After entering via legal and illegal means, people around the world come to the United States and tend to adopt the consumer habits typical of most Americans.
Immigration policy drives almost all U.S. population growth. Illegal immigration now outpaces legal immigration by roughly 2-to-1. The credibility of the legal limits set by Congress has long been shattered.
The new 118th House of Representatives will soon be considering the Border Safety and Security Act (H.R. 29), which would be a first step towards stabilizing the border.
By law, persons entering the U.S. illegally must be detained. The border crisis has grown as word has spread that the U.S. is releasing migrants.
H.R. 29 would require the Department of Homeland Security to turn illegal migrants away if they cannot be detained, swiftly removed, or enrolled in a program like the Migrant Protection Protocols.
In other words, the bill would require DHS to stop releasing people, which if properly implemented and rigorously enforced, would remove the primary incentive for illegal immigration.
"Ask the millions of migrants who have either entered the United States or are lined up at the border what motivated their journeys," writes Joe Guzzardi, "and all will answer that they're in pursuit of the proverbial better life.":
Translated, a better life means they're longing to become consumers — consumers of housing, hard goods like cars and natural resources such as water, electricity and natural gas. The migrants' goal is great news for big businesses that never met a consumer they don't love, but bad news for environmentalists who hope to preserve a vanishing America."
The average per capita ecological footprint worldwide is 2.75 gha, which would fall between the national per capita footprint of Samoa and Romania. To be sustainable, the worldwide average would have to be slightly below Iraq's 1.74. The per capita ecological footprint of the United States is 8.1. Population growth in the United States has a far greater impact than growth in other nations.
The Border Safety and Security Act would be a small but important first step toward substantially reducing illegal immigration and restoring credibility to the immigration limits that are necessary to deal effectively with the critical environmental issues facing the United States.
JEREMY BECK is a V.P., Deputy Director for NumbersUSA
Updated: Tue, Jan 17th 2023 @ 3:36pm EST