Immigration is the trigger

Letter date: 
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Letter publisher: 
Letter author: 
Elizabeth Van Staavern
Letter body: 

Letters recently have expressed alarm at the rapid growth of population, worldwide and in Oregon, and the toll it takes on the environment and natural resources. The statistics are frightening and raise questions about why this is happening and what we can do about it.

The spread of family planning knowledge around the world, led by philanthropic groups and governments, is helping people work toward sustainable numbers in many countries.

Here in the United States, population growth is triggered mainly by immigration. The U.S. reached a replacement level fertility rate of 2.1 children per woman in the year 1972. Absent the enormous increases in immigration from 1970 to 2010, U.S. population would have peaked about 2050 at around 260 million people and then start to decline.

Instead, today we are fast approaching 313 million, and if present immigration levels are not reduced, we’re on track to reach 439 million by 2050. Even higher projections have been made by the Census Bureau. Their highest series projection for 2100 was over 1 billion.

Immigration is a public policy issue to be decided by the citizens. It is not a natural phenomenon over which we have no control. Unfortunately, Congress has opted too often to increase the numbers, and recent presidents have used their power to curb enforcement of immigration laws. Citizens must re-assert their right to set immigration policy and have it carried out according to the law.

At this time of economic hardship, it is especially senseless to continue importing a million immigrants a year who will be in competition with Americans for jobs, education and living space.