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Articles by Environmental Justice Fellow Adam Mahoney

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Vice President Kamala Harris had a simple message for migrants seeking relief during her first international trip in the role: “Do not come.” 

Harris, who gave a press conference with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei after private talks about U.S. President Joe Biden’s goals to curb migration at the southern border, named corruption and human trafficking as among the most pressing causes of migration from the Central American country. What she failed to mention, however, was 2020’s biggest driver of migration: severe weather, which makes the “do not come” instruction nearly impossible to follow. Nearly 600,000 people from Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua were displaced last year due to Hurricanes Eta and Iota.

Harris and the Biden administration haven’t completely ignored migration due to climate change. Right before her trip to Guatemala, Harris’ staff said the “main drivers” of migration to the southern border are climate and the economy. Currently, no nation offers asylum or other legal protections to people displaced specifically because of climate change. But in February, Biden signed an executive order signaling a future whe... Read more

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