On 14 October 2009, Congressman Luis Gutíerrez of Illinois released a set of principles which he hopes will be incorporated into any Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) package. As advocates for immigrants, the attorneys at the Los Angeles-based immigration Fong & Aquino, we watch closely any progress on CIR.
Central to his approach are:
1. a rational and humane approach to resolving or legalizing the status of the undocumented population,
2. a mechanism to protect US and legal immigrant workers,
3. allocation of sufficient visas to stop immigrants from trying to "cut in line" or "jump the queue" and get to America earlier but illegally,
4. enhancements to protect the US homeland,
5. establish a wise border enforcement policy that reflects America's needs and values,
6. keeping together and unifying American families,
7. promotion of immigrant integration,
8. inclusion of the DREAM Act and AgJobs bill, and
9. protection of fundamental rights.
Representative Gutíerrez' statement of principles is an excellent first step as the debate over CIR begins. --jcf