The Sierra Club officially endorsed immigration reform today. The environmental organization’s president Allison Chin published a statement saying “we cannot solve either the climate crisis or our broken immigration system by acting out of fear or by supporting exclusion.”
The Sierra Club Board of Directors announced they unanimously adopted supporting immigration reform:
Currently at least 11 million people live in in the U.S. in the shadows of our society. Many of them work in jobs that expose them to dangerous conditions, chemicals and pesticides, and many more of them live in areas with disproportionate levels of toxic air, water, and soil pollution. To protect clean air and water and prevent the disruption of our climate, we must ensure that those who are most disenfranchised and most threatened by pollution within our borders have the voice to fight polluters and advocate for climate solutions without fear.
The Sierra Club takes a position to support an equitable path to citizenship for residents of the United States who lack official documentation. America’s undocumented population should be able to earn legalization and a timely pathway to citizenship, with all the rights to fully participate in our democracy, including influencing environmental and climate policies. The pathway to citizenship should be free of unreasonable barriers, and should facilitate keeping families together and reuniting those that are split whenever possible.
“By establishing an equitable path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in America today, we can empower those in our society who are most vulnerable to toxic pollution to fully participate in our democracy, fight back against polluters and demand public health protections and clean energy solutions,” Allison Chin, Sierra Club president said in a statement.
Polls conducted by the Sierra Club found that Latinos support environmental and conservation efforts with even greater intensity than the average American: 90 percent of Latino voters favor clean energy over fossil fuels. In a blog post published on the organization’s website, Chin pointed also pointed out one “California study found that 74 percent of Asian-Americans, the fastest growing group in America, accept climate science. Yet, significant numbers of these stakeholders and change agents have been denied their civil rights in the public arena.”