Less than a month ago, a bipartisan group of eight senators working on comprehensive immigration reform legislation released their principles for immigration reform, which are broad goals for what they hope to accomplish.
Although the principles recognized the broken immigration system and endorsed a path to citizenship, some of their recommendations were deeply troubling to many immigrants rights, human rights and civil rights groups.
The principles called for additional border enforcement resources-despite the fact that the federal resources committed to border enforcement now outweigh all spending on other federal criminal law enforcement agenices, including the FBI, ATF, DEA and Secret Service, according to the Migration Policy Institute.
Part of the bipartisan group’s principles call for the creation of a border commission of governors, attorneys general and community leaders living along the Southwest border who would issue a recommendation when the border is secure that would, once their concerns are satisfied, function as a trigger to allow the undocumented to normalize their immigration status.
Despite the problems with the principles many organizations, including Rights Working Group, were pleased, however, that the principles called for including a prohibition of racial profiling, and inappropriate use of force in immigration reform legislation. In addition, the principles called for increased oversight and training of border agents and inclusion of border communities in improving border safety.
In the aftermath of the senate Gang of Eight releasing their principles, some progressive groups of congressional representatives and senators have released principles of their own. Similarly, groups representing everything from workers rights to border communities and children’s issues to civil rights, including many Rights Working Group members, have also been releasing principles that promote ethical and just immigration reform that includes protections of due process rights and equality under the law.
Below are a list of immigration reform principles, including some from the newly formed Justice in Immigration Law Coalition, of which Rights Working Group is a member.
Social Justice Organizations and Coalitions
Justice in Immigration Reform Coalition Principles for Immigration Reform
National Council of South Asian Organizations Principles for Immigration Reform
National Council of Asian Pacific Americans Principles for Immigration Reform
National Network for Arab American Communities Principles for Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Black Immigration Network Principles for Just Immigration Reform
United We Dream Principles for Immigration Reform
First Focus Principles for Children in Immigration Reform
Workers' Rights Priorites for Immigration Reform 2013 (NILC)
Principles for Immigration Refrom from Senators Coons, Leahy, Blumenthal and Hirono
Immigration Priorities for the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community (CAPAC)