Thousands March in LA for ImmiThousands March in Immigration reform - SCPR, May 2, 2008
Demonstrators Rally For Immigration reform - Gothamist, May 2, 2008
Immigrant Bill Sponsors Vow to Press On - The New York Times, June 8, 2007
A Failure of Leadership in a Flawed Political Culture - The Washington Post, June 8, 2007
Immigration Reform Advocates Vow Comeback – Reuters, June 8, 2007
Immigration Overhaul Bill Stalls in Senate - Washington Post, June 7, 2007
U.S. Senate Deals Major Blow to Immigration Bill – Reuters, June 7, 2007
Senate Rejects Most Efforts to Change Immigration Bill - New York Times, June 7, 2007
The Unity Blueprint for Immigration Reform provides specific legislative proposals for rational and humane transformation of the current immigration policy disaster in the United States. While we encourage the efforts of all organizations to achieve broad immigration reform, these proposals reflect the aspirations of a wide range of civic and labor organizations participating in discussions aimed at achieving a workable, just, and fair immigration system that addresses the interests of the nation and the millions of immigrants who give their labor, talents, and investments to it without the benefit of protections and rights extended to its citizenry.
We recognize that organizations supporting immigration reform may adopt different priorities and strategies in their public education and advocacy work. However, virtually all organizations agree on the need for an immigration system that dramatically reduces the size of the undocumented population and replaces the visa processing system with one that prevents expansion of the undocumented population in the future while protecting U.S. workers.
The Unity Blueprint advances the following goals:
- Protect the well-being and safety of immigrant and U.S. citizen children.
- Achieve faithful enforcement of immigration laws by fully reinstating the jurisdiction of the federal courts to review agency decisions involving immigrants.
- Achieve maximum protection of the labor rights and working conditions of U.S. and immigrant workers through enhanced labor protections available to all workers regardless of immigration status.
- Achieve maximum reduction in the size of the undocumented population through a program granting prompt permanent resident status to undocumented migrants.
- Achieve a legal framework for future migration through the issuance of a realistic number of permanent employment and family-based visas.
- Adopt rational and humane border enforcement policies that avoid more deaths, injuries, and destruction of border communities.
- Adopt rational and humane interior enforcement, detention, removal, and related policies addressing the presence of immigrant communities.
We believe that immigrant families contribute to our society and culture and help meet our labor force needs. We also believe that a revised employment-based immigration system should strive to use objective economic factors to determine labor market needs and should produce immigrant visa numbers in proportion to labor shortages. A rational visa issuance process would result in immigration waiting lines being relatively current and affected only by processing time.
We do not believe that walling-in the borders, the current regime of employer sanctions, and large-scale domestic enforcement are productive in reducing or controlling undocumented migration. Such measures have not in the past stopped migration or forced undocumented migrants to leave the United States. Instead, they simply drive immigrants underground, encourage a black market in immigrant labor, and cause the separation of families.
Nor do such enforcement approaches in any way address the underlying root causes that drive migration to the United States, including massive inequality in wealth distribution, economic dislocation in major sending communities, the U.S. demand for labor, and free trade agreements that have caused workers to lose their jobs in migrant sending communities.
While we are making specific proposals to vastly improve the rationality of U.S. policy, we also recognize that immigration policies should not be imposed unilaterally but developed cooperatively through multilateral agreements similar to those used to govern international flows of capital, goods, commodities, and information. The Unity Blueprint supporters believe that nations have responsibilities beyond their borders, and unilateral actions taken by the United States can have serious negative repercussions for other countries linked to it in the global system. We therefore recommend that the United States engage in bi-national and multilateral discussions with major migrant sending countries to arrive at a coherent and long-term set of migration policies.
The Unity Blueprint collaborators intend to advocate for, assist in the drafting of, and support legislation consistent with the detailed proposals set forth in the Unity Blueprint for Immigration Reform.