The Progressive Approach to Immigration Reform

by Diane Benjamin

It’s very easy to know what President Obama is going to do next.  A few weeks before he speaks, all the left wing groups send out the same message.  This week it’s immigration reform, leaving out the word “illegal” of course.  No talk of securing the borders, just amnesty because “we can’t wait”.

I strongly recommend groups interested in this issue watch the documentary “They Come to America”.

It does not take a position, just covers the issue from every possible side.  It is also extremely well done.

Below is an example of what the left wants right  now:

Dear Diane,

Our current immigration laws are a disaster. Today, over 11 million immigrants live in the United States without the full protection of our legal system or a framework that would provide them with a path to participate in our democracy. The time is now for real immigration reform that keeps families together, protects immigrants from violence and discrimination, and provides immigrants who are living in America and contributing to our society a pathway to citizenship.

Tell Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk: Support real immigration reform, including a roadmap to citizenship for America’s 11 million immigrants. Click here to automatically sign the petition.

Most of these immigrants have lived in this country for more than a decade and have come to America to seek a better life for their families.1 They are Americans-in-waiting who are ready to fulfill the requirements of our citizenship process — to study English, pay taxes, maintain a good record and be of good moral character.

Instead of focusing on an inhumane, costly and dysfunctional “enforcement” strategy, it’s time to switch to an approach that is both more humane and that makes more economic sense.2

Passing broad immigration reform legislation with a roadmap to citizenship would add $1.5 trillion to cumulative U.S. gross domestic product over the next decade.3 Studies have shown that naturalization of immigrants “expands the size” of our economy as “more money in the system creates economic growth and supports new job creation for all Americans.”4 Moreover, the “economics of citizenship” provides employers “peace of mind” that they will not have to retrain new workers often at high cost due to immigrant employees losing their visas. It also gives individuals “the stability to invest in more schooling and more job training, both of which ultimately lead to higher wages and better careers.”5

Providing a roadmap to citizenship is also the popular thing to do. A recent poll conducted by Politico and George Washington University showed that 62 percent of Americans support a roadmap to citizenship and that it was one of the defining issues for Latino, Asian, and new American voters in the 2012 election.6 Other polls, including one conducted by Fox News, have shown similar results, with two-thirds of Americans supporting a roadmap to citizenship for qualified undocumented Americans.7

Tell Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk: Support real immigration reform, including a roadmap to citizenship for America’s 11 million immigrants. Click here to automatically sign the petition.

We cannot wait. Immigration reform is the civil rights issue of the new generation. In the last 50 years, through the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, America has moved closer to the dreams and ideals of our founders — achieving broader equality and gaining strength from diversity in a nation of immigrants.8 We cannot forsake that legacy by passing so-called immigration reform legislation that would foster inequality through a second class immigration status by which immigrants could legally reside in our country, but never be eligible for the protections and rights of citizenship.9

The White House is planning to launch its push for immigration reform soon, and its proposal will reportedly include a path to citizenship.10 A number of key senators have already been in negotiations and leaders of both parties agree it’s a priority for this year.11 This is the time to speak up.

We need to let the elected leaders in Washington know that any immigration reform proposal must include a roadmap to citizenship whereby qualified immigrants can earn full rights and responsibilities. They must reject any proposal that send immigrants to the back of the bus by creating a second-class, non-citizen status whereby America benefits from their work here but refuses to let them become full participants in our democracy. Click below to automatically sign our petition:

Thank you for fighting for the rights of immigrants.

Murshed Zaheed, Deputy Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

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