All posts by Ray Garrido

Demand climate change action

Today, Friday, September 20, people of all ages are taking to the streets to demand immediate action on climate change from our leaders.  Climate change will cause the forced migration of many millions of people over the course of this century, and the bulk of those displaced will have played little role in the emissions responsible for this crisis.  Forced climate migration may arise from two broad types of impacts.  Extreme weather events, including floods, typhoons, hurricanes and other weather phenomena will lead to immediate losses of homes and livelihoods.  Long-term climate processes, on the other hand, include sea level rise, chronic drought, extreme heat exposure, and food insecurity and may render large areas practically uninhabitable.  In the most dramatic cases, entire nations may be literally wiped off the map by sea level rise, a reality forcefully communicated by the Alliance of Small Island States during the drafting of the Paris Agreement that spurred inclusion of language seeking to limit global warming to 1.5 C above preindustrial levels.

The window for achieving that ambitious target is rapidly closing.  Our current trajectory would result in 3-4 C of warming by 2100, a level of warming that would make large regions of earth uninhabitable by human beings.  Amidst all of this, xenophobic rhetoric and anti-refugee policy shifts among many of the nations with the greatest culpability in the climate crisis is the height of cruelty and inhumanity. 

Here at KIAC, we work with many families who fled their home countries due to conditions beyond their control, and we know that climate change will continue to exacerbate this. We must call our leaders to account in order to reduce the disproportionate and devastating effects on vulnerable countries. We must also recognize our role as a nation and explore ways to welcome those whom we have contributed to displacing. Please stand with KIAC and with millions of people around the world today and demand policy change at the highest levels of our governments.

Find a list of actions here and a local Bremerton action here.

**For more information or to see the source of most of this information, see:

Brown, Oli. (2008) Migration and Climate Change. International Organization for Migration Research Series, No. 31.  IOM, Geneva, Switzerland.

We are better than this

We at KIAC are disappointed in and angered by the statement of Acting USCIS Director Cuccinelli to NPR that the Emma Lazarus poem on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty would more correctly read, “Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and not become a public charge.” Speaking later on CNN, Cuccinelli also stated that the poem referred only to “people coming from Europe.” This distortion of the American values enshrined in the Lazarus poem is deeply dismaying.

For centuries people from all over the world have come to America to build  new lives. Immigrants have strengthened our country and enriched our society. This poem has been a clarion call, signaling our country’s welcome to those seeking hope and freedom. The acting director’s comment is just the latest in a long line of  statements and policies put forward by this administration aimed at restricting immigration and punishing immigrants who are already here.

As a nation, we must be better than this. KIAC will continue to support and defend our immigrant sisters and brothers.

Positive Action

From the National Immigration Forum:

Representatives Michael McCaul (R- Texas) and Eliot L. Engel (D- New York) introduced the United States–Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Act, or H.R. 2615, on May 9, 2019. The bill seeks to address the root causes of migration from the three Northern Triangle countries – El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

It would provide irrevocable foreign aid for fiscal year (FY) 2020 to the Northern Triangle nations, which are collectively the most common countries of origin of migrants currently arriving at the U.S. Southern Border, and set conditions for assistance extended to these countries’ governments. Also, it would direct U.S. officials to encourage economic growth and development, combat corruption, strengthen democratic institutions and improve security conditions in the region.

Here is a full summary of the bill. Encourage our Senators to support this bill.