Immigrant Communities Building Collaborative Solutions for

Climate and Migrant Justice

Climate-related displacement is happening now. 

When faced with the reality that human movement is in fact inevitable, countries face two choices. They can build walls and prisons and separate children from their parents, or they can create fair and transparent legal systems that facilitate safe and organized migration and resettlement. Functional rights-based legal systems help everybody.” 

–Becca Heller, Executive Director of the International Refugee Assistance Project, TED Talk, April 2022

Immigrant communities feel climate change in their daily lives, and are leading solutions for climate justice.

“Immigrant communities care about climate change and feel it in our daily lives. If we organize around those impacts, our communities can be a key constituency in the fight for climate justice.”

–Ahmed Gaya, Senior Strategist at the Climate Justice Collaborative

The Climate Displacement Program at the International Refugee Assistance Project

21st Century Law for 21st Century Migration

The Climate Justice Collaborative at the National Partnership for New Americans

Harnessing the Power of the Immigrant Justice Movement for Climate Justice

When we consider the intersections of climate change and migration, there are two major areas we at Unbound are focused on:

Climate-related displacement is happening now. 

Immigrant communities feel climate change in their daily lives, and are leading solutions for climate justice.

These two case studies illuminate both of these areas, showing what multi-organizational, ecosystem-building approaches can look like.

The Climate Displacement Program at the International Refugee Assistance Project is utilizing existing legal pathways, and working with other organizational partners to establish a new legal framework, to support climate-displaced people.

In response to calls for coordination, capacity building, and peer learning for climate-related work from its member immigrant justice organizations working in 40 states, the National Partnership for New Americans launched the Climate Justice Collaborative in early 2022. The Climate Justice Collaborative seeks to mitigate the impacts of climate change on all communities, including immigrants—and ensure that migration is seen as a solution to climate change.

For more information about our exploration of climate and migrant justice, or to contact Unbound Philanthropy, please e-mail: Climate-migrantjustice@unboundphilanthropy.org.

Taryn Higashi

Executive Director, Unbound Philanthropy