Last week the League of Women Voters of the United States issued a statement in supportive of citizenship for unauthorized immigrants and in opposition to deportations.
“After a lengthy and comprehensive study of this complex issue by our grassroots members,” said national League president Mary G. Wilson, “the League’s position calls for a path to citizenship for current unauthorized immigrants.”
“As part of overall immigration reform, the League supports a system for unauthorized immigrants already in the country to earn legal status, including citizenship, by paying taxes, learning English, studying civics and meeting other relevant criteria,” Wilson stated. “We oppose deportations of current unauthorized immigrants who have no history of serious criminal activity,” she said.
In addition, the LWVUS came out in support of increased enforcement personnel at borders, more effective tracking of individuals who enter the U.S., and significant fines and penalties for employers who hire unauthorized workers.
Finally, they said they would "champion due process for all persons, including the right to a fair hearing, right to counsel, right of appeal and right to humane treatment".
A copy of their full report can be found below, or here.
LWVUS Immigration Position
The League of Women Voters believes that immigration policies should promote reunification of immediate families; meet the economic, business and employment needs of the United States; and be responsive to those facing political persecution or humanitarian crises. Provision should also be made for qualified persons to enter the U.S. on student visas. All persons should receive fair treatment under the law.
The League supports federal immigration law that provides an efficient, expeditious system (with minimal or no backlogs) for legal entry of immigrants into the U.S.
To complement these goals the League supports federal policies to improve economies, education, job opportunities, and living conditions in nations with large emigrating populations.
In transition to a reformed system, the League supports provisions for unauthorized immigrants already in the country to earn legal status.
The League supports federal payments to impacted communities to address the financial costs borne by states and local governments with large immigrant populations.
Criteria for Legal Admission to the U.S.
The League supports the following criteria for legal admission of persons into the United States:
* Family reunification of spouses or minor children with authorized immigrants or citizens;
* Flight from persecution or response to humanitarian crises in home countries;
* Economic, business and employment needs in the U.S.;
* Education and training needs of the U.S.;
* Educational program opportunities; and
* Lack of a history of serious criminal activity.
Administration and Enforcement
The League supports due process for all persons, including the right to a fair hearing, right to counsel, right of appeal and right to humane treatment.
The League supports:
* Improved technology to facilitate employer verification of employee status;
* Verification documents, such as status cards and work permits, with secure identifiers;
* Significant fines and penalties for employers who hire unauthorized workers;
* Improved technology for sharing information among federal agencies;
* More effective tracking of individuals who enter the United States; and
* Increased personnel at borders.
The League also supports programs allowing foreign workers to enter and leave the U.S. to meet seasonal or sporadic labor needs.
Unauthorized Immigrants Already in the U.S.
In achieving overall policy goals, the League supports a system for unauthorized immigrants already in the country to earn legal status, including citizenship, by paying taxes, learning English, studying civics and meeting other relevant criteria. While policy reforms, including a path to legal status, remain unachieved, the League does not support deporting unauthorized immigrants who have no history of criminal activity.