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DHS Sued for Ignoring Environmental Effects of Mass Immigration

A federal complaint has been filed against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Secretary Jeh Johnson for their “actions concern[ing] the entry and settlement of multitudinous foreign nationals into the United States.”

The DHS, and Secretary Johnson (in his official capacity) have been sued for the damage that has been caused to citizens because of expansive immigration policies and lax enforcement, and for not conducting an environmental analysis of the effect of their policies. The plaintiffs want transparency from the federal government and environmentally informed decision-making.

The nine plaintiffs urge that communities have been harmed and overwhelmed by school overcrowding, traffic congestion, water and air pollution, destruction of property and livestock, loss of green space, and interference with the peaceful enjoyment of private property. There were 14 affidavits attached to the complaint by those harmed by the federal government’s policies.

Affiant Don Rosenberg’s 25-year-old son Drew was in his second year of law school when an unlicensed illegal-alien driver ran over him three times and killed him. Rosenberg’s affidavit, an exhibit to the lawsuit, notes the stresses caused by congested areas, including traffic tie-ups and congestion, and says that the growing population in southern California has meant that there is not enough water to sustain the population. Rosenberg has lived in southern California for 30 years and he says he supports the lawsuit because DHS failed to take into account the environmental impacts of its mass immigration policies. Rosenberg maintains a website explaining the horrific things his family went through after his son was murdered by an illegal alien.

The plaintiffs, who are represented by the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), want DHS to be transparent to the public and report “all potential impacts of the action.”

Lead IRLI counsel, Julie Axelrod told Breitbart Texas, “The federal government has been ignoring our nation’s preeminent environmental law for the past 46 years. NEPA, which stated directly that endless population growth is not in the national interest, was supposed to prevent exactly what has happened— that the public is in the dark about the massive environmental impact of the policy choices of their government.”

Axelrod explains, “In 2015, there was one new immigrant for every two births in the United States— which means a huge amount of population growth is entirely due to government policy. But DHS has never done any analysis of the environmental impact of deluge added to deluge of people. How can DHS imagine they have no environmental effect? The government recognizes that if it builds a new road or a new school it has an environmental impact—but why does it think new roads or schools, or other structures are built in the first place, if not to serve the needs of the population?”

The nine plaintiffs include: Californians for Population Stabilization, Arizona Association of Conservation Districts, Floridians for Sustainable Population, Scientists and Environmentalists for Population Stabilization, New Mexico Cattlegrowers Association, Floridians for Sustainable Population,Whitewater Draw Natural Resource Conservation District, the Hereford Natural Resource Conservation District, Glen Colton, and Ralph Pope.

The plaintiffs charge that the DHS has closed its eyes to the environmental effects of immigration and has ignored federal law that governs the issue. They point to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and urge that federal law requires any federal agency to take a “hard look” at every “major federal action.” They urge that the U.S. government must consider any action that will affect the environment, and to both analyze and publicize those effects.

They seek to force DHS to contemplate the “enormous impacts to the human environment caused by legal and illegal immigration.”

Ian Smith, a spokesman for the Immigration Reform Law Institute told Breitbart Texas:

The Left has always been vocal about American consumption rates, i.e., that one fifth of the world’s oil is consumed in America, while its share of the population is only five percent. But they say nothing about the U.S. being easily the number one importer of people on the planet. Indeed, America’s population growth rate is comparable to that of the Third World. Currently, over 10 percent of all the people born in Mexico are living in the U.S., all of whom now consume like Americans. It is estimated that the carbon footprint of the average immigrant is four times higher than it would have been had they remained at home. America’s high population growth and high consumption means we have an outsized impact on the world’s environmental systems. Quite simply, reducing immigration is the best way to reduce our carbon footprint on the planet.

Smith says much of the immigration-control movement was actually founded and supported by environmentalists. He points to Obama’s chief science adviser, John Holdren, who he says was a staunch restrictionist in the 1970s, and other notable public environmentalists like Nelson Rockefeller, Gaylord Nelson, and Population Bomb-author Paul R. Ehrlich.

“Even bellwether environmental groups like the Sierra Club understood the harmful effects of unregulated immigration. The Sierra Club flipped in the mid-nineties after they got a $100-million dollar check from a hedge fund manager who didn’t like their immigration angle,” Smith urges. “Now they won’t even share a platform with environmentally-focused restrictionist groups.”

The IRLI highlights the Census Bureau and says that half of all urban sprawl is a result of population growth. They note a report by the Center for Immigration Studies and say that 80 percent of the population growth is attributed to immigration. They also say that between 1990 and 2010, the population in the United States grew by over 61 million people and this can be attributed to the wide immigration policies and soft immigration enforcement of DHS and the INS before it. The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (“INS”) was the predecessor to the DHS.

It is projected that the population of the U.S. will grow from 321.37 million (2015 figures), to 407.41 million in 2055.

Former Colorado Democratic Governor Richard D. Lamm told Breitbart Texas, “Americans have a right to know the environmental impacts of our government’s mass immigration policies, especially when half of all immigrants go to just five metropolitan areas in the country: New York, Chicago, San Francisco-Oakland, Los Angeles and Southern Florida. It’s no coincidence that the latter two sprawl-centers contain the largest number of species now on America’s endangered list.”

Lamm, an affiant in the lawsuit, now serves as the co-director of the Institute for Public Policy Studies at the University of Denver in Colorado. He is the author of the book “Population and the Law.”

Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as a prosecutor and associate judge in Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2.

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