Roy Beck on Immigration and the Environment: A Deep Dive with NumbersUSA

Immigration and the Environment. Two umbrella concepts that have been inexorably linked are now the primary talking point among politicians, activists, and environmentalists alike. Roy Beck is the Founder and President of the immigration reduction advocacy group known as NumbersUSA.

Founded in 1996 to help carry out recommendations regarding immigration by a bipartisan congressional chair, NumbersUSA and Beck himself seek to make clear how reducing immigration levels can actually help advocates looking to improve the environment.

In an interview, Beck stated, “I thought, Man, quadrupling immigration from what it was before 1965, this is really undercutting all the efforts on the environment and economic justice.”

A History of Advocacy

Roy H. Beck first exploded onto the political advocacy scene in the 60s after graduating from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. As one of the first-ever environmental beat reporters for a newspaper in the ’60s, Beck became a major force within the sphere, collecting dozens of awards for his efforts.

As a child, Beck was raised under an environmentalist father who worked for the Teamsters union, a group also committed to supporting environmental initiatives. As a child, Beck would turn to recycling in the ’50s and his efforts were so prolific that the town’s recycling center would be renamed the Warren Beck Memorial Recycling Center. Throughout his years as a reporter, Beck has covered issues pertaining to the economy and the environment, most recently focusing on how unchecked immigration can negatively impact both. 

Beck recently published a piece for RealClearPolicy which focused on how damaging high levels of immigration can be to the environment, noting that from 2002 to 2017, North America lost more than 17.8 thousand miles of land. Pointing to the immigration act that passed in the 90s, Beck and NumbersUSA were sure to highlight the urbanization impact that immigration had. Beck pointed to the way that rural areas had been converted into recreational uses, housing, and infrastructure.

Roy H. Beck and Environmentalism

With the way that immigration policies impacted the environment in the late 80s and early 90s, Beck knew that he wanted to make a change that would last long beyond him. In 1990, Beck would establish NumbersUSA to highlight some of the severe consequences that unchecked immigration can cause on the environment, country, and economy.

Beck said of his decision to establish NumbersUSA, “I was 42 years old. I didn’t think I’d ever leave newspapers, but I just had this feeling that I needed to be an advocate, but a different kind of advocate.”

Most recently, as an author, Roy Beck released Back of the Hiring Line, 200 Years of Immigration Surges, Employer Bias, and the Depression of Black Wealth. These books detail how major policies at the highest levels of government have impacted immigration levels, which have, in turn, impacted the environment itself.

Outside of his work in environmentalism and immigration, Roy Beck of NumbersUSA volunteer leadership services at the Multiple Sclerosis Society, United Methodist Sunday School, and a host of nursing homes throughout Columbia, MO.

See more from Roy Beck here:

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button