Friday, April 04, 2008

Immigrants, Take Heart!


Contact: Maggie Duncan (202) 263-1332 April 2, 2008


League of Women Voters Announces Its Position on Immigration
Washington, DC– The League of Women Voters today announced its official position on immigration reform policy.

“After a lengthy and comprehensive study of this complex issue by our grassroots members,” said national League president Mary G. Wilson, “the League’s position calls for a path to citizenship for current unauthorized immigrants.”

“As part of overall immigration reform, the League supports a system for unauthorized immigrants already in the country to earn legal status, including citizenship, by paying taxes, learning English, studying civics and meeting other relevant criteria,” Wilson stated. “We oppose deportations of current unauthorized immigrants who have no history of serious criminal activity,” she said.

The full immigration policy approved by the national League’s Board of Directors in March was studied by the organization’s membership for more than eighteen months. The policy achieved member consensus through a survey of the nearly 850 local Leagues. View the full position here.

Other elements of the League’s position include support for increased enforcement personnel at borders, more effective tracking of individuals who enter the U.S., and significant fines and penalties for employers who hire unauthorized workers. Furthermore, the League will champion due process for all persons, including the right to a fair hearing, right to counsel, right of appeal and right to humane treatment. The League position sets criteria for legal admission to the U.S., including family reunification of spouses or minor children; economic, business and employment needs in the U.S.; political persecution or humanitarian crises; and studying in the U.S.

The League will use this recently adopted position to guide its advocacy work on federal legislation introduced on this very important public policy issue.

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. Membership in the League is open to men and women of all ages. With more than 88 years of experience and 850 local and state affiliates, the League is one of America’s most trusted grassroots organizations.
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