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Population and immigration concerns of Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform

U.S. population will double this century - within the lifetimes of children born today. Nearly 70% of this doubling will be caused by mass immigration - that is, by recent immigrants and their descendents. That will require roughly twice as many houses, cars, roads, prisons, hospitals, schools, water treatment facilities, etc. The result will be twice as much pollution, sprawl and pressure on our dwindling natural resources and the resources that we draw from other countries.

The United States has the highest population growth rate of all developed countries in the world1 and at more than 291 million2, is the third most populous country in the world3. Colorado is growing at twice the national rate. The United States Census Bureau tells us that if current trends continue, America will become a country of more than a half-a-billion within the lifetimes of our school-age children. Immigration will be responsible for 70 percent that growth4. Leaving such a legacy has been described as a hate crime against future generations.

History shows the U.S. traditionally has allowed relatively reasonable numbers to immigrate, thus allowing for decades of assimilation. After the peak of about 8.7 million in the first decade of the 20th century, numbers steadily decreased. Immigration averaged a nourishing stream of 178,000 per year from 1925 through 1965. From a broader perspective, 1776 to 1976, we averaged approximately 230,000 legal immigrants per year. Those numbers contrast vividly with our current unsustainable mass immigration level of approximately one million legal and 700,000 illegal immigrants per year.

Because immigration encourages migration between states, we need only look to California for a glimpse of Colorado's and the nation's future. California has nearly doubled its population in the last 35 years5. Ninety-six percent of its explosive growth in the 1990's was a result of immigration6. California, a state now larger at 35 million than most countries of the world7, is expected to exceed 52 million within 25 years8. California's Central Valley, a breadbasket of the nation and the world, is now being bulldozed to accommodate explosive, immigration-driven growth. The warning signs are glaring while the solution, a single act of Congress, goes begging.

We are a nation of limited resources, and we are now straining those resources through mass immigration. The land-rush days have long past. Considering one acre of open land is lost through urbanization and degradation for each person added to the U.S. population-about three million a year9-it is clear we need to act now to ensure those resources will be available for future generations. Many scientific experts agree that a population of 150 million is the nation's optimal carrying capacity - that number which will sustain the present generation while preserving resources for future generations.

Continuous population growth is unsustainable. America is now full. A majority of Americans of all ethnic and racial backgrounds favor substantial reduction in legal immigration and a complete halt to illegal immigration10.

Accordingly, CAIR is calling for a pro-active, national policy to stabilize U.S. population and conserve our natural resources by insisting Congress set more realistic numbers of legal immigration (not exceeding 100,000 per year).

America need not apologize for taking these necessary, important steps to stabilize its population. Indeed, taking appropriate action now is indicative of wisdom, character and responsibility. We at CAIR are pro-immigrant and pro-immigration but at numbers consistent with sustainability. America will always be a land of opportunity for those seeking a better life, but it can not and must not come at the expense of its finite resources and of the future of its most precious of all resources, our children and grandchildren.


1. Dr. Albert Bartlett, Professor Emeritus, University of Colorado
2. U.S. Census Bureau
3. Population Reference Bureau
4. Roy Beck, Social Contract Journal
5. U.S. Census Bureau
6. Californians for Population Stabilization
7. California Department of Finance
8. New York Times
9. Dr. David Pimentel, Cornell University
10. Wall Street Journal poll, Roper Poll, Hispanic USA Group survey