No, I'm not suggesting that immigrants deliberately or inadvertently destroy more green space than U.S.-born residents.
In fact, each immigrant on average destroys less than the average American.
But the numbers of immigrants (4 times the traditional average) are resulting in the clearing, scraping and developing of nearly a million additional acres of natural habitat and farmland every year.
Is this not a crisis demanding urgent attention on this week of the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day?
WATCH THIS ONE-MINUTE VIDEO
Please watch our little animation about this most serious of environmental threats in our country.
And then forward it to everybody you know who likes a few things in life that aren't concrete, brick, gravel, asphault and man-made structures.
For everybody who loves a quiet natural space . . . .
- to fish, to hike,
- to hunt, to bike,
- to bird-watch, to picnic, to swim or canoe,
- to photograph, to camp, or simply to view,
- to slowly traverse on meandering roads,
- or slower still under backpack loads . . . .
For all who desire a respite of natural space without spending a half-day to get to the place . . .
. . . For all of you, the massive annual destruction of the nation's greenspaces should be an environmental crisis garnering top attention on this week of the 40th Anniversary of the first Earth Day.
This video explains for kids, youth and jaded oldsters the relationship between U.S. population growth and the loss of the nation's greenspaces.
INTERACTIVE FEATURE ALLOWS YOU TO IMAGINE A LESS DESTRUCTIVE FUTURE
The video also connects to an interactive feature that allows you to change the amount of open space destruction by setting lower annual immigration levels.
It is a great way to see how directly immigration policy is linked to environmental damage.
Our research of government data finds that most of the new development and urban sprawl in America is now driven by our biggest population explosion in the nation's history. And because Americans' birth rates have been just below replacement-level since 1972, all the long-term population growth is due to our immigration policies.
U.S. population growth appears to be driving the destruction of about 1 million acres of wetlands, woods, farmland, prairies, meadows and other natural habitat EVERY YEAR!
Congress is responsible for this destruction because it has quadrupled annual immigration since the 1960s over the traditional average of 250,000 a year.
Congress has been giving out a million Green Cards a year since 1990. And in 2009, it gave out more than 1.1 million, the most in nearly 100 years.
Immigration has a longer term impact on the population size because of the much-higher fertility rates through several generations. Births to immigrants each year surpass a million. And until this recession, some 700,000 illegal aliens settled each year in the U.S.
All of this additional population needs land for housing, for jobs, for schools, for commerce, for transportation. Overall, it takes another 1 million acres of open space every year to provide for the extra population.
You don't have to consider yourself an environmentalist to be very concerned about this trend. What will be left of the non-urban things you love when your grandchildren take their grandchildren out for some natural respite?
And if you DO consider yourself an environmentalist, please work within the organizations of which you are a member to address this relentless attack on our country's natural heritage.
ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA
Updated: Mon, Apr 19th 2010 @ 10:03pm EDT