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Our Review: Roy Beck and US Immigration

On Oct 28, 2014, Roy Beck of NUMBERSUSA spoke to ICON on current major issues regarding our immigration policies.  During the talk, he made the following major points:

  • Current immigration policies are encouraging mass immigration. This is primarily  responsible for the government’s recent projections that by 2060 there will be solid urban development from Atlanta through the Research Triangle.  All natural areas will have been developed, and children will have no woods of fields to experience. Do we want this severe environmental degradation?

    Immigration in the United States
    Immigration in the United States
  • We currently have a severely anti-Black federal policy. He reviewed the historic role of mass immigration in impoverishing a large segment of the Black population. It has been in times of tight labor markets and minimal immigration that the poor of all groups have been able to develop job skills, seniority, and climb into the middle class.  Is our current policy morally defensible?
  • Mr Beck described the role of mass immigration in producing the currently historically low work participation rates of working-age Americans, and in the stagnant to declining wages of those who do work. We are producing a nation of dependent slackers.  Do we want this?
  • All of these adverse consequences are the immediate result of policy decisions which have been made by legislators. All of these decisions can be reversed if the public is sufficiently demanding.  The problem is that individual legislators,  companies, or political interests benefit from the open borders policies that we see here, but the consequences are inflicted on the public at large.  It is up to the public to reverse these assumptions.


Roy Beck is President and CEO of NumbersUSA, the nation’s largest grassroots immigration-reduction organization with more RoyBeck_slide_585x515than two million registered online activists. Its website routinely ranks in the top five for user traffic among advocacy organizations on any issue.  For 20 years, he has led research on the effects of mass immigration on quality of life issues in the United States. The prestigious Foreign Affairs journal stated that nobody has made a more persuasive case for cutting current high levels of immigration. “All sides can learn from Roy Beck,” said Business Week Magazine.

Roy is an author of four public policy books, a national lecturer and a veteran reporter of the Newhouse and Gannett chains and other newspapers based in Michigan, Ohio, Missouri and Texas, and is a former Chief Washington Correspondent for Booth Newspapers.  A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, he was one of the first 10 environmental beat reporters in the country.  He has reported from more than 30 states and a dozen countries in Latin America and Asia, with numerous awards for coverage of non-government humanitarian efforts, of environmental, development and population issues, of business, and of religion, ethics and public policy.

His policy analysis has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, U.S. News, Politico, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, the Journal of Policy History and dozens more. He has been appearing for years on PBS and all the national cable news networks, as well as numerous college campuses.

He started in 1996 to carry out the recommendations of the bi-partisan U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform after the death of its chairman, civil rights champion Barbara Jordan.  The commission had invited him in 1995 to meet on the basis of his Atlantic Monthly reporting which was chosen by the Encyclopedia Britannica as one of the most important contributions of American writing in the 1990s.

A recipient of the U.S. Army Commendation Medal (non-combat) in 1972, he has been married to Shirley, a pediatric physical therapist, since 1970, has two married sons and has devoted much personal time for three decades to Habitat for Humanity, leading teens in summer work weeks for the poor, teaching Sunday school and assisting in community assistance to impoverished immigrant and other minority communities.