WASHINGTON, DC (May 15, 2013) – Today, the BlueGreen Alliance released its Statement on Immigration Reform, which encouraged a commonsense, bipartisan approach that creates an equitable path to citizenship. The statement from the premier labor and environmental coalition in America today — which represents 14 of America’s largest and most influential labor unions and environmental organizations, bringing together over 15 million members and supporters — called on Congress and the Obama administration to provide a better path to citizenship for immigrants than the one that exists today.
“Pursuit of the American dream should not deprive workers of basic rights and force them to bear the brunt of environmental degradation along the way,” said David Foster, Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance. “Too often, those who are forced to live in the shadows of society are disenfranchised in the face of these economic and environmental injustices. For these reasons, the BlueGreen Alliance is announcing strong support of an equitable path to citizenship for millions of immigrants.”
The BlueGreen Alliance’s unique position at the intersection of a cleaner environment and better jobs gives the organization a special responsibility to speak out on behalf of vulnerable populations, especially those who bear the heaviest load of severe climate events. Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, for example, demonstrated those voiceless members of society are commonly the last to have the lights turned back on.
The statement also highlighted how America’s factories, cities and scientific knowhow have all benefited from the contributions of our immigrant communities.
“The hallmark of a successful 21st century society will be our capacity to solve our environmental and economic challenges in tandem,” Foster added. “Thus, an equitable path to citizenship is part of addressing one of the major problems of our time, the climate crisis.”