Environmentalists split over immigration

May 12, 2006 at 11:07 PM

FRIDAY HARBOR, Wash., May 12 (UPI) -- Environmentalists are somewhat split over a contention that Mexican women who move to the United States have more children than if they'd stayed put.

"We've got to talk about these issues -- population, birth rates, immigration," said Paul Watson, founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in Washington state.

Watson was a Sierra Club board member, but he resigned in protest because he thinks the organization ignores immigration as a major factor in population growth, the Christian Science Monitor reported.

The split is political. Environmentalists generally see themselves as political progressives; they don't want to be bedfellows with anti-immigrant activists, sometimes labeled as xenophobic or racist, the newspaper said.

U.S. Census Bureau statistics released this week show that Hispanics -- the largest U.S. minority at 42.7 million -- are the nation's fastest-growing group. Between July 2004 and July 2005, they accounted for 49 percent of U.S. population growth.

"If you're going to be an environmentalist, you have to be concerned about the numbers as well as the usual issues -- public lands, energy, pollution, and so forth -- because the numbers will just wipe you out," said Alan Kuper, a retired physicist in Cleveland and founder of Comprehensive US Sustainable Population.

Related UPI Stories
Topics: Paul Watson
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Vatican: Pope's meeting with Kim Davis not a show of support
Potential male contraceptive found in study with mice
Cancer and height are linked, new study shows
Hacker may have exposed data of 15 million T-Mobile customers
Education Secretary Arne Duncan to step down in December