MIRA welcomes the call by President Obama today and the bipartisan Gang of Eight yesterday to begin the national conversation around immigration reform. For too long, immigrant families in Missouri and around the nation have been torn apart by an unfair and broken immigration system. Immigration advocates are glad to see leaders from across the political spectrum come to the table to address the needs of the immigrant and refugee community.
As lawmakers and advocates now come together to craft legislative reform, it is imperative that any immigration reform bill be just, fair, and equitable to immigrants from all countries, of all skill levels, and of all economic backgrounds. Too many immigrant families have faced great hardship to provide for their families and participate in the American Dream, and their sacrifices and hard work must be valued. MIRA will work with our elected officials to ensure that any reform package includes a clear and attainable path to citizenship for undocumented residents, and respects the integrity of immigrant families.
Furthermore, reform must include equitable and realistic changes to the way our nation handles future migration needs. A bill must honor the contributions of immigrant workers across the skill spectrum, and guarantee their rights to a safe and fair workplace. Finally, reform must restore civil and human rights to the immigration process, ensuring safety and protection of immigrants of all statuses. Rather than diverting precious taxpayer dollars to what are often dangerous and capricious enforcement programs, a responsible reform proposal should grant the necessary resources to the agencies tasked with processing the scores of new applications we know will result from any new law.
MIRA, a coalition of faith communities, labor unions, community organizations, and services providers, looks forward to working with Missouri’s Congressional Delegation to ensure access to the American Dream for all of Missourians, and to make all feel welcome in our communities, regardless of their place of birth.