An Immigration Strategy for Great Power Competition

Ike Barrash
Date of Publication: 
September, 2022
Source Organization: 

Tension across the Pacific is heightening as China’s grand strategy seeks to reorder the world to its interests. China’s fiery economic growth has rapidly cooled in recent years, but rather than curtail its plan, Beijing has doubled down, releasing short-term military modernization priorities for 2027. U.S.-China cooperation is now at the lowest point since relations were normalized, and Washington is increasingly concerned that a revisionist China may act brashly to grab what it still can in the near term, especially regarding Taiwan. If the United States seeks to engage a country with over four times the population in long-term competition, it is imperative that it approach the challenge by leveraging all available advantages, particularly soft power.

To successfully compete with China, the United States should seek to capitalize on the substantial benefits derived from increased immigration. The best and brightest of the world want to go to school, start businesses, and pay taxes in the United States of America. Instead of welcoming these individuals, restrictive policies have led America to mirror China’s demographic slump. In the past three years, the United States has issued visas to fewer than 3 percent of the over 20 million annual visa applicants, and even denies citizenship to veterans who served with the promise of citizenship. Population growth has depressed to the lowest level in recent history due to declining birth rates, increasing death rates, and persistent Trumpian immigration policy.

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Barrash, I. (2022, September). An Immigration Strategy for Great Power Competition. Center for the National Interest.