The Cold, Hard Facts About Climate Change Migration



Among the trendy rationales for the surge in migration from Central America is – you guessed it — climate change.

The New Yorker jumped on the bandwagon most recently, declaring that farmers in the region “are abandoning their lands” in the heat of global warming.

While deforestation and environmental degradation are real in some areas, actual crop data throw cold water on the claim that Guatemalans, Hondurans and Salvadorans are heading north because of the climate. Spreadsheets from the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization indicate that major crop production has risen in all three countries since 2000.

“If climate change were truly adversely affecting farmers, one would expect that crop production would be down. It’s not,” observes Matthew Sussis of the Center for Immigration Studies.

Without getting too deep in the furrows (see Sussis’s detailed report here) it seems fair to conclude that robust farm gains are not driving people out of these largely agrarian countries.

Sussis, who previously knocked down the notion that gang violence is fueling the exodus, says Central American migrants are being pulled, not pushed, northward.

“A much better explanation for the migration surge is our own asylum loopholes such as the Flores Settlement that encourage Latin American families to make the dangerous trek to our southern border where they can then make bogus asylum claims and be allowed entry into the country with minimal chance of removal,” Sussis said.

Instead of blaming Mother Nature or gangs or institutional corruption in the Golden Triangle, U.S. politicians ought to look hard into the mirror and see what their inaction has wrought. Congress’s failure to fully fund the wall, allocate essential border-protection resources and pass enforceable immigration laws leaves the door wide open for migrants. Chaos on the border – which is both a humanitarian crisis and a national security concern — reflects Washington’s dysfunction more than anything going on in Tegucigalpa.

“Central American migrants are, by and large, not coming to America because of life-threatening climate catastrophes. They’re showing up because they know we’ll let them stay,” Sussis said.

About Author

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Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.

4 Comments

  1. avatar

    The history of climate change is replete with many predictions that have not turned out. Just look back ten and fifteen years ago and how the Arctic would be “ice free” by now. It’s not remotely close to that. In fact it has increased since 2012. One of the biggest scams by the media was pictures of polar bears supposedly starving but with no context of whether they were simply old or sick bears. Polar bears in fact have increased in population to the point that some native groups in Canada complain that there are so many they are a danger.

    On Thursday Nancy Pelosi, in answer to a reporter’s question of whether she now agreed that there was a crisis at the border, claimed that “We have never not said there was a crisis at the border.” And of course, she and almost everyone in the Democratic leadership have said that repeatedly. During the government shutdown, the Democrats were calling Trump’s demands for increased money to secure the border a “manufactured crisis”. But don’t expect the media to call her out on that because they were right there spouting the same line at the time. Whether it was the Today show, MSNBC, CNN and Jim Acosta’s theatrics at White House briefings with Sarah Saunders, they all agreed that there were no “caravans” on the way to the border. And yet they arrived.

  2. avatar

    The New Greed Deal

    Makes sewage drainage worse with more OVERPOPULATION. I believe the wild fires along the coast are not fallen electric lines or lightening…unlikely causes or rare occurrences….its illegal alien and homelessness camping in the bushes and forests folks….what else is it? The Lithium Battery production process for electric cars is done at Chinese “equivalent Nuclear Reactor Contamination Sites”…its heavy element pollution and lasts as long as Plutonium Waste….forever…

    New Greed Deal= Dead Orcas/Salmon in Seattle….it also means more coal plants for charging because solar systems don’t work in cloudy areas. Electric cars charging with coal is far worse CARBON FOOTPRINT than gasoline cars…hybrids, same Lithium battery conundrum too.

    Even energy saving LED light bulbs cause permanent retina damage [blindness?]. We should read the Obamacare phone book before signing the Dam_ Thing….

  3. avatar
    Jackie Czarzasty on

    Agree 100% percent. Reduce immigration, and DEPORT illegals, no if, and, or buts.