[Tweeters] Border birds

Richard Carlson rccarl at pacbell.net
Mon Nov 12 07:09:19 PST 2007

I was fascinated to learn from Tweeters yesterday that
controlling illegal immigration is now bad for birds.
I’ve been a birder and demographer for over 40 years
and actually live and bird near the Mexican border, so
this all came as a surprise to me. As a demographer I
know that illegal immigration has led to a stunning
rebound in US population growth rates and the Census
Bureau now projects that without significant slowing
of illegal immigration, with such controls as the
proposed border wall, we will reach 500 million in the
US by about 2075. At this rate there will be over 1
billion people in the US by around 2175. We
demographers know that 80 to 90% of this population
growth is due to immigration. Mr. Paulson and his
supporters advocate stopping both physical constraints
on illegal immigration (the wall) and legal
constraints (the real ID Act). Apparently they have
found a way to repeal the inexorable laws of
mathematics and demography, otherwise their proposed
policy reversal will result in accelerated population
growth here.

Decades ago we all learned from Paul Ehrlich about how
terrible population growth was for the environment.
The then native population of the US shifted to Zero
Population Growth birth rates, and by the end of the
1970’s all we birders and conservationists were
celebrating the fact that US population was going to
soon stabilize at about 300 million. Apparently all
our celebrations were misguided, and a population of
500 million Americans headed toward a billion is now
good for birds and the environment. I would be
delighted if Mr. Paulson could describe to me how this
illegal immigration-fed, dramatic population growth is
now beneficial instead of destructive.

After my holiday sojurn in the Seattle area, I would
love to have Mr. Paulson join me for some border area
birding. We’ll start in the burgeoning I-10 corridor
between Tucson and Phoenix and he can show me how
tearing up thousands of acres of desert to house those
millions of illegals is good for birds. Next we’ll
visit Organ Pipe National Monument where he can tell
me how good it is that most of the park has been
closed because so many illegals cross there. He can
also show me how birds will benefit from not building
a wall to stop the vehicles that tear up the desert
when crossing the border with truckloads of illegals.
After Organ Pipe we’ll visit the piles of trash and
trampled habitat left by illegals at other border
birding areas and he can show me how that too is good
for birds. Finally, we’ll travel to the Texas border
and he can show me how tearing up more thousands of
acres of habitat to house our illegal migration-fed
population growth is better for birds than losing the
few acres necessary to build a wall to help slow the
flow of illegal immigrants. I look forward to my

Richard Carlson
Full-time Birder, Biker and Rotarian
Part-time Economist
Tucson, AZ, Lake Tahoe, CA, & Kirkland, WA
rccarl at pacbell.net
Tucson 520-760-4935
Tahoe 530-581-0624
Cell 650-280-2965

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