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The Sierra Club and Immigration Policy: A Critique

  • Alice L. Clarke (a1)
Abstract

In 1998, the Sierra Club membership voted in a contentious referendum to refrain from including restriction of U.S. immigration as part of its official club population policy. Club proponents of immigration reduction had declared the problem was simply the environmental impact of greater numbers of people; however, they failed to distinguish themselves from groups with much broader immigration-reduction agendas, leaving themselves open to charges of racism. The club faction calling for the exclusion of immigration issues from the policy, on the other hand, failed to acknowledge the demographic reality of the contribution of immigration (30%) to the growth of the U.S. population. As a result, current club policy is not credible, as it calls for a reduction in the U.S. population but ignores immigration. The Sierra Club's complex organizational structure and open, democratic political process make it particularly vulnerable to internal conflict during periods of changing perspectives within the organization.

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Politics and the Life Sciences
  • ISSN: 0730-9384
  • EISSN: 1471-5457
  • URL: /core/journals/politics-and-the-life-sciences
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