We cannot allow ourselves to be divided by the anti-immigrant and xenophobic hysteria.
America has always been a haven for the oppressed. We cannot and must not shirk the historic role of the United States as a protector of vulnerable people fleeing persecution. Establishing an immigration policy that stops the criminalization of communities of color and keeps families together will be a top priority of my Administration.
A legislative solution to modernize our immigration system will be a top priority.
Through legislation and executive action, we must implement a humane and secure immigration policy that will:
- Dismantle inhumane deportation programs and detention centers;
- Pave the way for a swift and fair legislative roadmap to citizenship for the eleven million undocumented immigrants;
- Ensure our border remains secure while respecting local communities;
- Regulate the future flow of immigrants by modernizing the visa system and rewriting bad trade agreements;
- Enhance access to justice and reverse the criminalization of immigrants;
- Establish parameters for independent oversight of key U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agencies.
ICE was created in 2003 as a reaction to 9/11. Since then, it has regularly violated basic human rights. We don’t need a special enforcement agency for undocumented immigrants. We can rely on our existing criminal justice agencies DHS agencies to arrest those who have committed a crime, just like we did before 2003.
1. Deportation and Detention
The growth of the immigrant detention/deportation machine and the expansion of border militarization has perpetuated unjust policies and resulted in the separation of hundreds of thousands of immigrant families.
- Immigration Enforcement
- Expand DACA and DAPA – We must work to expand President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) to provide broad administrative relief to the parents of DREAMers.
- Protect Immigrant Workers Exercising their Rights.
- Provide Permanent Immigration Relief to Families.
- Decouple Local Law Enforcement from Immigration Enforcement.
- Employ Humanitarian Parole to Reunite Families.
- Promote Cooperation Between Immigrants and Local Law Enforcement.
- Expand Access to Counsel for Immigrants.
- Properly Fund Our Nation’s Immigration Courts. Close Loopholes that Allow Racial Profiling by Federal Authorities.
- End For-Profit Detention.
- End Family Detention.
- Propose Budgets with Smart, Targeted Enforcement.
- Make Detention Practices Accountable.
- Alternatives to Detention.
- Guarantee Due Process and Bond Hearings.
2. Eleven Million New Americans
We must establish a path to citizenship for the undocumented population. They are the building block of a new humane immigration system. Establish a Federal Service for citizenship criteria program.
- Establish a Reasonable and Fair Wait for Citizenship.
- Establish Broad Eligibility for Relief.
- Minimize Financial Penalties and Fees.
- End the Three-Year, Ten-Year, and Permanent Bars.
- Provide Expansive Relief to DREAMers. Future legislation must immediately declare DREAMers eligible to serve in the uniformed services, receive financial aid, and become eligible for in-state tuition if they meet a state’s residency requirements. Additionally, future immigration reform should provide expeditious citizenship to DREAMers.
3. Border Security and Militarization
We believe that we can ensure that our borders are modern and secure. We need a less militarized and weaponized Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP). In order to ensure:
- That at a 21st Century Border Resources are used Efficiently and Effectively.
- Reject Piecemeal Border Enforcement.
- Reduce Border Deaths.
- End Operation Streamline and Barriers to Asylum.
- Implement the “Best Interests of the Child” Standard.
- Turn Back the Militarization of the Southern Border.
- Hold CBP Accountable.
- End the “Constitution Free” Zone.
4. Future Flow of Immigrants
A humane immigration system must honestly look at creating viable, legal channels that match our labor market needs. We must seriously reassess our foreign and international trade policies considering the effects they have on migration and U.S. workers. A failure to do so will contribute to future flows that even the best-designed system will have extreme difficulty in addressing.
- Keep Families Together.
- Protect Women from Discrimination. We must reject the so-called “merit-based” “social engineering” immigration.
- Strengthen and Expand Our Support for Refugees.
- End the Economic Exploitation of Immigrant Workers.
- Protect and Expand the Legal Rights of Immigrant Workers.
- Operate Smart and Fair Employment Verification.
- Reduce Health Care Costs. Resident status classifying residents as “lawfully present.”
- Defend the Diversity Visa from Attacks. Humane immigration reform must protect and expand the diversity visa.
- Ensure Access to Asylum for Persecuted Immigrants. As AG Reno did work to extend asylum to victims of domestic violence and by classifying unaccompanied minors coming from Latin American and victims of criminal gang activity as distinct groups of people fleeing persecution.
5. Balanced Trade Agreements
Inequality across the world is universally acknowledged as the driving force behind migration.
Establish Fair and Equitable Trade Policies. We must fight to rewrite our trade policies to end the race to the bottom and work to lift the living standard of Americans and workers throughout the world. Multi-faceted policies that look beyond our borders are critical to addressing the root causes of migration and economic inequality.
6. Immigration Integration
Integration into the great American mosaic is extremely important. Provide support, guidance, or even a welcome path to becoming an American.
- Fully Fund and Prioritize Immigrant Integration.
- Expand Access to Naturalization.
- Connect Integration with Educational Programs.