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The Planet

Statement in Opposition to the Ballot Question

Please vote "no" to end the fight over immigration that is dividing the Club, and affirm the Sierra Club's commitment to tackle the environmental problems caused by global population by addressing its root causes: the lack of health care, education, family planning, and empowerment of women worldwide. (For information, see: sierraclub.org/population.)

Watersheds and bird migrations have no political boundaries. Environmental protection and population growth are global issues. To address them otherwise - as this measure would do - is short-sighted. More border guards will not heal our environment.

Robert Redford reminded us in last year's divisive Club election, "Immigrants are not responsible for polluting our air or putting poisonous mercury in our water. It's not the immigrants blocking fuel-efficiency standards for cars. They are not the owners of the oil and gas companies... exploiting public lands." Blaming immigrants will not solve our environmental problems. To date, members of the Sierra Club have conscientiously avoided this kind of scapegoating.

The only path to the Club's long-term effectiveness is to address the root causes of population and global migration. This means remaining neutral on immigration. The Sierra Club has repeatedly supported that approach. Club members affirmed it in 1998 by voting against another anti-immigration measure and voted overwhelmingly last year to reject a slate of petition candidates running with an objective of forcing the Club to take an anti-immigration stance.

Now, one of the anti-immigration activists has warned the Sierra Club: "Immigration reformers are still out there, like guerrillas, ready to strike in the night."

Can we, and the earth, afford to divert the Sierra Club's focus from environmental protection to fights over immigration yet again? We face serious threats to the environmental progress of the last century:

  • Removing of protections for wildlife and wilderness in our national forests

  • More smog and mercury in our air and water

  • Open season on endangered species, and opening protected wildlands and coasts to oil drilling

  • And a president pretending that global warming is a myth Enough is enough. The Club's elections end April 25 - just days after the birthday of our founder John Muir, an immigrant. Please vote "no."

- Larry Fahn, Sierra Club president
- Anne and Paul Ehrlich ("The Population Bomb")
- Robert Kennedy, Jr.
- Governor Bill Richardson (New Mexico)
- Dr. Edgar Wayburn, Honorary Sierra Club president
- Carol Browner (former EPA administrator)
- 12 Sierra Club presidents
- Former Sierra Club Executive Directors Mike McCloskey and Michael Fischer


Read the Statement in Favor of the Ballot Question


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