Letter to the Editor: Border Coverage Lacked Impact of Immigration

January 15, 2010

 

Dear Editor:

© While the Smuggler's Gulch barrier has diminished human traffic significantly in the area, it hasn't slowed the tons of trash and debris that flow down the Tijuana River out of Mexico, seen here after an early December storm, that constitute one of the greatest single point sources of pollution along the entire Pacific coast of North America. Photo: Courtesy Wildcoast

"Disorder at the Borders" [SEJournal Fall 2009] presents a one-sided view of the border fence, ignoring the environmental damage of illegal mass immigration that far outweighs the impact of the wall. In Arizona, illegal entry created 1,200 miles of roads and trails in the Cabeza Prieta NWR where only a single track had crossed this swath of the Sonoran Desert before (Time, 5/28/07). The impacts are huge, but many articles on immigration largely ignore it. And SEJournal, by publishing the RAVE photos, is doing the same.

This one-sidedness is a microcosm of how mainstream media and environmental groups like the Sierra Club ignore immigration's environmental impact to promote an open-borders agenda. According to the Pew Research Center (2008), US population, now 307 million, will grow to 438 million by 2050, 82 percent due to immigration. And after arrival in the nation with the greatest per capita resource use and GHG discharge, the average immigrant's greenhouse-gas emissions will rise four-fold (CIS, 2008).

When I suggested at a town hall meeting that population growth would preclude reduction of GHG 80 percent by 2050, as per Waxman-Markey, Rep. Markey called me a "pessimist." "I'm an optimist," he said, to loud applause. He is like people living on credit, hoping their incomes will rise to cover the debt. Like many Democrats, his immigration policies undermine his environmental policies. It's a lose-lose for the planet.

David C. Holzman, December 13, 2009

David C. Holzman writes about energy, environment, economics, science and medicine from Lexington, Mass.

** From SEJ's quarterly newsletter SEJournal, Winter 2009-10 issue