New "framework for immigration reform" offers hope, says CWS CEO
The framework for immigration reform released by a group of U.S. Senators in April gives hope to the millions of non-citizens and their U.S. citizen family members who are suffering under a broken immigration system, according to Church World Service Executive Director and CEO Rev. John L. McCullough.
The framework for immigration reform released by a group of U.S. Senators in late April gives hope to the millions of non-citizens and their U.S. citizen family members who are suffering under a broken immigration system, according to Church World Service Executive Director and CEO Rev. John L. McCullough.
"We're all for playing by the rules,” McCullough said. “But America’s immigration system is broken and its rules punish the wrong people -- people who want to work legally, contribute to their new communities and keep their families together.”
According to the Senators, a new immigration system based on the framework would allow eligible undocumented immigrants, immigrants with temporary protected status, and certain others to be considered for the first step of a legalization program, an interim Lawful Prospective Immigrant status.
It would reunite separated families; create a new visa program for non-seasonal, non-high-skilled workers; extend additional protections for widows, orphans and other vulnerable populations; and address the subhuman conditions that many immigrants are forced to endure in detention facilities.
"We are concerned about the framework's overemphasis on enforcement," McCullough commented, "and will be working with the Senators to modify the very punitive enforcement provisions."
Even so, McCullough said, the framework is a “welcome contrast” to the new immigration law signed April 23 in Arizona. “What happened in Arizona isn’t a solution, it’s a shame. History alone tells us nothing good comes from heightened police action against a group of people.
“Arizona’s new law goes beyond anti-immigrant sentiments and supports racial profiling. It feels reactionary and hateful. It demonstrates the urgent need for federal legislation creating a fair, effective, humane immigration system.”
McCullough contended that comprehensive reform that supports family unity, protection for all workers, and a pathway to legal status will go far toward solving America’s “illegal immigration problem” and ensuring national security.
“Enforcement would be so much easier with an orderly, legal way for immigrants to come work or join family -- who, after all, constitute the vast majority of the undocumented,” he said.
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