Bill Clinton explains immigration

The former president needs a bigger challenge than delivering yet another commencement speech. Isn't the World Bank a little understaffed these days?

Published May 25, 2007 8:46PM (EDT)

Bill Clinton gave the commencement address at the Rochester Institute of Technology today. After noting, offhand, that recent research had revealed the main genetic markers for diabetes, -- good news, he noted, for the "one in three of every American children born after 2000 [who] will develop diabetes unless we do something to change our eating and exercise habits" -- he spent a few moments marveling over the fact that astrophysicists had identified a nearby planet that might have the conditions to sustain life.

Then he asked for a little compassion for Congress on immigration.

...The population is growing from its current level of 6.5 billion to 9 billion people in the world; mostly, in the countries least able to handle it.

So please, all of you, whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, have some sympathy with the U.S. Congress while they are debating this immigration bill.

The fundamental problem is: The population is growing in the world in places that can't support the population. So people who love their children or want to care for their parents have to go somewhere else to try to make a living.

And, if they don't, there are going to be more wars, more upheaval, more explosions.

And all these trends are going to get worse unless we deal with them.

You know, I hear there's an opening at the World Bank for an industrious self-starter with wonkish predilections who is concerned about improving the lot of the world's poor...

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Bill Clinton Globalization How The World Works Immigration