University of California, Los Angeles research professor recently slammed the impact of “excessive immigration” on the labor market in a message to the campus community.
Benjamin Zuckerman, professor of Astronomy and president of Californians for Population Stabilization, argued in an essay for The Daily Bruin that immigration, both legal and illegal, has a negative impact on native-born Americans.
“For many years the United States has admitted a million legal immigrants a year. This, combined with illegal immigration, has had a significant impact on low-income American workers, who are disproportionately persons of color,” Zuckerman contends.
Due to high rates of immigration, there is an unusually “abundant pool of cheap labor,” which he argues “contributes to the transfer of wealth from lower to upper strata of society, thus increasing income inequality.”
“This is one reason why Californians for Population Stabilization supports reduced levels of immigration, and not because of ‘racism’ or ‘xenophobia,’” he assures his readers, responding to an op-ed written by UCLA alum Hector Prado, which alleged that Zuckerman’s anti-immigration work is rooted in exactly those prejudices.
While students at UCLA have been quick to allege that Zuckerman is racist, his arguments are undergirded by concern with overpopulation, not immigration per se, and the mission of his own organization is rooted in concern over California’s burgeoning population.
“California’s population has doubled, from 20 million to nearly 40 million in just the last forty years,” the website states.
“More population growth has meant more pollution, more degradation of our environmental treasures, more traffic, overcrowded schools, higher taxes, longer waits at emergency rooms, [and] even more job competition.”
However, Californians for Population Stabilization take care to note that immigration itself isn’t bad, but simply that “America’s antiquated immigration policy” causes problems, arguing that the country imports “millions of people with little to no regard for whether they have a skill set that matches the country’s economic needs.”
In his essay for The Bruin, Zuckerman even suggests that population stabilization is consistent with left-wing values such as concern over climate change.
"The importance of a prompt stabilization of the U.S. population is not a newfound concept,” he writes.
“In fact, it was highlighted as one of the two most important steps the U.S. must take toward sustainability, according to the 1996 Population and Consumption Task Force Report of former President Bill Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development.”
Zuckerman concludes by insisting that “this nation can no longer afford to delay reasoned discussion about explosive population growth.”
Campus Reform reached out to Zuckerman for an interview, but he was unable to respond in time for publication.