As immigration reform progresses rapidly we, the undersigned organizations, are unified in our stance to support true reform that focuses on uniting families and addresses the deep root causes of inequity and disparity in this country. While we recognize that we may not achieve everything all at once, we are committed for the long term. (Link to sign on as an individual here!)
Our Points of Unity
ROOT CAUSES OF OUR MIGRATION:
We recognize that the root causes of our forced migration are conditions created by destructive U.S. foreign policies and militarism, which led to genocide, war, conflict, trafficking, refugee resettlement, economic and environmental devastation, and the political instability of our home countries.
ACKNOWLEDGING OUR TRAUMA:
We recognize that the trauma of our experiences and dispassionate social and economic systems have caused severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in our communities, and healthcare support structures must be built to address the emotional well-being of our people and families.
EDUCATION INVESTMENT NOT INCARCERATION:
We recognize there is massive divestment in the education of our young people, and the lack of student-centered approaches to education have led to high rates of push-out in our communities. We recognize that structures of incarceration exacerbate our struggle out of poverty and lead many on a path to criminality, prison, and institutionalized punishment.
REHABILITATION AND COMMUNITY HEALING:
We believe in Second Chances and our human ability to change. We believe in rehabilitation, redemption, and forgiveness. We prioritize community and victim-led processes of healing over a system of vengeance, institutionalized punishment, and criminalization. We believe in meaningful re-entry services that re-build people and communities.
DEPORTATION IS AN ACT OF VIOLENCE:
We believe deportation is an act of violence against people, families, and communities. We see the breaking apart of families and the removal of people from our communities as an institutionalized process that threatens the emotional and economic survival of our families and our futures. We believe in the right of ALL families to stay together, regardless of immigration status, family structure, sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.
TRUE SECURITY OF OUR COMMUNITIES PUTS FAMILIES FIRST:
We believe that in order to ensure the true security of our communities for generations to come, we need to end practices of political scapegoating, division, labeling, dehumanization, and minimizing of our complex experiences. We believe we need compassionate, representative, and accountable leadership that will advocate for family, dignity, self-determination, equality, fairness, respect, and unified communities.
IMMIGRATION REFORM SHOULD UNITE FAMILIES:
We stand in solidarity with our allies, and support reform that allows for legalization, family reunification, and treating all people humanely.
Our Legislative Stances
REINSTATE JUDICIAL DISCRETION:
End mandatory deportation and detention. Everyone deserves to tell their story before a judge, and judges should have the right to consider a person’s individual circumstances.
END MANDATORY DETENTION AND DEPORTATION:
Allow individuals with criminal histories to challenge their detention and deportation before a judge, and expand the use of community-based alternatives to detention.
NARROW THE DEFINITION OF AGGRAVATED FELONY:
Revise the definition of “aggravated felony” under immigration law so that fewer individuals are swept into the deportation process after they have already served their time.
END RETROACTIVE PUNISHMENT:
Individuals should not be subject to policies that reach back to punish people for incidents that happened before those policies were established.
KEEP FAMILIES TOGETHER:
Family is the core of our communities. Immigration policy should prioritize keeping families together, and provide fair and just avenues for reunification, even after deportation has already occurred.
Signed by the following organizations:
BPSOS Delaware Valley, PA/NJ
Empower Laotians for Advancement, CA
Family Unity Network of Lowell, MA
Freedom, Inc., WI
To sign on as an organization, or for more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: May Day March, 2006, Providence, PrYSM