Principles Of Unity For Legalization And Immigrant Rights


The following are the Objectives and Principles of Unity agreed upon by Immigrant Rights Organizations from across the United States:


* To bring to the national debate the political Principles on Legalization and Immigration Reform developed by immigrants and immigrants rights groups.

* To show unity and a common vision in demanding and defending immigrant rights and human dignity.

* To allow the voices of all our immigrant communities be heard.

* To reform and change current immigration policies and practices.

Political Principles on Immigration Reform:

I. Enact a broad and comprehensive legalization program for all nationalities of undocumented immigrants and their families that live in the United States:

* Provide access to legal permanent residency. Any program for temporary status that does not include the option of permanent residency for immigrants already living in the U.S. is unacceptable.

* Provide conditions that respect immigrants as members of families, communities and work places.

II Legalize future migratory flows. Minimum rights need to be guaranteed in any program addressing migration into the U.S.:

* Right of Entry. The process of crossing borders has to be legal, free of abuse and orderly. Immigrants should not have to cross deserts, mountains, oceans and coasts with the possibility of dying there. This right would eliminate by default the criminal prosecution of illegal entry and re-entry would not be a serious problem anymore.

* Right to Employment. This is without a doubt a basic and irrevocable right where immigrant workers have the same economic and labor guarantees as any resident and citizen of the United States. This includes the right to a social security number and the right to worker mobility.

* Right to Permanent Residency. The above two rights are insufficient without the right to permanent residency with the option to become a US citizen for immigrants workers who desire to live their lives in the United States.

III. The defense and protection of the rights of the immigrants must include:

a) Decriminalization of work through the elimination of employers sanctions
b) Adequate resources to enforce labor laws and other civil rights laws
c) Elimination of immigrant based restrictions to legal and social service programs
d) Right to organize collectively and to unionize to improve wages and working conditions
e) Right to freedom to choose and change employers (worker mobility)
f) Equal protections and rights under labor and civil rights laws
g) Legal protections in seeking justice for acts hate violence and xenophobia
h) The right to due process and equal protections under the law

IV. The protection of human and civil rights during the enforcement of immigration laws. These include the revision of the actual strategies for anti-terrorism and interior and border control on the US/Mexico/Canadian border and other major entry points, and the demilitarization of these.

V. Significant immigration reforms, including the revision of anti-terrorist legislation, secret evidence and detention, military tribunals, the per-country quota system, resolution of the backlog of pending applications for immigration visas and citizenship, access to adjustment of status and opportunities for family reunification, and an end to unfair political asylum and deportation process and other impediments to acquiring permanent residency.

VI. Demand the implementation of global policies that intend to resolve effectively problems of displacement, unemployment and migration of poor countries, beginning with the elimination of transnational enforcement policies, such as “Operation Disrupt,” that impede and criminalize the flows of immigrants. Some concrete steps can be taken such as the elimination of structural adjustment programs that the IMF and World Bank impose on developing countries and the cancellation of the debt of these countries.

VII. Respect and Equality for All. Serious steps must be taken towards the elimination of discrimination and racism in US society, especially towards immigrants, people of color and other minorities.