Time for immigration reform is now

Guest editorial
7/3/09

The White House and members of Congress must move quickly on enacting a just and humane immigration reform package that will reunite families, reinvigorate the economy, and remove the term “illegal or undocumented immigrants” from the dialogue in this country.

Ethnic media, which reaches more than 60 million adults in the United States, calls on Congress to move decisively on immigration reform because there are few issues as important to the nation’s well-being as an overhaul of the inefficient, inhumane and economically debilitating immigration system. More importantly, we are also urging our readers and viewers to contact their senators and congressmen and let them know that immigration reform must be a national priority.

Clearly, working-class citizens and immigrant workers have much in common – dreams of better homes, education for their families and quality health care.


The immigration system is broken not just for 12 million undocumented immigrants, but also for specialized workers blocked from joining the American economy because of narrow quotas, and mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens who must wait for years before being reunited with their families.

The United States needs comprehensive immigration policies that will replace a broken system of raids and roundups with one that protects all workers from exploitation, improves America’s security and builds strong communities. It’s time to end the division between workers, which has allowed big business to exploit both sides. Clearly, working-class citizens and immigrant workers have much in common – dreams of better homes, education for their families and quality health care. There is more that brings us together, than separates us. United we can be a strong force for change, changes that bring more workforce safety and humane conditions.

Immigration is often portrayed as an explosive, divisive issue. In reality it’s not. Since the repeal of the national origins quota system in 1965, which discriminated against certain immigrants, a consensus has been building towards an immigration system that respects the country’s core values. These include economic opportunity, equality under the law regardless of ethnic background, and an embrace of the world’s most innovative, energetic and ambitious workers.

Now, with the country facing serious competition from workers abroad, it’s more important than ever to create a world-class immigration system. It’s for the good; good for families, good for communities and good for America.

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