Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 00112140 (posted Nov. 21, 2000)"
November 21, 2001
Mr. Doug Moss
Publisher & Executive Editor
Norwalk, CT 06851
Dear Mr. Moss:
Your recent cover story ("Balancing Act," November-December 2000) is nothing
more than a one-sided demographic spin using old allegations against immigrants,
with your reporter quoting only from prominent anti-immigrant groups. Not once
did the article cite opinions from any organization advocating on behalf of
immigrants. That’s not quite a "balancing act."
Your article also did not mention any of the positive contributions of
immigrants. Leading economists, including Federal Reserve Chairman Alan
Greenspan, have pointed out that immigrants contribute to our economy, help to
sustain the longest-lasting economic boom in American history, help stabilize
Social Security and Medicaid, and create jobs and establish businesses. Your
article also ignores the major contributions immigrants have made and are
continuing to make in our arts and sciences.
The key concern in your article highlights population density. As even the
one-sidded article noted, with projected immigration, the U.S. will have
one-quarter the population density of England and Great Britain. In other words,
we will not be over-run by people and still will have plenty of virgin land. The
authors conveniently did not mention that the current level of immigration is
one-third the level experienced during the early 1920s, and during that period
the U.S. was not over-burdened.
Your article also casts immigration as an environmental issue. The
environmental challenges facing this nation are caused not by immigrants, but
our own behavior. Who is to blame for our dirty air, immigrants or Americans and
our fabled love of the automobile? Who is to blame for urban and suburban
sprawl, immigrants or America’s culture of the shopping mall, strip mall and
The article also does not reveal that many of the groups quoted (the
Federation for American Immigration Reform, Negative Population Growth, the
Center for Immigration Studies and Numbers USA) subscribes to the discredited
theories of Thomas Malthus, the 18th Century English clergyman who
predicted that the world’s food supply soon would fail to keep pace with its
rising population. These same groups also are notoriously anti-immigrant.
Take, for example, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. The
Federation was founded by John Tanton, who has called a 1973 novel, The Camp
of the Saints, "prophetic." The book, republished by Social Contract Press,
which is he heads, portrays France being overrun by Indians and Asians, and
urges readers to "repulse the invasion and destroy the invader. Assuming, that
is, that we are willing to murder —with or without regret- a million helpless
wretches." The Federation would revoke the post-Civil War 14th
Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and deny citizenship to people born in the
US, allow the federal government to seize the property of legal immigrants,
refuse to grant refugee status to people fleeing civil war and natural
disasters, install fences along the U.S.-Mexican border, and not allow refugees
or immigrants to work in the U.S.
Your reporter also quotes Roy Beck of Numbers USA, another prominent
anti-immigrant group. Mr. Beck is the author of The Case Against
Immigration, serves an editor at Tanton’s Social Contract Press.
Our nation and planet will continue to confront environment and population
issues, and will do so successfully only if we deal with the causes. We wish
that you had not allowed certain groups and people to use these legitimate
concerns to cloak their anti-immigrant agenda.
Margaret A. Catillaz