The United States is the world’s largest carbon emitter, with a record of 1.2 billion tons. Quarter of cumulative emissions.
Rising temperatures cause more frequent, erratic thunderstorms and droughts. These devastating storms cause destruction to communities and their livelihoods. The withering droughts also leave lands arid, which makes it difficult for local-based agriculture to thrive and sustain life.
This is made worse by interventionist foreign policy and other factors. Climate change has led to an increase in the number of people living in poverty.Of People forced to migrateEasily accessible from your home. journey across borders more dangerous.
With Title 42 still in place, however, thousands of Haitian, Central American, and other migrants who’ve lost it all Because of global warming calamitiesThey are stuck at the border and cannot seek asylum in the United States.
In March 2020, the Trump administration passed this law Title 42The COVID-19 pandemic is made a scapegoat in order to expel migrants at South Border without any opportunity to seek asylum and other humanitarian protections. The policy has been extended Nine timesUnder the Biden administration despite Public health and medical experts are open to harsh criticismThey also note that these expulsions lack scientific support and that advocates are pushing for them asylum is essential.
In addition to Title 42’s harmful policies, the inflated immigration enforcement budgets treat migrants as threats rather than investing in safety-related resources. Annually, taxpayers spend $24 billion on immigration and border enforcementIt could have funded nearly seven million low-income adults’ health care or more than 300,000 clean energy jobs over the course of a single year.
And it’s not just about misplaced domestic priorities. We must strive to return to pre-pandemic normalcy. Worldwide access to the coronavirus vaccinationIt is essential. Global vaccination can help to prevent the spread of new COVID-19 variants. With a $25 billion investmentThe U.S. government could produce vaccines for the world at a cost of about the same as it spends on immigration enforcement and border enforcement each year.
In New Mexico, a border state where I’m from, Nearly $100 million in taxpayer dollarsAnnually visit immigration and border enforcement New Mexico is among the poorest States in the country.According to Census Bureau 2020 data. This staggering sum of money could have enabled approximately 3,000 children to receive head start slots for four years consecutively or paid $2.5 million for coronavirus vaccines.
This month New Mexico’s Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham Appelled on the National Guardto fill COVID-19-related staffing shortages at public schools. New Mexico taxpayers contributed $2.5 billion to the state’s budget last year. More than $3 billion was spent on military equipment. This same amount could have supported nearly 7,500 elementary school educators for five years.
According to recent data, New Mexico has the country’s lowest median family salary, high separation and divorce rates, and amongst the highest child care costs. It is home to one of the most violent crime per capita and a high percentage of families living in poverty.
My state has urgent and critical needs that should be prioritized. It’s critical to start paying attention to what our tax dollars are fueling.
So how are these billions being used and who’s really benefiting? There are no taxpayers and migrants.
It is not surprising that this demoralizing truth is so common. Two examples of this demoralizing truth are large corporations and private contractors like Lockheed Martin or ManTech. Prime contractors working for the Department of Homeland Security profiteer from the refugee crisis. Such Corporate conglomeratesThey make their money by installing and testing cyber security systems and software development and maintenance, which increasingly militarizes southern borders. Border surveillance increases the reliance upon more expensive militarized equipment.
As the United States of America continues to pollute our atmosphere and militarize its border, cross-border migrations will continue. It’s a true crisis of displacement caused by centuries of environmental racism. To repair these damages, it is important to change our priorities regarding budget.
Samantha GarciaNew Mexico Fellow at Institute for Policy Studies.