"Today, we are living in
an era in which the biggest threat to human well-being, to other species,
and to the Earth as we know it, might well be ourselves." —David Attenborough
Via relentless legal and illegal immigration, America remains on
course to add 100 million people by 2035. We must choose between
sustainability and ultimately, if not, our own demise as a viable
Does Immigration Impact Population Growth?
Lea Durant, director of Progressives for Immigration Reform,
website: http://www.progressivesforimmigrationreform.org ,
addresses the impact of immigration on America’s future as a
sustainable civilization. I invite you to look at a liberal’s
view in order to make your own decisions. Does she make sense?
Does she make it clear? You be the judge:
“The nation's ongoing debate over the number of legal and illegal
immigrants entering the country each year has raised legitimate
questions about the sustainability of current U.S. immigration
policies and the size of nation we wish to become,” said
Durant. “Although political sensitivity has often curtailed
the discussion of the impact that immigration has on U.S. population
size, the fact is that immigration accounts for 63% of our nation's
population growth. For over 30 years, immigration has served as the
largest contributor to the increase in U.S. population.
“As a direct result of its immigration policies, the United States
is now the third most populous nation in the entire world and grows
at a rate of more than twice that of China. In fact, the United
States has the fastest population growth of any industrialized
nation, and is surpassed only by India and Nigeria.
“Projections issued by the U.S. Census Bureau reveal that over the
next 50 years the United States is set to add an additional 167
million more to its population, with 105 million resulting solely
due to immigration. This projection is an increase of more than 55%
of the U.S. population today.
“The United States currently adds 1.25 million immigrants (net) to
its population every year. Without a return to more traditional
levels of immigration, somewhere in the neighborhood of
200,000 per year, U.S. population is slated to increase from 315
million today to 468 million by the year 2060.
“Public opinion polls demonstrate that stabilizing the size of U.S.
population is a concept that most Americans are willing to embrace.
The goal of population stabilization can be achieved by curtailing
Does Immigration Impact The Environment?
“Many people want a sustainable society, one that secures essential
natural resources for future generations and preserves flourishing
populations of all native species in perpetuity,” said Durant.
“Yet the United States will fail in these efforts, if we fail to
stabilize our population. As the late David Brower, the Executive
Director of the Sierra Club, put it, at the dawn of the
environmental movement: "We feel you don't have a conservation
policy unless you have a population policy."
“Many people seek to preserve open space, farms and wildlife habitat
from sprawl,” said Durant. “They support new parks and wildlife
refuges, and improved land use, transportation and zoning policies.
But over half the sprawl in the United States is caused by
population growth. Unless we stop population growth, sprawl will
continue to gobble up undeveloped land.
“Many people want the United States to take the lead in combating
global climate change. They support higher mileage requirements for
cars and trucks and increased funding for mass transit; replacing
coal-fired power plants with solar, wind and other alternative
energy sources; and higher efficiency standards for heating, cooling
and insulating new buildings. But in recent decades, four-fifths of
the increase in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions has come from U.S.
population growth, as more people drove more cars, built more
houses, ate more food, and did all the other things that generate
carbon. Unless we stop population growth, America will continue to
generate too much CO2, methane and other greenhouse gases.
“Some environmentalists argue that Americans only need to focus on
fighting pollution and reducing our consumption, in order to curb
environmental destruction. They are right to argue for decreased
consumption and increased vigilance against polluters, but wrong to
assume that such efforts can take the place of stabilizing our
population. A growing population can swamp improvements in
consumption or pollution abatement. In fact, we have seen this
happen regarding national energy use and carbon emissions in the
past few decades, as greater efficiency in per capita energy use has
failed to keep pace with increased numbers (more "capitas"). Total
energy use and total carbon emissions have risen, due to population
As President Clinton's Council on Sustainable Development put it:
"Managing population growth, resources, and wastes is essential to
ensuring that the total impact of these factors is within the bounds
of sustainability. Stabilizing the population without changing
consumption and waste production patterns would not be enough, but
it would make an immensely challenging task more manageable. In the
United States, each is necessary; neither alone is sufficient."
“One of the Council's ten main recommendations for creating a
sustainable society was: "Move toward stabilization of U.S.
That cannot happen if America continues importing a total of 3.1
million immigrants annually, which includes legal at 1.2 million,
illegal at 800,000 to 900,000 and their 900,000 child births
You may reach Lea Durant at:
Progressives for Immigration Reform, 888 16th Street NW, Suite 800,
Washington, DC 20006, phone toll-free: 866-331-PFIR,