Xenophobes have launched a cynical campaign to recruit environmentalists to their cause by blaming immigrants for urban sprawl and other environmental problems.
by Heidi Beirich
Southern Poverty Law Center
In January 2010, national leaders in ecology, sustainable business, and the larger environmental movement gathered in Washington to grapple with the problem of building “The New Green Economy.” Hosted by the government-funded National Council for Science and the Environment, the event was a prestigious one.
But one of the invited speakers was hardly an environmentalist.
Roy Beck, who participated in a panel entitled “Perverse Incentives, Subsidies, and Tax Code Impediments to a Sustainable Economy,” is the head of NumbersUSA, an anti-immigration group that was largely responsible for sinking a comprehensive immigration reform bill in 2007.
Beck has spent nearly 20 years relentlessly attacking American immigration policies, even editing tracts like The Immigration Invasion, a book so raw in its nativism that Canadian authorities banned it as hate literature. More to the point, perhaps, purported environmentalist Beck’s group not long ago paid nearly half a million dollars to a far-right news service— an outfit that has described global warming as a “religion” that is “impervious to evidence” and has pilloried conservationists as “anti-mankind.”
So what was Beck doing talking about “greening the tax code”?
Roy Beck is part of a sweeping, renewed attempt by immigration restrictionists in America to convince environmentalists that they, too, must oppose immigration if they are to save the environment from the ravages of a growing population.