Leah Durant, 4/19/2012 [Archive]

Big Green Groups to Endorse a President Reluctant on Reducing Immigration



Big Green Groups to Endorse a President Reluctant on Reducing Immigration

By Leah Durant

According to Democratic sources, several big green groups like the Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, Clean Water Action and Environment America are slated to announce their endorsement of President Barack Obama today for the upcoming 2012 presidential election.While it's no surprise the greens will back Obama, many Americans are feeling a bit disappointed about the direction America is heading in this arena.Americans have a right to be angry.During Obama's term climate change legislation has stalled, while oil companies emerged largely unscathed from one of the largest environmental disaster in US history. Meanwhile, the President has also largely ignored the pressing immigration crisis the nation faces and seems completely obtuse about how immigration policy has enormous impact on our nation's habitats.

There have been recent rumblings that the Obama administration is willing to once again address immigration reform, but unfortunately most of this energy is being devoted to discussions of amnesty rather than more sensible immigration enforcement.Members from both sides of the aisle fail to acknowledge how essential immigration restrictions are to ensuring the health of the planet and to preserving the US's fragile ecosystems.

Many policy makers still consider it taboo to address how massive immigration to the US, in both legal and illegal forms, is driving unsustainable population growth.If current immigration trends continue the US is projected to reach half a billion people by midcentury.Considering the huge amount of energy the average American consumes, Americans must find ways to reduce our per capita consumption of fossil fuels in order to avoid a major ecological disaster.However, conservation is only a partial solution and will never provide the type of gains we need to ensure a sustainable future.

Three million more people are added to the US population each year. Immigrant births contribute to an increase of 2.3 million people in the US every year. Statistics have found that immigrants ultimately drive up the US fertility rate and thus are heavily responsible for the burgeoning US population.Obviously, the most sensible corrective to this high fertility rate is reduced immigration levels, but the President and other political leaders seem unwilling to even raise this possibility.

Many of the large environmental groups have had successful histories of educating generations of Americans about their day-to-day impact on the environment. Our individual consciousness may be greater but we are still light years away from any major breakthroughs. US leaders like President Obama need to move away from timid, partial answers and embrace a radically altered framework that finally addresses immigration and population.Let's hope the endorsement of the nation's largest environmental groups spurs the President to commit to serious action to addressing the ways in which too many Americans is hurting the environment.

Leah Durant is Executive Director of Progressives for Immigration Reform, a non-profit organization seeking to educate the public on the unintended consequences of mass migration through research, advocacy and engagement. Emails may be sent to Ldurant@pfirdc.org

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