We intend to fully mobilize all individuals, communities, and elected officials looking for a sensible and comprehensive approach to immigration
reform. Our aim is to make Comprehensive Immigration Reform a reality in 2013.
As part of this effort, we call on the President and Congress to adopt the following recommendations in order to ensure a fiscally and morally responsible solution that fixes our broken immigration system:
1. Immigration reform legislation must be comprehensive, addressing the myriad of issues (employment visas, seasonal workers, etc.) now affecting the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the United States. We are opposed to a piecemeal solution which could potentially leave the same flawed immigration system in place.
2. A clear pathway to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants present in the United States since 1997 and/or currently married to a U.S. citizen. After having paid a penalty, undocumented immigrants would be offered a pathway to permanent legal residence, and, eventually, citizenship.
3. Promotion of humane and effective border security.
4. The elimination of barriers to higher education for immigrant youth by extending state and federal financial aid opportunities, as well as in-state tuition rates to DREAMers.
5. The ability to travel without fear, ensuring all immigrants have access to driver licenses.
6. Implementation of an employment verification program with proper safeguards.
7. Expansion of visas for seasonal workers which allows for employment authorization. There should be a much needed temporary workers program for skilled and unskilled workers to help fill our nation’s needs.
8. Expansion of cap on number of visas available for high-skilled foreign nationals. This will ensure that skilled workers from abroad bring their training, and education into the U.S. market and enhance our country’s global competitiveness.
9. Fast tracking of Green Card eligibility for high-skilled foreign nationals possessing Bachelors and Masters Degrees by allowing expedited and concurrent filing of employment-based immigrant applications with Green Card applications.
10. Expansion of number of immigration service centers to eliminate backlog of immigration applications and expedite processing.
11. Continue to prioritize deportation of felons, while affording undocumented non-violent offenders with demonstrated ties to the community the ability to apply for legal status within the United States.
We want an immigration system that expands opportunity and eliminates fear for the millions of undocumented immigrants who currently live in the shadows without rights or recourse. These policies will help ensure a better future for them in particular and America as a whole. A future which empowers our communities, strengthens our borders, and attracts the world's most productive and innovative individuals.
Democratic Hispanic Caucus of Florida, Miami-Dade County Chapter
Democratic Hispanic Caucus of Florida, Palm Beach County Chapter