Immigration and Population Control
Earlier this week legislative solutions for Dreamers, undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, once again failed to pass the Senate, falling short of 60 votes. While the vast majority of Americans, both Republican and Democrat, are in favor of providing Dreamers with a pathway to citizenship, President Trump has refused to sign a bill that does not also severely decrease legal immigration by limiting categories for family reunification (also called “chain migration”). When so many Americans support a legislative solution, it seems as though it shouldn’t be that difficult for Members of Congress to respect their constituents wishes and vote the legislation through. However, when it comes to immigration reform, many GOP Members of Congress aren’t listening to their constituents at all. Instead, they’re relying on the false “expertise” of anti-immigration lobby groups like the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), NumbersUSA, and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). These groups have presented themselves as concerned for the future of Americans, and have garnered the support of many pro-life Republicans. However, in reality they are at the forefront of radical population control, which is quite literally the opposite of being pro-life.
A Brief History of Population Control
The modern idea of population control, the belief that the earth’s environment cannot sustain the rapid increase in population, was first espoused by Thomas Malthus in the late 1700s. The eugenics movement, started by Sir Francis Galton (Charles Darwin’s cousin) was a response to the purported need for population control and promoted forced sterilization of the disabled and mentally ill, and abortion. Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, was a member of eugenics societies in both the US and the UK, and played a key role in organizing the first World Population Conference in 1954. In the latter half of the 20th century, Paul Erlich, author of the 1968 book The Population Bomb, has become one of the most prominent advocates of population control.
The belief that the earth cannot sustain an increased population and that population growth will result in increased poverty and famine has been proven wrong, but proponents of population control persist. While they continue to promote abortion, sterilization, and other forms of eugenics as ways to achieve their goal of decreasing the population, they have recently inserted themselves into the immigration debate as well.
Immigration and Population Control
John Tanton is perhaps the most influential population control advocate today. In 2011 The New York Times called him “the most influential unknown man in America.” Tanton, a doctor from Michigan and an avid environmentalist, spent the early years of his career starting Planned Parenthood chapters and supporting access to abortion. He was drawn to theories of population control because he believes that increases in population are detrimental to the environment.
More recently he has turned his attention to immigration, playing a direct or indirect role in the founding of all three anti-immigration organizations mentioned above, CIS, NumbersUSA, and FAIR. These organizations lobby the US government, at both state and federal levels, to reduce legal immigration, produce (often shoddy) research to support their positions, and receive much of their funding from population control financiers.
These organizations have been shockingly successful at veiling their true intentions and aligning themselves with staunchly pro-life Republican politicians as advocates for immigration reform. However, one does not have to dig very deep to uncover the truly sinister anti-life ideologies of these organizations and their leaders.
A Christian Way Forward
The only way forward for politicians and their constituents who call themselves pro-life is to openly and vehemently denounce CIS, NumbersUSA, and FAIR, exposing their true intentions. While Christians and conservatives will probably always disagree on the best ways to reform our country’s broken immigration system, opposing radical population control through methods of forced sterilization and abortions is something we must agree on. The ideology and philosophy of population control are diametrically opposed to those who claim to value family, faith, and freedom.
Refugees and immigrants are not a threat to our country, economically or environmentally. Rather, they strengthen our economy by working vital jobs in important industries. So let’s continue advocating for truly pro-life legislation that supports a legal path to citizenship for Dreamers, that provides refuge to the most vulnerable around the world, and allow families to remain together.
To learn more about population control and immigration, I recommend the following resources.