COMMENTARY by NPG President Donald Mann
The recent news that tens of thousands of unaccompanied alien children are illegally crossing our southern border has Americans nationwide shaking their heads. The question everyone seems to be asking is: how did this happen?
Yet the most honest response is – how could this not happen? It is the inevitable result of the White House administration’s adamant refusal to enforce our nation’s immigration laws. The current situation was put into play two years ago, when President Obama issued an executive directive to enact the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Since then, the number of immigrants illegally crossing over the Mexican border has gained momentum.
In 2012, NPG warned that such a policy would only encourage more people to unlawfully enter America to share in this “amnesty.” Sadly, our predictions have come true – and with tens of thousands of unaccompanied children arriving each month, the situation has gotten totally out of hand.
And it’s a disaster of our government’s making. Citizens around the world have heard – and seen – that young people should not fear prosecution or deportation if they can get to the U.S. Thus, parents are doing all in their power to send their children here to share in America’s bounty. Unfortunately, these actions – the obvious result of our nation’s failed immigration policies – are creating social, economic, and political crises which could have easily been prevented. They are the consequences of yet another short-sighted U.S. immigration policy.
And the consequences are continuing to mount. According to Fox News Latino, a Senate appropriations panel recently “voted to give the Obama administration $2 billion it requested to handle the dramatic increase in child migration.” The White House also announced it was releasing $2 million in grants to retain legal counsel for the children facing deportation. Additional resources will also be needed months and years from now, as our nation faces the social costs this crisis will surely trigger as it unfolds.
In response to the situation, the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers issued a statement that NPG wholeheartedly agrees with: “Any elected member of the Executive or Legislative Branch of the U.S. Government that has not stood up and demanded that current Immigration Law be enforced vigorously since 1986 is fully and exclusively responsible…”
As the global media focuses on the unparalleled chaos this situation has created, the hearts of all Americans go out to the children who are suffering the consequences of our negligent policies. They have become the innocent victims of immigration politics at its worst.
One commentator described this situation as a “crisis born of inaction,” which is an apt description. Today’s immigration crisis has been building for years – and extends far beyond the children caught up in this latest turmoil. We are aflood with short-sighted, inaccurate, and outdated immigration policies – policies which cause America’s population to swell with ever-increasing numbers, and our nation’s problems only worsen as a result.
With all of the focus on humanitarian and fiscal effects, the consequences of such massive immigration-driven population growth are notably absent from the dialogue. While NPG is grateful that Americans are finally discussing the real costs of immigration, we harbor some concern that – by avoiding talk of population growth – we are still “missing the boat” as a nation. Why are we not also concerned with the future of our own children – and their children? Until we enforce our existing laws and adopt responsible immigration policies to limit our population growth, this crisis is only the first of many that are sure to come.
NPG is working to bring the power of our tens of thousands of members and supporters to America’s search for a solution. We rely on your activism to put the pressure on Congress – it must work to better secure our borders, enforce our immigration laws, and advance responsible policies which will put America on a responsible population path.
Through it all, we continue to depend on generous gifts from NPG members like you to help us fulfill our critical mission. Please give all you can when you receive our letters, or make a secure online donation on our website (www.NPG.org) today. Thank you!
AMERICAN FERTILITY DROPS
According to The Washington Times, a recent federal report found that “American fertility has reached a record low, driven by falling birthrates among teens and women in their early 20s.” In an article written by Cheryl Wetzstein, it was noted: “Overall, America’s total fertility rate fell to just 1.86 births per woman, the lowest since 1986 and a 1 percent decrease from 2012.” (The “replacement level” of fertility is 2.1 births per woman, as it reflects the parents replacing themselves in a population.)
The story highlights: “The number of teen births in 2013 – 274,641 – was the lowest number ever reported for the United States… The changes in the overall fertility rate reflect a profound shift in U.S. family patterns, due in part to the trend of more women choosing to have their first baby later in life.”
Though lower than in the past, the new figure of 1.86 births puts our nation’s fertility rate higher than Brazil (1.81), China (1.66), Japan (1.41) and Russia (1.59).
Our nation’s work towards equal education and employment prospects for women is reflected in these lower fertility numbers – with more opportunities, women statistically delay their first child and have fewer children overall. A declining fertility rate is utterly necessary if we are to slow, halt, and eventually reverse U.S. population growth.
NEW YORK ASSEMBLY: NO FRACKING FOR NOW
Billions of dollars and thousands of jobs are at stake! However, for now New Yorkers will not share in the riches of fracking that are boosting the economies of many states throughout the U.S.
In an article for Ecowatch, Brandon Baker reports that in mid-June “New York’s general assembly passed a moratorium on fracking with a sensible question in mind – why rush?” Baker quotes NY Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver as stating: “We have heard from thousands of residents across the state about many issues associated with hydrofracking, and prudent leadership demands that we take our time to address all these concerns. We do not need to rush into this. The natural gas deposits within the Marcellus Shale are not going to go anywhere.”
Health experts and environmentalists hailed the legislators’ action in passing a bill which states: “Oil and gas development utilizing HVHF [high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing] involves the use and/or production of numerous toxic and hazardous air and water contaminants, a number of them known or suspected carcinogens. Oil and gas development utilizing HVHF has also been associated with a range of adverse environmental impacts, including impacts to water and air quality, land and habitat, and community character.”
NPG applauds the responsible actions of New York’s elected leaders in stepping back from the rush to accept fracking as an almost risk-free activity. Fracking may provide some oil – but nowhere near the quantities needed over the long term to support a growing population. The only real answer to resource shortages is to reduce demand. And until we slow, halt, and reverse our population growth, the demand for energy and fossil fuels will only become stronger. For more information on fracking, see our NPG Forum paper Is Fracking an Answer? To What?
THE STATUS OF WATER: DECADES AFTER THE CLEAN WATER ACT
As president of the Waterkeeper Alliance, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has long championed responsible environmental policies. In a recent fundraising letter for his well-regarded group, he stressed the fact that “Forty-two years after the Clean Water Act, our water quality is STILL threatened.”
To back up his assertion, Kennedy lists the following facts:
- * Every year, 15 million of the world’s children under age 5 die from polluted water;
- * 40% of both lakes and rivers in the U.S. are polluted and unsafe to use;
- * 70% of U.S. industrial waste is dumped into our usable water supply;
- * Each year, 1.2 trillion gallons of untreated sewage is dumped into U.S. waters;
- * By 2025, 3.5 billion people will face a water shortage issue.
Kennedy reminds us that “Without water, there can be no life. Without clean water, there can be no healthy life.”
NPG’s primary mission is to educate American citizens and elected leaders on the dangers of population growth. As our nation continues to grow, we trigger greater demand for dwindling clean water resources. NPG is pleased to work in tandem with Waterkeeper Alliance in spreading the facts about this critical issue.
THE PRICE OF CALIFORNIA’S HEAT AND DROUGHT
According to a recent USA Today article, “California is enduring its hottest year on record, contributing to the state’s worst level of drought in the past 40 years.”
Reporter Doyle Rice quotes National Climatic Data Center scientist Jake Crouch as stating “temperatures in California have been about 5 degrees above average” for the first five months of this year. That trend has had dangerous results. “Nearly one-third of the state is now in ‘exceptional’ drought… now seen in the San Francisco Bay area, parts of Silicon Valley and the farmlands of central California.”
Rice puts the problem in perspective against past droughts, highlighting the enormity of today’s problem when he writes: “The drought is now comparable to the state’s drought in the 1970s… Drought impacts are likely to eventually be much higher than 40 years ago, however: While about 20 million people lived in California in the 1970s, the state’s population is now nearly 40 million.”
USA Today cites a recent University of California-Davis report which “estimated that water shortages would cause the fallowing of 410,000 acres, the loss of 14,500 jobs, and cost the (agricultural) industry $1.7 billion in the state’s most productive agricultural region.”
What lies ahead for the future? Residents throughout California are hoping for a strong El Niño “to develop later in the summer and continue into the fall and winter.” Steve Baxter, a meteorologist with the Climate Prediction Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), said there’s an 82% chance that would happen.
However, even with this much-needed precipitation, California is facing a real problem. As the most populated state in the U.S., Californians must consider – can we really afford to continue our population growth in the face of such serious water shortages?
“STATE CITIZENS”— A SCARY NEW PROPOSAL
In recent years, we’ve seen the White House go all-out to thwart any elected leaders attempting to lessen the flow of illegal aliens into their states. Federal lawsuits have been filed against nearly all states with legislation related to jobs, crime, voting privileges, drivers’ licenses, etc. These laws were roundly condemned as “anti-immigrant,” and court cases are still being waged to test their constitutionality.
With that as a background, it is going to be very interesting to see how the current Justice Department reacts to recent actions by New York legislators. These elected officials are going far beyond present “sanctuary” policies to create a new status of “state citizens.”
As reported by the New York Daily News, “Undocumented immigrants in New York could become ‘state citizens’ with a slew of benefits from driver’s licenses to voting rights….” Reporter Erin Durkin focuses on how a number of legislators are rallying around a measure “that would allow immigrants who aren’t U.S. citizens to become New York State citizens if they can prove they’ve lived and paid taxes in the state for three years and pledge to uphold New York laws – regardless of whether they’re in the country legally.”
Durkin highlights: “People who secured state citizenship would be able to vote in state and local elections and run for state office. They could get a driver’s license, a professional license, Medicaid and other benefits controlled by the state. Immigrants would also be eligible for in-state tuition and financial aid. The legislation would not grant legal authorization to work or change any other regulations governed by federal law.”
New York State Senator Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx), the sponsor of this legislation, notes: “Obviously this is not something that’s going to pass immediately, but nothing as broad as this or as bold as this passes immediately.”
Thankfully, the New York legislature has completed and closed its 2014 session without voting on this dangerous bill, so the measure has died – for now. However, NPG notes the fact that such a measure was even under discussion is severely disconcerting. Just as the recent federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has caused massive fallout, so will such similar state-based legislation. With our nation’s long-standing immigration laws presently embroiled in unpredictable chaos, and open-border advocates working to give millions of undocumented aliens some of the major advantages of U.S. citizenship, we must not fail to act now to prevent this from becoming future legislation.
We encourage all NPG members and supporters – particularly those in New York State – to make their voices heard. We must not continue to increase our population through such short-sighted and irresponsible immigration policies. NPG offers sample letters to send your elected officials, as well as sample Letters to the Editor of your local newspapers. Be sure to let NPG know if your letter is published!
NPG ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF 2014 PHOTO SCHOLARSHIP CONTEST
In January, as we launched this year’s scholarship program, we invited students nationwide to participate in our new photo competition. After receiving entries from students all across America, NPG staff selected 17 winners whose photos will be featured in an upcoming 2014-2015 NPG Calendar – one Grand Prize winner ($1,500), NPG’s Robert H. Savage Memorial Scholarship Award winner ($1,000), and fifteen Honorable Mentions ($500). Awards are paid toward the student’s undergraduate tuition expenses at an accredited college or university. In addition to appearing in the calendar, the winning photographs are also posted on the NPG website.
NPG extends our gratitude for the generous contributions of our members and various foundations. Their critical support ensures that we are able to offer this annual program and aid the education of America’s next generation of leaders. We also send our appreciation to the tens of thousands of students who have competed in our Contests – it is your participation that makes this event such a success!
NPG CALLS FOR PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON POPULATION
The administration’s recent release of the National Climate Assessment has prompted swift action by NPG. President Donald Mann has called on the White House to devote equivalent time and resources to studying the consequences of U.S. population growth and its threat to our nation’s future.
In a letter sent to Dr. John P. Holdren, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, President Mann pushed for the federal government to act promptly and create a Presidential Commission on Population.
A copy of the letter follows:
Dear Dr. Holdren:
Congratulations on the recently released National Climate Assessment report. I know your personal leadership contributed greatly to its scholarly research and powerful impact on the public.
As a long-time activist who has worked to find solutions for many of our nation’s environmental and social challenges, I recognize your dedication to shaping a positive, livable future.
Sharing that same goal, I am making a personal plea to you today.
I am calling on you to use the power of your White House office to address another often ignored, yet critical, area of concern: America’s population growth. Our nation just recently passed 318 million people, and U.S. Census projections show us growing to between 420 million and 442 million by 2060.
Simply put, that growth has inflicted significant consequences on our environment, economy, natural resources, and quality of life – and it will only persist and intensify.
I urge you to use your personal influence with President Obama to create a formal advisory or presidential commission – complete with government, private, and academic representatives – to study and assess future population growth and its consequences and costs for our nation, its citizens, and our habitat.
At the most basic level, a Presidential Commission on Population could reevaluate today’s “growth at any cost” economic policies, formally assess the serious environmental effects of overpopulation, and expose the social challenges America will confront in the years to come.
As you well know, we lost an opportunity to set our nation on a responsible population course in the early 1970s. The distinguished Rockefeller Commission on Population and the American Future was derailed by politics, which was a serious setback for our nation.
It is not too late to revisit the Rockefeller Commission’s findings, bring them up to date, and move forward to create a national population policy.
I am convinced that as Americans face critical population-related issues every day – including urban sprawl, widespread environmental damage, a shortage of affordable housing, spiraling social costs, dwindling water supplies, and a deteriorating national infrastructure – there will be an increasing need for support of this valuable commission and its recommendations.
Unlike the climate issue – where “deniers” openly challenge scientific findings – it is hard for anyone to ignore that our nation is already vastly overpopulated. The evidence is all around us.
We’ve been on the path of continued growth for decades, but it is essential that we take action now to slow, halt, and eventually reverse America’s population growth over the long term. A formal Presidential Commission on Population will greatly help us reach that important goal.
I sincerely hope you will give strong consideration to this request. I know I do not need to convince you how much we owe it to future generations to initiate a reasonable, responsible population policy to create a more sustainable nation and world.
Thank you for your consideration of this request. Please know that all of us who have followed you through the years are very proud of your leadership and success.
“For much of the world, the future has involved a hopeful expectation of more and more… But within just my own lifetime, world and U.S. population have more than tripled. The United Nations projects that our current world population of 7.1 billion will pass 10 billion by 2100… More people use more resources. Carrying capacity and the preservation of our environment are now becoming inversely related to population growth.”
A Future of Less
(Forthcoming NPG Forum Paper)
“A new Rasmussen poll finds only 31 percent favor increasing immigration and that may be because only 18 percent of Americans think illegal immigration is running higher than 500,000 per year. The real rate is more than a million per year. 58 percent of respondents either supported lower immigration levels or maintaining current levels.”
WHY THE NPG JOURNAL?
The NPG Journal (offered free to all recipients) exists to give more widespread distribution to timely news stories and articles related to population, immigration, environmental, and political issues that currently affect our daily life – or have the potential to seriously impact our future.
We realize not all news stories covering population issues will reflect NPG policies and goals. One of our main purposes in creating the NPG Journal is to expose these items to a wider audience, and to draw attention to the fact that many articles speak to immigration and population issues yet fail to address the central cause of many problems: U.S. overpopulation.
Ultimately, NPG would like to see writers at all levels make the obvious (to us, at least) connection between environmental and resource problems and the growing number of people in both the United States and the world. Unfortunately, most do not. To that end, we comment as necessary to help our readers see those links, in hopes they will continue to speak out on what we deem to be the most pressing issue of our time – population size and growth.
NPG President Donald Mann offers his personal insight and commentary on individual stories, especially those that challenge, confirm and/or complement our NPG Forum papers and research. The goal of the NPG Journal is to greatly expand NPG’s educational mission. NPG’s activities continue to emphasize the need for Americans to speak up on population issues and keep our nation – especially our elected leaders on the national, state, and local levels – focused on taking action to help resolve today’s immigration crisis and work to slow, halt, and eventually reverse America’s population growth.
We welcome your feedback to articles posted on the NPG Journal, and urge you to forward to us the e-mail addresses of friends you think would like to receive a complimentary copy of the NPG Journal on a monthly basis. Contact us at NPG@NPG.org.
Negative Population Growth, Inc. (NPG) is a national nonprofit membership organization with over 30,000 members. It was founded in 1972 to educate the American public and political leaders regarding the devastating effects of overpopulation on our environment, resources, and standard of living. We believe that our nation is already vastly overpopulated in terms of the long-range carrying capacity of its resources and environment.
World population, now over 7.3 billion, is predicted to rise to 9 billion by 2050, an increase of almost two billion, or 23%, in the short space of only 34 years from now.In the highly unlikely event that per capita greenhouse gas emissions could possibly be decreased by an equal percentage in such a short space of time (a blink of an eye) the total amount of worldwide emission would remain the same!
From this simple illustration it would appear that without drastically reducing the size of world population, there is no solution to the problem.None at all.So then why do our world leaders pretend that there is one?What is to be gained by pretending rather than by proposing a solution that would solve the problem – a reduction in the size of world population to not more than 1- 2 billion?
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