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New Report Says Key to Environmental Sustainability in U.S. Is Reduced Immigration

New Report Says Key to Environmental Sustainability in U.S. Is Reduced Immigration

PRESS RELEASE | SEPTEMBER 20, 2016


“It's completely disingenuous for anyone who is truly concerned about this nation's sustainability and carrying capacity to continue to ignore the jet engine driving U.S. population growth: immigration.”

—dan stein, president of fair


(Washington, D.C.) One of the most important factors in achieving environmental sustainability in the U.S. is to reduce immigration, finds a new report, "U.S. Immigration and the Environment," by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). America's rapidly growing population is one of the biggest impediments to meeting critical environmental goals, and immigration is by far the largest factor driving U.S. population growth.

"It's completely disingenuous for anyone who is truly concerned about this nation's sustainability and carrying capacity to continue to ignore the jet engine driving U.S. population growth: immigration," said FAIR President Dan Stein. "Immigration fueled more than half of U.S. population growth in the last 50 years, and will generate three-quarters of it in the next 50 years," he added.

The U.S. has the largest ecological footprint in the world, measured by emissions of greenhouse gases and resource consumption. Adding to that footprint is the growing number of human feet, largely a result of mass immigration, which continues to undermine our efforts to minimize America's impact on the global environment. All of the gains that have been made through conservation and improved efficiency have been wiped out by continued immigration-driven population growth.

"It is simply impossible for the United States to address critical ecological challenges while increasing our population by more than 100 million people by the middle of this century," said Stein. "A high-immigration, high-population U.S. threatens the future successes of the environmental movement, including efforts to fight global climate change and urban sprawl."

The report makes five recommendations, noting that any delay reducing immigration will make it increasingly difficult to achieve a political consensus to finally bring immigration back to traditional levels. The recommendations include:

  • The government should adopt an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on U.S. immigration policy. No U.S. government agency has ever produced an EIS assessing the impact of large-scale population growth.
  • Set a national goal of population stabilization. First recommended nearly 50 years ago and then again under President Clinton, the U.S. should adopt the goal of population stabilization.
  • End chain migration. Admission to the U.S. should be limited to the immediate nuclear family of immigrants, including spouse and unmarried minor children.
  • Reduce immigration levels. Immigration should be reduced from its current 1.25 million to roughly 300,000 per year.
  • Adopt an immigration policy that lives within an immigration "budget." Living within an immigration budget will inject some much-needed discipline into the system and address the continued use of "temporary" categories that remain in place long after the crisis that created the need ends.

"In recent years, many environmental groups that had previously taken strong, common sense positions in favor of reducing immigration have abandoned their core principles in favor of other political agendas. Given the existential challenges posed by global warming and other threats to the survival of our planet, these groups need to support commonsense population policies now," said Stein. "The only way to buy some time in the race the save the environment is by acting now on immigration."

Read the full report here.


about fair

Founded in 1979, FAIR is the country's largest immigration reform group. With over 250,000 members nationwide, FAIR fights for immigration policies that serve national interests, not special interests. FAIR believes that immigration reform must enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.