Isaac Asimov was a science fiction author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University. In a 1989 interview with Bill Moyers, he was asked: “What happens to the idea of the dignity of the human species if this population growth continues at its present rate?”
Isaac replied: “If two people live in an apartment, and there are two bathrooms, then both have freedom of the bathroom. You can go to the bathroom anytime you want, stay as long as you want, for whatever you need. (…) But if you have twenty people in the apartment and two bathrooms, then no matter how much every person believes in freedom of the bathroom, there’s no such thing. You have to set up times for each person, you have to bang on the door, ‘Aren’t you through yet?’ And so on. (…) In the same way, democracy cannot survive overpopulation; human dignity cannot survive overpopulation; convenience and decency cannot survive overpopulation: The value of life not only declines, it disappears. It doesn’t matter if someone dies, the more people there are, the less the individual matters.”
Frederick Douglas was an black Civil War era social reformer, orator, writer, and statesman. After escaping from slavery, he became a leader of the movement, gaining note for his dazzling oratory and incisive antislavery writing.
In his book, My Bondage and My Freedom (1855), he expressed concern about job competition between blacks and immigrants:
“The old employments by which we have heretofore gained our livelihood are gradually, and it may seem inevitably, passing into other hands. Every hour sees the black man elbowed out of employment by some newly arrived immigrant whose hunger and whose color are thought to give him a better title to the place.” [Reprinted by Dover Publications, Black Rediscovery Series, 1969 edition, pp. 454-5.]
Milton Friedman was an American economist, statistician, and writer who taught at the University of Chicago for more than three decades. He was a recipient of the 1976 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.
He once famously remarked: “It’s just obvious you can’t have free immigration and a welfare state.”
The Hon. Antonio Garza
Former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico (2002-2009)
“There is no human right to enter another country in violation of its laws.”
Samuel Gompers founded the American Federation of labor (AFL), and served as the organization’s president from 1886 to 1894 and from 1895 until his death in 1924.
Here is an excerpt from a letter from him while he was president of the Executive Council of the AFL, dated April 28, 1921, and addressed to J. H. Reiter at Havorford College, about Congressional legislation to restrict immigration: “Those who favor unrestricted immigration care nothing for the people. They are simply desirous of flooding the country with unskilled as well as skilled labor of other lands for the purpose of breaking down American [living] standards.” [The correspondence is from the archives of H. Keith Thompson for the Thompson Collection in the Hoover Institution.]
The Hon. Barbara Jordan
Barbara Jordan served as Chair of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform from 1993 until her death in 1996.
“The credibility of immigration policy can be measured by a simple yardstick: people who should get in, do get in; people who should not get in are kept out; and people who are judged deportable are required to leave.” [U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform report to Congress: “Becoming an American: Immigration and Immigrant Policy,” 1997, p. 79.]
“For immigration to continue to serve our national interest, it must be lawful. There are some people who argue that some illegal aliens contribute to our community because they may work, pay taxes, send their children to our schools, and in all respects except one, obey the law. Let me be clear: that it not enough.”
James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is an author, social critic, public speaker, and blogger. He is best known for his books The Geography of Nowhere (1994), a history of American suburbia and urban development, The Long Emergency (2005) and most recently, Too Much Magic (2012).
“One of our political leaders said not too long ago that the American way of life is non-negotiable. And we are going to discover the hard way that when you don’t negotiate the circumstances that are sent to you by the universe, you automatically get assigned a new negotiating partner, named ‘Reality.’ And then it will negotiate for you. You don’t even have to be in the room.” [ABC News, “Earth 2100,” May 29, 2009.]
First President of the United States (1789-1797)
There is no need of encouraging immigration:
“My opinion, with respect to emigration, is that except of useful mechanics and some particular descriptions of men or professions, there is no need of encouragement, while the policy or advantage of its taking place in a body (I mean the settling of them in a body) may be much questioned; for, by so doing, they retain the Language, habits, and principles (good or bad) which they bring with them.” [In a Letter to John Adams, November 15, 1794, The Writings of George Washington, edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford, Vol. XII, p. 489, 1889.]
Against foreign influence:
“Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence, I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens, the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican Government.” [From his Farewell Address to the People of the United States, September 17, 1796, The Writings of George Washington, Vol. XII, p. 315, 1889.]
Cautious about recruiting foreigners into the military:
“You should be extremely cautious in your enquiries into the character of those who are not natives who offer to enlist. Desertions among men of that class have been so frequent that unless you find ‘em on examination to be of good and unsuspicious conduct, they should not be taken by any means. Otherwise, most probably, they will deceive you—add no strength to our arms, but much expense to the Public account and upon first opportunity will join the Enemy.” [Letter from General Washington to a Colonel Baylor, June 19, 1777, from The Writings of George Washington, Vol. V, p. 441, 1889.]
For the Alien and Sedition Laws:
“But I will take the liberty of advising such as are not ‘thoroughly convinced’ and whose minds are yet open to conviction, to read the pieces and hear the arguments, which have been adduced in favor of as well s those against, the constitutionality and expediency of those laws [the Alien and Sedition Acts], before they decide; and consider to what lengths a certain description of men in our country have already driven, and seem resolved further to drive matters, and then ask themselves if it is not time and expedient, to resort to protecting laws against aliens (for citizens you certainly know are not affected by that law), who acknowledge no allegiance to this country, and in many instances are sent among us (as there is the best circumstantial evidence to prove) for the express purpose of poisoning the minds of our people, and to sow dissensions among them, in order to alienate their affections from the government of their choice, thereby endeavoring to dissolve the Union, and of course the fair and happy prospects, which were unfolding to our view from the Revolution.” [Letter from Washington to Alexander Spotswood, November 22, 1789, from The Writings of George Washington, Vol. XIV, p. 122, 1889.]
Concern about civil discord ensuing in the United States from demagogic politicos, aided by revolutionary foreigners:
“Vain will it be to look for peace and happiness, or for the security of liberty or property, if civil discord should ensue. And what else can result from the policy of those among us, who, by all the measures in their power, are driving matters to extremity, if they cannot be counteracted effectually? The views of men can only be known, or guessed at, by their words or actions. Can those of the leaders of opposition be mistaken, then, if judged by this rule? That they are followed by numbers, who are unacquainted with their designs, and suspect as little the tendency of their principles, I am fully persuaded. But if their conduct is viewed with indifference, if there is activity and misrepresentation on one side and supineness on the other, their numbers accumulated by intriguing and discontented foreigners under proscription, who were at war with their own governments, and the greater part of them, all governments, they will increase, and nothing short of Omniscience can foretell the consequences.” [Letter to Patrick Henry, written from Mount Vernon, January 15, 1799, from The Writings of George Washington, Vol. XIV, p. 139, 1889.]