National Coalition Calls for Immigration
Moratorium to Protect the Environment
Immigration Moratorium ASAP! Alliance
for Stabilizing America's Population
Anne Elizabeth Beale, Population-Environment Balance, Balance
ACTIVIST, Number 83, 9/97
The Alliance for Stabilizing America's Population (ASAP!),
a coalition of over forty environmental, population, and immigration
reduction organizations from across the country, is calling
for an immigration moratorium as an essential first step toward
protecting the environment by stabilizing the population of
the United States.
Why We Need U.S. Population Stabilization
With a population of over 267 million people, the United States
is the third most populated country in the world, increasing
in population by nearly three million people every year (of
which 60% is due to immigration and the children of recent
immigrants). If current trends continue, our population
will exceed 500 million by 2050. Continuing to grow at this
rate, we will add over the next five years another 15 million
people, or the population equivalent of another Los Angeles,
New York City, Chicago, and Houston combined.
Our growing population size has been devastating. To accommodate
growth, we pave over an area equal to the state of Delaware
every year! Each person added results in utilizing an
extra acre of land for urbanization and road-building, Annual
delays in travel time are expected to increase by 5.6 billion
hours over the next two decades as our population grows. Clearly,
our ability to support a population within resource limits
is challenged by our continued unsustainable growth.
ASAP! In an effort to stabilize
our population and ultimately protect our environment, ASAP!
is pushing for the immediate development and adoption of a
national policy which would lead to U.S. population stabilization
by the year 2020. To achieve this goal, ASAP! signatories
have signed the ASAP! Statement of Principles calling for:
reduced fertility rates in the U.S.; reduced immigration;
and the development of policies that mitigate factors driving
international migration. To date, 45 environmental, population,
and immigration reduction organizations from across the country
have signed the ASAP! Statement of Principles.
The United States has a history of much talk and little action
concerning U.S. population stabilization. In 1972, the U.S.
Commission on Population and the American Future (the Rockefeller
Commission) proposed that "the nation welcomed a plan for
a stabilized population." Specific recommendations of the
Rockefeller Commission included establishment of a national
population policy and a moratorium on new immigration. More
recently, the President's Council on Sustainable Development
readdressed the goal of a national population policy, "recognizing
the need to "move toward stabilization of the U.S. population."
Yet despite such recommendations we have seen little action, quality
of life in the United States through population.
ASAP! is unique in this regard. ASAP! recognizes the urgency
for U.S. population stabilization and offers a specific
set of actions.
Conference Brings Together Groups from
Across the Country ASAP! signatories and prominent
individuals recently gathered in Estes Park, Colorado for
the 1997 ASAP! Action Conference, hosted by Population- Environment
Balance (BALANCE). With an agenda including speeches by Senator
Gaylord Nelson, Dr. Albert Bartlett, and syndicated columnist
Georgie Anne Geyer, local and national activist groups joined
to address all aspects of population growth in the United
States. Ultimately, ASAP! signatories developed and adopted
methods and policies to achieve U.S. population stabilization
through grassroots activism and legislative orientation.
Action Plan Because immigration
is currently the driving force behind our unsustainable population
growth of nearly 3 million a year, the following policies
were overwhelmingly approved by ASAP! signatories present
at the conference:
Immigration Moratorium Immediate enactment
of a 5-year immigration moratorium with an all-inclusive (including
refugees and asylees) firm cap of 100,000 a year. This is
to be followed by the ASAP! position of replacement-level
immigration (about 200,000 a year). Signatories agreed to
support the Mass Immigration Reduction Act
(HR 41) introduced by Rep. Bob Stump (R-AZ), with amendments
to include a firm, non- pierceable cap of 100,000 a year.
ASAP! signatories will not support (but may choose not to
oppose) other immigration legislation unless it is amended
to include the ASAP! moratorium. No Further Amnesties
No further amnesties should be granted for illegal immigrants.
This only adds to our population growth, drives unending chain
migration, and encourages illegal immigration. Enforcement
of Current Immigration Laws Specifically, existing
law requiring apprehension and deportation of illegal immigrants
currently in the United States should be enforced. Deny
Citizenship to Children Born to Illegal Immigrants
Signatories supported the denial of citizenship to children
of illegal immigrants. One bill which would achieve this is
the Citizenship Reform Act of 1999 (HR 73) introduced
by Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA). With a strong history of concern
for U.S. population stabilization and overwhelming public
support for reduced immigration combined with a solid Action
Plan, ASAP! is an important vehicle for achieving U.S. population
Anne Elizabeth Beale is a member of Population-Environment
Balance, a national, non-profit membership organization dedicated
to maintaining and improving the quality of life in the United
States through population stabilization. For more information,
she can be reached at 1-800-866-6269.
Population-Environment Balance is a national, non-profit membership
organization dedicated to maintaining the quality of life in
the United States through population stabilization.