by Kim Lobaria, Rising Tide activist
Anti-immigrant forces are playing on fears about global warming. And while global warming is a real threat, it doesn’t come from immigrants but from fossil fuel companies that are destroying our Earth.
Poor immigrants from impoverished countries have a negligible effect on the environment. In fact, countries in the developing world are paying a terrible price for the pollution that the fossil fuel companies — and our gas-guzzling cars — have created.
But people like John Tanton,the founder of organizations such as FAIR and Center for Immigration Studies, are scapegoating immigrants. Mr. Tanton would have us believe that a few extra families running tap water will destroy our environment. He doesn’t concern himself with large-scale projects like the Tar Sands, where it takes four barrels of water to produce one barrel of oil.
The argument that open borders are a top threat to our environment is not only unfair to immigrants, it also hinders our ability to solve the problem of global warming.
Instead of focusing on blaming immigrants, we need to hold industries and governments responsible. And we need to make sure that the people most adversely affected by global warming – those living in developing nations – are treated fairly. (For more information on what a just accord might look like, see the Cochabamba People’s Agreement.
According to the agreement, “Indigenous Peoples from North to South cannot afford these unjust and false ‘solutions’, because climate change is killing our peoples, cultures and ecosystems.” In addition, “We will continue to stand with our allies to demand climate justice. The communities on the frontlines of the problem––those who face the daily impacts of the climate crisis––are also on the frontlines of the solutions. Community-based solutions can cool the planet!”
Closing the border is at best a cruel distraction. And we don’t have time for distractions.