Center - Immigration Studies and Environment

Center for Environment and Immigration Studies - studies and research on the environment and mass immigration

  • U.S. Immigration, Population Growth, and the Environment, SUSPS.
    Unless we act to change our country's immigration policies, U.S. population will double this century - practically within the lifetimes of children born today. Had we stabilized immigration at replacement numbers in 1970, U.S. population would have stabilized at 255 million in 2020 and then gradually decreased to an environmentally sustainable level. Yet Congressional immigration policy changes starting with the 1965 Amendments to the Immigration and Nationality Act has increased immigration six-fold.
  • Outsmarting Smart Growth - Population Growth, Immigration, and the Problem of Sprawl, by Roy Beck, Leon Kolankiewicz, and Steven A. Camarota, CIS, August, 2003.
    About half the loss of rural land in recent decades is attributable to increases in the U.S. population, while changes in land use account for the other half. New immigration and births to immigrants now account for more than three-fourths of U.S. population growth. Therefore, population growth and the immigration policies that drive it must be an integral focus of efforts to preserve rural land.
  • Immigration and the Sierra Club: Did the Fuss Matter?, by Ben Zuckerman, Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), August 1998.
    For decades, the Club's position had been population stabilization ASAP, "first in the United States and then in the rest of the world." Then, in February 1996, the Club's national board of directors voted to take no position on the level of immigration into the United States. Since immigration accounts for a continually increasing percentage of U.S. population growth, this decision represented a major policy reversal for the Club which now, de facto, acquiesces to current rapid U.S. population growth.
  • The Environmental Argument for Reducing Immigration to the United States, by Winthrop Staples III, Philip Cafaro, Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), June 2009.
    The need to limit immigration necessarily follows when we combine a clear statement of our main environmental goals - living sustainably and sharing the landscape generously with other species - with uncontroversial accounts of our current demographic trajectory and of the negative environmental effects of U.S. population growth, nationally and globally.
  • Immigration to the United States and World-Wide Greenhouse Gas Emissions, by Steven A. Camarota and Leon Kolankiewicz, Center for Immigration Studies, August 2008.
    The findings of this study indicate that future levels of immigration will have a significant impact on efforts to reduce global CO2 emissions. Immigration to the United States significantly increases world-wide CO2 emissions because it transfers population from lower-polluting parts of the world to the United States, which is a higher-polluting country. On average immigrants increase their emissions four-fold by coming to America.
  • The Environmental Impace\t of Immigration into the United States, by Jason DinAlt, Carrying Capacity Network, 1997.
    According to demographer Leon Bouvier, since 1970, fully half of our recent population growth has come from immigration. The United States admits more legal immigrants than the rest of the world combined. In 1990 and 1991 we admitted about 4 million immigrants5. This figure includes legalizations of people who entered illegally. Today, our immigration rate is about eight times our emigration rate. Our fertility is now at replacement level. If we ignore carrying capacity constraints and project the current rates into the future, we reach the mathematically unavoidable conclusion that our population would grow forever. But of course, no ecosystem can survive unending population growth from any species, and certainly not ours.
    Particularly, we need to recognize the simple fact that the last thing this world needs is more Americans. The world just cannot afford what Americans do to the earth, air, and water. And it does not matter whether these Americans are Americans by birth or by border crossing. It does not matter what color their skin is. It does not matter what language they speak or which god they worship. What matters is that they will live like Americans. We need to accept the fact that the environmental community's admirable efforts to reduce our consumption and pollution have largely failed. We must redirect our efforts to counter the fact that our leaders are not likely to voluntarily enact serious incentives and disincentives to reduce consumption, pollution, or population until the situation gets much worse. As long as our national policy is to subsidize and promote population growth we face a continuing decline in our standard of living that will ultimately result in disaster.
  • The Impact of Immigration on U.S. Population Growth, Congressional Testimony by Steven A Camarota, Center for Immigration Studies, 2001.
    Dramatic increases in population make dealing with environmental problems more difficult. Because most immigrants come from developing countries, immigration has the effect of transferring population from the less-polluting parts of the world to the more-polluting parts of the world.
  • The Bottleneck, E.O. Wilson, Scientific American, February, 2002.
    The appropriation of productive land--the ecological footprint--is already too large for the planet to sustain, and it's growing larger. A recent study building on this concept estimated that the human population exceeded Earth's sustainable capacity around the year 1978. By 2000 it had overshot by 1.4 times that capacity. The natural environment we treat with such unnecessary ignorance and recklessness was our cradle and nursery, our school, and remains our one and only home.
  • 100 Million More: Projecting the Impact of Immigration On the U.S. Population, 2007 to 2060, by Steven A. Camarota, Center for Immigration Studies, August 2007.
    Census Bureau findings show that the current level of net immigration (1.25 million a year) will add 105 million to the nation's population by 2060. While immigration makes the population larger, it has a small effect on the aging of society. Supporters of low immigration point to the congestion, sprawl, traffic, pollution, loss of open spaces, and greenhouse gas emissions that could be impacted by population growth.
  • Forsaking Fundamentals: The Environmental Establishment Abandons U.S. Population Stabilization, by Roy Beck and Leon Kolankiewicz, CIS, March 2001.
    The report concludes that by focusing only on the environmental effects of consumption and ignoring the effects of rapid U.S. population growth - indeed, by encouraging rapid growth through immigration - the environmental bureaucracy and the federal government today are failing to stop the destruction of the nation's natural environment.
  • There Is No GlobalPopulation Problem, by Garrett Hardin, The Social Contract, Fall, 2001.
    The moral is surely obvious: Never globalize a problem if it can possibly be solved locally. It may be chic but it is not wise to tack the adjective global onto the names of problems that are merely widespread - for example, "global hunger," "global poverty," and the "global population problem."
    We will make no progress with population problems, which are a root cause of both hunger and poverty, until we deglobalize them. Populations, like potholes, are produced locally and, unlike atmospheric pollution, remain local - unless some people are so unwise as to globalize them by permitting population excesses to migrate into the better-endowed countries. Marx's formula, "to each according to his needs,"is a recipe for national suicide.
    We are not faced with a single global population problem, but, rather, with about 180 separate national population problems.
  • Strategic Negligence: How the Sierra Club's Distortions on Border and Immigration Policy Are Undermining its Environmental Legacy, by Jerry Kammer, Center for Immigration Studies, October 2009.
    The environmental devastation in the Arizona borderlands caused by illegal immigration and drug smuggling is undeniable, and not just at Organ Pipe. The same account could have been written from other extraordinary places, including the Cabeza Prieta Wilderness, Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, and the Coronado National Forest. Yet this toll has been trivialized or ignored by the nation's largest environmental organization, the Sierra Club. David Brower, the Sierra Club former executive director, observed: "We feel you don't have a conservation policy unless you have a population policy."
  • Immigration and U.S. Population Growth: An Environmental Perspective, by Mark W. Nowak, Negative Population Growth (undated).
    Over the past 25 years, the link between population growth and environmental degradation has been so well established that it is hard to find an environmental advocate who does not acknowledge it. Numerous governments have recognized the need for population stabilization, as well, and several international agencies now exist to address population growth directly. In the United States, officials at the highest levels of office have considered whether the United States should adopt a national population policy. In 1972, the recommendations of the Commission on Population Growth and the American Future (also known as the Rockefeller Commission) demonstrated what such a policy might look like: in part, the Commission recommended freezing immigration at its then-current level of about 400,000 a year as part of a national population policy. More recently, the Presidentās Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD) advocated the goal of voluntary population stabilization in the United States, but fell short of recommending a specific immigration level.
    Immigration is a highly emotional issue so any debate over immigration policy is likely to be heated. Unfortunately, much of the population and environment community is reluctant even to acknowledge that immigration has a demographic impact, an issue that was long ago resolved by the demographers. Once this first step has been taken, then the environmental debate over immigration can truly begin.
  • Destination America - Immigration, the Environment, and Big Population numbers, by Jim Montavalli, E Magazine (referenced on Population Media Center), June, 2008
    Why is the U.S. virtually the only industrialized country with a rapidly growing population? The key word is "immigration"... It's a pretty big target to miss.
  • More information: a list of books on population and sustainability.

Related links: CIS immigration numbers, Center for Immigration Studies videos, CIS publications on undocumented immigrants, immigration organizations.

Copyright 2010