Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot
Container City: Shipping containers, indispensable tool of the globalized consumer economy, reflect the skyline in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.
In a press conference Monday, a bipartisan group of senators rolled out the framework of a new push for immigration reform, with an eye on late spring or summer to introduce legislation. The plan involves a “pathway to citizenship” for illegal immigrants already living in this country, though the pathway is “contingent upon our success in securing our borders and addressing visa overstays.”
“We believe this will be the year Congress finally gets it done,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said, adding: ”For the first time ever, there is more political risk in opposing immigration reform than in supporting it. We believe we have a window of opportunity to act, but we will only succeed if the effort is bipartisan.”
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who occasionally flip-flopped on his support for immigration reform, referred to the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the country as “a de-facto amnesty.”
“We have been too content for too long to allow individuals to mow our lawn, serve us food, clean our homes and even watch our children while not affording them any of the benefits that make our country so great,” he said.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a key Republican member of the group, said in his remarks that “what we have now is not a 21st century legal immigration system,” and that “America is a sovereign country that has a right to have immigration laws, and a right to reform them.” He added that the 11 million undocumented immigrants are “not something anyone is happy about, that’s not something anyone wanted to see happen,” but they are the reality and must be dealt with.
The White House, Harry Reid and John Boehner have all responded that they welcome these proposals, but there is still the unavoidable problem of whether any meaningful reform can successfully pass through the House.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte R-Va., who now chairs the House Judiciary Committee, said in a statement that there is still “a lot to discuss.”
“The American people and members of Congress have a lot of questions about how this would work, what it would cost and how it will prevent illegal immigration in the future. This will have a huge impact on the American people, and so we have to carefully evaluate its impact,” Goodlatte said.
And Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, one of the more conservative members of the House, said that a pathway to citizenship will likely be “one of the sticking points between the House and the Senate.” He added: “We have to be careful about rewarding people for illegal activity with citizenship.”
Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, agreed. “When you legalize those who are in the country illegally, it costs taxpayers millions of dollars, costs American workers thousands of jobs and encourages more illegal immigration,” he said. “By granting amnesty, the Senate proposal actually compounds the problem by encouraging more illegal immigration.”
Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.More Jillian Rayfield.
Man Covering His Mouth: A shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell, Inner Mongolia, China
Angry Crowd: People jostle for food relief distribution following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti
“Black Friday” Shoppers: Aggressive bargain hunters push through the front doors of the Boise Towne Square mall as they are opened at 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2007, Boise, Idaho, USA
Suburban Sprawl: aerial view of landscape outside Miami, Florida, shows 13 golf courses amongst track homes on the edge of the Everglades.
Toxic Landscape: Aerial view of the tar sands region, where mining operations and tailings ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space; Alberta, Canada
Ice Waterfall: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway
Satellite Dishes: The rooftops of Aleppo, Syria, one of the world’s oldest cities, are covered with satellite dishes, linking residents to a globalized consumer culture.
Child Brides: Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband in Hajjah, Yemen, July 26, 2010.
Megalopolis: Shanghai, China, a sprawling megacity of 24 Million
Big Hole: The Mir Mine in Russia is the world’s largest diamond mine.
Clear-cut: Industrial forestry degrading public lands, Willamette National Forest, Oregon
Computer Dump: Massive quantities of waste from obsolete computers and other electronics are typically shipped to the developing world for sorting and/or disposal. Photo from Accra, Ghana.
Oil Spill Fire: Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Gulf of Mexico
Airplane Contrails: Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo of contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames, London, England.
Fire: More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado, USA) are another consequence of a warming planet.