On May 17, President Obama announced that he would extend Temporary Protected Status [TPS] to Haitian nationals currently residing in the United States. TPS grants temporary protection from deportation to nationals of a country that has been the victim of environmental disasters, political turmoil or economic instability. Until the federal government deems that those conditions have improved, the affected immigrants can legally stay in the United States.
Said Obama about his decision: “Haiti remains a country in crisis and safe return is not possible. Deporting Haitians who arrived too late to register for TPS would place at risk the lives of those being returned.”
In 2009, Obama issued an Executive Order extending TPS to 3,500 Liberians. And before Obama, President Bush offered TPS to more than 300,000 Central Americans from El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.
While various administrations have been quick to recognize environmental catastrophes in foreign countries, rarely are the consequences (especially ecological) of more immigration into the United States considered.
In his summer 2010 Social Contract Magazine article titled “Garret Hardin’s Lifeboat Ethics Applied to Environmental Migrants,” author and Professor Emeritus of Environmental Biology John Cairns, Jr. warned against federal immigration policies that, while seemingly humanitarian, have destructive long term consequences to the host nation.
Migrants who come to the United States under TPS are unlikely to ever return whether or not their protected status eventually expires. They become, to use Cairns’ term “environmental migrants” who when exposed to the American consumerism lifestyle will be unwilling under any circumstances to return to their native country.
As Cairns notes, and which explains in part why the United States has such a generous but misguided immigration policy, most Americans assume that because their quality of life is good, we have a capacity for more immigration. Hardin originally referred to this as the “lifeboat” concept that assumes that the accepting nation (of more immigrants) has the capacity to take in still more immigrants. Nothing is further from the truth.
In fact, the United States is now a bankrupt nation that realistically cannot provide housing, food, medical care or any of the other services that the migrants hope to take advantage of.
One of the variables that lead to environmental degradation is population size, a fact that federal officials and many politically correct scientists either ignore or deny. But ignoring problems as serious as United States population growth which has doubled in my lifetime from 150 million to more than nearly 310 million and will reach 1 billion within 90 years will never lead to a solution. [Expert: U.S. Population to Hit 1 Billion by 2100 by Haya El Nasser, USA Today, April 30, 2008]