PLATFORM FOR COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM
To be effective and fair, immigration reform must be comprehensive and include a roadmap to citizenship that is inclusive, an end to cruel immigration enforcement, and protection of civil, labor and human rights. Here is what comprehensive reform should look like:
A Roadmap to Citizenship
Legalization is essential for the most vulnerable in our community: low-wage workers and families. Legalization must be inclusive and promote integration of working immigrant families in our communities; promote civic participation and community and labor organizing, rather than suppress it; ensure that immigrants can access and contribute to the safety net instead of being locked out of it; and ensure that immigrant workers and their families can participate fully and contribute to the growth of a fair economy that will protect the rights of all working families, rather than be segregated at the bottom of an economy that is unjust. Our priorities include:
• A roadmap to citizenship for all of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.
• Minimization of exits, detours, roadblocks and obstacles to full legalization, such as work requirements, fines, high fees, and language requirements
• Social safety net protections for immigrants during the legalization process
• A review and restructuring of the legalization process to ensure that visa, residency, and citizenship backlogs are addressed and the process moves faster and more smoothly
An End to Cruel Immigration Enforcement
Immigration reform must include a complete reform of our country’s cruel, irrational, and dehumanizing immigration enforcement system. Current immigration policy and enforcement practices result in employer manipulation and abuse, and suffering and injustice for immigrants and American-born workers. Any reform should include access to justice and due process, civil, labor and employment rights, and public safety. Reform must stop deportations that tear families apart, and end dangerous programs that intertwine local law enforcement with ICE and force local law enforcement agencies to deviate from their original purpose of protecting our communities. Our priorities include:
• An immediate moratorium on immigration arrests, deportations, and detentions
• An end to collaboration between local law enforcement agencies and ICE
• Termination of the Secure Communities Program
Protection of Civil, Labor, and Human Rights
Immigration reform must strengthen the rights of workers, families, and communities by protecting workers from retaliation for exercising their labor rights, and promoting rights we cherish in our country such as access to justice and due process. Employers must not be able to use enforcement or employer sanctions to block the rights of workers to organize and enforce workplace standards. There must be protections from racial discrimination by law enforcement officials. Our priorities include:
• Protections against retaliation for workers who are defending civil, labor, and human rights, and their families. These must include protections for workers who expose civil rights violations related to immigration enforcement, and long-term status, work authorization, and a path to citizenship.
• Stronger mechanisms for investigating and addressing instances of racial profiling by law enforcement officials
• Opposition to any mandatory expansion of E-Verify, the error-ridden electronic verification system that has repeatedly been used by employers as a tool to threaten workers and destroy labor organizing campaigns.
• Full transparency of the Department of Homeland Security.