Principles for an Integral, Functional and Humane Immigration Policy
ese principles, developed by representatives of various sectors of our society, are a guide for Members of Congress,responsible to developing a new immigration system, to address the needs of this great nation while maintaining therespect for liberty and rights of all people.
A New Comprehensive Immigration Policy must include:Provide a Pathway to Citizenship.
Undocumented immigrants are an integral part of the United Statesand contribute signi
cantly to its culture and economy. An immigration reform program must include theopportunity for undocumented immigrants of good moral character to become legal permanent residentsand eventually US citizens. If this process includes the requirement to learn English and US history, thenthere should be a su
cient amount of time and exemptions for vulnerable populations, are the elderly.Immigrants currently under Temporary Protective Status (TPS) as well those who would have quali
edunder the DREAM Act or Agricultural Jobs legislation should be a
orded the same opportunity. Any program that requires a “touchback” clause or a temporary worker status for undocumented immigrantsalready in the country is unacceptable. We must strive for a program that sets forth clear and sensiblerequirements for undocumented immigrants and maintain the integrity of our country’s constitutional,civil and human rights.
Keep Families Together.
Our current immigration system tears families apart and limits the venues forlegalization. A new immigration policy should establish a viable process for family reuni
cation by endingthe current “backlogs” and eliminating the 3- and 10-year bars.
e Child Status Protection Act should beextended to cover children of legal permanent residents who would otherwise age out of immigrationbene
ts their parents submitted before they were 21 years of age.
Respect Human Rights and Civil Liberties.
e U.S. Constitutions upholds the protection of humanrights and civil liberties.
e reform of immigration laws must include the restoration of due process rightsand access to courts and adequate legal representation; thus, eliminating such programs as “OperationStreamline” which sentences en masse undocumented immigrants as criminals for entry or re-entry in thecountry. New legislation should also call for the review of privately run detention centers, an end toinde
nite detention and seek alternatives to detention as a means to enforce a civil administrative process.In reforming immigration policies, the creation of a national identi
cation system should be avoided aswell the collection of biometric information in employment veri
cation, Our immigration policy mustfoster an environment of equality by guaranteeing equal access to education, healthcare, and housing, andprotecting the economic and labor rights of all, citizens and immigrants.
Promote Community Security.
Requiring local police departments and jails to enforce immigration law and act as immigration agents is expensive and diverts attention and resources from curbing violence andcrime. Immigrant communities are an important weapon in preventing acts of terrorism, drug violenceand crime. However, immigrants and their U.S. citizen family members will be less willing to report crimesif they fear for their own safety. Comprehensive immigration reform requires a new enforcement strategy