Control of Immigration is Vital
Yeh Ling-Ling, Contra Costa Times (CA), Mar. 13
AMERICAN environmental activists have spent a vast amount of energy and resources to protect open space and wildlife. But can they effectively safeguard this country’s environment without also advocating U.S. population stabilization, which inevitably involves immigration reduction?
Since 1990, based on U.S. Census data, more than 3 million people each year, on average, have been added to our population. Most of this has been immigration related. Newcomers, like all human beings, pollute, drive, need housing, and consume energy. According to Professor David Pimentel, an environmental expert at Cornell University, during the last 10 years, each person added to the United States required one acre of land for urbanization and highways. He reminded open space advocates that last year California lost 385,000 acres of agricultural land to development.
Clearly, environmentalists will only win temporary victories while losing the war, if the U.S. population continues to grow unabated.
Many Americans blame the degradation of this country’s environment on excessive consumption.
Although cutting consumption is warranted, it is easier said than done: Would any environmental presidential candidate have the courage to advocate the doubling of gas prices to encourage Americans to get out of their gas-guzzlers?
“Smart growth” advocates who focus on high-density development and public transportation should be reminded that New York City, Paris and Tokyo have excellent public transit systems, but gridlock continues there because they are overpopulated. Realistically, even if the United States were to cut consumption by half, how much progress would be achieved if we allow the population to double?
Some prominent environmental leaders duck the immigration issue, claiming that migration is a global matter and requires a global solution. However, just like pollution, immigration is a local, national and international issue.
If environmental activists in this country have been lobbying for legislation to reduce pollution and save the environment, why are they reluctant to advocate measures to reduce immigration?
If our population continues to grow the way it did in the last decade, mathematically, by 2050, we will number far more than 500 million. This is also a U.S. Census projection. Environmentalists oppose drilling in Alaska’s wildlife refuge, but should we drill on foreign soil and increase imports of oil to meet the needs of our constantly growing population?
Liberals must realize that high immigration’s impact is multi-fold and is adversely impacting minorities and immigrants the most.
Indeed, pro-immigrant Chinese-American professor Paul Ong, who teaches Public Policy and Social Research at the University of California at Los Angeles, publicly said in 1994: “In terms of the adverse impact (of immigration) on wages and employment, the adverse impact will be most pronounced on minorities and established immigrants … .” Not surprisingly, a Zogby poll of California voters on immigration taken in 2001 showed that 65 percent of blacks and 34 percent of Latinos polled said a three-year moratorium on legal immigration would be “beneficial” to California.
If immigration-sending countries can continue to use the United States as a safety valve and receive billions of dollars a year sent home by their nationals working in this country, there is little incentive for them to stop their own population growth and improve life for their citizens at home.
In fact, Mexican-American author Elias Castillo argued in his 1994 article to “enclose Mexico’s border for Mexicans’ good.” In addition, billions of people wish to immigrate while there are 35 million Americans still living below the poverty line. Could immigration really relieve global poverty?
Advocating immigration reduction is pro-immigrant, pro-minority and pro-environment. It is a position that should be supported by sensible Americans and legal immigrants.