American culture is doomed by growth

  Dear HCN,
Ed Marston, I want to thank you for your column on immigration and overpopulation (HCN, 2/3/03: Son of immigrants has a change of heart). I’m sure you have taken a lot of criticism since then, but you are right in what you’ve said.

Overall, people refuse to admit that every problem in the West, and the nation, is made worse by population growth — and from over the borders, that growth is both illegal and uncontrolled. As you wrote, the nature of our society and economy, and the open space and mobility that we cherish, are vanishing, degraded by uncontrolled growth, from all cultures, coming from all parts of the globe.

From the geographic viewpoint of Arizona, it’s a complex combination of both immigration and drug war issues. Violence has escalated, with armed intrusions across our border by drug runners, the Mexican Army and the coyotes. A park ranger at Organ Pipe was killed with an AK-47 not long ago. Civilian patrols seem to be the latest and riskiest tactic of those who feel let down by our own government. Those that make it across the border seem to be welcomed without reservation by many in our society. And now, we are opening job centers for day laborers in our cities — most of whom are illegal aliens.

The larger problem is simply that we cannot or will not enforce reasonable immigration laws. We are a rich and strong country, and vast numbers from the other billions of global citizens would like to come here. Let them try France, or Germany, or Iran or Pakistan or Vietnam or the Ivory Coast. Perhaps we should ship those caught crossing our borders to one of these nations? Is our culture doomed, as you implied, by our small families and reasonable birthrates? Yes, we are threatened by the fecundity of other cultures.

We can shelter refugees from despots, or from famine, drought and plague, but we can’t take them all. Let them come, as they always have — but within the law and within the practical limits that our laws impose.

Steve Owen
Chandler, Arizona
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