Every Immigrant Suddenly Vanishes from the USA...

Purely a hypothetical situation that I thought might create a lively discussion.

Say that, one day, every single person who was not born in the area currently comprising the USA (and dependencies like Puerto Rico and American Samoa) suddenly gets either teleported to an Alternate Earth (with all their stuff) or something. Doesn’t matter if they’re a legal or illegal immigrant, for the purposes of this hypothetical. Point is, one morning the USA wakes up and everyone who wasn’t born there is gone.

What is likely to happen in the US, both socially and culturally?

Bad things.

Between cheap labor and foreign scientists, you’d suddenly be missing two key population segments of our current economy. This isn’t too say that they are necessary, but on the sort of time scale you’re talking about (i.e. instantaneous), there’d be massive complications.

Of course, this is going to be just as true if you were to pick any sufficiently large population, except perhaps people who are incarcerated.

You’ll have a sudden jump in the number of orphaned children and single-parent families.

A Day Without a Mexican might be of some interest to you.

Lou Dobbs has a massive orgasm.

Price of produce goes through the roof without cheap labor to harvest it. Ethnic restaurants close due to lack of staff.

Wages for blue collar jobs go up.


As do prices.

Possibly an increase in the use of prison labor and automation to replace those low wage workers. A major push for the rollback of what labor laws are left and the elimination of the minimum wage. A major increase in religious xenophobia, with people claiming that the evaporation of millions of people who aren’t “real Americans” proves both God’s existence and that he favors America. A collapse of the Rapture movement because it looks far too much like what the rapturists think is going to happen to them, but to the wrong people.

This would be more of a disaster than some believe. Prices for just about every consumer good, including housing construction would shoot up. Many small businesses would have to close.

The joy exhibited by xenophobes, religious nuts, social conservatives and racists would be short lived as the economic impact not only slams them as well, but removes one of their raisons d’être. A markedly increased level of blame for the ills of society would be targeted to blacks and gays to fill the void.

There would be a spike in religious fervor as the precipitous economic downturn brings entire enclaves of society to the brink of poverty within 9 to 18 months, and the more exploitative members of society begin to take advantage of a suddenly enlarged worship base.

Justification and rationalization for the possible conscription of members of perceived underclasses into low-waged service and production jobs and forced job camps would become fodder for serious discussion at state and local legislative meetings, as the reality of the negative economic impact begins to affect heretofore financially insulated institutions and individuals, but the reality of the necessity for a logical rethinking of fare wage legislation that would preclude such draconian measures does not.

Another recession would ensue, accompanied by a reshuffling of America’s class stratum, followed by a very slow recovery within which the new underclasses assume roles vacated by the departed immigrants.

I lose my doctor, my dentist and my vet, for starters.

God help gingers!

Rather than the doom and gloom so far predicted, a new crop of immigrants, both legal and otherwise, would take their place.

Wow. I’d be a goner. Bye!

Is this Alternate Earth a nice place? Enquiring minds want to know.

Not many, not for a long time. They wouldn’t want to mysteriously vanish like their predecessors did. Come to think of it, for the same reason tourism would probably go way down for some time.

No kidding. I’d lose a big chunk of my debate team for sure. The team has parents from Romania, China, Vietnam, Bangaladesh, Pakistan, Lebanon, Mexico and Guatamala, last time I checked.

The loss of so many of our top and bottom level producers would be disasterous. The doctor down the street wouldn’t be able to get his lawn tended, but it wouldn’t matter, because the doctor would be gone too.

A lot of strip clubs and massage parlors would have to close. That would get a lot of guys pissed off.

All the nail salons would have to close. That would get a lot of women pissed off.

The universities would have to shut down their math departments. But who cares about math? You can’t find many Americans that are any good at it.

Fast food and take-out joints would have to lock their doors. Now that would get people’s attention.

My husband would be gone, and I’d be a single unemployed mother of 4 children.

And the university he works for would lose most of their scientists.

My SO would stay, but his parents would be gone. Hell, my parents, aunts, and cousin would all disappear. Half the people I knew growing up would be gone.

The price of Lemon Pledge would plummet?


I might get my actual order at McDonalds because the person who worked there spoke English and wages would rise because there would not be as big a supply of cheap labor.

There’s also be a pretty massive kick in the balls to the housing market in this area (Northern VA). Unless our houses went with us, in which case my neighbor would be happy because he would have a huge yard.