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The Chairman's Blog
What If There Were 42 Million at the Border?
The Chairman's Blog

What If There Were 42 Million at the Border?

What If There Were 42 Million at the Border?

Here's a good question about caravans: How many more are coming?

Gallup asked the whole population of Latin America. There are 33 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Roughly 450 million adults live in the region. Gallup asked them, "Would you like to move to another country permanently if you could?"

A whopping 27% said "yes."

So this means roughly 120 million would like to migrate somewhere.

The next question Gallup asked was, "Where would you like to move?"

Of those who want to leave their Latin American country permanently, 35% said they want to go to the United States.

The Gallup analytics estimate is that 42 million want to come to the U.S.

Forty-two million seekers of citizenship or asylum are watching to determine exactly when and how is the best time to make the move. This suggests that open borders could potentially attract 42 million Latin Americans. A full 5 million who are planning to move in the next 12 months say they are moving to the U.S.

Rather than find a solution for the several thousand potential migrants currently at the border, let's start by answering the bigger, harder question -- what about the 42 million who would like to come? What is the message to those millions who will seek entrance either legally or illegally? What should we tell them?

Most U.S. citizens like me just want to know the plan. What is the 10-year plan? How many, exactly whom and what skills will they bring? What do we want? Answer these questions, and the current discussion can be resolved.

Keep in mind that it's not only 330 million Americans who are wondering -- so are 42 million seekers from Latin America.

Jim Clifton is Chairman and CEO at Gallup.

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