CAPS, Eight Others Sue DHS for Neglecting NEPA Requirements

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

October 20, 2016

Californians for Population Stabilization is one of nine plaintiffs that have filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security for its failure to consider the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act’s (NEPA) requirements in it immigration actions. The NEPA obligates “any agency considering an action that will affect the environment to analyze and publicize those effects.” Read the complaint and see the exhibits here.

Trash left in Arizona by illegal aliens.

The plaintiffs claim that between 1990 and 2010, DHS – and the Immigration and Naturalization Service before it – ignored NEPA’s requirement to analyze the environmental impacts of its policies during the time when the U.S. population grew by more than 61 million people. Going forward, by 2065 the total U.S. population will increase to almost 441 million from today’s 325 million, and immigration will account for about 80 percent of that growth. The aggregate increase over the next five decades is roughly equal to the combined current populations of California, Texas, Florida and New York.

Representing the plaintiffs, the Immigration Reform Law Institute lists several negative consequences of the DHS failure to consider the environmental impact of Immigration on the nation, and made this statement:

“Communities across America are being harmed and overwhelmed by damage to air quality, increasing urban sprawl, increasing demand for water, increasing water pollution, exacerbated traffic congestion, school overcrowding, loss of green space, farmland, forests and wildlife, and other nonrenewable resources.” IRLI officials added that hundreds of thousands of people who have crossed the border illegally have led to “the destruction of native species, garbage dumping, water pollution and fires.”

Specifically, IRLI stated that unchecked illegal immigration has led to:

“… the destruction of native species and habitats by trampling over the native vegetation; garbage dumping on a massive scale; water pollution; fires for the purposes of heat, cooking, or to distract Border Patrol agents (many of which turn out of control and destroy vast swaths of naive land); not to mention the destruction of property, livestock, and the peaceful enjoyment of personal property.”

In her affidavit, CAPS Executive Director Jo Wideman wrote that California’s population has steadily increased from two million in 1900 to 10 million in 1950, and is now 39 million, an unsustainable growth rate that nullifies her organization’s most vigorous support of conservation efforts. More and more people mean more environmental degradation, more energy consumption, more water usage and more urban sprawl. CAPS calls for a “halt” to immigration to help slow California’s soaring population growth. Six members of the CAPS Board of Directors, along with other members of CAPS, also filed supporting affidavits.

Despite over-immigration’s devastating population consequences, the White House and Congress never comment on America’s frightening future. Instead, they relentlessly push for immigration amnesties and more nonimmigrant visas without ever explaining the environmental fall out Americans will suffer because of the continuous flow of more people.

The IRLA lawsuit will demonstrate that legal and illegal immigration has had and will continue to have a significant detrimental effect on the environment, and all Americans’ quality of life.
 

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