By the Dignity Campaign
June 1, 2013
As organizations participating in the Dignity Campaign for Immigration Reform Based on Human and Labor Rights, we are very concerned about the harsh impact the Senate’s immigration reform bill will have on immigrants. Rather than ‘bring immigrants out of the shadows’ this bill will hold millions in an underclass, vulnerable to exploitation and relegated to the ranks of the working poor, with no access to basic services. Millions will have no hope of receiving permanent legal status, let alone citizenship.
We believe this bill will affect our communities for decades to come, in the same way we continue to feel the negative effects of the Immigration Reform and Control Act, passed in 1986. It is important to look at what our world will be like if the Senate’s version of immigration reform passes, to expose the negative impacts the bill will have, and especially prepare to defend our communities.
We want legal immigration status for people living in the U.S. who don’t have it, and believe this desire unites millions in this country. Diverse groups with many different experiences are all fighting today for the civil, labor and human rights of immigrants, and of all working people. This fight didn’t start with this bill – it’s been going on for generations. It won’t end with it either.
This bill, however, does not reflect the aspirations of a majority of the US population to provide permanent resident status to the undocumented. It is instead the product of corporate America, which wants to hold down the cost of labor, especially in high tech, the hotel and restaurant industry, construction, and the food growing and processing industry. Massive enforcement creates money-making opportunities through continued detention and constructing more border walls, which we all already know will not stop the flow of migration.[...]
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