Year 4, Month 7, Day 9: Homeward Bound

Brian Schatz is a good guy. US News & World Report:

Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, introduced an amendment Wednesday to the pending immigration bill that aims to allow Pacific islanders and others affected by climate change to reside legally in the United States.

“It simply recognizes that climate change, like war, is one of the most significant contributors to homelessness in the world,” Schatz said, according to Think Progress.

If enacted as law, the amendment would allow non-U.S. citizens to seek recognition as “stateless persons,” allowing them possible legal residency in the U.S.

“This amendment to the immigration bill gives the Secretary of Homeland Security the discretion, but not an obligation, to take into account situations in which a person cannot return to their country because it’s uninhabitable due to climate change,” a Schatz spokesperson told U.S. News in an email.

“This is not an abstract issue. Hawai’i has had a long, close and enduring relationship with its island neighbors in the Pacific for which climate change is an imminent threat. For Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, the Cook Islands and others, rising seas threaten the very existence of these countries,” said the spokesperson. The amendment’s language does not specify these nationalities.

I ain’t got no home in this world anymore. June 22:

It’s universally human to think of our closest associations before those more distant in time or space. First ourselves, then our families, then our neighbors, then our countrypeople. And for the entire span of human history this has been a sane and logical response to disasters, regardless of their causes.

But we have to to re-imagine these ancient instincts. This makes for heightened understanding between peoples and nations, and widens our network of obligation and reciprocity. The millions of stateless people created by the burgeoning catastrophe of planetary climate change cannot be excluded from our communities; it is the CO2 emissions of the industrialized nations that has triggered their plight in the first place. In these first years of the twenty-first century, we are coming face to face with an irreducible truth: on an Earth made smaller by efficient transportation and instant communication, we are all neighbors; we’re all family.

Warren Senders

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