Philip Radford of Greenpeace and Bill McKibben of 350.org recently joined the growing crowd of people calling for comprehensive immigration reform and a pathway to citizenship.
I see their leadership on this issue as a promising step. As I explained in Grist three years ago, there are many good reasons for environmentalists to be pro–immigrant rights. Yet it can still take courage for environmental leaders to talk about the important intersections between the green movement and the immigrant-rights movement.
As Radford points out, workers need stable immigration status to better fight pollution and hold politicians accountable: “Current immigration policy forces vulnerable communities to keep silent about corporate pollution for fear of having their lives and families torn apart,” he writes. In my work with Service Employees International Union, I hear of migrant agricultural workers in Washington state who, due to cuts to child-care programs, have to take their children to the fields with them. The children are then exposed to high levels of... Read more