|Comprehensive Immigration Proposal|
|Written by Bill Roth|
|Sunday, 28 February 2010 18:21|
The Catholic Democrats Proposed Statement
As Democrats we fully support comprehensive immigration reform(CIR). We support CIR for three reasons: CIR is the morally right thing to do, CIR would help stabilize our local communities, and CIR would revitalize our economy.
Background On The Need For Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR)
We cannot maintain the status quo of American immigration policy. The enforcement-only status quo results in separating children from their parents and spouses from one another. Enforcement-only policies also create tension within communities. In fact, it is no surprise that police chiefs from our large cities have also called for comprehensive immigration reform. From the perspective of local communities, the enforcement-only policy has made our cities less safe because immigrant communities are reluctant in getting involved in community policing because to do so, in the minds of many, would reveal the immigration status of a member of their own family. Thus, crimes remain unreported. Lastly, the enforcement-only policy has targeted the low-wage, low income workforce. In industries that already suffer from high worker turnover, Immigration Enforcement and Customs (ICE) raids have sewn seeds of fear and intimidation, thus, labor and safety abuses, like neighborhood crimes, are largely not reported by immigrant workers. When interviewed by faith leaders, individual immigrant workers spoke about labor exploitation, mostly unpaid hours and underpaid wages.
This country needs an immigration policy, not simply a deportation system. The Democratic party is uniquely positioned to create the political space within the Senate and House for a real immigration policy debate. Democratic leadership cannot remain silent in the face of so much human suffering and lost opportunities for gains in labor rights.
A recent report by the Immigration Policy Center shows that the US economic would receive a substantial boost by enacting legislation that would give immigrant workers a pathway to citizenship. Legislation that creates a solid pathway for legalizations would increase our country’s gross domestic product by $1.5 trillion dollars over 10 years. By comparison, the current deportation policy of the US would result in the loss of $2.6 trillion dollars in the same amount of time.
The current immigration policy does not consider the growth immigration worldwide as a symptom of economic displacement. Poverty in developing nations sends upwards of 200 million people a year to migrate to urban zones or to other countries for the sole purpose of supporting one’s family. Deportation-only policies are woefully inadequate in dealing with future flow of immigrants. The Democratic membership in the Senate and House can help craft legislation that would help develop a policy of immigration based on employment without compromising labor laws or the displacement of American workers already here in the US.
The solution is a comprehensive immigration reform bill that is good for our country. A comprehensive immigration reform bill should include these five basic principles, all of which help lay the foundation for widespread economic growth:
And these are the compromises, so a strong bill will pass:
Increased wages have other benefits: when undocumented workers become legalized, they make considerably greater investments in themselves and in their communities. They have incentives to improve their English-language skills and seek higher education, and, of course, their real wages mean higher tax contribution.
The consumer spending that comes from those increased wages translates into roughly 5 billion dollars in additional net tax revenue every year. The real payoff is that those consumer-spending dollars would support upwards of 750,000 jobs.
CIR would create a robust economy by lifting up the wage floor for all workers, bring together separated families, protect exploited workers, and bring security and dignity to an entire segment of our society living in the shadows.
Catholic Democrats ask that the Central Committee endorse Luis Gutierrez’ America's Security and Prosperity Act (ASAP) of 2009. ASAP contains the principles of immigration reform and is a necessary first step toward making CIR this year.
|Last Updated on Sunday, 28 February 2010 18:31|