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April 12, 2006

Sample letter to send to your Senators and Representative in support of reasonable immigration reform

This letter is from Peter Schey at the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law in Los Angeles;


Regarding Immigration Reform

Dear _________________________________:

This is to respectfully request that you:

• Oppose any compromise that cuts back on the already limited human and civil rights that immigrants possess in this country;

• Oppose any compromise that cut-backs on the critical role the federal courts have played for over 100 years protecting the fundamental human and civil rights of immigrants from unlawful and unconstitutional policies adopted by Government agencies;

• Oppose any compromise that will result in the mass and indefinite detention of hundreds of thousands of immigrants who have committed no serious crimes;

• Oppose any compromise that cuts off traditional avenues for immigrants to legalize their status through family relationships, asylum, or approved job offers for positions U.S. workers are unavailable to fill;

• Oppose any compromise that includes a guest worker program without a mechanism for these workers to eventually apply for permanent resident status and full labor rights to prevent under-cutting U.S. workers;

• Oppose any compromise that increases the difficulties legitimate asylum seekers face in winning protection from return to countries where they face persecution;

• Oppose any compromise that further increases in the criminalization and militarization of the US-Mexico border, policies that have caused the deaths of thousands of immigrants crossing the border, substantially increased the dangers faced by border patrol officers, encouraged armed vigilantism, destroyed the infra-structure of border communities on both sides of the border, and done little to stop the flow of migrants.

• Oppose any compromise that criminalizes immigrants based upon their undocumented status.

• Support serious study by the Congress of immigration reform as took place prior to the enactment of the last major reform law in 1986 (the Immigration Reform and Control Act), when a Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy was constituted to come up with real solutions, not election year "bumper-sticker" solutions;

• Support a realistic long-term legalization program for undocumented immigrants, including a reasonable statute of limitations on illegal entry for productive otherwise law-abiding immigrants;

• Support dramatic and immediate reductions in the millions of backlogged visa petitions that keep immigrants in undocumented status for upwards of ten years;

• Support labor rights for all immigrant workers in order to reduce the preference employers have for undocumented workers precisely because they have fewer protections under U.S. labor laws than U.S. workers;

• Support greater protections for legitimate asylum seekers to avoid their being returned to countries where they face imprisonment, torture, and death;

• Support humane border enforcement using available technologies and enhanced border surveillance techniques without further criminalizing and militarizing the U.S.-Mexico border;

• Support prompt adjustment of status for the hundreds of thousands of Central American refugees, many of whom came here as a result of U.S. policies in Central America, who are languishing in a legal twilight zone after long-ago applying for ABC, TPS, or NACARA relief;

• Support legislation to curb and more consistently punish the activities of those who engage in violence against immigrants, including border vigilantes, traffickers, and perpetrators of domestic violence;

• Support legislation to rationally adjust per country visa quotas to take into account visa demand;

• Support legislation to repeal the three and ten-year bars that make immigrants who have been in the U.S. for six months in undocumented status ineligible for visas without returning to their home countries for three years, and those who have been here for one year or more in undocumented status ineligible to receive visas without returning to their home countries for ten years.

"An immigration system that forces people into the shadows of our society, or leaves them prey to criminals is a system that needs to be changed," President Bush said at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast recently. "I'm confident that we can change our immigration system in ways that secures our border, respects the rule of law, and, as importantly, upholds the decency of our country."

The President may be right. However, the last major legalization program was achieved in 1986 after careful study, hearings throughout the country, consideration of demographic and economic data on migration, consideration of a range of views held by migration experts, and public consultations with representatives of business, unions, religious groups, immigrant communities, law enforcement, and others. No such deliberative process has taken place with regards to the present Congressional proposals. Please do all that you can to see that it takes place now.



Printed name



Phone number: _____________________________

Posted by VisaLawyer at April 12, 2006 06:39 AM


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