About the Tomorrow’s America ProjectTomorrow’s America is a media and education project that seeks to bring timely and fact-based information about immigration and its likely impact on all aspects of American life to the attention of large numbers of American via the Internet, video and print.
Directed since its inception in 1999 by Dr. George A. Colburn, a historian and documentarian, the project has been gathering information from national experts and decision-makers, community leaders and citizen activists about the significant negative impacts of the continued flow of large numbers of immigrants—legal and illegal—on communities large and small throughout the country.
The project also monitors the divisions in Washington, DC—political, bureaucratic and financial—that have prevented any meaningful reform of the nation’s 1965 immigration law that is based on “family reunification” and not on any specific needs of the nation.
Most recently, Dr. Colburn and his production team have spent several months on the road talking to community leaders and citizen activists in six distinctly different communities:
- Prince William County, VA, a sprawling bedroom community near Washington, DC, where large numbers of illegal immigrants have found jobs and homes thanks to a huge building boom in recent years;
- Albuquerque, NM, a fast-growing, but water-deprived Sunbelt city that continues to plan for huge growth based on the continuing influx of retirees, immigrants and refugees;
- Santa Clara County, CA, the “Silicon Valley” home to much of the country’s high-tech industry and non-stop population growth of highly-skilled IT workers and service industry labor that supports the industry;
- Ottawa County, MI, a major tourist center on the state’s West Coast, and an important agricultural center that has seen in recent years a significant increase in the numbers of seasonal agricultural workers becoming permanent residents;
- Dearborn, MI, the formerly all-white suburban home of Ford Motor Company on Detroit’s western border that now houses the nation’s largest Arab population;
- Hamtramck, MI, a small working class city with strong Polish roots surrounded by the City of Detroit that now is home to a fast-growing Arab population.
The research by Tomorrow’s America staff that preceded the visits and the interviews that were conducted by Dr. Colburn during the visits, allow the Project to provide vivid video profiles of communities in rapid transition and under significant cultural and financial stress. All of the locations have been affected by continuing federal immigration policies that have allowed millions of legal and illegal immigrants and refugees to pour into the United States in recent years—and to enjoy many benefits of both local and federal tax-supported services.
And the flow continues despite recent economic hardships—and rising unemployment numbers—caused by our so-called “Great Recession.” The population in the United States stands at nearly 310 million people as we enter the second decade of the 21st century. And it is likely that by mid-century the numbers will be approaching a half-billion people—mainly caused by the continuing high levels of legal immigration in addition to the uncounted numbers of illegal immigrants, and the high birth rates of immigrants and their children.
To be examined in the programming under development for various media at the Tomorrow’s America Project are the likely demographic, economic, environmental, cultural and socials impacts of continued high volume immigration.
The Project also seeks to provide answers to a number of critical questions every American needs to consider: With explosive immigrant growth now affecting communities throughout the country, how do we build the infrastructures needed to accommodate millions more in the decades ahead? How do we prevent environmental damage as sprawl continues in our urban centers and numbers overwhelm the facilities in our national parks and wilderness areas?
How do we pay for the added costs for educational, health, public safety and social services except with higher taxes? And, perhaps most importantly, how do we retain American values and cultural identity when the assimilation process is being overwhelmed by the numbers of immigrants entering each year into American society?
Understanding what the near future of the United States holds for us by the time we reach a population of almost a half -billion people at the midpoint of the 21st century is the primary goal of the Tomorrow’s America Project. Two other important goals are to provide citizens with solid information about the outdated immigration law of 1965 that has led to an unprecedented “Great Wave” of legal immigration since the early 1990s and to offer a more realistic view of the enduring—and romanticized—concept of a “nation of immigrants” that is promoted in our history books.
Tomorrow’s America will offer important and thought-provoking informational programming available to all via its website, www.tomorrowsamerica.com. The Project’s extensive collection of full-length interviews with national and community leaders who represent a variety of viewpoints on all aspects of the immigration issue, will also be made available in a variety of formats. Documentary programming for Internet and educational audiences, broadcast and non-broadcast uses, is also planned.