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Nativist Leader Encourages Americans to Blame Immigrants for Traffic and Urban Sprawl | IMAGINE 2050

In one of his most recent posts for the NumbersUSA blog, founder Roy Beck asks his readers to “get personal” about “a treasured place of quaintness” that has “been dramatically changed” thanks to an influx of immigrants and the pressures of population growth. He wonders what we have lost along the way, as the United States rapidly becomes a country of congested traffic lanes and disappearing wild spaces, and he asks readers to submit their own stories of a paradise lost.

Beck seems to be most concerned about urban sprawl and congestion, so it seems fitting to take time and examine just what exactly spurs that kind of growth. In the United States, the forces of growth and sprawl have historically been intertwined with race and racism. Zoning laws and development projects have been (and are) used to prevent different groups of people from interacting. This, combined with the concept of “suburbia” invented solely to give a name and destination to postwar white-flight, makes it hard to find Beck’s argument convincing.

The expansion of tract housing, freeways and strip-malls that we witness today is not a function of immigration, nor is it particularly new to our time and place. Contrary to what Beck implies in his blog post, it was the cultural shift during the postwar years that we might thank for our nation’s obsession with expansion. Eager to display its global superiority, the United States binged on far-flung suburban communities and big cars to traverse the newly unfolding national highway system.

FULL ARTICLE HERE: Nativist Leader Encourages Americans to Blame Immigrants for Traffic and Urban Sprawl | IMAGINE 2050.

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