“Statue of Liberty Plan” would facilitate climate migration
In August, the Roosevelt Institute published a new proposal which reimagines the U.S. immigration system as the most welcoming in the world to immigrants and refugees.
Published as The Statue of Liberty Plan, tenets of the proposal include migration for economic and cultural renewal, sustaining the declining U.S. population, and combating authoritarianism.
The plan proposes a new narrative framework and policy architecture for building public support. It outlines two key steps for coalition-building: (1) more people engaged in the day-to-day welcoming of migrants, and (2) activation of sectors of society with vested interests in more immigration (e.g. environmental, racial justice or business organizations).
Without a plan in place to accommodate the immigration influx, the U.S. immigration system is setting itself up for failure. We are currently living amidst the changing climate and increased migration. The percentage of international migrants in the world has steadily been rising – up from 2.6 percent in 1960 to 3.6 in 2020. In the last decade alone, we saw a jump of 13 percent in international migration.
Scientists project that over the next 50 years, between one and three billion people will live in areas outside of human-sustaining climate conditions. These extremes, and the social unrest to which they are correlated, are predictably forcing people to migrate elsewhere.
Whether the U.S. adopts this proposal or an alternative, immigration policy will need to be updated to reflect global migration changes due to the changing climate.