IAUSA Irish Apostolate

An Immigrant's Musings - October 2012

Immigration and the Environment 


I have had many conversations on the subject of Immigration Reform over the years, but among the elected representatives and their staffers in D.C. I have seen very little reference to the above named topic. It seems to me that we, as a nation, need to take a serious look at how immigration impacts our environment and take that into account as we plan for the future.


I was, therefore, encouraged to come across the following back in August.


"On Friday, August 3, 2012, Progressives for Immigration Reform (PFIR) announced a major new project: an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on U.S. immigration policy. PFIR also unveiled the website for the new project, and invited public comments on the proper scope and parameters of the study.


In recent decades, American environmentalists have debated about whether or not to weigh in on U.S. immigration policy. Many environmentalists have wondered:

  • What roles immigration and population growth play in driving the problems environmentalists seek to solve?
  • Can these problems be solved without addressing immigration and immigration-driven population growth?
  • What are the policy choices with regard to immigration levels, and how can we choose fairly and wisely among them?

The main policy decision to be evaluated in the new EIS is what level Congress should set for annual immigration into the United States. Current legal immigration into the U.S. is now approximately 950,000 people per year, while an average of 300,000 to 400,000 people immigrate illegally.


According to Dr. Philip Cafaro, a principal investigator in the study: "The EIS will identify a number of plausible alternative immigration scenarios, regarding how many immigrants to allow into the country annually. The study will also develop demographic projections specifying future U.S. populations, based on these different annual immigration rates." 


This will be followed by detailed analyses examining the likely ecological impacts of different population sizes in areas such as; urban sprawl and farmland loss; water demands and withdrawals from natural systems; greenhouse gas emissions and resultant climate change; habitat loss and impacts on biodiversity; energy demands and national security implications; and the international ecological impacts of U.S. immigration policies.


"The EIS project aims to develop a thorough, objective analysis of the ecological impacts of U.S. immigration policy, so that policy decisions can be made in full knowledge of those impacts," stated Leah Durant, Executive Director of PFIR. 


More information can be found by visiting www.ImmigrationEIS.org. "




Temper Control


There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the fence.


The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily, gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence. Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.


The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one."


You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there.


Make sure you control your temper the next time you are tempted to say something you will regret later.






Should you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact me at:  sliabhanoir@yahoo.com or 773-282-8445


Fr. Michael Leonard

Chicago Irish Immigrant Support





YOU CAN FIND FR. LEONARD'S "MUSINGS" FOR THIS PAST YEAR ON THE CHICAGO IRISH IMMIGRANT SUPPORT WEBSITE:  http://ci-is.com/monthly-articles/an-immigrant-s-musings/  



The Irish Apostolate USA is the umbrella organization for the Irish Immigration Pastoral and Outreach Centers in the United States, under the direction of the Irish Episcopal Council for Emigrants. 

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