Alan Kuper Letter to Carl Pope

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February 17, 1998
Carl Pope
Executive Director
Sierra Club

Dear Carl,
(cc: Joan Hamilton, Editor)

We asked that March/April SIERRA letters carry a balance of letters on the upcoming ballot issue. You refused.
Instead the first letter in the issue claims that, "The three-child family is the largest source of U.S. population growth." "...we are still adding 2.5 million people to our population every year, of which1.7 million come from natural increase (births minus deaths)." That statement is likely to be interpreted by the uninformed reader to mean that 800,000 net immigration is responsible for the balance of the increase.
In fact, the higher birth-rates of immigrants and their descendants is responsible for a significant part of the natural increase. Instead of 800,000/2,500,000 = 32% due to immigration, estimates range up to 60% now due to immigration, and increasing because of differential fertility.
The U.S. Census Bureau has projected that U.S. population will double by mid-21st century, 80% due to immigrants and their descendants, if present policies and trends continue. This doubling in about 70 years will be revised to a faster pace in the light of new data just made available.*
You know I have the greatest respect for you. But the tactics being employed by Club Management, for which you bear principal responsibility, are beyond the comprehension of well-intentioned volunteers. They leave a bitter legacy that was totally unnecessary in the first place and will be hard to gloss over.
       Alan Kuper


* A study released by the National Center for Health Statistics Feb. 12 (NYT 2/13) reported 1995 figures, the most recent available. Some of the findings are that, while Hispanic residents make up 10.3% of U.S. population, 18% of births in the U.S. are to Hispanic women. This is up from 14% in 1989. "...much of the increase in Hispanic-origin births is the result of high fertility rates among Mexican-Americans, particularly recent immigrants. About 70% of the babies born to Hispanic women in 1995 - up from 61% in 1989 - were born to women of Mexican heritage, the report said."
"The study also estimated that Mexican-American women would average 3.32 births over their lifetime..."
"The report also notes that as the Hispanic birth rate continues to rise, the birth rates of whites and blacks have declined."


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