On the heels of our large mobilization where we took over 260 community members to Washington D.C on April 10th to rally for the passing of a Comprehensive Immigration Reform. We here in Juntos applaud the introduction of the Senate’s bill on comprehensive immigration reform today April 17th and recognize the historic first step it is towards a just and humane policy reform.
In particular, we are in support of a bill that includes a pathway to citizenship for our community and we look forward to working with other organizations and elected officials to improve on it and to ensure that any reform that passes is inclusive of all of our community, ends unjust deportations, and offers strong worker protections.
We in Juntos do have some concerns of what has been proposed so far. To begin, we are concerned with the amount of people who will not qualify due to unjust and unfair restrictions. As it stands right now thousands of families will still be left out of this reform and will be forced to live further in the shadows. Also, the 13 year wait to full citizenship is far too long, especially for families who have already lived and contributed to our society for many years.
At a time in Philadelphia when our schools are closing due to insufficient funds we believe a proposal that includes $5 billion dollars spent on a border that has been the most secure since the founding of our nation is excessive and those funds could be better used to keep schools open, improve public education, and create pathways to college for our youth.
We in Juntos have made a commitment to fight for a reform that is inclusive of the 11 million undocumented individuals in this country that leads to full citizenship and allows for our people to have a voice in the voting structure of this nation. We will also ensure that we prioritize families over spending more money on border enforcement and the policing of our community. In addition, nowhere in this reform debate does either party make mention of the US foreign policies or the multi-national corporations that decimate the economy of the Global South and causes the very migration they wish to curtail. Families migrate for the very sake of survival; to escape war and economic devastation. We must address these issues if we want to have true immigration reform.
Every day that we do not take action to create a fair policy 1,100 families are being torn apart through unjust deportations. We will continue to fight until we see a reform that will put an end to these conditions for our families. This bill is a step in the right direction but leaves much room for improvement and we commit to organize until those improvements occur.
Below are links to local and national media coverage and photos of the historic April 10th mobilization