Franciscan Action Network (FAN) welcomes the movement of the bipartisan Senate immigration bill S744 out of the Senate Judiciary Committee and congratulates the eight members of the bipartisan committee as well as the Judiciary Committee for moving the bill to the full Senate. While FAN is disappointed in some provisions in the bill, we support its passage and urge members of both the Senate and the House to pass a bill that repairs our country’s broken immigration system.
FAN supports the call of the United States Catholic Bishops for immigration that includes the following:
A path to citizenship that ensures that all undocumented immigrants have access to full rights.
This path must not take decades to achieve and cannot impose fines and fees that make citizenship unaffordable for thousands of immigrants.
Expedited family reunification and an end to policies and practices that separate families.
Family visas must be increased to ensure that our immigration system is family based and not employment based.
A legal employment structure that protects both migrants and U.S. workers.
Employment visas for high-skilled workers must not be at the expense of lower skilled worker visas and family visas. Increase the number of visas for all workers and families.
The need for due process protections, and enforcement of immigration laws that is transparent, accountable, and humane.
Deportation of immigrants for minor infractions of the law or for the sole reason of having crossed the border must be stopped. There are far too many unwarranted detentions and deportations occurring daily in our country. Overly restrictive and costly enforcement measures will not only delay pursuit of citizenship but will be ineffective.
Economic assistance to and fair competition with developing countries.
Study of root causes of migration and assistance in strengthening economies of sending countries are necessary in order to address future flows.
As immigration reform legislation moves to debate by the full Senate, FAN urges support of S744 which already has bipartisan support in committee. FAN then urges the House of Representatives to support a comprehensive bill without delay or weakening amendments. A bill based on the above principles will promote the common good, protect national security, respect human rights, encourage economic growth, and ensure that the United States remains true to its rich heritage of being a nation of immigrants.