Thursday, April 21, 2005

Environment & Immigration Policy

A house editorial in the Wall Street Journal today points out that immigration policy issues involve more than homeland security. This editorial specifically notes that a policy debate within the Sierra Club continues, with at least some of the members of the Club supporting reductions in immigration on the grounds of protecting the environment. You might want to check out the web site for Sierrans for U.S. Population Stabilization. Here is a sampling of what you will find regarding this point of view:
"American over-consumption is shameful - and making more Americans just makes it worse. Until we can properly manage American consumption, we owe it to the rest of the world, to future generations, and to other species, to limit the number of Americans."
While this position is taken with respect to environmental protection, it also suggests that there are many economic issues involved in the immigration policy debate today because of the many different trade-offs implied by different policy positions. Many people seem to believe that the status quo on immigration policy is good because of economic advantages. Others believe the status quo is, on net, harmful from the economic perspective.

I hope to spend some time studying the various policy position, and I am not ready to offer my own position on all the tradeoffs. In the mean time, I would be interested in comments regarding other perspectives.

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