Yesterday, the UFCW, along with a long list of other immigrants’ rights, civil rights, and faith-based organizations, wrote to President Obama and Congress to call for protections of a family-based immigration system in the ongoing fight for immigration reform legislation.
Currently, some members of the senate are writing an immigration bill that would severely limit access to green cards for extended family members of current American citizens. Senator Lindsay Graham, R-SC, who is part of a bipartisan senate committee for immigration reform, “indicated that he would prefer to eliminate” the current immigration clauses that allow citizens to petition for their married children and siblings to be brought to the U.S.
The UFCW, along with countless other organizations, believes that “families belong together”, no matter what their immigration status. Also, we believe that family relationships cannot be summed up by name – aunts and uncles can be just as close to someone as mothers and fathers, and cousins can be like brothers and sisters. It is unfair that someone be denied a green card simply because their title isn’t included in the traditional nuclear family unit.
Written in the letter to Congress and President Obama, is the fact that “as of November 2012, nearly 4.3 million loved ones are waiting in the family visa backlogs.” Thousands of people from Mexico, China and other Asian countries, and elsewhere around the world have been waiting for years to be reunited with loved ones in the U.S. Also noted, was the fact that “strengthening the current family-based immigration system is good for our economy and is commonsense policy for the United States.” Turning away from a family-based system to focus on the economy doesn’t make sense, because, as said in the letter:
“A robust family-based immigration has significant economic benefits, especially for long-term economic growth of the United States. Family-based immigrants foster innovation and development of new businesses, particularly small and medium-sized businesses that would not otherwise exist, creating jobs for American workers and raising revenues for our recovering economy. Families also provide support and care for young children and the elderly, allowing others to focus on building the businesses and contributing to American society.”
UFCW and our allies hope that the President and Congress will uphold the family-based values that America was built on, and do what is right for working America.