United We Dream's Principles For Reform


 February 6, 2013

 

DIRECT AND STRAIGHFORWARD ROADMAP TO CITIZENSHIP
Because of the integral role that 11 million undocumented immigrants play in the economy, culture, and communities of the United States, we must reform our immigration system to create a fair and reasonable pathway to citizenship for members of our community. This includes DREAMers, individuals who came to the U.S. as children, our parents, families, friends, and neighbors. This inclusive approach is the only solution consistent with our nation’s values of fairness and equality and the only one that will get the job done.

» THE TIMELINE FOR THE ROADMAP TO CITIZENSHIP SHOULD BE REASONABLE AND FAIR.

  •  Individuals who came to the U.S. as adults should be eligible to apply for a temporary immigration status immediately, eligible to apply for lawful permanent residency status within 2 years of the bill’s passage and qualify for citizenship after another 5 years – consistent with the current law.
  • Those granted temporary status through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, or any other temporary immigration status, should be eligible for lawful permanent resident status immediately, as they have already paid fees and undergone background checks.

 
» ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR LEGALIZATION SHOULD BE REASONABLE AND FAIR

  •  All 11 million undocumented immigrants present in the U.S. at the time of the bill’s enactment or temporarily abroad with permission from the government should be eligible for a pathway to citizenship. No one should be permanently barred from citizenship.
  • Any provision that pertains to “DREAMers” must include individuals who moved to the U.S. as children regardless of their current age.
  • Fees related to the roadmap to citizenship must be affordable for working-class families.
  • Individuals should not be excluded from citizenship for minor crimes, including those related to undocumented status, such as driving without a license. The immigrant community has been subject to racial profiling and unequal justice and all individuals deserve a second chance.
  • Individuals eligible for temporary status should have access to healthcare, student financial aid, driver licenses, and professional and commercial licenses – all necessary to live life and prosper in the United States.

 


FAMILY UNITY AND VISA REFORM
The Separation of immigrant families is both morally unacceptable and economically harmful. Immigration reform must allow families to immigrate legally and remain together in the United States.

» MAKE IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT SENSITIVE TO FAMILY NEEDS

  •  In immigration proceedings, judges should be directed to take into consideration family ties and the best interests of children.
  • The three and ten-year bars that keep families apart for many years must be eliminated, and immigrants must be permitted to adjust to lawful permanent resident status from within the U.S.

 
» OUR FAMILY AND EMPLOYMENT-BASED VISA SYSTEMS MUST ALLOW FAMILIES TO     MOVE AND STAY TOGETHER IN THE U.S.

  •  Immigration Reform must reduce backlogs by increasing the overall and per-country visa caps.
  • Family members, such as immediate relatives of lawful permanent residents, should be exempt from such caps.
  • The caps on immigrant visas should be proportionate to the demand for visas.
  • Reduce the waiting time after a visa petition is filed.

 
» ALL FAMILIES MUST BE RECOGNIZED EQUALLY

  •  All individuals must be treated equally in immigration reform, regardless of sexual orientation.
  • LGBT individuals must be allowed to petition for their partner just like any other family. Immigration reform should not codify discrimination.

 


IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT
Our immigration enforcement agencies and policies are out of control and must be reformed.

  •  The artificial quota of 400,000 deportations per year must be eliminated immediately.
  • Immigration reform must include measures to mandate new leadership at our immigration enforcement agencies to instill a culture of professionalism, non-discrimination, and accountability. Congress must reverse erosion of due process and human rights protections for all immigrants caused by these agencies, the immigration courts and detention facilities and should not direct more tax dollars to unaccountable and discriminatory practices.
  • Border state governors with a history of engaging in anti-immigrant politics should not decide when the roadmap to citizenship begins.
  • Federal and state immigration data-sharing programs that encourage racial profiling and pretextual arrests, such as “Secure Communities” and 287g, must be terminated immediately.
  • To maintain labor and worker rights, no federal mandate of E-Verify should be created.

 
-Last Updated: February 6,2013

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