Deputy Director’s Corner

Deputy Director’s Corner
 
As 2015 comes to a close, immigration and population growth
seem to have taken center spotlight of the international stage.
NPG Deputy Director Tracy Canada can be reached by email at tcanada@npg.org.

On December 2nd, CNN reported this breaking news: “Texas files suit in federal court over Syrian refugees.” Ken Paxton, the state’s Attorney General, filed suit against the U.S. State Department and the International Rescue Committee on the grounds that: “the Refugee Act of 1980 requires that the federal government ‘shall consult regularly’ with state and local governments and private nonprofit voluntary agencies concerning the intended distribution of refugees and the government has failed to do so.”

I am often asked why NPG has stated a position on the Syrian refugee crisis, considering that we include humanitarian and refugee admissions within our Proposed National Population Policy. Paxton made a critical point that I feel is important to echo: “The point of this lawsuit is not about specific refugees, it is about protecting Texans by ensuring that the federal government fulfills its obligation to properly vet the refugees and cooperate and consult with the state.” NPG’s position on immigration – and on the Syrian crisis – is very similar. This is about the sheer number of legal immigrants that our nation admits each year.

This is about exponential growth, from high initial admissions
and family reunification policies which contribute to
massive chain migration later.

The same week, the Brookings Institute released a new report titled “Metropolitan immigrant gateways revisited, 2014.” The report begins by stating: “The history of population growth in the United States has been largely tied to immigration.” In 2005, the Institute issued a report documenting how immigrant populations in the U.S. were beginning to shift from major urban cities to “fast-growing metropolitan areas, primarily in the South and West.” Author Audrey Singer explains: “This brief examines… the impact of immigrants on population change in metropolitan America,” analyzing 2000-2014 trends with an “updated metropolitan immigration gateway typology.” Her conclusion?

“Across all gateway types the foreign-born population is growing faster than the native-born population, and in all three of the emerging gateway types, increases in the immigrant population outpace the U.S. average.”

From November 30th through December 11th, the U.N. is hosting its 21st annual Climate Change Conference in Paris, France. A Q&A section in The New York Times was dedicated to the conference, and one particular submission caught my eye. Not only was the question highly important, but I was also pleased to see anything on the topic actually published! Geoff Hobbs of South Africa asked: “To my mind, you avoid the most important point. Is the increase in the human population not the ugly truth that every scientist avoids?” The response from Times climate change reporter John Schwartz did include some facts: “‘The growth of population is a major factor behind climate change today.'”

However, Schwartz sadly kicks the population issue down the road, dismissing the critical need for official population policies in nations around the world. Instead, he seems to favor “conservation” techniques – which, by the way, have not been effective in combating global population growth or the resulting increases in consumption. Schwartz simply quotes Andy Revkin’s claim: “9 billion vegan monks would have a far different greenhouse-gas imprint than a similar number of people living high on the hog.”

Our world cannot afford to ignore the need for true leadership
and official national policies to reduce population growth!

Admirably, this week in Pakistan Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah took vital and much-needed action when he launched a new five-year family planning program aimed at reducing the area’s population growth. The Chief Minister noted: “human development consists of health, education and poverty. ‘These three elements deteriorate, if the population growth goes unchecked.'” The Daily Times, a major newspaper in Pakistan commented:

“The staggering increase in population… has become one of the major causes of socio-economic and environmental problems… With each passing day, the country’s limited resources are becoming insufficient to cater [to] the growing needs of the citizens.”

In the U.S., we are not immune to these same consequences. Our environment, economy, natural resources, infrastructure, and general quality of life are all already straining under the burden of our population’s size and growth.

With your help, we can continue the fight for America’s future!

Since 1972, NPG has been America’s premier grassroots organization advocating a reasonable, responsible national population policy. With your valuable membership dues – and generous contributions throughout the year – we are able to continue and expand our critical education and outreach programs. Our FREE NPG Teacher’s Packets go to hundreds of schools nationwide – reaching tens of thousands of students each year… our 2015 NPG Scholarships awarded $20,000 to talented college students – helping them meet the rising cost of higher education… and our 2015 NPG national Press Releases have been picked up by thousands of media outlets across the country – reaching a subscribed audience of hundreds of millions of Americans.

It is only with your help that NPG can host these and many other critical programs – enlisting more concerned citizens in the fight for America’s future!

 

Tracy Henke

Tracy Henke served as Deputy Director of NPG from 2012 to 2017, contributing to the structure and development of NPG’s publications programs. Acting as NPG’s principal editor and a contributing author – as well as a regular contact for the public and media, Tracy extensively researched U.S. population issues and worked to establish significant grassroots support for the NPG mission. She holds a degree in Leadership & Social Change from Virginia Tech, with a professional background in non-profit and program management.

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