OneAmerica’s Principles for Just and Humane Immigration Reform

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OneAmerica’s Principles for Just and Humane Immigration Reform

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Comprehensive immigration reform must include the following guiding principles:

  • Keep all families together by creating a roadmap to citizenship. The current immigration system separates hundreds of thousands of children, parents, and families through policies that have not been updated in 25 years. America deserves a common sense immigration process, one that includes a roadmap for New Americans who aspire to be citizens, including LGBT families.
  • Reunite families. An immigration process that values family unity must include family preference and enough visas to reunite all families separated by bureaucracy and discriminatory quotas. Family unification must also include the opportunity for family members who have been deported to return and join their families.
  • Create a sensible worker program with protections. We are united by a deep respect for those who work hard for a living and share our commitment to country. We must develop a worker program that honors hard work and the contributions immigrants and their families to our economy. Visas should be tied to workers, not to an employer, to ensure full labor rights.
  • Ensure humane treatment. We will continue to aggressively push for accountability, humane treatment, and due process in the violent and abusive border and detention systems that have grown exponentially and wastefully in the last decade.
  • Restore a Fair Day In Court. Immigrants should not be treated only as the sum of their mistakes in a nation that values second chances. Immigration judges must be given back the power to cancel a person’s deportation after looking at other aspects of her life, like family ties, length of time in the U.S., rehabilitation, and acceptance of responsibility.
  • Respect safety in immigration enforcement. Border enforcement – which has been made worse by increased collaboration between Federal agencies and local law enforcement – must reflect American values, prioritizing the safety and security of border communities and consulting with these communities in the process. We demand an end to failed immigration enforcement programs, including Secure Communities.
  • Promote Immigrant Integration. Comprehensive legislation should include forward-thinking strategies for how the United States will embrace immigrants and immigration, including adequate resources for local communities to support individuals seeking to legalize their status and a national office of immigrant integration to develop and support policies that help immigrants fully contribute to America’s social, economic, and civic fabric. Ensure that taxpaying immigrants working to adjust their status have access to public benefits.
  • Support Gender Equity. Ensure that any new immigration process recognizes the unique challenges facing immigrant women, including protections for survivors of violence and human trafficking. A legalization program must value the contributions immigrant women make as workers, entrepreneurs, and mothers.


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