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Re: E-M:/ Re: / Immigrants and the Environment



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Enviro-Mich message from "RASHID BARKAJI" <ACCESS-COM@worldnet.att.net>
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Tim:

If there is any intolerance in my remarks, it is intolerance for injustice,
not individuals. I said that many environmentalists have taken an
anti-immigrant stance, which was not to label anyone, but rather to point
out the impact of the policy they espouse. I'm I'm not a member of the
"Club", so I'm not really motivated by being on the winning side of any
debate, or trying to change the Club -- except perhaps to the extent that
it helps us change the world. 

One way to do that is to help people who might not be familiar how these
issues affect immigrant communities to understand that these things can
(and do) hurt real people. As an employee in an Arab community center, I
witness on a daily basis the human suffering brought about by the social,
economic and environmental devastation of Iraq during the Gulf War, and the
years of economic sanctions that have followed -- the loss of lives, the
families torn apart, children and adults with post-traumatic stress
syndrome, exposure to hazardous conditions, etc. Iraqi refugees continue to
flood into Southeastern Michigan in large numbers -- many arrive with only
the clothes on their backs. They may add to the population, but if we want
to get a handle on environmental destruction in this region (or even this
country), there would be a thousand more logical places to start than by
stopping these immigrants. 

These kinds of policies, whether intended or not, do contribute to a strong
anti-immigrant mentality that is widespread in this country.  You mention
intolerance -- it is something most new immigrants in this country are
unfortunately all too familiar with.   

Kathryn

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> From: Tim Flynn <tflynn@freeway.net>
> To: Enviro-Mich <enviro-mich@great-lakes.net>
> Subject: FW: E-M:/ Re: / Immigrants and the Environment
> Date: Thursday, May 14, 1998 6:24 PM
> 
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Enviro-Mich message from "Tim Flynn" <tflynn@freeway.net>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> Kathryn 
> 
> I still disagree with the anti-immigrant broad brush, but I do agree with
> the rest of your statement.   A law that restricts immigration into to
the
> US is not a solution to world population growth, and we are now a global
> species.   We no longer live within local ecosystems, we are no longer
> constrained by them.   Therefore only global population demographics
matter.
> 
> I voted with the winning side on the Sierra Club ballot, but to call our
> opponents "anti" is objectifying and mental shorthand for ignoring their
> legitimate arguments.  I guess I'm just tired of enviro against enviro,
we
> are wasting so much effort changing the Club that we forget to change the
> world.
> 
> I admit to the same tendency, labeling someone I disagree with. I
remember
> the last Sierra Club ballot on forest policy.  I was on the losing side
of
> that vote.   All the labeling of each other has hurt the Club's forest
> reform efforts.  Too much intolerance, not much social justice in that!
> 
> 
> 
> Tim   
> 
> 
> ----------
> From: "RASHID BARKAJI" <ACCESS-COM@worldnet.att.net>
> To: <tflynn@freeway.net>
> Subject: Re: E-M:/ Re: / Immigrants and the Environment
> Date: Thu, May 14, 1998, 10:16 AM
> 
> 
> Tim,
> 
> I'm sorry that my comments were taken so negatively. I didn't use the
term
> "anti-immigrant" in an effort to slander anyone, but because I agree with
> Jose that the stance taken by a significant number of environmentalists
> (not just in the Sierra Club) -- that immigration restrictions are the
> means of obtaining zero population growth (and hence environmental
> protection) in the U.S. -- is IN EFFECT anti-immigrant.  What I meant is
> that this kind of policy, not my language, is what divides us
> unnecessarily. And it won't solve the problem of environmental
destruction
> in the United States, or in the world.
> 
> There may be measures that could result in zero population growth in the
> United States, but I don't believe we will ever achieve that goal with
> social, economic and environmental justice, as long as we fail to address
> the role of the United States in worldwide consumption of resources, as
> well as our contribution to the social, political and economic forces
that
> contribute to ecological destruction, and migration around the globe.   
> 
> The main point of my original posting was to point out the issue of the
> Network News, which provides an excellent coverage of these issues, and
> something that is often missing from this debate -- an immigrant point of
> view. 
> 
> Savoie
> Environmental Program Director
> ============================================
> Arab Community Center for Economic & Social Services
> 2651 Saulino Court, Dearborn MI 48120
> 313-842-7010 (phone), 313-842-5150 (fax)
> e-mail: ACCESS-COM@worldnet.att.net  
> 
>   
> 
> 
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