Center for Biological Diversity Statement on Immigration and Population

The Center for Biological Diversity believes that the welfare of human beings is directly and deeply linked to a vast and diverse array of wild plants and animals, as well as cultures. To create a world where people and wildlife can thrive, we must challenge systems of oppression such as capitalism, patriarchy and white supremacy that threaten biological, cultural and racial diversity. These principles guide the Center's work protecting endangered wildlife and wild habitats and reducing the harms caused by human population pressure on the planet.


We believe that unsustainable human population pressure, destructive consumption, and damaging resource extraction and production practices are interacting factors in the planetary extinction crisis, climate change and habitat destruction. Because population, consumption and extraction are global issues that transcend national borders, we do not view national immigration policy as the appropriate target for addressing these issues.


Immigration and the pursuit of safety and better circumstances are basic human rights. While there is room for debate over the best methods to manage immigration, it is neither the root cause of, nor the way to address, population pressure, overconsumption and production, urban sprawl, endless growth, and the effects they have on wildlife and the wild places they need to survive and thrive.


We do not oppose the migration of people into the United States and do not support coercive population-control measures of any kind. We strongly support individual and systemic change to advance education, family planning, universal access to healthcare, gender empowerment, smart urban growth, the protection of clean air and water, the preservation of wildlands, clean energy, and sustainable lifestyle choices.


We believe that U.S. immigration policies should be rooted in human dignity and respect and the recognition of immigration as a human right.


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