A new nationwide poll highlights the importance of immigration reform to Latino voters and the potential political consequences of failure to act on this issue. The poll, from Impremedia, Latino Decisions, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico, found that 84% of Latino voters think it is either “important, very important, or extremely important” that immigration reform is enacted before the 2010 midterm elections.

As the Catholic News Service reported last week: “A new postcard campaign in 2010 will urge Congress to take up as its next priority comprehensive immigration reform that would reunite families, regularize the status of an estimated 12 million people in this country illegally and restore due process protections for immigrants.”

November 30, 2009

Debunking the Myths

Border enforcement is not a solution to the immigration problem; 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.

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Comprehensive immigration reform would reaffirm the American values of hard work, fairness and building strong families.

  • Comprehensive Immigration Reform would reward immigrants who want to work and raise their families in the United States, learn English and contribute to their communities.
  • Reform would reunite families currently separated by restrictive policies and bureaucratic backlogs, and protect “mixed-status” families with native-born citizen children.
  • Dozens of faith groups representing millions of Americans have vocally advocated for immigration reform. The support of faith groups who often disagree on other political issues demonstrates that immigration reform is a moral imperative crossing political lines.

The majority of Americans want common-sense comprehensive reform of our broken immigration system.

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November 30, 2009

Restoring the Rule of Law

Comprehensive immigration reform will strengthen the rule of law, put immigration on a legal footing, reduce illegal immigration to a trickle, and reward those who work hard and follow the rules.

  • By requiring undocumented immigrants to earn 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 local cops to spend precious resources rounding up dangerous criminals, not undocumented immigrants.
  • Reform would restore trust in police, damaged by years of inconsistent, inhumane immigration policy. Community cooperation is key to solving and reducing crime.

Comprehensive immigration reform will create new taxpayers, raise new revenue, cut enforcement costs, and help our economy get back on its feet.

  • Comprehensive Immigration Reform pays for itself. Taxpayers benefit when everyone contributes fully.
  • By legalizing the undocumented and ensuring all employers are paying their full share of taxes, reform would create millions of new taxpayers and generate billions in vital tax revenues.
  • Reform would save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars by eliminating the need for expensive programs to round up and deport the 12 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.

Comprehensive immigration reform would ensure that all workers are here legally, punish unscrupulous employers who undercut their honest competitors, and restore fairness to the labor market.

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It’s another expensive case of treating the symptoms and not the disease. U.S. officials Monday touted the completion of the first segment of a “virtual fence” along the U.S.-Mexican border and detailed their plans to continue building the expensive perimeter.

If you were still in a tryptophan-induced turkey coma when the Associated Press published this piece last weekend, you should check it out today. In “Immigration reform activists diversifying ranks,” Suzanne Gamboa reports on the widening movement to pass real immigration reform: “Against this backdrop, the collection of voices clamoring for overhaul is expanding — Caribbean-Americans, evangelical churches, labor unions and law enforcement, besides the NAACP. And businesses, too, are becoming increasingly active.”