Research from the Federation for American Immigration Reform
There’s no denying that Texas is big. At 269,000 square miles, it’s the second largest U.S. state. Because of its size, people often assume that Texas’ rapidly growing population shouldn’t be a cause for concern. In fact, proponents of population growth often point out that all seven billion people in the world could fit into Texas at the population density of New York City. Physically, this may be true, but this claim confuses geographic size with habitable area, and what’s theoretically possible with what’s feasible or desirable.
In truth, unless Texans change how they live, the state may not be able to sustain its current population of 27.5 million, let alone seven billion people.
A rapidly growing population is not an abstract idea. Rapid growth costs a lot of money (and does not provide the promised economic benefits), but it's impossible to attach a price tag to the environment.
More people means increased demand for housing, roads, clean water, schools, hospitals, and it also means more resource consumption, pollution and waste production. When we fail to discuss mass immigration—the primary driver of population growth—in the context of the environment, we are ignoring a problem that not only affects our lives, but the lives of generations to come.
Immigrants are not just contributing to the rich diversity of America, they are also consumers of resources. We cannot limitlessly add to our population without jeopardizing our environment.
Texans don’t have to stop being proud of their state and its uniqueness; nor do they need to sacrifice economic vitality, but they should realize that the "environment" is not the untouched wilderness where we go to look at "nature." The environment is where we live and it's the only home we have. It is essential that we think about how our lifestyles and social policies impact our home. Not just on Earth Day, but every day.
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