Thank You Rep. PolisPDF Version
March 28, 2011 United States House of Representatives
Dear Congressman Polis,
We are writing in response to your statement last month urging your colleagues to take action on comprehensive immigration reform. We appreciate your willingness to bring a rational and informed voice into an often unreasonable and uninformed debate. Thank you for your leadership on this issue.
The Friends Committee on National Legislation, a Quaker lobby in the public interest, has long been advocating for just and humane immigration reform, seeking a comprehensive package that would incorporate these principles:
• Create an orderly, equitable, and efficient legal immigration system;
• Protect employment and labor rights for all workers, regardless of immigration status;
• Protect human and civil rights for immigrants currently living in the United States;
• Support communities with large concentrations of immigrants and facilitate immigrant integration; and
• Align enforcement with humanitarian values.
The current emphasis on enforcement results in an imbalance of resources at the border – including military hardware and huge new detention facilities. Fewer resources are being made available to strengthen the legal immigration system. We believe the e-verify system is not yet ready for full implementation, until the Social Security system is able to correct a huge percentage of errors in its records, especially in records of individuals with “foreign” names. Comprehensive enforcement in the workplace – of wage, hour, and safety laws – will help to “level the playing field” among potential employees, making it less attractive (and possible) for employer to undercut U.S. employees by seeking immigrants at lower pay, longer hours, and less attention to health and safety concerns.
Humane immigration reform would restore integrity to the U.S. tradition of welcoming immigrants and would provide lasting solutions to a broken immigration system. Again, we thank you for your leadership and urge you to continue to be a voice for the millions on this issue.
Ruth Flower Friends Committee on National Legislation