Jeremy Beck's Picture

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  by  Jeremy Beck

After two years of concentrated effort, we have concluded that, in the long run, no substantial benefits will result from further growth of the Nation’s population, rather that the gradual stabilization of our population through voluntary means would contribute significantly to the Nation’s ability to solve its problems. We have looked for, and have not found, any convincing economic argument for continued population growth. The health of our country does not depend on it, nor does the vitality of business nor the welfare of the average person.

Rockefeller Commission Report on Population Growth and the American Future, 1969

The media's failure to grasp the numerical impact of immigration policy inevitably results in its failure to understand other important issues of the day. An Associated Press story on U.S. birth rates is a perfect example. The Associated Press reported: "A rate of a little more than 2 children per woman means each couple is helping keep the population stable." That would be true if we had replacement-level immigration. But we don't. AP left that inconvenient truth out of its story.

At over 1 million per year, immigration numbers are four times above replacement levels and drive more than three-quarters of total U.S. population growth, according to Census data analyzed by the Pew Hispanic Center. Reporting on population growth without mentioning immigration is like making an omelette without eggs.

At our 1-million-per-year immigration pace, the Census Bureau estimates U.S. population to balloon to 440 million by the year 2050 -- double the population of 1969 when the Rockefeller Commission recommended stabilization and capping immigration at 400,000 per year. The AP story, however, omitted immigration's primary role in population growth and misleadingly implied that a small reduction in birth rates could result in a declining population.

The truth about what it would take to stabilize U.S. population growth without reducing immigration is shocking. Using Census Bureau projections, the Center for Immigration Studies and Decision Demographics determined that even reducing native fertility by 50 percent to less than 1 child per woman would not stabilize population growth. In order to achieve stabilization while accommodating current immigration policy, native-born fertility would have to decline by an unprecedented 75 percent.

Coping with Immigration's huge adverse impact on U.S. population growth is one of the greatest challenges the nation faces. Overpopulation exacerbates many of today's labor, fiscal, educational, and environmental problems -- all of which will be passed on to future generations unless we lower immigration numbers.

Congress, President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney have failed to articulate these challenges to voters. They are given a free pass by a media establishment that has yet to grasp the facts and the consequences of our unstable immigration numbers.

JEREMY BECK is the Director of the Media Standards Project for NumbersUSA

Tags:  
Legal Immigration
overpopulation
Environental Sustainability
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