We write in response to the feature on Californians for Population Control (CAPS), designated a ‘’hate group’’ according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. If CAPS aims to reduce population, not just locally but globally, the solution is the opposite of that which they propose. More, not less, migration supports population decline. The demographic literature is unambiguous in demonstrating that Latin American migrants to the U.S. reduce fertility following migration.

If the group wishes a better economy, reducing migration would also have an effect opposite to that ostensibly intended. Migrants pay more in taxes than they use in services, and they contribute labor where it is in high demand — in the service industry and in agriculture where competition from locals and mechanization remains unfeasible or too costly (the wheat and corn harvesting of middle America is already largely mechanized but table cleaning and strawberry picking are not). Further, migrants are disproportionately of working age, helping to fill a demographic gap left by our aging baby boomers. As our nation’s population contracts and ages, only migration can provide the labor necessary to fuel a growing economy and care for the elderly.

Look no further than Japan as a testimony to the economic failings of a severe migration policy. Precisely at this moment as migration from Mexico has been declining in recent years, we should be encouraging, not stonewalling, the flow of people from our southern borders. The State of California has a rich history of immigration and is better for it.


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