CPT’s Borderlands Witness team offered the following reflections to help inform the current immigration debate.
• Current policy has failed. It has not stemmed the flow of immigration; rather, it forces people to cross the border in more dangerous areas. Deaths in the desert have reached an all-time high.
• Construction of border walls as authorized by the Secure Fence Act of 2006 will further divide families and communities. Walls are not an effective solution.
• Any responsible immigration reform must address the status of the 12 million undocumented people currently living in the U.S. Many families include both documented and undocumented members – there is a dire need to keep these families together.
• The vast majority of immigrants come to work. We must ensure humane working and living conditions for temporary guest workers.
• A just policy must address the root causes of immigration. Many Mexican and Central Americans have been forced out of their communities by crippling global economic policies.
INITIATIVES WE AFFIRM:
• Providing a path to citizenship for immigrants who complete two years of college study and allow for in-state tuition rates for immigrant students (provisions contained in the DREAM Act – Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act). www.wikipedia.org/wiki/DREAM_Act
• Granting temporary legal residency for undocumented laborers (two provisions contained in the AgJOBS Act – Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits and Security Act). www.nfwm.org/pdf/AgJOBS/
• Congressional visits to border cities to include those most directly affected in policy debates and decisions.
INITIATIVES WE CONSIDER HARMFUL:
• Costly and ineffective efforts to secure the border by means of walls and virtual walls.
• Detention of undocumented immigrants with no other criminal record.