CONSIDERING: that the administration of President Barack Obama has deported more than one-and-a-half million persons, more than 75% without any previous criminal offense;
CONSIDERING: that the United States border with Mexico is practically militarized and the budget for the Department of Homeland Security has tripled as has the active duty force of the U.S. Border Patrol in addition to the increase of sophisticated technology to guard the border;
CONSIDERING: that in the border cities the U.S. Border Patrol has the authority to detain undocumented persons within these cities, combined with the implementation of racist laws in Arizona, Utah and Georgia, which permit the local police to act as immigration agents, laws which have created fear in the population in addition to promoting discrimination against the Mexican and Latino immigrants in these cities;
CONSIDERING: that the massive response of Latino voters in the last election had a definitive character and will continue to have the same in future elections, and as a consequence Immigration Reform has become the political linchpin of the second administration of President Obama who has committed himself to fight to make it a reality; but the political will of both political parties in power is an imperative, and also the voices of the affected must be heard in this debate;
CONSIDERING: that legalizing the eleven million undocumented, according to figures released by the government, represents a major injection into the economy since these persons will pay millions of dollars to process their documents. At the same time, a recharging of the economy will be observed when these migrants act out similar to those who legalized under the 1986 amnesty, known as the IRCA ACT, who went overboard in purchasing homes and other assets, which their new status permitted them, and they were completely integrate into the U.S. economy;
CONSIDERING: that this is the time in which ALL of us should be involved to orient this immigration debate in favor of the workers, youth, students, and society in general; For this reason, the organizations for immigrants’ rights in Mexico and the United States have agreed to organize the movement called the National Committee for Fair and Humane Immigration Reform 2013 (CONAREMI 2013 for its initials in Spanish).
WE PROPOSE, THAT FOR THIS DEBATE ON IMMIGRATION REFORM TO BE HUMANE, THE PRESIDENT AND THE U.S. CONGRESS DECREE A MORATORIUM OF ALL DEPORTATIONS UNTIL THE CONGRESS ACTS TO APPROVE AN IMMIGRATION REFORM LAW AND THE PRESIDENT SIGNS THE SAME.
The National Committee for a Fair and Humane Immigration Reform 2013 convenes its first national conference in Chicago, Illinois on April 6, 2013.
For the purpose of taking the immigration debate to the communities and presenting a fair and humane perspective in which migration is recognized as a human right and that its regulation be based on not violating the right of freedom of transit, and the labor, civil, and human rights, we propose the following ten points, which would be the basis for conducting a discussion on the theme of immigration reform.
These points are directed towards changing the debate on migration established by the two political parties, Republican and Democrat, criminalizing undocumented migration instead of understanding it as an economic and social phenomenon, which the existing economic system engenders by importing and exporting labor without having a policy of economic development for the labor expelling countries and lacking internal economic planning for the labor receiving countries;
1.- That the debate about the so-called Immigration Reform directed to the regularization of undocumented persons should be decriminalized so that it is discussed within the context of labor mobility and the conditions of the migrant labor expelling and receiving countries; that steps be taken to stop the militarization of the Mexico-United States border and that the harassment by the U.S. Border Patrol of the border communities be stopped; and that all the anti-immigrant laws of each state be abolished, thus returning to the federal government the authority over immigration policy of the United States; similarly, it is necessary to guarantee that the trans-migrants that pass through Mexico are secure, that they not be subjected to kidnappings, rapes, or assassinations; and, that the Mexican government not have to play the role of migration filter for the United States;
2.- That an end be put to the polemic of undocumented immigration as a theme of illegality, and that it be considered as a phenomenon of labor flow between countries of greater labor force demand and the needs of the labor expelling countries;
3.- That the legalization of undocumented workers living and working in the country be a fair, efficient, and quick process where the undocumented have access to their legal residency with the protection of their labor, civil and human rights, and a clear path to United States citizenship;
The regulations of the legalization should be realistic with the greatest benefit to those found to be undocumented in the country at the moment of its enactment, moreover, the immigrants should comply with the tax filing requirements, have good moral character, and acquire English, civics, and history instruction; and that the eligibility date be when the President signs the law;
4.- That the application process of the workers without documents guarantee them access to healthcare
services, which are offered under President Obama’s program, the right to labor and union organization, access to affordable housing, and to communities without environmental contamination; as well as the protection of all the rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution;
5.- That the youth and students who were approved under the Deferred Action Program automatically be allowed to apply for permanent residency status, and that their cases be processed immediately;
6. – That the parents of U.S. children who have reached 21 years of age automatically be allowed to
apply for permanent residency status without having to leave the country or apply for a waiver; that the Section 245(i) of the immigration law be reinstituted permanently, thus abolishing the punishments bars of 3 to 10 years outside the country in order to obtain permanent residency;
7. – That the persons who are protected under the TPS (Temporary Protected Status) be allowed to apply for their permanent residency status immediately under the legalization program. There are approximately
280,000 Salvadorans, Hondurans, and Nicaraguans who are currently protected by the TPS, and they should be permitted to obtain permanent residency with the only condition of complying with the basic requirements of having good moral character, pay their taxes, and study English and civics;
8. – The persons who desire to emigrate to the United States after this legalization should apply for employment from the country of origin, have an employment offer in the United States, and have the right to sign a contract with the protection of a labor union which would guarantee their labor rights, even though it be of day-laborers for a determined period; that their seniority be recognized, the base minimum salary, and have access to a retirement plan; and, that these workers, upon completion of three years of temporary work, be permitted to apply for permanent residency status based on their employment or family relations;
9. – The reform of the immigration law should give priority to the fundamental principle of family unity, including the families of different sexual orientation or preference who should also be permitted to legalize their status under the Reform; as well as the strengthening of the productive forces of the United States, the integration of the migrants into U.S. civil society, and the well-being and happiness of all;
10. – The foreign policy of the United States should be rooted in the collaboration with the labor expelling countries by creating programs that strengthen regional economies, help in creating employment and establish incentives so that salaries have more parity with the salaries of the United States; the policy of development should give priority to economic development above that of military aid, as is the case of the Plan Merida, which only generates more violence in Mexico and Latin American countries.
We call on all organizations and individuals who agree with these points of unity to become official signatories of this document and commit to distribute and circulate it through the means at their disposable.