[John Wall, our house environmentalist, red-pencils The New York Times attack on the Federation for American Immigration Reform's sprawl ads.]
The New York Times Editorial, "Blaming Immigrants", October 14, 2000.
Next time you are stuck in traffic, blame an immigrant. [Immigration enthusiasts always say opponents of mass immigration are "blaming immigrants."] FAIR's broadcast and print ads highlight the ills associated with suburban sprawl, then point to immigration as the underlying culprit. [I'm shocked! A completely true sentence about a New York Times adversary in a Times editorial! This is news that's truly "fit to print." Images of advertisements run by FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, in Loudoun County, Virginia (west bank of the Potomac River from about Great Falls to Harper's Ferry) are posted on FAIR's website at http://www.fairus.org/loudoun/advertising.html. See below for text.] FAIR ran anti-sprawl commercials earlier this year in Iowa and South Carolina during the primary season, and is now concentrating on the Washington D.C. area. [which is rapidly turning into Los Angeles East as a result of mass immigration.]
The notion that foreign immigrants are primarily responsible for out-of-control sprawl in American cities is absurd. [i.e. true. Population growth is the predominant cause of urban sprawl. Immigration and the high immigrant birth rates are the cause of population growth. (See, e.g., "Sprawl in California - A Report on Quantifying the Role of the State's Population Boom", by Leon Kolankiewicz and Roy Beck; NumbersUSA website - "Who were the 68 Million people added to the United States since 1970?") Most immigrants move to already-congested metropolitan areas, displacing many of the native residents. Nearly all Americans refuse to live like The New York Times editorial writers, crammed into high-rise apartment buildings on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where Communists outnumber Republicans. When their neighborhoods are overrun with high-birthrate, subsidized foreigners, Americans move away.] Cities experiencing no population growth also grapple with excessive sprawl, which suggests that faulty urban planning, demand for new housing and tax and transportation policies are the real culprits. [Kolankiewicz and Beck found:
(1) "California's population boom has been the no. 1 factor in the state's relentless urban sprawl, even though most anti-sprawl efforts exclusively target consumption factors";
(2) "The supposedly gluttonous appetite of California citizens for more and more urban space per resident has in fact played little role in the sprawl. In most Urbanized Areas, land per resident did not grow at all — and it usually shrank in both the central city and in the suburbs. Thus, the average Californian was consuming land in an increasingly environmentally responsible way; but there were so many more Californians each year that sprawl marched ever outward";
(3) "The volatile growth of California's population far outweighed the sprawl effect of all other factors combined."]
Immigrants, in any case, congregate in city centers and older suburbs. [You can find immigrant clusters anywhere. Some personal examples:
(1) I made a wrong turn north of New London, CT and wound up in an isolated Haitian housing project.
(2) The Walmart in Germantown, Maryland is surrounded by ugly, high density housing that must be full of immigrants, as they comprise the majority of people observed in the store. By contrast, the local trailer park, not long ago an eyesore amongst fields and woodland, now looks quite appealing with its remnant patch of mature trees.
(3) When I was birding in rural Loudoun County, Virginia, a pickup stopped, and the driver asked for directions in Spanish.]
Last May The Times reported that FAIR had run tasteless [not to most Americans] ads in Michigan suggesting that Senator Spencer Abraham's pro-immigration stance would make it easier for terrorists like Osama bin Laden to attack America. Such preposterous ads [Preposterous? Has The Times forgotten the bombing of the World Trade Center, carried out by Islamic immigrants operating quite openly out of a New Jersey mosque?] clearly spring from a sense of desperation among anti-immigration groups. [The desperation is among the immigration enthusiasts. Even though they control the networks, the major newspapers, the largest corporations, and the best-financed websites, public opinion is not on their side, because it's impossible for people to reconcile their personal experiences with what they are constantly told they have to believe. (See Sailer on "Racial Profiling" for another example of the same phenomenon.)] Stoking anti-immigration rage is not an easy task when the nation's unemployment rate has dipped below 4 percent, and when the job market is eagerly seeking not only cheap labor for menial tasks but also skilled foreigners to keep the high-tech revolution in gear. [Anti-immigration rage doesn't need to be stoked. It exists because of the personal experiences of millions of Americans, whose quality of life has been diminished by overpopulation fueled by mass immigration and widespread discrimination in favor of immigrants.] Indeed, last week Congress voted to nearly double the number of visas for foreign workers with high-tech skills. [After successfully milking the beneficiary billionaires for millions of dollars in campaign contributions.]
In the early 1990's, groups like FAIR and politicians like Patrick Buchanan and Pete Wilson attacked immigration as a threat to the economic security of millions of Americans. [The issue was blacked out by the media combine. In the Internet era, it's much more difficult for them to suppress facts they don't like. Thus the current media clamor for "hate crimes" legislation to limit First Amendment protection for politically incorrect ideas. (See "A Racist Attack, A Town Plagued", The New York Times, October 15, 2000, about a reverse Bernard Goetz case, quoting with implicit approval a lawyer whose family is from India: "If somebody is waving a Confederate flag in this town, the police should be called." http://www.nytimes.com/2000/10/15/national/15HATE.html)] Today such claims ring hollow, and Gov. George W. Bush of Texas deserves credit for altering the tenor of his party's rhetoric on immigration. [I wonder how many low-wage immigrants wait on the Bushes?]
Rather than await the next economic downturn to vilify immigration once again, FAIR is trying to piggyback onto a legitimate concern to stir up anti-immigrant sentiment. [Twice in the same editorial! I know the script says you have to call opponents "anti-immigrant", but as we say in New York, "enough is too much already."] Do not be surprised if it next blames immigrants for air traffic congestion [Of course population increases due to immigration contribute to air traffic hotspots. Furthermore, I've flown across the country with a plane-load of obviously illegal, non-English speaking, lower class Hispanics on what must have been a regular immigrant smugglers' route.] and high fuel prices. [Of course gas guzzling vans full of illegal immigrants and houses packed with immigrants in places such as Mt. Kisco and Brewster, New York have an impact on demand for fuel.]
Following are transcriptions of FAIR's print advertisements from their website:
Loudoun County residents spend a lot of time in their cars. Not because they want to. But because of massive traffic congestion. And almost daily gridlock. For many people, commutes to work and school and daycare take up to three hours a day. And according to traffic management experts, it's only going to get worse. It's the same situation in Loudoun County with our schools, our public utilities, even our water resources. In a recent survey of Northern Virginia residents, 72% of respondents agreed that runaway population growth threatens the very quality of life they came here for in the first place. But nobody seems to know what to do about it. We can help. We're the nation's leading expert on population and immigration trends and growth. Call now to learn more and find out one way you can help. Because waiting hours in your car is one pastime you can do without.
For generations, Loudoun County has been America's horse country. With its gently rolling hills and abundant pastures. Hand-laid stone fences and world class horse farms. But Loudoun County is losing its horse country and becoming just another over-crowded, over-developed Northern Virginia suburb. In fact, the county has earned the dubious distinction as one of America's fastest growing counties. While the Chamber of Commerce likes that questionable honor, most people in Loudoun don't. According to a recent poll most residents want to stop explosive population from turning pastures into shopping malls. They're tired of seeing farms turned into office parks. And they prefer rolling hills to concrete highways and bypasses. We can't do much about the damage already done. But we can do something about preserving what's left of Loudoun County for future generations. Call FAIR to find out one way you can help. So the people of Loudoun County stand a fighting chance.
Bulldozer sales in Loudoun County are booming. Road builders need them to level the county's rolling hills into concrete interchanges and bypasses. Developers need them to turn farm land into housing developments and shopping malls. You can find big earth-moving equipment throughout Loudoun, turning Virginia's most picturesque county into another example of suburban sprawl while adding to one of the worst traffic problems in the nation. But traffic is just one of the problems facing Loudoun County as a result of population growth wildly out of control. Schools are crowded and public utilities are under great stress. Property taxes are on the rise. Yet the bulldozers keep on coming. Ripping up one of the most beautiful places in the world. And turning it into a concrete and asphalt suburb. Just like much of Northern Virginia and suburban Maryland. There's not much we can do to reclaim the thousands of acres already destroyed. But we can do something about what's left. Call FAIR to find out one way you can help.
In addition, Numbers USA has been running advertisements linking mass immigration and sprawl. See their ad that appeared in The Washington Post: