Vice President Kamala Harris, who is the “point person” on immigration issues, announced that one of her major solutions to fighting illegal immigration and the ongoing border crisis would be fighting climate change.
“We want to help people find hope at home, and so we are focused on addressing both the acute factors and the root causes of migration. I believe this is an important distinction. We must focus on both,” Harris said. “First, the acute factors, the catastrophes that are causing people to leave right now; the hurricanes, the pandemic, the drought, and extreme food insecurity. Then there are the long standing issues, the root causes. I’m thinking of corruption, violence and poverty, the lack of economic opportunity, the lack of climate adaptation and climate resilience, the lack of good governance.”
Harris later added that “The work from combating corruption to combating climate change will not be easy, and it is not new, and it could not be more important, and it will take all of us, all of us.”
The Vice President’s claim that climate change is largely contributing to illegal immigration to the United States is not backed by data. The number of major hurricanes have not increased since the industrial revolution, with the top three decades for category five hurricanes being, in order, the 2000s, 1930s, and 1960s. In fact, a University of Cambridge study found that since 1900 “no change in the frequency or severity of extreme weather events.”
Harris also bragged about the United States rejoining the Paris Agreement, which requires developed and developing countries to curb their economic development to abide by climate change policies and has been estimated to result in the loss of as many as 2.7 million jobs by 2025. According to Harris’s theory that “poverty” and “the lack of economic opportunity” lead to further illegal immigration, then the Paris Agreement increases illegal immigration.
Further, in December 2020 the United Nations released a report that advised the United States to not rejoin the Paris Agreement, since the United States had been leading the way in reducing climate emissions after leaving the agreement. Forbes reported, “But for the United States, the real value in this report is as an advisory that it need not join the Paris Climate Accord. This report is evidence that, instead, the U.S. should just keep doing what it is doing to cut its own emissions. The U.S. is the most successful major country at mitigating its own pollution, and the U.N. shows this.”
The United Nations’ advisory was released just before President Biden took office, yet he still rejoined the Paris Agreement because the optics matter more than the results, especially when the results will not become apparent until after the next election.