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League Sends Letter on Immigration to Congress

The League sent a letter outlining the necessary provisions that should be included in any immigration bill that moves forward. Members of the LWVUS Lobby Corps will be visiting offices on Capitol Hill on this issue in the coming weeks.

February 15, 2018

To: Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate

From: Chris Carson, President

Re: Protect Dreamers and Move Comprehensive Immigration Reform Forward

League of Women Voters is deeply concerned by the lack of action by Congress after the Administration’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on September 5, 2017. This decision has put hundreds of thousands of young immigrants at risk. Because of the Administration’s misguided decision to rescind DACA, 19,000 Dreamers have already lost the ability to work, study and live without fear of deportation and hundreds of thousands of Dreamers would lose the protections guaranteed to them in the coming weeks. This does not serve the national interest.

The League of Women Voters would like to see the Dream Act (H.R. 3440/S. 1615) passed as a standalone bill. It’s time for Congress to stop using these individuals who pay taxes and contribute to social security as a bargaining chip. But we understand that there will be several proposals and legislative solutions to consider as the debate unfolds. With that in mind, we ask that you ensure that whatever legislative vehicle is proposed include the following provisions.

Provide a Permanent Fix for DACA Recipients: Use the criteria outlined in the Dream Act to provide a reasonable pathway to citizenship that allows Dreamers a chance to become citizens if they register, pay fees and continue to pursue an education, work or serve in the military.

Reasonable Border Protection: Our borders must be secure and we have a right to know who is coming into our country. But we must treat those wishing to come to this country with dignity and resist the urge to militarize the border, criminalize immigrants or threaten the right of due process for all persons.

Preserve Family Reunification: Family reunification is a longstanding American value and it makes immigrants and our communities more successful.

As the debate in Congress moves forward and legislative proposals are considered, the League of Women Voters reminds you that we are a country of immigrants and we are made stronger by our diversity. It is time for Congress to act to provide a path to citizenship or provisions for young undocumented immigrants already living in the U.S. to earn legal status, ensure reasonable protections at our borders and preserve families. Moving these policies forward will strengthen our nation and society.