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World Can't Support Tripled U.S. Numbers

January 16, 2002

Re "Wave of U.S. Immigration Likely to Survive Sept. 11," Jan. 11:

That the "largest sustained wave of immigration in U.S. history" seems likely to continue is a frightening prospect. Our population of 285 million is nearly twice the maximum sustainable carrying capacity level estimated by ecologists. We already consume a hugely disproportionate share of the world's resources and contribute an equally disproportionate share of environmental pollution.

With high levels of immigration we are projected to reach 1 billion people by the year 2100, barring an environmental meltdown before then. This will be disastrous not just to us but to a world that can little support a tripling of U.S. numbers. We should be closing our borders not out of fear or ungenerosity but for ecological survival. Simultaneously we should be expanding our overseas family planning and social development aid in order to improve the lot of the billions who will necessarily live out their lives where they are born.

B. Meredith Burke

Senior Fellow, Californians for

Population Stabilization

Santa Barbara

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