Following on the heels of Apply the Brakes — a report that exposes the anti-immigrant co-option of the environmental movement — the Center for New Community has released a video exploring the relationship between environmental progressives and the anti-immigrant right-wing.
The anti-immigrant Californians for Population Stabilization advertisement shown in the video blames steady immigration for increased environmental problems because immigrants consume and pollute more in the United States than in their previous countries. I have a solution. Maybe Americans should adopt the attitudes of immigrants from their home countries, instead of asking immigrants to assimilate to America. After all, people migrating from one country to another is not the primary source of our environmental problems. It is mostly American consumption that is wrecking the planet.
Earlier this year, Change.org readers noted their displeasure with the National Council of Science and Education (NCSE) for giving Roy Beck from NumbersUSA — an anti-immigrant organization — a platform at their conference, which he used to denounce immigration. The NCSE held steadfast to their position on the grounds that the organization had nothing to do with an anti-immigrant agenda and it was simply promoting a platform for multitudes of voices. That is a reasonable excuse, but nonetheless, an excuse. Eight months later, as various reporters dig further into the link between anti-immigrant and green organizations, the NCSE is incensed about being linked to an anti-immigrant agenda.
Environmental organizations have a responsibility to not just distance themselves from anti-immigrant individuals, but to take a strong opposition to the anti-immigrant factions in their ranks. It is the anti-immigrant movement that is in fact, anti-environment. The beloved border wall is an affront to humanity and endangers the natural and wildlife habitat of so many species. Political refugees are also environmental migrants when they escape developing and underdeveloped countries ravaged by pollution from more developed nations. Many immigrants who settle in the United States live in corridors with grave environmental injustice due to corporations that violate environmental regulations.
Anti-immigrant white nationalists will greenwash their talking points to get what they want. It is up to the major environmental organizations to call them out on their hogwash.
Photo and Video Credit: NativismWatchTV