Our Principles and Demands on Genuine Comprehensive Immigration Reform

NAFCON – National Alliance for Filipino Concerns is a national multi-issue alliance of Filipino organizations and individuals in the United States serving to protect the rights and welfare of Filipinos by fighting for social, economic, and racial justice and equality. At present, NAFCON members encompass over 23 cities in the United States.

 

Just and Dignified Immigration Reform Now!
Prioritize Protecting Workers and Keeping Families Together, Not Big Business and Profits!

 

Every day, countless individuals are forced to migrate to provide for themselves and their families due to political instability, extreme poverty, and lack of opportunity in their home countries. In the era of globalization, migration is not a choice but a means to survive. Im/migrants should not be labeled “illegal” and scape-goated for national security issues. Doing so demeans them and forces millions to endure dangerous jobs, work in slave- like conditions, and to live in fear of rampant raids and deportation.

 

Criminalizing migrants does not make us safer. It subjects countless workers to exploitation, abusive relationships, and prevents the reporting of crimes because of the fear of deportation. Spending billions of dollars on border militarization does not increase our security. It encourages violence and inhumane conditions in detention centers. These practices jeopardize our safety and the safety of our communities.

 

To truly make us safer and significantly improve our immigration system, we must address globalization and work to end the condition of “forced migration.” We must work to build a world where all people can thrive and support im/migrant homelands to have the conditions in which all people can live a decent life.

 

For us in the U.S., we must demand our government to end unfair trade agreements between the U.S. and developing nations like the Philippines. These agreements are designed to maximize profits for big businesses at the cost of building a sustainable and self-sufficient economy that creates opportunity and allows families to live together.

 

We must also not let our tax dollars support governments with high rates of corruption and human rights violations as is the case with the Philippines. This practice further degrades the possibility for people to build a decent life and maintain a true democracy.

 

Uphold the Dignity and Humanity of all Individuals.  Legalization For All!

 

Provide REAL pathways to legalization for all current undocumented migrants living and working in the US, free of restrictions based on country of origin, economic status, education, or length of residency.   The process should be accessible and not overly cost-prohibitive.  Culturally competent services should be provided in all languages to ensure an easy and accessible process.

 

Update the Registry Date in Sec 249 of the Immigration and Nationality Act to 2002, and impose a statue of limitations on being undocumented in the United States such that any person who has continuously lived in the U.S. for ten years be allowed to apply for permanent residency.

 

Bring U.S. immigration law in line with international human rights law by reforming asylum and refugee law to eliminate the one-year bar, add gender and sexual orientation as qualifying persecuted groups, strengthen protections for children, crime victims, and victims of human and labor trafficking.

 

End Deportations!  Stop Criminalizing & Il-legalizing Immigrants! Due Process & Equal Protections for All!

 

End Secure Communities and all policies and programs that force state and local law enforcement to engage in the enforcement of federal civil immigrations violations and require local agencies to detain immigrants for ICE and depriving them of due process under the law.

 

End mandatory detention of all migrants for immigration violations.

 

Repeal the sections of the 1996 law that imposed the three and ten years bars for unlawful presence and that redefined vast numbers of crimes as deportable offenses when committed by immigrants.

 

Make punishments of immigration crimes commensurate with comparable crimes in other areas of the law.

A misdemeanor or civil violation of immigration law should not carry with it a punishment that would be comparable to a felony in a criminal case.

Reform removal proceedings to create a right to free counsel and restore discretion to Immigration Judges to dismiss cases.

Unify and Protect Families.  Family Re-unification Now!

Families of all shapes and sizes—parents and children, siblings, cousins and grandparents, couples of various gender identity or sexual orientation–deserve to be together.  Many Filipino families have been waiting over 22 years to have their petitions for loved ones approved.  We must protect immigrant women and children escaping abuse, and refuse to allow them to be subjected to the further cruelty of deportation. Children of im/migrants should be shielded from all harm, including separation from their families and the threat of deportation.

Clear the Family Visa Backlog:  Modernize and streamline the immigration process and eliminate the backlogs for those already in the queue. Simplify the paperwork process and utilize technology to cut wait times and bureaucratic delays.

Include the language of the Uniting American Families Act that would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to allow not just spouses but permanent partners of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, including partners from various gender identities, to obtain permanent residency.

Include the language of the DREAM Act that would allow children and young adults brought here as children, and raised in the US, an immediate path to citizenship without requiring military service.

Expand the “immediate family” classification to reflect the cultural realities of non-western societies.

Value Our Labor– Workers Rights for All! End Modern-Day Slavery!  Overhaul Guest Worker Programs!

The U.S. was built with the blood and sweat of working people, many of whom where im/migrants.  All workers must have the right to organize and to be free from exploitative contracts and working conditions. Having an underclass of workers drives down wages and protections for all of us. We must address the status of guest workers, because temporary contracts serve as a tool to undermine all workers and put them in the most exploitative situation. Laws should be enforced that punish illegal recruitment agencies and unscrupulous employers and lawyers, who maximize profits by preying on vulnerable and desperate workers—workers should not be penalized for the actions of their employers.  The labor and contributions of all people, including immigrants and those who are undocumented, should be valued equally.

Guestworker programs must be over-hauled to protect workers from discrimination and exploitation, provide for equal pay such as the prevailing wage in the industry, protect the right to unionize, and uphold the right to change employers and seek permanent residency or citizenship.

Stop the use of faulty electronic employment verification systems, such as E-verify, which have unacceptably high error rates, invite discrimination and push workers into an underground economy.

Include the language of the AgJobs bill that seeks to relieve chronic farm labor shortages by supplying undocumented migrant agricultural workers a legal opportunity to enter the county and a path to legal status and eventual citizenship. It also bolsters labor rights and protects workers from exploitation.

Foster an immigration policy that strengthens the middle and working class through encouraging unionization, increased naturalization, and immigrant participation in the electoral process.

U.S. Ratification of ILO Convention concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers.
Provide legal status to victims of Human Trafficking and prosecute the perpetrators.Pass Caring for the Aging, Respecting and Educating our direct care workforce (CARE ACT).

Grant trafficked Filipino Grand Isle Ship Yard workers humanitarian visas now.

 

Stop deportation and give legal and permanent status to migrant workers in Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

 

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The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) is a national multi-issue alliance of Filipino organizations and individuals in the United States serving to protect the rights and welfare of Filipinos by fighting for social, economic, and racial justice and equality. At present, NAFCON members encompass over 23 cities in the United States.

 

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To endorse this document please Click Here. Your endorsement will be included in this document when presented to congressional representatives to inform their decisions regarding CIR.

 

If you would like to take action with us or join our alliance please contact us at info@nafconusa.org, call at 415.333.6267, and/or like National Alliance for Filipino Concerns on facebook!

Workers and keeping families together should be at the center of immigration reform, not big business and profit! Don’t let them plan our future for us. We need to plan it ourselves!


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