DEMOCRATIC PARTY PLATFORM SUGGESTIONS PART 3: IMMIGRATION

OP ED | By: US Renew Democracy News | October 16, 2023
Photo taken from: npr.org

This is the 3rd in a series of US RENEW DEMOCRACY NEWS recommendations of platform positions for use by 2024 Democratic Party candidates.

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US immigration policy is in disarray. The number of immigrants crossing our border and coming not just to border states but to practically everywhere in the country is growing. The Republicans are sure to try and target immigration as a major issue in the 2024 elections. To head off their assault Democrats must take the lead in advocating for  immigration reform legislation; if not comprehensive reform (which may be difficult because there are so many moving parts) at least reform that addresses the missing pieces in the current system.. How should they do it? What should they emphasize? US RENEW NEWS makes the following suggestions.

 

1. Emphasize the we are a nation of immigrants; that all of us are descendants of people from other countries, many of who whom were fleeing war, political and religious persecution; that immigrants are part of the fabric of American life.

 

2. Emphasize that and that the United states needs to keep its doors open as a beacon of hope and opportunity for those living in less fortunate circumstances than we are; that we are living in a time of global upheaval where people are being uprooted from their lands because of war, conflict, authoritarian rule, climate change and other factors.

 

3. Emphasize that our country’s growth and vitality is dependent on the hard-work and entrepreneurial spirit of immigrants; that there are many occupational needs going unfulfilled that immigrants have and can provide.

 

4. Emphasize that immigration has limits; that we cannot accept everyone all the time all at once; that we need to have an orderly fair and just process for admitting people and giving them opportunities to earn their citizenship; and that the process is dependent in large part on how many immigrants we can reasonably support.

 

5. That immigration cannot be used as a means to house terrorists, criminals, and human rights abusers.

 

6. That immigration is a combined responsibility of federal state and local governments, with the federal government making most policies, establishing immigration laws, and assisting the states in their efforts to support the economic and social needs of the newly arrived.

 

7. States that intentionally interfere with the immigration efforts of other states, without their permission, are doing so illegally are in conflict with federal policy, and should be fined.

 

8. In these times federal immigration aid to states needs to be greatly and rapidly increased.

 

9. Federal and state governments need to greatly and rapidly increase the  numbers of professionals handling immigration affairs, including border patrol officers, judges, social workers, and others. These professionals need to be added in order to shorten the time required to process asylum seekers and immigrant requests, and care and service immigrants to help ensure their smooth transition into American life.

 

10. Emphasize the distinction between documented and undocumented immigrants, and take steps needed to reduce the numbers of undocumented immigrants.

 

11. Temporary housing and shelter for immigrants needs to be adequate, humane and meet basic health and safety standards. Children without parents or guardians need to be provided with foster care.

 

12. Waiting times to seek approval or disapproval for entry need to be kept to a minimum; as does the time before a newly arrived documented immigrant can work and be eligible for government benefits.

 

13. Dreamers, the children of immigrants, born outside the US but who arrived in the US before the age of 16, need to be granted access to citizenship as soon as possible.

 

14. Priority for work visas should continue to be granted to immigrants with needed job and technical skills.

 

15. The United States needs to do more to coordinate its immigration policy with other countries. For example, immigrants should be encouraged to apply for entry to the US in their country of origin, if that country has a US embassy.

 

16. The US needs to work to strengthen global immigration laws and governance, so that immigration becomes a shared responsibility of all countries.

 

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