Posted on July 15, 2020

The Environmental Impact of Immigration into the United States

Jason DinAlt, Carrying Capacity, 1997


The current high rate of immigration into the United States of America has adverse environmental impacts upon America, and upon the world as a whole. This article documents that impact, from the ten countries that send the most immigrants to America.

As an example. consider the impact of a typical family of seven, immigrating from a country where their owning a car was highly unlikely. When they come to America they are likely to acquire cars (0.76 cars per family member)1. For every mile they drive, they pollute and deplete resources that could have been relatively unaffected had they continued their prior lifestyle. The act of border crossing enables them to make lifestyle changes that adversely affect the environment; by becoming Americans they adopt the consumption and pollution patterns of the world’s most environmentally destructive lifestyle.

This paper presents the changes in certain key environmental indicators caused by immigration.