Position – Immigration
August 29, 2018
Immigration is good for the United States.
We favor laws, regulations, enforcement procedures and court practices and procedures that foster immigration, including skilled workers, political and economic refugees, other asylum seekers, and migrant and seasonal farm workers.
We favor preservation of the integrity of immigrant families.
We favor a path to citizenship for everyone who enters our country and demonstrates sound character, regardless of nationality. This includes current residents of our country who entered illegally as minors, commonly known as Dreamers.
We oppose in the strongest possible terms all government policies and actions that increase barriers to immigration.
Immigration is good for the economy. According to economists, because of our low birth rate, we need immigrants to keep our economy growing. Based on economic statistics, the presence of immigrants increases both the availability of jobs and the wages of native-born workers overall, with some reports of slight wage declines only among people who have not finished high school. Immigrants also are responsible for a disproportionate share of new businesses across both low-income and high-income groups and for wealth created in high-tech industries.
Immigrants–both documented and undocumented–have a low crime rate. Based on crime statistics, their crime rates are lower than those of native-born people, reported by some to be as little as half the rate.
Based on these statistics, fears regarding lost jobs, reduced wages and more crime due to large-scale immigration are unfounded.
OUR ADVOCACY POINTS
Laws and regulations:
Enact Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals legislation (“DACA”). Let the Dreamers stay.
Enact a Federal law prohibiting participation by local law enforcement authorities in enforcement of Federal immigration law.
Update the statutory definition of aggravated felony for immigration and naturalization purposes to exclude what would be minor infractions if done by a US citizen.
Repeal three-year, ten-year and permanent bans to application for legal immigration by illegal immigrants who have been deported.
Do not further restrict our family-sponsored immigration rules based on an unrealistic concern about chain migration. The concern focuses on parents, married children and adult siblings of US citizens. The concern is that once they obtain lawful permanent resident (green card) or citizenship status, those relatives will apply for family-sponsored immigration for their own family members, with compounding effect over time. The immigration process is relatively quick for parents, but adult children and siblings must wait in line for years and even decades until their turn comes under restrictions based on country of origin. The length of time it takes for even one link to form makes it virtually impossible to establish a meaningful chain that could cause significant compounding.
Keep our borders open to people whose lives are in danger in their home countries. This includes political refugees, economic refugees and refugees fearing individual and group violence.
Do not break up families of asylum seekers or other undocumented immigrants in order to prosecute adult family members for attempting to enter our country illegally.
Eliminate both mandatory and prolonged detention of immigrants. Preserve the Secretary of Homeland Security’s authority to exercise discretion in determining whether or not detention is appropriate.
Make decent health care, education and social services accessible to immigrants.
Provide government-funded legal assistance to unaccompanied minor children and other indigent immigrants.
Reduce the case loads of the administrative judges who evaluate immigration cases in the first instance.
Do not require mandatory prosecution of all adult illegal immigrants; instead, permit discretion in prosecution based on individual facts and circumstances.
Restore access to review by the federal court system of administrative judges’ decisions in immigration cases.