DHS sued over environmental impact of immigration

A watchdog group on immigration is to sue the Department of Homeland Security. This is for the negative impact of illegal and legal immigration on the environment. The group claims that this has resulted in ‘explosive’ growth of the US population since 1990.

The Immigration Reform Law Institute intended to file the suit against the Department of Homeland Security in the Southern District of California’s US District Court on Monday. They claimed that the department has ignored the 1970 law, known as the National Environmental Policy Act. The Act requires all agencies considering any action that will have an environmental impact to analyze the effects and then publicize the results.

The Immigration Reform Law Institute argues that mass immigration to the US, including the crossing of undocumented immigrants at the US border, has caused a significant impact on the environment. The Department of Homeland Security, they argue, has ignored this impact, for the last 46 years. Among the plaintiffs is Democrat, Richard Lamm, the former Governor of Colorado. He says that disregarding the impact of immigration is ‘environmental malpractice’.

Other plaintiffs in the case are the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association, the Arizona Association of Conservation Districts, Californians for Population Stabilization, and Floridians for Sustainable Population. The Institute has listed several consequences of the failure by the DHS to study the environmental impact of immigration. These include damage to air quality, increased demand for water, worsening traffic congestion, and an increasing loss of green space.