Population is rarely connected to sustainability, but as population increases, we all see our schools get more full, our roads more crowded, and our open spaces destroyed to make room for new development. Notable environmentalists from a wide array of political affiliations have, over the years, endorsed U.S. population stabilization from an environmental perspective, including former Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter and former Senator and Earth Day father Gaylord Nelson.
Around 1970, U.S. population and environmental issues were widely and publicly linked. From college campuses to scientists to environmental groups, environmental and population issues were viewed as subsets of the same public-policy agenda. But over the years, the environmental groups have moved away from immigration's impact on population.
Earth Day Founder Gaylord Nelson said it best, "[I]t's phony to say 'I'm for the environment but not for limiting immigration…" U.S. population will increase from 203 million in 1970 to 439 million in 2050, according to the Census Bureau. Eighty-two percent of all U.S. population growth today is due to arriving immigrants and their children.