Skip to main content

This is one of the most important entries I will be able to write here as NumbersUSA as, different from other packaging of its message, this has been created by the xenophobic Right to bait liberals selling them the idea that the best way to protect the environment and the poor is suffocating illegal immigrants and destroying their lives humanely. I know blaming the brown illegal immigrant but if it happens that you are a liberal just because you are at the losing end of a conservative status quo but that you would find acceptable the status quo as far it is a minority who is at the losing end instead of you, chances are that you are not a liberal because for a liberal your place in life should not be determined by "accidents of birth", to use the phrase used in the JFK’s speech of 1963 on immigration.
After a wave of unsubstantiated attacks to me and to my work in my previous entry, I have found necessary to precede this entry with a note. At the end, I post the poll; this time with introductory notes because, trust me, after reading some of them you will think that I am making them up.

  1. Note of the author

Due to what happened to my previous entry, I have found appropriate to make this note of the author preceding this entry. I can understand that the majority of entries are short, with short sentences, short paragraphs and cool standard phrases and that that is the kind of entries which get more comments and recommendations. When, despite of the suggestions made by some readers with the best intention, I continued making the entries the way I do, I decided that for me the most important thing was to address each topic as comprehensively as possible as there is a small groups of readers who have the infinite patience of reading my entries and they may have the communicational skills I seem to lack. One intelligent reader suggested me to make my entries as series. The problem with that is that, then, they could be like the episodes of a series where nobody remembers many parts of the previous episodes when the new one is available. Furthermore, unless the times I have written to express my solidarity with something, I try to not write unless I have something new to say and that requires me to give details and quote sources, making the entry unavoidably longer. Thus, I have had to sacrifice my ego a bit and accept that my entries be the input for others who have the ability to reach more people than me.

Had my intention been to ‘impress" others, as one of the persons who attacked me said, I would have precisely done what I know gets you more readers on the naïve hopes of recruiting admirers. Besides that, I have repeatedly decried the way conservatives have dragged many liberals to the parameters of the debate that is more convenient for them: the 30" TV spot and the easy slogan. Those are parameters on which liberals will find very difficult to win because the truth is complex, has many angles and cannot be reduced to short phrases. Anyway, if for somebody my style is so hideous and style is the determinant criterion to judge others’ ideas, no matter the content of the entries, they are always free to go to other entries. What they don’t have any right is to sabotage the entry with that cowardly resource called trolling.

On the other hand, I have received many unfair criticism and attacks. When I have been criticized by those who have supported their attacks with arguments, I have engaged in the debate and made my best to give them an answer. Some readers, like LatinoDem have made contributions and I have quoted them and thanked them for enriching the entry. Some readers have expressed discrepancies or doubts in an adult way, and I have tried to give them the best answer I have been able to give because I appreciate their interest. Despite the tone, others have made me corrections like one reader who made me notice that Mexican illegal immigrants were 56% of the total of illegal immigrants when I had said it was 40%. In that case my notes were wrong and his criticism was valid on that end despite the fact that, whether 40% or 56%, my conclusion was still right: the xenophobic Right was sold the idea that in the discussion about illegal immigration you had to chose with whom you sided, Mexico or America, as if all illegal immigrants were Mexicans. So I thanked the critic for that end of his criticism. Another reader noted mi mistake of calling Jesse Ventura, Jessy Ventura so I edited the content (I had already sent a link to the title so I didn’t edit the title, afraid of messing with the link) and thanked the criticism. Despite the tone I also edited the noun El Cairo as Cairo conceding to one criticism.

What I have not accepted is personal attacks or unsubstantiated pejorative references to my entries. The last time, a group of readers cowardly sabotaged my entry filling it with all kind of unsubstantiated attacks mocking and degrading me and my entry. Even in the only case in which a person criticized me using a very condescending tone about one of two examples I put about the Algerian insurgency, the criticism didn’t contradict anything I had said in the entry. Nevertheless, I gave him historical reasons to substantiate the entry and even edited that part to say that the specific part of the 50s to which I was referred was the Battle of Alger (or Algiers, as you prefer) even though it made no difference to the conclusions of that part of the entry. What I received in exchange were even more attacks with no discussion of the conclusions of the entry, with no reasons or arguments. Even one of these people mixed an unsubstantiated degrading comment about my entry with a bad intentioned question about whether I was comparing George Washington with Osama bin Laden (what  in serious terms I didn’t and would have indeed been shocking). Obviously, whoever read this comment would generate a very negative preconception about the content of the entry. I decried the tone but even in this case I tried to clear the apparent misunderstanding: Both bin Laden and Washington were part of insurgencies but the differences were abysmal: while Washington was in charge of the military operations as commander of the Continental army, bin Laden is in charge of both military and political operations and while the American Revolution included activities to create terror among Loyalists to inhibit their participation, I have no record showing them engaging in the indiscriminate massive killings that have characterized al Qaeda, making the differences, once again, abysmal. I even quoted two historians that have no problem using the term "insurgency". In counterinsurgency history, only those who have been able to understand their enemies have been able to defeat them. Had you found polemical or obscure this part, you would have make questions about what I meant, before you reached conclusions but, for these people, testing their conclusions or enriching the entry with contributions was not important.

Then I checked my e-mail address to see how many of these people who "bravely" sabotaged my entry would try to contact me to settle personally with me their personal attacks. Not to my surprise, I found no one. Even one of these people put my sanity in doubt because I always enter a standard phrase "Alfredo’s answer" in the subject of my comments despite the fact that the comments are written in first person (and that, in case you have not read my explanation, given in previous entries: to not lose time deciding how to distribute my answer between the "Subject" and the "Comment" camps, I decided to use a standard phrase, which I am, from now on, dropping).

Finally, everybody is free to read my entries or not. If my style is so hideous to them, act as an adult: don’t read them and move on. It’s sick to stay for about an hour sabotaging an entry your have not understand because according to your own words the style has been so unacceptable to you that you have not been able to read it. If you criticize my entry with arguments or contribute with information and substantiated points of view, if you have questions because the meaning of something I wrote seems obscure, you are welcomed to my entry because then we all will be able to test our own opinions and as a result we will be better prepared to defend our ideas before the rest of the American public. It is this with spirit that I have decided to reserve my right to answer unsubstantiated criticism or attacks but I will try to avoid it. Thus, from now on, it should be evident for everybody that if one of these people come back, valiantly and properly hidden behind their nicknames, to sabotage my entries, that their real intentions are to create a distraction from the contents of an entry they don’t want you to read.
From then on, the decision is your.

I cannot finish this note without thanking Nightprowlkitty for her support so I dedicate this entry to her. I’ll try to deal with those paragraphs breaks in the future. I’ve focused that much in the contents that I have not been able to upload a graphic until very recently. I take your suggestion humbly because I know they are made with the best intention.

The charm racism of NumbersUSA

Why is this entry so important? Because, different from most other lines of anti-immigrant attack, directed to the Right, this one has been directed to the Left and Center, trying to capitalize their concern for the environment and the poor, because it constitutes a very deceiving attempt to segment the market to get it in line with their xenophobic goals. Had it not been deceitful, it would legitimate. Precisely it is that deceitfulness what we will try to expose here.

  1. CO2 emissions

NumbersUSA ( has a pseudo-study of August of 2008, "High immigration levels linked to higher global greenhouse-gas emission" ( based in a pseudo-study of the Center for Immigration Studies ( These pseudo-studies state that immigration from Third World countries (or, as the pseudo study calls them, "lower-polluting countries") cause more CO2 emissions because "immigrants and illegal aliens residing in the U.S. produce an estimated four times more CO2 here than they would have in their home countries" and that "although the average legal immigrant or illegal alien in the U.S. produces an estimated 18 percent less CO2 emissions than the average native-born American, immigrants and illegal aliens residing in the U.S. produce an estimated four times more CO2 here than they would have in their home countries."

The problem is that:

a) Even under the premises of those studies, the only way of securing that those deported immigrants do not produce higher levels of CO2 would be to deter them from developing because as soon as they follow the lead of countries like China, they would produce even more CO2 than here as those countries get into the path of development, they relax their environmental rules. Actually that has been the reason why China has resisted signing Kyoto and why that country had to took temporary extreme measures to reduce the CO2 levels before the Olympics. In South America, Santiago de Chile had to struggle for long time with insufferable levels of smog. Emissions of CO2, pollution of rivers, lack of environmental supervision and other negative environmental by-products would make those countries reach higher levels of pollution than they would reach here in America unless we commit to keep them in poverty and underdevelopment.

b) Following the point a), even if they don’t develop, harming factors like deforestation would increase because they would continue trying to make a living of the technology available to them, whatever the environmental consequences. Actually the FAO has stated that "Trees are 50 percent carbon. When they are felled or burned, the C02 they store escapes back into the air. According to FAO figures, some 13 million ha of forests worldwide are lost every year, almost entirely in the tropics. Deforestation remains high in Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia.
Delegates of the 46 developing countries present at the Rome workshop signaled their readiness to act on deforestation, 80 percent of which is due to increased farmland to feed growing populations. Part of the solution is to increase agricultural productivity so that there is less demand to convert forests into farmland." (
In the case of Latin America, it’s precisely the poorest population who live in the jungle who, trying to make farmland in the jungle, burn the forest and at the end have to move to repeat the process in other parts of the jungle, leaving deserts behind them.

c) The effects of CO2 emissions are global, so deporting an immigrant so he won’t produce CO2 inside the United States won’t prevent the damage to the global environment if a) and b) happens.

d) It’s tempting to blame the brown illegal immigrant for CO2 emissions because that implies that we don’t have to pay for higher CAFE standards and a possible carbon tax, cleaner technologies to produce and consume goods and services, a better equipped EPA because we can instead deport the immigrant and avoid the sacrifices of a sensible solution so achieving a false sense of environmental accomplishment.
And all this assuming that you can tame the domestic labor market despite the lessons of the Prohibition on the contrary, despite all the resources you would need to enforce the immoral immigration system. If you take into account that the American economy is an open one and that it is more easily adjustable on quantities than on prices, forcing the labor market out of equilibrium could probe to be not impossible because we are talking of just 5% of illegal immigrants but very costly. I’d use that money for Pell Grants instead.

Thus, even putting aside the moral considerations of packaging brown immigrants as if they were commodities unable of counting with character and personality as individual persons and subjecting their fate to the country in which they were born, it doesn’t seem serious to advocate for an environmental message based on persecuting illegal immigrants, NumbersUSA’s main target and just 5% of the population.

  1. Population levels

a) NumbersUSA ( tries to show us that it is not alone in that unpleasant but necessary necessity of persecuting immigrants. Thus it quotes:

Sierra Club, 1970
"...bring about the stabilization of the population FIRST OF THE UNITED STATES and then of the world."

Wilderness Society, 1996
"As a priority, population policy should protect and sustain ecological systems for future generations (...) Both birth rates and immigration rates need to be reduced."

Izaak Walton League, 1994
"...International migration must be addressed as part of a comprehensive strategy to manage U.S. population size".

"...Reducing immigration levels is a necessary part of population stabilization and the drive toward sustainability."
President Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development, 1996

Of course, it would not be cool to clash with The Sierra Club so, the same way the audience of the Right has to chose between siding with America and siding with Mexico, you have to decide between siding with The Sierra Club and siding with immigrants. Right?

Wrong. It happens that The Sierra Club has stated that:
"The Sierra Club, its entities, and those speaking in its name will take no position on immigration levels or on policies governing immigration into the United States. The Club remains committed to environmental rights and protections for all within our borders, without discrimination based on immigration status." (Adopted by the Board of Directors, February 24-25, 1996;

b) NumbersUSA’s neo-Malthusian position then makes a threatening statement: immigration will increase population so putting pressure on our natural resources. To do so, they show you some sets of projections of population made by the U.S. Census Bureau so proving their point. Right? Wrong again.

One projection ( show that, from an estimation of 270.3 million for 1998, with zero international migration, our population would be 377.4 million for 2100 but if we don’t reduce net immigration to zero levels, we would reach 571.0 million by 2100, what makes a difference of about 200 million, 200 million!

Nevertheless, in a presentation made by Roy Beck ( Executive Director of NumbersUSA, prefers another point of reference: 1965. He says that in the period 1925-1965, "Golden era of immigration" according to Beck, the annual average was of 178,000 immigrants. That average grew to 507,000 in the period 1965-89 and to then to more than a million per year.

Beck also says that in 1973 we were below replacement fertility (2.1 children/woman), then immigration interrupted our joining the path to population stabilization other developed economies had followed; that according to his estimations, the population in 1970 would have grown until 2030, stabilized and then slowly declined at ‘replacement level immigration’ but that due to immigrants and their descendents, population has doubled. To make graphic his point, Beck says that to absorb those numbers, one elementary school would have to be built per day in California. Then, after showing charts in which the area in red, corresponding to immigrants and their descendents, overwhelms the green area, corresponding to native born, he says "This will be our future if immigration continued growing at today rates". In those charts immigrants grow at an almost fixed increasing rate and no reason is given to justify that assumption (We will get back to this later in ‘6. Malthusianism’). Then Carmina Burana sings O Fortuna and the end of the world is predicted. Threatening, isn’t it?

The problem with this line of reasoning is that:

a) As said in "1. CO2 emissions", unless you consider the contribution of breathing to CO2 emissions, the effect of population on the environment is through technology and the level of technology in Third World countries, especially if these are not kept in perpetual underdevelopment, could lead to even worse environmental effects like those resulting from a more sophisticated, First-World consumption.

b) CO2 emissions affect the environment globally, no matter whether those emissions are originated here or in a Third World country but you could object that the pressure on local resources is the result of the local demand. In a world without international trade, that could be true. In the real world it is not. Remember that raw materials are our main line of exports to China.

Nevertheless, let’s place ourselves for a moment in that unrealistic world where the pressure on local natural resources is the result only of the demand of local residents. But Tough! Even in that world NumbersUSA’s message doesn’t make sense with their dear scenario because NumbersUSA’s main attention is dedicated to illegal immigration, convenient scapegoat and just 5% of the population. If they really believed in their version of Malthusianism, they would have to address much more relevant issues involving the 100% of the population, including the other 95% they want to gain at the expense of the above mentioned 5%, and engage on positions

I don’t necessarily support like:

i) The costs of environmentally friendly technologies [Already addressed in "1. CO2 emissions", d)]

ii) Reducing fertility rates in all sectors of the population, Hispanic or not. Let’s remember that, against what I think, NumbersUSA is not a problem of who immigrants are but of their numbers. Actually my approach would be better education. Better educated parents have fewer children. This implies investing in inner city schools, more Pell Grants, just to mention a few items included in the general goal of achieving better basic education and more affordable college. Restricting immigration will not make college more affordable or improve inner schools. Actually immigration reform could be a good opportunity to demand from immigrants and their families the commitment to achieve better educative standards, something absolutely absent from the current system.

iii) We need more affordable health care. To achieve such results we need a public alternative to prevent abuses from the private insurance companies, access the possibility of importing medicines (Do you remember the sloppy reasons given by Bush to oppose the imports of medicines by Montgomery Country, Maryland in 2004? Montgomery County just wanted to buy those same medicines in Canada, where they were substantially cheaper), more accessible generic medicines, and more preventive medicine. More accessible health care services imply more accessible contraception. Persecuting the 5% of illegal immigrants will not make health care services more accessible, especially because that 5% is mostly uninsured.

iv) NumbersUSA’s implicit assumption behind its opposition to immigration reform is that, if such reform passed, Mexicans [Every brown immigrant who is not Arab in the understanding of its followers] would take it as the reward for a crime, a bad example, and would come in infinite hordes of Mexican with machetes that nobody would be able to stop and so on, and on, and on.

Unfortunately for NumbersUSA, this is not true because the labor demand is limited. Given a technological level, a level of productivity and prices given by our relation to international markets, let’s suppose that in a given year the labor demand requires 400,000 immigrants to bring the labor market to equilibrium and, that those fresh Mexicans come in a horde of 4 million instead. About 400,000 immigrants will get jobs and will be able to pay their bills. Who will pay the other 3.6 million Mexicans’ bills? NumbersUSA? That is why in deep recessions like this one, the number of immigrants decrease (in 1 million of illegal immigrants so far, according to the Pew Hispanic Center) and that is why the Great Depression reduced the whole number of immigrants as all the nativist legislation of 1920 and 1924 couldn’t. I guess those infinite hordes of Mexican who will destroy the American environment live only NumbersUSA followers’ imagination, with the terrorists detected crossing the Southern border by the Border Klan Watch and the Russian spies crossing the Southern border detected by the Birch Society. The labor demand is limited. Really!

  1. Corporate Welfare

‘Corporate Welfare’ is a very useful catch phrase because it tempts pseudo-liberals to think that the best way to help the poor is persecuting immigrants, the same way many at the Right wanted to believe that the best way to support the troops was to put yellow ribbons in your car, voting Republican and going to shop spending their dear tax cuts.
NumbersUSA has its own approach to this label. Roy Beck (, as part of this line, say that a "tighter labor market (...) means pressure on more capital investment, pressure for more higher productivity (sic), and higher wages", and that that would lead to a "sustained increase in the income of black Americans, even faster than for white Americans. Tighter labor markets are the best friend workers ever had."

Unfortunately for NumbersUSA, for this to be true, illegal immigrants would have to be overwhelmingly hired by big businesses and those big businesses would have to be the main source of the labor demand. Actually, the main source of the labor demand are small businesses and, different from workers and small businesses, big businesses can always go easily to China and other countries to get cheap labor, if that is what is decisive for their product’s or service’s cost. For more on this, see my entry ‘Economic myths on immigration’ (

Some time ago, in his Journal about China, Bill Moyers mentioned the about 2.3 million jobs that, according to Economic Policy Institute estimates, we had lost to China over the last seven years and the hostile position of Microsoft, Nike, Ford, Dell and Wall-Mart to unions in China as well has their leverage with the Chinese Communist Party to prevent unionization. That’s why, if tomorrow magically every illegal immigrant disappeared from the United States, Wal-Mart would be better off than the small retailers competing with it. Nevertheless for some pseudo-liberals, nothing is good enough to take the place of ‘the Mexicans’ –immigrants, whatever your nationality of origin- as the favorite scapegoat" (Please see my previous entry "You have blood on your hands":
Thus, as far as we remain an open economy that adjusts better on quantities than on prices, the seduction of dishwashers earning $20 per hour just bashing immigrants, to sell our souls to the xenophobia of some could be pretty illusory.

  1. The glory of the pre-1965 quota system

Roy Beck said ( of the period 1925-1965: "I can find no time in history when immigrants were so welcomed, when they assimilated so quickly and they did so well".

The status quo in the period 1925-1965 resulted by the legislation passed in 1921 and 1924, which didn’t hide its racist premises. Such status quo was dominated by a quota system that excluded Third World country immigrants due to the unforgivable sin of having been born in those countries. It was also marked by the Chinese Exclusion Act and the accord with Japan to limit Japanese immigration. Italians, Poles and other groups considered not white enough were also severely hurt. Roger Daniels’s "Not like us" describe the openly racist assumptions made to distinguish immigrants according to their countries of birth. JFK’s speech of 1963 [Available in Immigration, opposing views. California, 1998. Pp. 48-54] went against using what he called "accidents of birth" and advocated for an immigration reform morally fit with our juridical tradition. The reform of 1965, passed after his assassination, unfortunately didn’t embrace many of the criteria present in that speech.

For more on this topic, please check my entry "Lessons from 1924 our pro-immigrant leaders didn’t want to learn" (
Not surprisingly, NumbersUSA denies advocating for the quota system of 1924. Nevertheless, all its positions against immigrants from Third World countries point in that direction.

  1. NumbersUSA's compassion for the immigrant

Roy Beck (, author of ‘The case against immigration’ called his followers to oppose immigration; not immigrants. Cool, isn’t it? Actually Beck calls for deport them humanely to those Third World countries whose development we have to prevent to avoid the increase of CO2 emissions because, different from the legal immigrants of the pre-1965 system, they are not white enough or, as NumbersUSA prefers to say it, we have to protect the environment.

In that same presentation, Beck says that "There are Americans who think we have to accept immigrants to show our concern for the Third World. Is immigration an effective tool?" He says that we accept 1 million immigrants, what is nothing compared to the "4,600 million (4.6 billion) people in the world" that are poorer than the average Mexican. He then concludes that "For these people there could be only hope in the place where they live."

Thus, different from the citizens of countries favored by the quota system (diminished but not eliminated by the reform of 1965), entitled to be citizens of the world, citizens of Third World countries have to stay where they were born. Anyway, as those Mexicans, all the same, as homogeneous as a commodity, who have not individualities and character like us, are not the poorest in the world and are too few anyway, let’s close the doors to anybody who has not demonstrated his character being born in the right country or family. Of course, I am being sarcastic. Nevertheless I will concede something to Beck: Their proximity to the United States should not represent an advantage for Mexican immigrants.

If we have an immigration reform based on character and on the needs of the labor market, whatever the number of visas resulting from the labor demand should be awarded to those who has earned their ‘visa with right to work’ in a series of pre- and post- ‘visa awarding’ moment. This way, we could strip the visa of the right to work to facilitate legitimate family unification and put the quota system to sleep for good. For details about my legislative proposal, please see: Beck advocates for helping the Third World country with family planning assistance, what I support for humanitarian reasons but not as part of our immigration policy or as a substitute of visas for applicants born in Third World countries.

In that same presentation, Beck gives us another sample of his compassion for immigrants. Talking about skilled immigrants, he says "Should we continue to drain off large numbers of skill professional people from the other countries? Because 25% of the people who come here to this county are the people who could be the great agronomist, engineers...".
Once Warren Buffett was asked what of his qualities had been for useful for his success. Buffett candidly said that his luck. He said that had he been born in Borneo [I’m not completely sure of the name of the country], his business skills would have been not useful for him and that, as he was physically weak, would have ended being the dinner of some savage animal. George Reisman [‘Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics’. Illinois, 1996; pp. 358-367] has an interesting theoretical approach to this part of the debate that considers how the characteristics of less developed markets could not just diminish but suffocate the talents of skilled people and how the division of labor can communicate the benefits resulting from the presence of that immigrants in ways he could not achieve in his country of origin [for a relatively recently milestone paper that considers this effect quantitatively, please see, by Gianmarco Ottaviano and Giovanni Peri (August 2005), The paper was also reported in the New York Times on March 11 of 2005]. He says "we should consider the effects if the ancestors of any American industrial innovator had had to remain in their native lands, and thus that person had been born and spent his life in a country like Italy, Poland, Russia, or Germany, or even France or Great Britain. Probably most of the innovators would have been stifled or at least significantly held back." Now, consider how much a skilled person could be constrained in a Third World country, with limited access to capital and information, with inefficient labor markets, with small businesses disconnected from the technology and know-how of the big companies; preaching a message in which nobody is interested to populations plagued by low educational levels. Reisman mentions, as examples, the cases of Andrew Carnegie, who came from Scotland, and of Sikorsky, who came from Russia.

An important case, brought by Mark Skousen in 1995, is mentioned in the selection "Immigration, opposing views (California, 1998; p.167): the Cuban immigration to Miami and how those immigrants, who could not have produced such results in Cuba due to the conditions existent in that country, revived Miami in the 1960s.

  1. Malthusianism

NumbersUSA’s message is Malthusianism repackaged to look appealing to those who find the traditional anti-immigrant bashing too biased to the Right. Curiously, if you write "Malthus" in the search option in NumbersUSA’s Web page, you will find only one entry: According to Malthus, whose writings come from 1798, population growth is exponential while the growth of food is arithmetical, leading to a catastrophic depletion of resources, and indiscriminate charity would help the exponential growth of the population in poverty. Malthus teachings were used by the Whig to push bills in 1834 that forced the poor to emigrate or starve.

In reality, world population does not have exponential or fixed (as those assumed by NumbersUSA’s red area for the growth of the United States’ population with actual levels of immigration in ‘2. Population levels’) growth rates but growth rates that adapt to historical circumstances. At a global level, economic depressions, wars, natural disasters, pandemics have marked the reversal of previous periods of sustained growth population. On the other side, a FAO study ( of 2002 finds economic disparities more troubling than growth population when dealing with natural resources and food production.
With respect to the United States, a projection based on a Database updated on December of 2008 by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that, even including immigration in the projection, U.S. population growth rates decline smoothly from about 1.0% to about 0.8% between 2000 and 2050.

Of course, when you show absolute numbers you can make scary graphics with red areas and blue areas, ignore the relative relationship immigration/pulation across history (as if our population today were the same as in 1925 or 1965) and use Carmina Burana’s ‘O Fortuna’ as musical background.

  1. The connections

NumbersUSA, which took credit for sabotaging the immigration reform attempted in 2007 ( was described in the New York Times as:

‘Numbers USA is one of many organizations fostered by John H. Tanton, an ophthalmologist from Michigan who has also championed efforts to protect the environment, limit population growth and promote English as an official language.
Critics like the Southern Poverty Law Center and Representative Chris Cannon, Republican of Utah, have described Dr. Tanton as a father of the anti-immigration movement. Mark A. Potok, a senior researcher at the law center, called Numbers USA the "kinder, gentler side of that movement." ‘

The Southern Poverty Law Center ( has denounced Roy Beck's connection with John Tanton (, "the racist founder of many of the nation's key nativist groups." Heidi Beirich, from the Southern Poverty Law Center , wrote an excellent article, from which I take the following quotes:

i) ‘Beck leads an organization that has reached the heights of mainstream legitimacy, a position that helped NumbersUSA achieve dramatic policy successes, most especially in June 2007, when his followers flooded the Senate with more a million faxes. (The onslaught helped doom comprehensive immigration reform that had bipartisan support and had been expected by many observers to pass.) He has long insisted that NumbersUSA has no "vision of a homogenous white America," and his website decries all manner of "immigrant bashing" and racism.’
‘But John Tanton has come to be an embarrassment. His longstanding connections to white nationalist ideologues, his flirtation with anti-Semitism, and his many racist statements about Latinos have become well known — and are a huge liability for Beck and his restrictionist program. Pressed, Beck claims he is not ashamed of his mentor. But Tanton's name is nowhere on his website. John Tanton, it seems, is undermining Roy Beck's respectability.’

ii) "It is amazing that Beck has attained the mainstream status he has, considering where he comes from," concludes Henry Fernandez, a senior fellow at the progressive Center for American Progress, a think tank based in Washington, D.C. "His extremely close and decades-long relationship with Tanton should give pause to anyone who deals with NumbersUSA."

iii) ‘What Beck did not do is actually renounce Tanton. Instead, Beck said that he did not "choose to agree or disagree" with "snippets of quotes" from Tanton. In a later letter, he said, "To the extent that any of John's actions may have provided any support to white supremacists, I would say those were harmful actions."

iv) ‘Roy Beck says that he is no racist, that he opposes racist ideology with every fiber of his being — and his website and other writings do not contradict that. But when he is confronted with facts that seem to call that into question — in particular, his long and intimate relationship with John Tanton, and what looks a lot like his seeking to obscure that fact — Beck has declined to take an explicit position.’

v) ‘The ties that bind the two men, even if considerably less public since Beck separated NumbersUSA from U.S. Inc, remain tight. In 2006, Tanton's U.S. Inc. gave NumbersUSA a $20,000 grant. Just last year, both Beck and his employee, Rosemary Jenks, spoke at a conference of Tanton's Social Contract Press.’

LatinoDem, member of Daily Kos, presented some time ago a list of other organizations also funded by Tanton:

  1. American Immigration Control Foundation AICF, 1983, funded
  1. American Patrol/Voice of Citizens Together 1992, funded
  1. California Coalition for Immigration Reform CCIR, 1994, funded
  1. Californians for Population Stabilization 1996, funded (founded separately in 1986)
  1. Center for Immigration Studies
  1. Federation for American Immigration Reform FAIR, 1979, founded and funded
  1. NumbersUSA 1996, founded and funded
  1. Population-Environment Balance 1973, joined board in 1980
  1. Pro English 1994, founded and funded
  1. ProjectUSA 1999, funded
  1. The Social Contract Press 1990, founded and funded
  1. U.S. English 1983, founded and funded
  1. U.S. Inc. 1982, founded and funded


Thus, at this point, it should not surprise you an entry of May 22 of this year titled "Age 18-29 Joblessness Sky-High — Lifetime of Meaningless Idleness At Stake", written by a Roy Beck from NumbersUSA ( and another one of May 15 of this year titled ‘Let’s kill the Lottery before it gives away another 50,000 U.S. jobs to foreign workers’ also written by a Roy Beck from NumbersUSA ( in David Duke’s Web page.

NumbersUSA is also quoted by Jim Gilchrist’s Minuteman Project (, "provided by our good friends at NumbersUSA. The Southern Poverty Law Center also mentions the way FAIR, NumbersUSA and the Minutemen joined forces against immigration reform and the Dream Act in 2007 ( You can find also Steven Camarota, from the Center for Immigration Studies, basing his environmental points of view in NumbersUSA conclusions. In a similar way, the John Birch Society also has a favorable introduction to NumbersUSA in its Web page (

I don’t pretend to be exhaustive, so anybody could find many more links between NumbersUSA and the xenophobic Right, beyond their speeches about the environment, the poor, and about humanely treatment for illegal immigrants; beyond statistics with scary numbers that are nevertheless completely unrelated to the conclusions it reaches; beyond the temptation of thinking that we can reach our goal as a nation bashing immigrants instead of working hard, reading and researching, and engaging in the deep debate America needs so much from her liberals.

Question: I am repeating the question because it was not taken by the Poll:
NumbersUSA bases its conclusions in an official projection of population numbers that compares the estimated population in case we keep the present flows of immigration with the estimated population in case we keep the levels of immigration of 1970. The other number on which NumbersUSA bases its conclusions is:


a) Calendary, when the year doesn't have 366 days.
b) Statistically the likelihood of an unknown event.
c) Guinness Records
d) Guinness Records
e) Rick Shenkman quotes a survey made in 2006 (
f) Gallup poll (
g) Survey of the mid 1990s mentioned by Ken Burns in 2006 (

Originally posted to Alfredo Martin Bravo de Rueda Espejo on Sat Jun 06, 2009 at 09:19 PM PDT.


NumbersUSA bases its conclusions in an official projection of population numbers that compares the estimated population in case we keep the present flows of immigration with the estimated population in case we keep the levels of immigration of 1970. The o

13%3 votes
0%0 votes
4%1 votes
4%1 votes
31%7 votes
9%2 votes
36%8 votes

| 22 votes | Vote | Results

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site