Center for Biological Diversity Statement on Immigration and Population

The Center for Biological Diversity believes that biological and cultural diversity have intrinsic value and are threatened by the same processes of global homogenization and commodification. Their loss impoverishes society and the planet. The welfare of human beings is directly and deeply linked to diversity, to a vast array of wild plants and animals, as well as cultures. These principles guide the Center's work on wildlife and human population, consumption and resource extraction/production.

We believe that unsustainable human population numbers, overconsumption, and damaging resource extraction and production techniques are critical factors in the planetary extinction crisis, climate change and ocean acidification. Because population, consumption and extraction/production 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 better circumstances are basic human rights. While there is room for debate over the best methods to manage immigration, we do not see it as the way to address population growth, overconsumption, urban sprawl, unsustainable growth, and the effects they have on wildlife and the wild places they need to survive and thrive.

We do not oppose migration of people into the United States and do not support coercive population control measures of any kind. We strongly support education, family planning, universal access to contraception and reproductive healthcare, the empowerment of women, 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 the recognition of immigration as a human right.

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Banner photo courtesy Melissa Amarello