City supports ‘common sense’ immigration reform

On Jan. 24, 2013, the City’s Intergovernmental Relations Committee, which is composed of all 13 City Council members, unanimously added to the City’s federal legislative agenda a set of principles for federal immigration reform. Many of these principles are directly reflected in the comprehensive immigration-reform package that President Obama proposed in Las Vegas today.

The full City Council will vote formally on Friday, Feb. 1 to include these principles in the City’s federal legislative agenda.

The principles that the City recommends that the President and Congress consider include:

  1. Establish a “common sense” immigration system for undocumented immigrants. The system should be a roadmap to permanent residency and eventual citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants. The roadmap could include registration, background checks, and knowledge of American civics, the economy and English.
  2. Protect the unity and sanctity of the family, including the families of bi-national and same-sex couples, by reducing the family backlogs and keeping spouses, parents and children together.
  3. End the exploitation of U.S. and immigrant workers by providing sufficient, safe, and legal avenues for foreign workers to fill legitimate gaps in our workforce, with full labor rights, protection from discrimination, and a reasonable path to permanency that lifts up wages and working conditions for all workers and their families;
  4. Build on the extraordinary success of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and incorporates DREAMers—those who were brought to the U.S. at a young age and are Americans but for a piece of paper—into the mainstream of life in the United States through a path to citizenship so that America benefits from their scholastic achievements, military service and pursuit of their dreams.

On Jan. 24, the City’s Intergovernmental Relations Committee also approved adding to the City’s state legislative agenda the following principles for state immigration reform:

  1. In-state tuition for all immigrant students graduating from Minnesota high schools
  2. State financial aid for all immigrant students graduating from Minnesota high schools
  3. Authorization to use private funds to create scholarships for undocumented students in public college and universities and,
  4. Drivers licenses for Minnesota residents regardless of their immigration status.

 

Published Jan. 29, 2013