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Old 07-29-2007, 04:33 PM
 
7,352 posts, read 8,991,144 times
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One aspect of the immigration "problem" that I've noticed is consistently overlooked is the impact on the environment, long-term, from overpopulation. It's an issue almost everywhere now, but in terms of our home-range: the U.S. land mass surpassed sustainable population levels some time back. In the 1960s, the population was about 200 million. It is now 300 million, and it is projected that in 40 years, an additional 100 million will be added to the population. Where are all these people going to live? Are we just going to continue to slash-and-burn our way through the continent, until the only land left is that which is protected by federal conservation laws? And even if we make it that far, the serious disruption in ecosystems via overdevelopment will cause tragic water and soil issues for everyone. Noel Perrin wrote a really interesting essay called "Forever Virgin," about this myth that Americans--and those who want to come to America--carry around in their head that "the big ol' country can handle anything." But in fact, it can't. There are boundaries, there are limits. All the old promises--"Bring me your tired and your hungry," etc., were history-specific. It was a country that could still support more population. This is no longer the case. But whenever the environmental aspect--perhaps the most seriously important aspect to the whole discussion, in terms of how our children and children's children will live--is raised, it is dismissed as some kind of "racist" or "anti-immigration" cover. Because the environment isn't a "real" reason. It's almost as though the land and the animal diversity which sustains its beauty and life don't count. It's ridiculous. And dangerous. Nature doesn't care what our politics are: when the balance of life becomes precarious, nature will find a way to rebalance it--and more and more, that's establishing itself in natural disasters. Yes, it's true that illegal immigration has put severe stresses on the middle class in this country: on schools and health care, in particular. But we need to get serious about limiting immigration--and the birth rate of citizens--in order to save the country from environmental devastation, above all.

What are your thoughts?
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Old 07-29-2007, 05:07 PM
 
Location: Anchorage, Alaska (most of the time)
1,222 posts, read 3,286,120 times
Reputation: 1881
Default Not only the immigrants fault

I believe it's wrong to call it an "immigration" problem only. The native-Americans are moving to the big cities as well, making them bigger and more over-populized. Look at China with little immigration: they are over-populizing the country on their own.
The immigration restrictions (legal) are not really in need for further restrictions. Look up how ExTREMELY HARD it is to stay in the US LEGALLY and you'll understand perfectly why people chose to enter illegally. It's practically impossible unless you are rich or already have family in the country.
There are still areas of the country which have not even been explored. I agree that there might be many people in the US right now, but if people would move out of the cities, the problem wouldn't be as severe.
The problem is that people want to live in the big cities.
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Old 07-29-2007, 05:28 PM
 
2,432 posts, read 6,003,968 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweden View Post
I believe it's wrong to call it an "immigration" problem only. The native-Americans are moving to the big cities as well, making them bigger and more over-populized. Look at China with little immigration: they are over-populizing the country on their own.
The immigration restrictions (legal) are not really in need for further restrictions. Look up how ExTREMELY HARD it is to stay in the US LEGALLY and you'll understand perfectly why people chose to enter illegally. It's practically impossible unless you are rich or already have family in the country.
There are still areas of the country which have not even been explored. I agree that there might be many people in the US right now, but if people would move out of the cities, the problem wouldn't be as severe.
The problem is that people want to live in the big cities.

The problem is people have to live where the jobs are. But the shortages of water and power for example, can effect an entire state. Look at California, the water shortage is so bad they have to import it from other states. Additionally, vast parts of California experience power outages, brownouts and blackouts. And it really doesn't matter where you live because the state is going to adjust the power supply as they see fit.

And I have to disagree with you on one point though, illegals don't enter the country because it's so hard to immigrate legally. They enter the country illegally because they are criminals who pick and choose which laws they will obey.
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Old 07-29-2007, 09:06 PM
 
7,352 posts, read 8,991,144 times
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Sweden: I didn't call it an immigration problem only. I also pointed out that the birth rate in the current population needs to be lowered, as well. As for how hard it is to stay in the US legally, it depends on who you are. For example, it's not the least bit difficult to stay here if you go to college here. International students who earn their college degrees in the U.S. find it relatively easy to secure a job and stay. In any case, the U.S. is a sovereign country, with immigration laws which need to be respected. In addition to which, it is not fair to ask American citizens to bear the burden of the needs of citizens from other countries simply because those countries don't wish to bear the burden themselves. In fact, until the U.S. enforces immigration laws, there is no incentive for such countries--such as Mexico, for example (the wealthiest country in Latin America)--to change. Why should they? They can simply take advantage of the U.S., instead. In any case, back to the environment: when millions of people a year immigrate--unchecked--into any country, there will eventually be a population problem. The fact that there are areas of the country that are as yet "unexplored" does not mean that there is still plenty of room. The population levels are already beyond sustainable levels for the land mass. Those "unexplored" areas need to remain "unexplored" for the land and ecosystems to maintain balance. Land is not "empty" just because people don't inhabit it. And it is a very, very bad idea--ecologically speaking--to disturb ecosystems for "development" if, long term, that development results in over-development and serious ecological consequences for not only nonhumans, but for humans, as well. The problem is not, therefore, that people move to the cities. In fact, that is much, much better than moving to and expanding across rural areas.
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Old 07-29-2007, 09:28 PM
 
7,352 posts, read 8,991,144 times
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P.S. to Sweden: You seem to be annoyed that it is "extremely hard" to immigrate legally to the U.S. This is the case because it has to be the case. If it were easier, the situation by now would be much worse than it already is. The U.S., like every other country, has the right to determine its own border/population/immigration policy.

As for your point about Native Americans moving into the big cities. I don't know where you're getting your information, but there are not millions and millions of Native Americans moving anywhere. The Native American population in the U.S. is, unfortunately, very small. And frankly, if anybody has the right to move wherever they want in this country, it's the Native American population.
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Old 07-30-2007, 04:14 AM
 
Location: Anchorage, Alaska (most of the time)
1,222 posts, read 3,286,120 times
Reputation: 1881
Quote:
Originally Posted by MovingForward View Post
P.S. to Sweden: You seem to be annoyed that it is "extremely hard" to immigrate legally to the U.S. This is the case because it has to be the case. If it were easier, the situation by now would be much worse than it already is. The U.S., like every other country, has the right to determine its own border/population/immigration policy.

As for your point about Native Americans moving into the big cities. I don't know where you're getting your information, but there are not millions and millions of Native Americans moving anywhere. The Native American population in the U.S. is, unfortunately, very small. And frankly, if anybody has the right to move wherever they want in this country, it's the Native American population.
Native American as in "born US citizen".
I am not annoyed about the tough laws, I am annoyed about all the Americans on this forum that seems to believe that it is EXTREMELY EASY to enter the US and stay, and that the US is the ONLY country in the world where it is this easy. It is not, and for an American to enter an European country and stay is EASY, just because you are Americans. I am annoyed that there are different laws for different nationalities, yet it is only those who have the best offer who are "allowed" to complain.

I disagree that you didn't specificly say it was only an immigration problem. Sure you said in the post that there where more variables to the problem, but the thread says "Immigration and the Environment". The thread name is important in this case as it is supposed to "reflect" the rest of the discussion.
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Old 07-30-2007, 10:05 AM
 
7,352 posts, read 8,991,144 times
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It is absolutely NOT "easy" for an American to enter a European country and stay. Sorry, but you are utterly wrong about that. In fact, Europe is extremely unwelcoming of Americans. And, since the inception of the EU, Americans have gone to the bottom of the list, behind any other European, in terms of jobs. If I'm not mistaken, the vast majority of immigrants--legal or illegal-- of any European nation are not American.

In any case, yes, the main basis for my post was an interest in the connection between overpopulation of the land mass--in this instance, through unchecked immigration. The post is addressed to other Americans--people who have a stake in the future of the health of their land. You are Swedish, not American. If you don't like the topic or disagree with it somehow, I'm not really concerned.
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Old 07-30-2007, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,505 posts, read 49,547,847 times
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North America has IMHO become overpopulated in the sense that the carrying capacity of the land has been exceeded. The proof is reflected in our need to import so much food and energy to maintain ourselves. Forty years ago I was worried that the US population would reach 270 millions. Now it is over, mostly due to immigration, 300 million. This is just too many people looking for too many resources at the same time.

The world population is now way more than can be sustained even at third world poverty levels let alone at the resource consumptive level of Homo Industralis WalMartis. I expect the 21st century will be remembers as a really terrible time of Plague, Famine, Pestilence and War. Even the greatest good will and effort will not be able to stop nature from forcing the human population to a sustainable equilibrium.
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Old 07-30-2007, 10:46 AM
 
7,352 posts, read 8,991,144 times
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Greg: The carrying capacity of the land *has* been exceeded. What's truly curious to me is that this important fact has been completely occluded in the debate on immigration. The belief in the economic need for "growth" is built, in part, on the assumption that the land can take as much "growth" as we throw at it--but this is sadly very much NOT the case. Sooner or later, we will run out of land, out of resources. Then what? We need to re-examine our economic structures and redefine "growth" to take into consideration the needs of the land--and thus of the humans and nonhumans who are connected to it. I agree that excessive immigration (legal and illegal) is a huge aspect of this problem, but racial and economic politics have blinded us to it. For Nature, it's not about race, it's about numbers.
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Old 07-30-2007, 09:24 PM
 
763 posts, read 1,293,871 times
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I can’t believe I just now stumbled onto this thread! FINALLY, someone addresses the main problem, the most devastating problem, of the entire immigration issue. I post about this in so many forums and get the same tired reactions. There are simply not enough people in America who understand the implications of overpopulation regarding sustainability nor do they see the magnitude of the numbers.

Thankfully, you’ve brought up some statistics, but it’s a far worse situation than they indicate.

Over the last 4-5 years I’ve been active in a variety of forums that are generally populated by posters of a particular ideology. There are large groups of people who have decided that to counteract what they consider dangerous numbers of people with opposing ideologies, by increasing birth rates in the group/s and home-school with the intention of teaching offspring the “right ways” to live and how to treat others with differing views. As the immigration problem has become ever more widely discussed and the dangers emerging, these groups are more determined than ever to increase their populations.

There are lots of articles discussing the same type of thinking among immigrants crossing the border from Mexico; large families to dominate geographic areas of interest.

Unless I’m missing something at the Census Bureau site explaining methodology, I don’t believe the statistics include estimates of growth with birth rates increased by ideological goals.

There are literally millions of American citizens and millions of immigrants who intend to compete with each other for ideological domination. Set up a spread sheet and run some calculations; I’m going to. I’m sure I’ll be disheartened by the resulting statistics, but this is the most important issue of all, in my humble opinion.

And it’s why I don’t believe we should have ANY immigration for at least five years until we can accurately assess what we’ve gotten ourselves into from our general apathy.
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