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United States’ Options for Receiving Cross-Border Climate Migrants

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Although the current political climate in the United States is not especially receptive to welcoming displaced persons, the country has a history of oscillating between greater and lesser openness to immigration. This article seeks to establish that there are meaningful options for the United States to provide a refuge for climate migrants under existing US immigration law, contrary to suggestions in the literature that legislative change would be necessary for the country to provide a safe haven for such migrants. The article highlights three legal options that the United States could use to assist climate migrants from other countries under existing domestic law. In addition, it identifies recent precedents in the use of these options that could be helpful in adapting them to assist climate migrants.

Affiliations: 1: Sarah Herring Sorin Professor of Law, NYU School of Law


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