While the group’s data about the percentage of population increase attributable to immigration may be valid, given the NPG’s mandate to oppose all population increase, regardless of the nature of such increase, it is important to factor in the organization’s inherent bias when assessing its warning.
“With increased population, we see a direct increase in the problems our nation faces on a daily basis: pollution, over-consumption, traffic gridlock, crowded schools and hospitals, overburdened social services, unemployment, crumbling infrastructure, urban sprawl, over-development, threatened or extinct animal and plant species, and dwindling natural resources,” Tracy Canada, the group’s deputy director, told the Washington Examiner.
Canada added, “Immigrants to the U.S. are also found to greatly increase their consumption — and their resulting footprints — upon settling here, which furthers our nation’s environmental impact.”
Because of the recent large increase in the number of illegal immigrants entering our country, NPG — according to its president, Donald Mann — is planning a public campaign to warn about the dangers created by letting immigration continue unchecked. However, NPG’s statements indicate that the group’s opposition to immigration includes regulated legal immigration that many conservatives and libertarians actually regard as possibly being beneficial to our nation’s economy. Differing views on immigration, in this case, come down to how one views population growth.
The zero-population-growth doomsayers still accept the now-discredited Malthusian catastrophe theory — first promulgated in Thomas Malthus’ 1798 work, An Essay on the Principle of Population — in which Malthus claimed, “The power of population is so superior to the power of the earth to produce subsistence for man that premature death must in some shape or other visit the human race.”
However, the advent of modern agricultural methods have long demonstrated that Malthus’ theory was false, as food production continues to outpace population growth.
Modern champions of the free market regard human beings as resources rather than liabilities and constitutional conservatives alarmed by the recent influx of illegal immigrants base their concerns on not only the economic cost, but on issues such as the necessity for sovereign nations to control their borders. Even those who welcome legal immigrants for the potential contribution they may make to our social and economic structure, however, recognize that “undocumented” (i.e., illegal) immigration can have very heavy costs.
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Photo of welcome sign at a immigrant detention facility in Texas: AP Images