Energy

What’s 2020 Hopeful Jay Inslee’s Plan To Address The Immigration Crisis? ‘Attack Climate Change’

REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

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Michael Bastasch Energy Editor

Democratic Washington Governor Jay Inslee, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, told NBC’s Chuck Todd his plan to deal with the waves of Central American migrants seeking asylum at the southern border: “Attack climate change.”

“I would attack climate change because a lot of these people coming north are climate refugees. Not all of them, but a lot of them, and the fact that Donald Trump has waved the white flag of surrender is wrong,” Inslee said on Meet the Press Sunday morning.

Inslee, who is running a climate change-centric campaign, echoed claims made by a number of activists, experts and media outlets that man-made global warming is driving drought and crop disease in Central America, particularly Honduras, forcing farmers and laborers to head north.

Both former Vice President Al Gore and Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have made similar claims, linking mass migration from Central America to the U.S. to climate change. (RELATED: Trump’s Latest Executive Action Could Alleviate A Huge Problem For The World’s Most Productive Oil Field)

There’s not a lot of science to say human-caused climate change is driving extreme weather and crop problems in Central America right now. Climate models project increased drought in the region, but by the end of the century, not today.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2014 report found “low confidence in a global-scale observed trend in drought or dryness (lack of rainfall) since the middle of the 20th century.”

Inslee also addressed Trump’s proposal to bring refugees entering the U.S. to sanctuary cities, locales that do not coordinate with federal immigration officials.

Washington state Governor Jay Inslee hugs Noreus, 11, of Redmond, Washington during a news conference to announce his decision to seek the Democratic Party's nomination for president in 2020 at A&R Solar in Seattle

Washington state Governor Jay Inslee hugs Lucia Noreus, 11, of Redmond, Washington during a news conference to announce his decision to seek the Democratic Party’s nomination for president in 2020 at A&R Solar in Seattle, Washington, U.S., March 1, 2019. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson.

“You can’t threaten somebody with something they’re not afraid of. And we are not afraid of diversity in the state of Washington,” Inslee told Todd.

When asked what he’d do about the immediate migrant situation, Inslee said “we have to be solution-based, not trolling on the internet-based.”

“We’ve got to make the asylum process work, and that means we have to have more channels, more hearing officers to simply be able to process these cases,” Inslee said. “Look, you don’t change the law just because you have more cases in the system or get rid of judges as [Trump] has suggested.”

“We need more processing facilities to help these folks, and, yes, while they are waiting for these asylum hearings, we are welcoming them to the state of Washington because we have these folks frequently become pillars of our communities,” Inslee said.

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