It has recently come to my attention that organizations such as the Weeden Foundation are attempting to garner support for the anti-immigration movement by utilizing a contrived connection between illegal immigrants in the United States and an increase in pollution. The “logic” behind this suggests that when illegal immigrants cross into the U.S they adopt a more Americanized lifestyle and therefore tend to pollute more than if they stayed in their countries of birth and live in poverty.

Impoverished people tend to pollute less, so let’s keep ‘em that way”–fake slogan of groups suggesting connection between illegal immigration and environmental catastrophes.

The culprit is not illegal immigrants as these groups are implying, but American society and the way in which it functions. We are taught from an early age in the United States that consuming products we do not need is not only a luxury to be indulged in once in a while, but an ideology to live our day-to-day lives by. Bigger and better have become almost interchangeable in the American lexicon.

Green washing a human rights issue is not acceptable. You can not argue that immigrants, legal or otherwise, are of concern because of  their being a detriment  to the environment, if that logic were acceptable one could argue that abortions are eco-friendly because they keep the world’s population down, (before anyone gets in a tizzy, I am simply using that as an example of the irrelevance of connecting two unrelated issues in order to gather support for your movement of choice.)

Suggesting that the opposition to illegal immigration is an issue born out of a need to achieve environmental friendliness seems to be a thinly veiled attempt to allure to the more left-minded members of society to support this particular movement. This thinking ignores the fact that the eco-friendly movement is one the encompasses a compassion for the human rights of all people. While illegal immigration is a complicated issue that must be addressed in some capacity, suggesting that families seeking a slice of the American dream are a detriment to the environment as a means to convince people that immigration should be done away with is unfair, heavy-handed and unnecessary.

We need to take a long, hard look at the American dream and revise its antiquated definition. As a society we owe it to ourselves, mother Earth and any future citizens of our country, to no longer glamorize the idea that living in an inconvenient suburb where one has to drive to the nearest drive through to obtain their flash fried supper to return home to their oversized mc-mansion is the idea lifestyle. A more eco-friendly version of this dream–think more bicycles and less Hummers— is one we need to cultivate if we are to continue to thrive not only a country but as healthy planet.

It is hypocritical to sit around and judge immigrants from the seats of our gas guzzling SUVS; thinking that we as Americans have the to use and abuse the environment and that nobody else does is down right repulsive.

Hey, only U.S citizens have the right to litter and eat puppies…if everyone else does not do it, then we are golden!”–Some sick guy who eats puppies while littering. (What a turd.)

As a nation of legal citizens we need to stop being so turd-like ourselves and start focusing on the real issues that we as one of the top polluting nations on this glorious planet of Earth are causing by our over indulgent way of life.

In the age-old notion of whoever smelt it dealt it, we are the ones sniffing out the problem and trying to lay blame on the innocent guy standing next to us.

Not cool, anti-immigration movement. Not cool at all.

-Meghan Hurley