Supporting Humane Immigration Policies

Passed 11/06/2006

WHEREAS the United States of America is a land of immigrants that has, despite a history of frequent discrimination toward arriving and established cultures, grown and prospered through people seeking a better life, and

WHEREAS our current immigration system allows undocumented immigrants from around the world to be exploited, leaves United States governmental institutions unprepared to serve this growing population without depriving our own citizens and legal residents in need, and does not address new security concerns that make tracking of illegal immigration more important than ever, and

WHEREAS the United States was founded on the rule of law, and those laws should be enforced, but when those laws are harmful to its citizens or the world, they should be reexamined and changed,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley (DP/SFV) supports a comprehensive overhaul of our nation’s immigration policy based on the following principles:

— The United States shall be a good neighbor by promoting economic growth, human rights, and living wages for workers in all nations, decreasing the incentive for illegal immigration.

— Where practical, the path for legal immigration shall be retooled to become more timely, convenient, and navigable for law-abiding applicants.

— It shall be recognized that denial of social services like education and health care to undocumented immigrants or their children is both unconstitutional and detrimental to the health and safety of our residents.

— Businesses shall be financially or criminally penalized for employing undocumented workers when that business pays substandard wages, fosters lower wages or a loss of jobs for legal residents, allows abusive working conditions, circumscribes American tax law, or facilitates further law-breaking.

— Undocumented workers currently in the country shall be offered a pathway to permanent residency and citizenship, although one more strenuous than for those outside the country waiting to enter legally. Requirements might include: required employment and taxpaying, educational requirements that include learning the English language, required health and auto insurance, and a regular check-in with immigration authorities. Failure to fulfill these requirements shall be grounds for deportation. These requirements would cease once citizenship was granted.

— The undocumented children of immigrants shall be offered additional pathways to citizenship, including earning a post-high school degree, or serving in the military or another form of public service for a specified period.

— Fortifying the borders shall be recognized as a humane and necessary means of preventing dangerous crossings by future immigrants. This fortification might include increased fencing or new technologies, better vetting at our airports and seaports, and a reliable system of following up on students and others here on temporary visa, and shall be paid for, in part, with revenue collected through business penalties, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that DP/SFV calls upon our local legislators to support legislation that upholds these principles, and oppose legislation that is inhumane.