On Tuesday, July 31, I spoke about immigration and the environment to a group of homeschoolers and parents at Santa Clara University (which calls itself “the Jesuit university in Silicon Valley”). The kids were participating in the Homeschool Summer Debate Workshop, a yearly affair to bring homeschoolers together to learn debating skills and mix it up some.
I was invited at the suggestion of my friend Rick Oltman who had spoken to the debaters before.
We spoke to a group of about three dozen parents and student, mostly high school, some younger. Rick showed about 10 minutes of a DVD of the late Madeleine Cosman speaking about the public health dimension of immigration anarchy to set the tone, and then I presented my remarks.
Let me tell you just a bit about where I’m coming from on the subject of immigration, because it is a complex, controversial and easily misunderstood topic.
My awakening came on March 19, 1996, and was a true lightning bolt. My eyes were opened as never before as I watched the House of Representatives on C-SPAN and heard Rep. Tony Beilensen, a Democratic from southern California, speak the following words on the floor of Congress:”Middle range Census Bureau projections show our population rising to nearly 400 million by the year 2050, an increase the equivalent of adding 40 cities the size of Los Angeles. But many demographers believe it will actually be much worse, and alternative Census Bureau projections agree: if current immigration trends continue, the population will exceed half a billion by the middle of the next century.” [PDF 1 2
My jaw literally dropped in shock and horror—I had no idea the situation was that extreme. I immediately understood that all we environmentalists had worked for—plentiful resources, open spaces, clean air, species protection—would be swept away in an overpopulated America.
I felt something like a religious calling to become active in restricting immigration in order to preserve a recognizable country—now and for the future. I knew that our uniquely influential nation—and therefore the planet—was in serious danger and I had to do something in my own small way.
Domestic overpopulation does have serious environmental consequences which we see at the local level.