DREAMers remind Republicans (and Democrats) on Principles for Immigration Reform
WASHINGTON, DC – Under the leadership of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), House Republicans are drafting a set of immigration reform principles to guide them as they debate immigration in 2014.
As those directly affected, we hope the GOP principles are not a political stunt just to stall immigration debate, rather, that they are common sense principles that will quickly be translated into legislation to finally modernize our outdated immigration system. At the same time, there must be principles to which Democrats must adhere to ensure proper deliberation, realistic efforts and good faith collaboration. Ultimately, neither party should play political games as the fate of millions of families is on the line.
CORE PRINCIPLES FOR REPUBLICANS
Clear channels for all undocumented immigrants to live without fear of deportation, work, travel, and become full contributing members of the U.S.
The US is a nation of immigrants and we should give an opportunity and provide an efficient process for all undocumented immigrants to become part of our tradition of the American Dream; thus, Republicans can’t permanently block citizenship.
Modernize Visa System
Individuals seeking to immigrate to the U.S. repeatedly encounter a cumbersome and long process that has a high financial cost and likelihood of failure to families and businesses. This should be modernized to allow a smoother flow with fewer costs and less bureaucracy.
No criminalization of undocumented immigrants through interior enforcement
There is a large economic burden on states and local governments enforcing immigration law. Lift the heavy burden of immigration enforcement from state and local police departments; Local and state enforcement should focus their limited resources on protecting their neighborhoods and cities, not act as immigration agents.
Congress must seek the input and adapt the concerns of communities at the border before developing a border security plan; There are numerous complaints about human rights abuses at the border, as well as in detention. We should push for humane treatment for communities and individuals at the border and in US custody;
Detention reform that halts costly incarceration of nonviolent undocumented immigrants and allows for programs that keeps families together.
CORE PRINCIPLES FOR DEMOCRATS
Engage with Republicans on legislation in good faith
Democrats need to reach out to Republicans to craft practical legislative solution for immediate relief for families to allow undocumented immigrants to work, travel, and become full contributing members of the U.S.
No political hard lines
Hard lines have dashed immigration reform before. Focus on advancing substantive policy this year, not electoral politics.
Let go of HR 15 and SB 744 and focus on winnable pieces of legislation in the House.
Address Urgency and Crisis of deportation and Family Separation
Urge President Obama to expand administrative relief and stop arbitrary deportations.
Congressional Hispanic Caucus must lead on urging administrative relief from deportations.