Reducing Legal Immigration is Key to Pausing Population Growth


Reducing Legal Immigration is Key to Pausing Population Growth

Published on March 14th, 2022

Mass immigration has fueled more than 100+ years of rapid population growth in the US and the impact on our environment is undeniable.  Our cities are polluted, wildlife areas are disappearing, and our climate is changing at an alarming pace.

Thankfully, public figures are increasingly talking about policies, including reducing immigration levels, to effectively pause US population growth and make our future more sustainable.

One such figure is Joseph Chamie who was the former Director of the United Nations Population Division and previously served as the Director of Research at the Center for Migration Studies.

Chamie recently made the case in The Hill for pausing population growth in the U.S.

Without a doubt, America’s population growth is a major factor affecting domestic demand for resources, including water, food and energy, and the worsening of the environment and climate change. There is hardly any major problem facing America with a solution that would be easier if the nation’s population were larger. On the contrary, population stabilization would help to resolve several.

Stabilizing the population would reduce pressures on the environment, climate and the depletion of resources and gain time for America to find solutions to its pressing issues. If the United States intends to address climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, etc., it must consider how its population affects each issue. 

Notably, the article also addressed the necessity of reducing legal immigration to pause legal immigration: 

Gradually stabilizing America’s population will provide an exemplary model for other countries to emulate. Rather than racing to increase the size of their respective populations in a world with 8 billion humans and growing, nations would see America moving away from the unsustainable demographic strategy. 

As American couples are having fewer children than in the past for a host of social, economic and personal reasons, the nation’s fertility rate is unlikely to return to the replacement level any time soon. And pro-growth calls for Congress or the administration to establish pro-natalist policies to raise fertility appear unlikely to be adopted.

So, with the nation’s fertility below the replacement level, stabilizing America’s population will necessarily involve substantially reducing immigration levels, estimated at approximately 1.1 million per year. If immigration levels were, for example, close to zero, America’s projected population in 2060 would be 320 million versus 405 million if immigration continued at the same pace.

Hopefully more scientists, academics, and environmentals will continue to speak out about reducing legal immigration levels as a practical step towards pausing population growth and promoting sustainability. 

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