Search for:

How does America’s mass immigration affect endangered species?

author Published by Henry Barbaro

Every third Friday in May we observe Endangered Species Day, which serves as a day to learn about how tens of thousands of species are facing extinction, and how we can take action to protect them.  Tragically, there is an on-going and profound loss of species across the globe because of human-caused activities. Worldwide, more than 460 species have been declared extinct in just the last decade and hundreds more are on their way.

Factsheet: Immigration & Biodiversity

After thriving for millions of years, vast numbers of plants and animals have been drawn into a desperate struggle for survival against human-caused threats like invasive species, pesticides, and over-hunting.  But nothing compares to their habitat – their natural home – being clear-cut, burned, dammed, drained, and/or bulldozed to make way for expanding human populations.  This includes fragmentation and disconnection of entire wildlife ecosystems, where animals can no longer move between larger habitat areas.

N. American birds have declined by 3 billion since 1970. More people, fewer birds.
More people, fewer birds.

Humans are to blame for almost all cases of animals being driven to extinction.  Not only do all species have the same right to live as people, but all species play a role in the balance of nature.  While it may seem unimportant for a small animal to go extinct (i.e., be lost forever), it matters because all species are connected through their interactions in a web of life. 

A balanced and biodiverse ecosystem is one in which each species plays an important role and relies on the services provided by other species to survive.  So, saving one species means saving its habitat and the other species that live there too.

The United States, which is the fastest-growing industrialized country in the world, is one of the most culpable countries when it comes to conducting a wholesale assault on wildlife.  Even after 50 years under the Endangered Species Act as federal law, 40% of America’s animals and 34% of its plants are threatened with extinction.  As described above, our nation’s relentless population growth has led to the development of millions of acres of natural lands.  America’s population has soared to 336 million today, with ¾ of our land area becoming used for agriculture.

A primary driver of this growth has come from America’s liberal immigration policies, which have led the U.S. Census Bureau to predict that by 2060 our population will surge toward 400 million, with roughly 90 percent of that growth resulting from immigration.  Illegal immigration now outpaces legal immigration, with more than 2.5 million illegal border crossers and visa overstayers per year being released into communities across the country. That’s in addition to our legal immigration rate spiking at more than 1.1 million per year.  For these reasons both the Secure the Border Act (H.R. 2) and the Nuclear Family Priority Act (H.R. 7833) are critically important to regain control over our nation’s unprecedented, and unsustainable, rate of immigration.

There’s a bitter irony here because Americans pay hundreds of billions in tax dollars every year to subsidize the growing number of illegal migrants, while the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has been chronically underfunded for decades.  As a result, more than 300 species are still waiting to be evaluated for protection under the ESA. Nearly 50 species have been declared extinct while waiting for protections because of these funding shortfalls.

Take Action

Your voice counts! Let your Member of Congress know where you stand on immigration issues through the Action Board. Not a NumbersUSA member? Sign up here to get started.

Action Board

Donate Today!

NumbersUSA is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that relies on your donations to works toward sensible immigration policies. NumbersUSA Education & Research Foundation is recognized by America's Best Charities as one of the top 3% of well-run charities.


Immigration Grade Cards

NumbersUSA provides the only comprehensive immigration grade cards. See how your member of Congress’ rates and find grades going back to the 104th Congress (1995-97).

Read More