Reaffirming American Values
- Comprehensive immigration reform would allow immigrants who want to work and raise their families in the United States, learn English and contribute to their communities to remain here, legally, by registering and clearing a series of hurdles. It is a practical solution to an important problem, and one that is in line with our tradition as a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws.
- Reform would reunite families currently separated by restrictive policies and bureaucratic backlogs, and protect “mixed-status” families with native-born citizen children.
- Faith groups across the country, representing millions of Americans, have vocally advocated for immigration reform. They argue for dealing humanely with the presence of 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States and reforming our immigration system so that families are united and workers are respected is a defining moral issue for our generation.
Majority of Americans Want Comprehensive Immigration Reform
- By consistently strong majorities, Americans want a fair, common sense plan to fix our broken immigration system.
- In 2009, as in previous years, voters want the President and Congress to advance an immigration plan that legalizes the undocumented workforce and requires them to pay taxes, levels the playing field for workers and employers, and restores the rule of law.
- In the 2008 elections, swing voters chose candidates who offered practical solutions to the broken immigration system over those who offered only empty rhetoric.
Good for Taxpayers
- By legalizing the undocumented workforce and ensuring all employers are paying their full share of taxes, reform would create millions of new taxpayers and generate billions in additional tax revenues.
- When workers are legal and hiring is legal, wages for low-skilled workers rise, as do the tax payments they workers and employers then make.
- Reform would, over time, reduce the excessive spending on our nation’s harsh enforcement-only regime and save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.
Restoring the Rule of Law
- By requiring undocumented immigrants to register for legal status and creating orderly pathways for future immigration, we would restore the rule of law to our broken immigration system.
- Real reform would allow law enforcement to spend precious resources rounding up dangerous criminals, not undocumented immigrants.
- Reform would restore trust in police, damaged by the growing trend of involving local law enforcement in the enforcement of federal immigration laws. As most police chiefs argue, the key to solving and reducing crime is community policing that builds trust, not heavy-handed immigration enforcement that breeds fear of police in immigrant communities.
Good for Workers and Honest Employers
- Under immigration reform, all workers would be legal and protected by labor laws.
- Comprehensive immigration reform would increase the bargaining power of all workers, lifting wages for American and immigrant workers alike.
- Comprehensive immigration reform would reward honest, law-abiding employers who play by the rules, and punish the unscrupulous employers who exploit workers and try to gain an advantage by violating immigration, labor and tax laws.
Debunking the Myths
- Undocumented immigrants do not get free healthcare.
- Rather than hurting American workers, immigrants strengthen our economy.
- Despite the spin, immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than U.S. citizens of the same socioeconomic status.