Resolution on Immigration Reform

WHEREAS, 84 years ago, the founders of the League of Latin American Citizens, (LULAC) joined together to establish an organization that would become the largest, oldest and successful Hispanic civil rights and service organization in the United States, and

WHEREAS, smart effective, just, practical, and wise immigration reform is in the national interest of the United States , and

WHEREAS, the current immigration laws and systems have proven to be harmful to the social and economic interest of the United States and to immigrant families, and have failed to recognize flows and trend which are significantly related to prevailing social and economic trends and conditions in sending countries including the adverse impacts on U.S. foreign policy in sending countries, including but not limited to U.S. exploitive and/or punitive economic policies, military interventions, and covert actions which contribute to population migration and have led to a significant violation of rights and freedoms to all Americans without any tangible improvement in national security , and

WHEREAS, the current immigration laws and systems have failed to articulate a national immigrant integrative policy to assist local communities, counties, and states where immigrants are settling, making difficult healthy management of the opportunities and challenges that new immigrant communities generate and have results in a substantial loss of life, erosion in quality of life, and public safety experience by communities along the U.S. Southern border , and

WHEREAS, current immigration fails to provide legal avenues to unify families, protect refugees’ well-minded fear of persecution, or meet the labor needs of many sectors of American economy , and

WHEREAS, the vast majority of undocumented immigrants now in the United States work, are law abiding and otherwise contribute to their communities and the economy in ways essential to the national interest , and

WHEREAS, the exploitation of workers based upon their immigrant status violates their rights and adversely impacts U.S. workers. Most undocumented immigrants have close family members who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents and are unable to legalize their status under current laws, including severe backlog of lawful family and employment visa applications , and

WHEREAS, immigrants annually contribute $800 billion to the conomy, paying far more in taxes, more so to the federal government to than the states and localities, than they utilize in government-funded programs , and

WHEREAS, millions of undocumented immigrants have young U.S. citizen children who suffer from a range of harms, disadvantages, and lost opportunities as a result of an inability of their parents to legalize their immigration status , and

WHEREAS, a network of anti-immigrant militia, neo-fascist, population control, and racist groups expend tens of millions of dollars annually to incite fear and violence against immigrant and other vulnerable populations , and

WHEREAS, a significant number of Republicans and certain Democrats, elected officials, and campaigns, and certain media engage in untruthful propaganda and vilification to incite fears, hostility, and violence directed at immigrants , and

WHEREAS, post 9/11 National Security measures taken by the U.S. Government to better screen and track lawful permanent residents and non-immigrant visitors to the U.S. are of questionable value as long as the government possesses no information on millions of undocumented immigrants who live in the country , and

WHEREAS, certain local governments attempts to pass anti-immigrant ordinances that conflict with the Constitution and federal laws which place immigration enforcement exclusively in the hands of the federal government, and therefore subject U.S. citizens and lawfully residing immigrants to harsh scrutiny, create ill will, and division , and

WHEREAS, contributions by and just treatment of immigrants are more than ever essential to the national interest, and as recognized by President Truman, is crucial to America’s “moral leadership in the world community” , and

WHEREAS during 2005- 2012, the U.S. House and Senate sought to pass, or passed so-called “comprehensive” immigration bills, which are written, could not have been implemented effectively, justly, smartly, or wisely and if those proposed legislations which had been enacted, would have results in irreparable harm to individuals, families, the economy, society and to international relations , and

WHEREAS, during 2009-2010, intransigent opposition by anti-immigrant legislators, combined with situational opposition by “centrist” legislators ineffective support by Legislative leadership and by the White House, and serious errors in advocate strategies and tactics, resulted in failure to enact pro-immigrant legislation , and

WHEREAS, serious errors in advocate strategies and tactics included the failure by the DC- based Immigrant Rights “establishment” to adjust course early in the previous Congressional session to a “down-payment” strategy which emphasized the “DREAM Act” and other “incremental” bills, when it was apparent that a “comprehensive” approach to reform was doomed to fail , and

WHEREAS, “down-payment” strategies advocated by the “DREAM” students, the UFW, National Latino Congreso, etc. if embraced by DC immigrant advocates, legislative leadership and the White House in the Spring 2010, would have resulted in enactment of one or more bills, to give immigrants an inspiring victory , and

WHEREAS, conversely, the belated support in fall 2010 of the DREAM Act by White House and legislative leadership was doomed to failure, but nonetheless was pursued in order to appease the Latino community, and deflect criticism from the immigrant rights movement , and

WHEREAS, one unintended consequence of the focus on federal legislation has been to deemphasize in practice, the pro-immigrant movement’s capacity to defeat anti-immigrant proposals in States and localities, as well as to pressure the White House to change its deportation and Secure Communities policies , and

WHEREAS, conservative federal and state 2010 election victories included the ascent to power of numerous additional anti-immigrant legislators, which has further tilted Washington D.C. in an anti-immigrant direction , and

WHEREAS, California LULAC District 5 has closely monitored and reviewed immigration reform efforst and negotiations of the U.S. Senates “Gang of Eight”,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, We call upon Congress to approve in 2013, passage of immigration reform legislation that results in families being united, not separated and divided. We call upon Congress to pass legislation that is fair, just, human, and which builds upon American immigrant legacy , and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we call upon Congress to stop the Comprehensive Enforcement Bill that will only create a second class of residents and citizens, criminalize the undocumented, codify Big Brother, separate families, harms American democracy, and will not legalize the 11 million undocumented residents , and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we call on president Obama to immediately suspend the deportation of hundreds of undocumented immigrants, until a fair and just immigration legislation is passed into law , and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, We call upon Congress to approve a series of more narrowly crafted proposals, including AgJOBS, the DREAM Act (to restore the community service component as an alternative to military service), and reduction of backlogs for family and employment based Green Cards, access to permanent residency status to long-term residents of the U.S. such as beneficiaries of temporary Protected Status, and target smuggling and significant felonies involving moral turpitude , and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, call on Congress and the Obama Administration to focus their energies and talent on the articulation and prompt passage of immigration policy, reforms that do so smartly, with full respect for civil rights and liberties, which protects U.S. security interest to uphold the rule of law, and sets as a keystone, social, economic, culturual, and political contributions made by immigrant communities to their local neighborhoods and to the nation as a whole , and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, call upon Congress to create a national immigrant program, in cooperation with state and local government and private institutions, designed to provide leadership and asssit local communities in the healthy management of demographic changes brought about through immigration. One task of such a program should be to support immigrant communities in their learning process about their new country, and include effective strategies to learn the English language , and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, Call upon Congress to recognize that a legislative program for undocumented immigrants should include unambiguous eligibility standards satisfied by realistic evidentiary burdens, to afford applicants ful access to judicial review in the event applications for citizenship are unlawfully denied, and should include spouses and children of program beneficiaries , and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, support a substantial increase in funding for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, and U.S. consulates, to effect a massive reduction in all back-logged immigration related applications, and modify existing quotas with the goal that no application or petition for immigration benefits filed by eligible applicants take more than six months to adjudicate , and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, support revisions to U.S. law, so immigrants have full and complete access to protective labor and health safety laws, which recognize the right to documented and undocumented immigrants to seek and obtain employment in the U.S. , and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, Oppose efforts to limit the ability of the judiciary to review and correct unlawful decisions regarding immigrants; we oppose the further militarization and criminalization of the U.S./Mexico border, and support enhanced national security measure at seaports and U.S. Consulates that process applications for visas to enter the U.S. , and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, Oppose “comprehensive” legislation that fails to offer a program for legalization of the status of the majority of undocumented immigrants presently living in the U.S. while adopting interior enforcement programs to drive immigrants deeper underground, heighten fear and exploitability, increase rather than decrease the size of undocumented populations, and result in widespread violation of human rights, all adverse to U.S. national Security, and to the rights and well-being of U.S. workers and their families , and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, oppose local state immigration restriction ordinance attempts, especially those which deputize local law enforcement agencies, to enforce immigration law. We should all make it a priority to work in partnership with a broad coalition at all levels from all communities against such attempts, and maintain and build coalitions not just to defeat such ordinance attempts, but to advocate for local legislation that addresses the needs of the communities, to encourage naturalization, to register new voters, and to educate communities about elected officials and candidates stands on this, and other issues , and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, re-emphasize the need to pass pro-immigration legislation in States and localities where the “Movement” has significant capacity and popular sympathy in California, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, and effectively create a “reverse Arizona SB 1070” effect, with numerous measures intended to provide equal access to educational opportunity to all students, irrespective to immigration status, opt-out’s of Secure Communities or 287-G programs, Driver’s Licenses, and waivers from Federal I-9 requirements , and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, Embrace a new theory of change which recognizes, to win new federal immigrant justice policies requires a bottoms-up strategy, to win broad public support and pro-immigrant policies in a critical mass of states, thus helping create national momentum for federal reforms in ensuing years; and such efforts imply support to organize and empower immigrant communities, particularly Latin American and Caribbean immigrants, so they may become their own spokespeople , and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, Call upon Congress to investigate and prohibit any and all activities of private groups and individuals who intimidate, threaten, coerce, or otherwise attempt to enforce immigration laws; this investigation should include well-documented cooperation among vigilante, militia, neo-fascist, and population control groups, who vilify and/or incite violence against immigrants, regardless of status , and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, Call upon Congress to reject any and all proposals which significantly delay or prevent immigrants eligible for legal status under current or future laws from acquiring Green Cards and naturalization; proposals like Pence-Hutchinson should also be rejected, which call for establishment of apartheid and/or indentured servitude-like programs, which would relegate certain immigrants to permanent second class status , and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, Call upon Congress to reject any and all proposals which criminalize immigrants and militarize border communities, and which undermine civil and human rights. We support policies which seek to respond to U.S. international migration, in a way which is legal, secure, and which represents human rights , and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, Request Latino and other eligible voters reject candidates of any political part who propose policies or adopt campaign tactics which vilify immigrants, divide communities, break up families, or incite fears of violence against immigrants, or other targets of nativist scape-goading and fear mongering , and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, request President Obama take all steps within his power to put an end to persecution of undocumented immigrants, including but not limited to an administrative legalization of undocumented immigrants brought to U.S. as minors, and a declaration of moratorium on deportations until a fair and inclusive legalization program is passed by Congress , and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, oppose legislation which creates or implements any form of national identification card, or further tightens or restricts issuance of government identification already inexistence , and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, oppose creation of any form of centralized state or federal employee eligibility database or clearinghouse system

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, Call for a path to U.S. citizenship for past, present, and future immigrants, which must be an essential element of immigration reform, and must also be reasonable in terms of length and requirements of such process, to put an end to disenfranchisement of our communities and to ensure effective democracy in our country

Approved this 22nd day of June 2013.

Margaret Moran
LULAC National President

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