The Associated Press (AP) reported Tuesday, April 20, that the Biden administration is considering providing U.S. immigration rights and citizenship to foreign “climate migrants” displaced by climate change. No country has yet offered asylum or other legal protections to people displaced by climate change.
Many of today’s illegal immigrants do not meet the U.S. definition of a refugee and are not eligible for resettlement in the United States. On Thursday, Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-CA) reintroduced a bill that would establish a national strategy to address global climate-induced displacement and create a resettlement pathway in the U.S. for people displaced by climate change.”
Breitbart News argues that the idea still faces significant challenges; how do you define a climate refugee in areas where people are fleeing, such as Central America, where natural disasters, drought and violence often intersect? If the U.S. defines climate refugees, it could mark a major shift in global refugee policy.
Referring to his bill, Markey’s office noted Thursday that it failed to pass in 2019, but that the current climate is the best time to move it forward.
Mexican President Obrador (AMLO) also proposed a reforestation deal at a climate event on Thursday (Earth Day), advocating that immigrants participating in a massive tree-planting program from Mexico to Central America could be granted temporary work visas to the U.S. after three consecutive years of planting land, and after another three or four years, could be granted U.S. residency.