On WPRI, Ted Nesi reports the latest indication that Rhode Island’s government is steadily replacing the population that it governs:
Net migration to Rhode Island was slightly positive between July 2016 and July 2017, as the net arrival of 4,798 international migrants more than offset the loss of 3,854 domestic residents, according to Census estimates. There were also 10,915 births and 9,760 deaths in the state during the 12-month period.
The Census Bureau’s definition of international migrants includes “all foreign-born immigrants and emigrants, regardless of legal status.” It also covers migration between Rhode Island and Puerto Rico, and the movement of military members.
This is a long-term trend. The relevant data from the U.S. Census shows that in the roughly seven years from April 1, 2010, to July 1, 2017, the Ocean State lost 33,615 residents to other states, which was mostly made up with 31,796 foreign nationals. Basically, that’s an exchange. And if we assume that native Rhode Islanders make up the majority of the 70,559 deaths in the state over that period while immigrant families account for a larger share of the 79,313 births, the displacement is even larger.
Paul Edward Parker gives perspective to see how it is therefore in the interests of Rhode Island’s political class to keep the immigration going, even if it’s illegal:
The Ocean State came within 157 people of losing a seat, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates on Wednesday. The state’s population now stands at 1,059,639.
Our politicians are desperate, in other words, to attract international government-dependents to whom they can offer services on the government plantation.
A state like Rhode Island really only has two options. One, the political structure can relinquish some power to make the government less government-heavy and more conducive to private activity and economic growth and keep the productive class among native Rhode Islanders from leaving while attracting productive class residents of other state. Or two, it can create incentive for new people to move to the state and become reliant on government services, for which the political structure can then tax its own residents and residents from other states to the extent that the federal government goes along.
We shouldn’t be surprised that Rhode Island’s political elite is going strongly with option 2. Apart from being immoral, however, that approach is guaranteed to create a painful correction someday, which suggests that the elite are hoping to keep the scheme going long enough to harvest their rewards and then join those thousands of Rhode Islanders who leave the state every year.