The Immigration Reform Debate Moves Forward
Tired of empty words and broken promises, thousands of immigration reform supporters gathered in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday to pressure Congress and the Obama administration to reform our broken immigration system. The rally was joined by faith, immigrant, civil rights, and labor groups.
Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) led by Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) addressed the crowd and announced that he will be introducing a comprehensive immigration reform bill by the end of the month. In a press release, Gutierrez released the core principles of his reform policy.
Family unity as a cornerstone of our immigration systems was one of the key principles highlighted by Gutierrez. He said:
Family is the bedrock of our society, and immigration reform must support strong, united families and treat all immigrant families fairly and equally. Right now, our broken immigration system keeps too many American families apart for years and even decades, when they have done everything legally. We need a system predicated on family values by developing laws that better value families -- a system that keeps families strong and, most importantly, keeps husbands and wives, parents and children together.
The abrupt separation of families is one of the most criticized flaws of our immigration system. As Dave Bennion, Long Island Wins guest blogger writes, "one aspect of the current immigration system in the U.S. that is not well understood by most voters is the way families are routinely split apart, sometimes for seemingly minor reasons, and sometimes permanently, with no hope of appeal." To read more about why the family reunification aspect of immigration law needs to be reformed read the rest of Daves' post here.
As pressure to fix the broken immigration system mounts, lawmakers must remember that effective reform will both bolster immigrants' economic contributions and strengthen their rights in the workplace.