Credo Action

Tell your senators: Immigration reform must include a roadmap to citizenship

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The petition reads:

"The struggle for immigrants' rights is the next stage in America's movement for civil rights. We need to pass real immigration reform including a roadmap to citizenship for America's 11 million immigrants."

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    Tell your senators: Immigration reform must include a roadmap to citizenship

    Our current immigration laws are a disaster. Today, over 11 million immigrants live in the United States without the full protection of our legal system or a framework that would provide them with a path to participate in our democracy. The time is now for real immigration reform that keeps families together, protects immigrants from violence and discrimination, and provides immigrants who are living in America and contributing to our society a pathway to citizenship.

    Tell your senators: Support real immigration reform, including a roadmap to citizenship for America's 11 million immigrants. Click here to automatically sign the petition.

    Most of these immigrants have lived in this country for more than a decade and have come to America to seek a better life for their families.1 They are Americans-in-waiting who are ready to fulfill the requirements of our citizenship process - to study English, pay taxes, maintain a good record and be of good moral character.

    Instead of focusing on an inhumane, costly and dysfunctional "enforcement" strategy, it's time to switch to an approach that is both more humane and that makes more economic sense.2

    Passing broad immigration reform legislation with a roadmap to citizenship would add $1.5 trillion to cumulative U.S. gross domestic product over the next decade.3 Studies have shown that naturalization of immigrants "expands the size" of our economy as "more money in the system creates economic growth and supports new job creation for all Americans."4 Moreover, the "economics of citizenship" provides employers "peace of mind" that they will not have to retrain new workers often at high cost due to immigrant employees losing their visas. It also gives individuals "the stability to invest in more schooling and more job training, both of which ultimately lead to higher wages and better careers."5

    Providing a roadmap to citizenship is also the popular thing to do. A recent poll conducted by Politico and George Washington University showed that 62 percent of Americans support a roadmap to citizenship and that it was one of the defining issues for Latino, Asian, and new American voters in the 2012 election.6 Other polls, including one conducted by Fox News, have shown similar results, with two-thirds of Americans supporting a roadmap to citizenship for qualified undocumented Americans.7

    Tell your senators: Support real immigration reform, including a roadmap to citizenship for America's 11 million immigrants. Click here to automatically sign the petition.

    We cannot wait. Immigration reform is the civil rights issue of the new generation. In the last 50 years, through the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, America has moved closer to the dreams and ideals of our founders - achieving broader equality and gaining strength from diversity in a nation of immigrants.8 We cannot forsake that legacy by passing so-called immigration reform legislation that would foster inequality through a second class immigration status by which immigrants could legally reside in our country, but never be eligible for the protections and rights of citizenship.9

    We need to let the elected leaders in Washington know that any immigration reform proposal must include a roadmap to citizenship whereby qualified immigrants can earn full rights and responsibilities. They must reject any proposal that send immigrants to the back of the bus by creating a second-class, non-citizen status whereby America benefits from their work here but refuses to let them become full participants in our democracy.

    Thank you for fighting for the rights of immigrants.

    1. "The Unauthorized Population Today: Number Holds Steady at 11 million, Three-Fifths Have Been Here More Than a Decade," Immigration Policy Center, March 22, 2011.
    2. Mahwish Khan, "When Immigration Enforcement Equals Inhumane Enforcement," America's Voice, July 20, 2012 and Marshall Fitz, Gebe Martinez, and Madura Wijewardena, "The Costs of Mass Deportation," Center for American Progress, March 19, 2010.
    3. Marshall Fitz and Philip E. Wolgin, "Infographic: Setting the Record Straight on Immigration and Border Enforcement," Center for American Progress, January 4, 2013.
    4. Philip E. Wolgin, "Top 5 Reasons Why Citizenship Matters," Center for American Progress, January 10, 2013.
    5. Ibid.
    6. James Hohmann, "Battleground Poll: Most back path to citizenship," Politico.com, December 10, 2012.
    7. "The Facts on Immigration Today," Center for American Progress, July 6, 2012.
    8. Wolgin, "Top 5 Reasons Why Citizenship Matters."
    9. Ibid.