My prediction is that we won’t ever again see the heavy Latin immigration we saw between 1983 and 2007, which averaged 300,000 legal immigrants annually (and perhaps as many illegal immigrants).
The birthrate in Mexico and in other Latin American countries fell more than two decades ago. And Mexico, source of 60 percent of our Latin immigrants, is now a majority-middle-class country.
Asian immigration may continue, primarily from China and India, especially if we have the good sense to change our laws to let in more high-skill immigrants.
But the next big immigration source, I think, will be sub-Saharan Africa. We may end up with prominent politicians who actually were born in Kenya.
Will people continue to migrate out of high-tax states? They certainly will from California, where Governor Jerry Brown wants to raise taxes even higher. With foreign immigration down, California is apt to grow more slowly than the nation, for the first time in history, and it could even start losing population.
Fortunately, governors of some other high-tax states are itching to cut taxes. Because of the shale-oil and natural-gas boom, job seekers are streaming to the hitherto unlikely spots of North Dakota and northeast Ohio. Great Plains cities such as Omaha and Des Moines are looking pretty healthy, too.
It’s not clear whether Atlanta and its smaller kin — Charlotte, Raleigh, Nashville, Jacksonville — will resume their robust growth. They’ve suffered high unemployment lately.
But Texas has been doing very well. If you draw a triangle whose points are Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio, enclosing Austin, you’ve just drawn a map of the economic and jobs engine of North America.
Texas prospers not only because of oil and gas, but also thanks to a diversified and sophisticated economy. It has attracted large numbers of both immigrants and domestic migrants for a quarter-century. One in twelve Americans lives there.
America is getting to look a lot more like Texas, and that’s one trend that I hope continues.
— Michael Barone is senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner. © 2012 The Washington Examiner. Distributed by Creators.com.