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Sierra Club Members Reject Anti-Immigration Proposal

Sierra Club members today rejected a proposal to change the group´s stance on immigration.

For the second time in two years, members of the environmental group voted to stay neutral on U-S immigration policy.

Club officials say more than 15 percent, or 122-thousand-308 members voted.

They ran five-to-one in opposition of the proposal. Members also elected five new members of its 15-member board of directors, which sets club policy and commands the $100 million annual budget.

A network of club activists seeking to limit immigration backed five of their own candidates and pushed a “yes” vote.

They say Americans are the world´s biggest consumers, and that when immigrants come to this country they significantly increase their consumption.

But opponents argued that wading into the politics of immigration will alienate allies such as labor unions and civil rights groups, and won´t slow population growth worldwide.

The San Francisco-based Sierra Club was founded by famed conservationist John Muir in 1892.

It has debated its position on immigration for years, and voted in 1998 to remain neutral.

Last April, a record number of members spoke out on the contentious issue and ended up electing club-endorsed candidates to all five open seats.