Roy Beck, a former journalist, acknowledges that his opinions on immigration policy are influenced by his extensive background as a press reporter. During his more than 26 years as a journalist, the founder and president of the NumbersUSA advocacy group for immigration reduction was tasked with covering some of the most pivotal events in the United States. Later in life, Beck plied his trade as a journalist in Washington, D.C., where he became thoroughly engrossed with the country’s daily political climate. These experiences, according to Beck, were the ones that most influenced his current opinions and gave him the opportunity to fully understand the importance of hearing people with different backgrounds and points of view.
Beck went into detail about that viewpoint in a recent interview. “I definitely learned to be at ease with pluralism and the notion that everyone has an inherent prejudice on every topic as a result of being a journalist in the 20th century.” Beck continued, highlighting the value of being honest with oneself and being aware of one’s own bias. “I would always try to bend over backwards to figure out how to be fair, especially if there is ever a position a person had that is different from what mine was,” Beck said. Indeed, the very nature of pluralism is exactly what Beck says he is striving to manifest today in his work with NumbersUSA, the organization that he founded.
According to Roy Beck’s assessment of the current situation in the U.S., political division may be actually contributing to the lack of diversity. Ideologically, people have a tendency to group together, making it difficult or impossible to work with others who hold opposing beliefs or viewpoints, according to Beck. Diversity is really a core value to Beck, even though it can make things more difficult to come to consensus and may increase disagreements. This is why, in spite of the fact that, in Beck’s words, “You can’t come to agreements quickly and you’ve always got somebody on the other side of an issue,” Beck remains a strong proponent of diversity at NumbersUSA.
Beck is accustomed to facing difficulties of this nature because he has dealt with the “ideological tribes” phenomena over the course of his 26-year media career. Beck laments the propensity for people to divide into left and right “tribes” in an effort to make things simpler. Beck said of NumbersUSA’s pluralistic approach, “Almost nobody is trying to do what we’re trying to do… Nobody else is attempting to handle this topic from this diverse perspective, as far as I can tell.”
Beck’s operational model appears to have the full endorsement of NumbersUSA’s Board of Directors. After much discussion, according to Beck, the organization’s Board agreed unanimously and enthusiastically that they would maintain their current pluralistic stance. “We’re going to remain this unique institution and continue working to be, in a sense, a force toward moderation,” Beck confirms, “when the majority of the activity is on the extreme edges of the spectrum.”
Beck emphasized that while he is not against the passionate ends of the spectrum, he also does not think that a country like the United States operates at its best when the extremes are “ruling the roost.” The extremities of the spectrum, in his opinion, are much better at adding texture, but he admits that he prefers to work largely in the middle spaces between the two extremes.
NumbersUSA is an education and research foundation that conducts research on the effects of large-scale immigration. They are largely focused on lowering immigration numbers and work to inform opinion leaders, decision-makers, and the general public about the findings of this and other relevant studies. Their work is supported by a network of views that include opposition to specific federal immigration policies that might jeopardize certain values by forcing a rapid increase in the U.S. population. These beliefs include economic justice, environmental sustainability, individual liberty, and the rule of law.
Listen to Roy Beck on Audible: https://www.audible.com/author/Roy-Beck/B09JFG4BTM