Friday, March 04, 2005

Immigration Drives Rapid U.S. Population Growth


More Than Half the Post-1970 Increase is Attributable to Immigration Policies

(Washington, DC  March 1, 2005) The 1970 U.S. Census placed Americas population at about 200 million people. Shortly thereafter, the bipartisan Rockefeller Commission issued a report that concluded that there would be no public benefit to further U.S. population growth. In the ensuing 35 years, U.S. population has swelled by 50 percent and we stand on the brink of surpassing 300 million people. How did this astounding population explosion occur?
A new study published by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) finds that more than half of the 100 million increase in U.S. population is a direct result of post-1965 legal U.S. immigration policies and our failure to enforce laws against illegal immigration. The report, Immigrant Stocks Share of U.S. Population Growth 1970-2004, notes that Americas massive population increase, that is having a profound effect on the social, economic and environmental life of the nation, is the consequence of deliberate choices made by our government over the past 40 years. Moreover, the study warns unless U.S. immigration policies are changed, our population is likely to reach a half billion by mid-century and that post-1970 immigrants and their progeny will account for most of the increase.

The United States, alone among developed nations, is in the fast lane of explosive population growth, and our special interest-driven immigration policies are in the drivers seat, said Dan Stein, president of FAIR. We are recklessly mortgaging our way of life, our economic and social stability, our environment, and our agricultural abundance for the short-term economic and political gain of a few well organized special interests.

Unless corrective immigration policies are adopted quickly, our children and grandchildren will be doomed to live in a country where their opportunities, freedoms and mobility will be severely restricted, Stein cautioned. Massive population growth has, and will continue to have, a profound impact on the lives of all Americans  their ability to earn a decent living, their ability to afford a home, their ability to ensure a quality education for their children, and their right to enjoy open space and a healthy environment.

The studys authors, Joy Lee, Jack Martin and Stan Fogel note while the impact of the past 35 years of mass immigration cannot be undone, we need not compound the difficulties by perpetuating policies that are overwhelmingly opposed by the American public. We can reach rational decisions about where this nation is headed in the next 35 years and beyond. It all hinges on our willingness to address immigration policies, or whether we choose to allow those policies to dictate the future to us, state the authors.

The full text of Immigrant Stocks Share of U.S. Population Growth 1970-2004 is available at FAIRs web site, www.fairus.org.

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