy to favor the better educated and more talented. Vernon M. Briggs, Jr., a professor of labor economics at Cornell University, takes a gloomier view, particularly because of the impact of immigration on low-skilled blacks (Daniels, Roger, 1999).The immigration to California however does not influence to unemployment of the State because none of us would ever go to the country where there is no job and possibility to live for living. Figuring out whether immigrants “displace” native workers is complicated, but anecdotal evidence, if not econometric, suggests that they do. There are studies based on interviews with employers of low-skilled, low-paid workers, which show that often they prefer immigrants to the available native labor pool.Certainly, environmentalism is one of the most influential ideologies and movements of our time, and it is hard to see it declining in potency. One can make excellent arguments that it is not population as such that degrades the environment but poor agricultural practices, unwise exploitation of natural resources, and wasteful urbanization. A larger population could well be accommodated in denser urban centers, based on mass transportation rather than automobiles, which would use up less of the beautiful lands of California. Access to Yosemite could be sensibly controlled. One wonders, however, whether these proposals that we should live differently from the way we do, not likely to be popular in any case, will be more popular if put forward to support an argument for maintaining immigration and population growth at the present level.There is one respect in which we have changed which favors continued immigration of the present scale and racial and ethnic composition: we are a far more tolerant country. The anti-Semitism and anti-Catholicism of the 1920s is gone; our legislation, whether affecting immigration or other matters, does not penalize anyone on account of race or ethnicity; and public attitudes have changed to accept the presence of blacks, Hispanics, and Asians as full equals of Europeans. This is why so little of the debate on immigration focuses on the inevitable change in ethnic and racial composition that the present volume and character of immigration is bringing.The focus of the present discussion of immigration is not on race and ethnicity. It is on the impact on local and state budgets and on the effects of immigration on native workers. One can argue this concentration on public finances and economic effects masks the true underlying concern, which is fear of racial and ethnic change. To some extent it does, but it is not in the forefront of our public discussion. Note, too, that hardly anyone opposes the immigration of the highly educated, the well-trained, or those with capital. This kind of immigration is considered to be all to the good, even if it means the immigrants will be from various Asian countries.One hears little, too, about the impact on American culture of immigrants of such different backgrounds from the majority of Americans. This was once a strong argument against immigration. Many of us are not very happy about the state of American culture, whether high or low, and the fact that television programs, movies, and popular music form some of our strongest exports does not mollify the numerous critics of our culture. So it is hard for these critics to argue that a change in American culture, owing to the volume or character of immigration, would be for the worse. The distinctive cultures of New England Brahmins, Southern ex-aristocrats, or Middle-West small towns, whose proponents once decried the impact on a more homogeneous culture of mass southern- and eastern-European immigration, are now only a few strands in a very tangled skein (Schlesinger, Arthur, 2000).There is still an American culture, but what it owes to original settlers and later immigrants can hardly be disentangled. If it changes further, it is hard to see what will be lost, even though some of us might be skeptical over how much will be gained. Culture means many things, but insofar as immigration means the stronger family connections of Mexican Americans, or the more positive response to education of black English-speaking Caribbeans, or the achievement of Asian Americans in science and technology, or the introduction of the religious traditions of Asian peoples alongside our multifarious forms of Christianity and Judaism, one can hardly consider this a danger or a loss.When one reviews the various categories of immigrants–illegal, asylees and refugees, family-related, responding to national needs–it is hard to see any easy way to reduce (D’Innocenzo, 20001). The political fallout from trying to reduce the present scale of immigration may be so great that the path of prudence may be to accept more or less the present scale of immigration, hoping to reduce it somewhat with better (and more costly) regulation of illegal immigration and claims to asylum, and accepting a level of nearly one million immigrants a year as far as the eye can see.Perhaps the conclusion should be that immigration is something like inflation: It would be better if there were less, but it is too costly to take the measures that would reduce it. Yet I am concerned that if we do not attack these difficult problems, matters will become worse. We live in a much more turbulent society than we once did. That was once a cliché and a truism, but in this age in which real income does not rise, in which corporation downsizing affects the stable middle class, and in which the icons of American capitalism tumble, it has become a truth. At such a time, one wonders why additional strains should be placed on the American social fabric.I think one of the great yearnings of Americans today is for more stability. One thing that immigration inevitably brings is a degree of instability. Can we reduce this instability while acknowledging the moral claims to which the world’s greatest and richest nation must be open, and responding to our fellow citizens with relatives in other countries? This is the way I see the immigration issue today.