The Immigration Issue Is Drenched in Bile or Tears

By Randy Alcorn
July 2007

So often, and it seems with increasing frequency, the discussion of foreign immigration into America is drenched in either bile or tears.  The bile typically comes from those pro-immigration forces whose accusations of racism against those who oppose illegal immigration has, by now, become so tedious that it has lost its impact as an invective. This unworthy tactic is generally recognized for what it is—a rhetorical refuge for those who cannot sustain their position with reason, and so, employ defamation in an attempt to diminish the credibility of their debate opponents.

As Americans make it more apparent that they are firmly opposed to the continuing invasion of their nation by millions of foreigners, misguided do-gooders, along with those vested interests benefiting from immigration, having failed to convince the public by using bile, now use tears, and attempt to sway American opinion by appealing to the heart.

How many times have we heard our elected officials, including our current president, defend and excuse illegal immigrants as hard-working folks just trying to take care of their families? How often does the mainstream media, especially TV and the larger daily newspapers, present stories passionately portraying the plight of illegal aliens? These stories have the tone of charity fund-raisers rather than objective news reports.

Recently, NPR, the public radio network, broadcast a story about a village in southern Mexico where nearly the entire population of young males, leaving their families behind, had left the village to seek work in the United States. In interviews with several of the wives of these men, we learn that there is little work in Mexico, and what work can be found does not pay enough to support the family. Most of the remaining males too young to make the trek north tell the interviewer that they also plan to sneak into the U. S. just as soon as their parents allow them to make the trip.

The broadcast then goes on to describe the pitiable living conditions and depths of impoverishment in the Mexican village. The audience is told that this is just one of many villages experiencing the same sad situation—a situation that forces most of the villages’ able-bodied males to seek work in America so that they can send money back to their families in Mexico. 

The tenor of this broadcast is somber and obviously intended to elicit the empathy of the audience. Is the media barrage of such emotive stories intended to make Americans feel guilty about not sharing their nation with any and all desperately poor foreigners aspiring for a better life in America? Is the plight of immigrants or would be immigrants depicted in these stories presented as justification for their illegal migration to America? Are Americans then simply expected to erase their nation’s borders, ignore their nation’s immigration laws, and pardon millions of alien lawbreakers so that impoverished people from other countries can provide for their growing families?

In the search for truth and solutions, maudlin emotionalism is a poor substitute for objective reason. The first question that should be asked by responsible journalists is why are these people having families before they have the means to support them?  And, why, having made that imprudent decision should Americans feel obligated to tolerate illegal immigration so that irresponsible procreators can support their families?  The solution to poverty and over-population in the world is not to squeeze the world’s impoverished masses into America; the solution is responsible population control.

There is no universal right to procreate. Those individuals and those nations that populate beyond their resources are not owed support by everyone else. Human procreation is not an unavoidable act of nature. It is a choice, and we, as an intelligent species capable of rational judgment, are responsible for our choices. 

Those pursuing a direction of guilt along a trail of tears leading away from rationality, remind us that Americans consume far more resources per capita than any people on earth. That mathematical quotient, of course, becomes more pronounced as human populations in the impoverished and mismanaged nations of the world continue to increase. Are Americans expected to retreat to a less affluent lifestyle so that millions, even billions, of additional humans can share a finite planet? What is the benefit of continuing to add more people to an already overtaxed eco-system?  And, if America’s higher consumption of resources is a concern, why then import millions of immigrants to America who will then consume more resources than they would have in their native lands? 

America can no longer absorb the world’s teeming masses seeking to improve their lives. There are simply too many who want to come here. Nor should Americans feel guilty about being Americans. And, while we should feel grateful for our good fortune, we cannot afford to ignore the plight of our less fortunate fellows.

In considering the plight of much of the earth’s human population, however, compassion without logic is simply disaster delayed. Attempting to accommodate increasing numbers of people by reducing share of resources is a short-term measure, not a solution. Stabilizing, then reducing human population levels around the world while helping those willing to help themselves by developing their own economies and insisting on good government in their homelands is a solution.

Official American foreign policy over the past seven years has not been rational in the matter of human population growth. But, then most of the common sense in America is not found in Washington DC.

Randy Alcorn is a Senior Writing Fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS),, and can be reached at or