Veterans for Secure Borders

Wall Street Journal Needs to Open Its Eyes, Not Border

Article by Stuart H. Hurlbert, San Diego State University, July 4, 2001

Mr. Bartley's paean to high immigration rates and open borders reflects considerable misunderstanding of the big picture. I comment on only two of its many blindspots: the environment and the "unstoppability" of immigration.

Rapid population growth is the major cause of accelerating environmental degradation in the U.S. This population growth is now driven primarily by legal immigration. Illegal immigration is a significant but secondary driver. And, in distant third place, are births to U.S. citizens, or rather the difference between births and deaths among citizens.

Our population growth rate is now higher than that of any other industrialized nation. Combined with our high per capita rates of resource consumption and waste generation, this rate of population growth occasions great environmental damage. Some of it is irreversible, and all of it is our legacy to our children and grandchildren.

Thus it is accurate to say that immigration is the greatest controllable cause of environmental degradation in the U.S. The environment, of course, has never been a matter of prime concern to the Wall Street Journal, so to see it neglected or 'externalized' from an analysis once again is no surprise.

Even without open borders, the U.S. Census Bureau now predicts that the U.S. population may exceed a billion before the end of this century if there is no immigration reform.

It is equally misguided for Mr. Bartley to state that "There is no realistic way to stop the resulting flow of people [across our borders] -- certainly no way that would be acceptable to the American conscience."

The great majority of Americans want a reduction in legal immigration and a halt to illegal immigration -- and know full well that there are perfectly "acceptable" means to achieve both objectives. What we do not find "acceptable" is the kowtowing of Congress and the Executive Branch to the powerful special interests fighting for cheap labor and cheap causes.

With respect to legal immigration all that is needed is legislation to reduce levels to what they were say, in the 1950s and 1960s. Why would most Americans not find this "acceptable?"

With respect to illegal immigration, this is high only because for decades we have offered many rewards and essentially no penalties to those who attempt it. Those who hire illegal aliens likewise are usually given a free pass. To solve this problem, little more is required than to enforce laws already on the books -- laws clearly "acceptable" to the American people.

Recent testimony by Mr. Roy Beck before the House Judiciary Committee has thoroughly documented the failure of The Executive Branch to enforce U.S. immigration laws or to assist communities heavily impacted by illegal immigrants. This dereliction of duty has risen to a level that a growing portion of the U.S. population views as treasonous. Mr. Beck offers a number of constructive suggestions that could bring about rapid reversal of this dangerous state of affairs.

Read the original article.