Climate change, displaced peoples are related issues, and Boston is leading on both
As rising sea levels threaten Boston, the city has rolled up its sleeves to lessen the effects of climate change, as detailed in the Globe’s coverage of the inaugural East Boston Climate Summit, which I attended as an invited speaker (“City plans strategies vs. climate change,” Metro, Oct. 29).
Boston’s proactive efforts around climate complement its progressive policies on a critically related issue: immigration. Climate change is a core driver of migration, annually displacing 21.5 million people worldwide. This isn’t lost on Boston, home to a vibrant community of Central Americans, many of whom resettled in the area following hurricanes and earthquakes that ravaged their home countries in the 1990s and 2000s.
Yet instead of crafting immigration policies responsive to the inevitable uptick of climate-based migration, the Trump administration could cancel Temporary Protected Status, a program that has allowed thousands of displaced Central Americans to legally live and work in the United States. Boston, again, has been forward-thinking it its response, with a City Council resolution urging a program extension.
As executive director of a national network of 50 immigrant-led organizations, I applaud the city’s resilience around climate and its compassion on immigration, and urge the federal government to follow suit.