Illegal Immigration Is Bad for the Environment

My heart goes out to illegal immigrants. But not enough to justify the harm they do.

By SHARE

By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog.

I come to my opposition to mass illegal immigration from an environmental perspective. This country's ballooning population is polluting our water, our air, turning beautiful open space into tacky suburbs and malls and generally degrading the quality of life here.

Individual immigrants, whether legal or illegal, are generally good people. They want what native-born Americans want—to make a good living and provide for their families. That's completely understandable. Unfortunately, at this point in our history, there is no way they can do so here without degrading the environment. It's tough to say that, as looking at new immigrants, my heart goes out to them. But does my heart hurt to the point where I want to see the American countryside destroyed, rural life pushed aside, and our air and water polluted to the breaking point? No.

Granting amnesty to people who broke U.S. law turns our laws upside down and sends a message that U.S. laws can be broken with impunity. That's the wrong message to send. It is difficult for politicians to stand up against the immigration lobby, which is huge and powerful. But I commend Sen. Schumer for so doing.

  • Check out our political cartoons.
  • Become a political insider: Subscribe to U.S. News Weekly, our new digital magazine.
  • Follow Thomas Jefferson Street blog on Twitter.