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Migrant Movement Linked to Population Growth

WASHINGTON, Dec 18 2012 (IPS) - Sally and I wanted to respond to your excellent piece on migration, which you certainly correctly identify as a “political hot potato” .


That you detail the abuses and concerns about the massive worldwide migrant dilemma is certainly worth doing. However, we were pleased that you, in your piece, allowed the key point to be made which Werner Fornos often did at Population Institute (PI), namely that underlying all this adverse migrant movement must be the gross increase in world population.


As you note: “Chamie of the Centre for Migration Studies told IPS the issue of migration has also become timely with the focus on economic uncertainty, in particular the U.S. “fiscal cliff” and economic problems of the European Union.


“While governments and institutions try to grapple with economic uncertainty, an important factor of relative certainty often overlooked is demography,” he said.


He said neither political rhetoric nor wishful thinking can dispel the enormous impacts of demography, especially relevant to international migration.


“As a result of differences in population growth and age-structures, as well as in living standards between the more and less developed countries, powerful push-pull factors will continue to produce large streams of international migrants.”
As you know, the USA has been a generous (too much so in my view) acceptor of migrants since its immigration laws were changed in 1965, allowing an alien influx of 140 million including their children to the 200 million living here then. Such increases are the most generous among nations of the world.


The rise of protest is not by any means an exclusively right wing concern, but rather a general concern, particularly among average poor and middle class citizens who rightly see a trend of this proportion taking a significant toll on jobs, government benefits and general comity, including the crowding and other environmental impacts now so obvious.


You have long been writing about the urgency of providing birth control, and always tying it to immigration or any of our plundered planet woes offers a powerful avenue to resolution.


America remains beset with those who simply don’t make the population, government cost, immigration connection and are hopelessly mired in an ideology against reproductive rights for women.


Texas offered a prime example of how such legislating can backfire, as my OP ED reveals.

Don Collins and Sally Epstein*


*Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC., has spent over 40 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA.


Sarah G. Epstein is an active board member with many family planning organizations, the daughter of family planning pioneer, Dr Clarence Gamble, who founded Pathfinder International. Also a collector, researcher and lecturer of and on Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, she received the Royal St. Olav Medal for furthering Norwegian interests abroad. Obelin College BA, Simmons School of Social Work, MA.

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