Indian American lawmaker joins group seeking just, humane system centered on family unity, promoting diversity.
A group of progressive lawmakers led by Indian American Pramila Jayapal wants the incoming Biden-Harris administration to reverse Trump’s “xenophobic policies” and transform US immigration system into a just and humane one.
The proposed system centered on family unity, promoting and preserving diversity was outlined in a “Roadmap to Freedom Resolution,” according to media release issued by Jayapal.
Jayapal and House colleagues Jesús “Chuy” García, Veronica Escobar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Judy Chu, and Yvette Clarke joined FIRM Action — the nation’s largest immigrant rights network — in announcing the Roadmap.
The resolution outlining “a progressive vision to transform the immigration system to one that is focused on dignity and rooted in the needs and lives of impacted people,” will be introduced at the beginning of the 117th Congress.
This immigration reform proposal develops and implements a Roadmap to Freedom by promoting citizenship, protecting and strengthening a fair process centered on family unity, promoting and preserving diversity and establishing a just, humane immigration system, the group said.
Additionally, it ensures federal immigration agencies are fair and accountable, establishes a humane and effective border policy, recognizes the value of all work and promotes healthy communities, it added.
The resolution also promotes social, civil and economic integration while modernizing and strengthening humanitarian pathways to the US while addressing root causes of migration.
“As a lifelong immigrant rights organizer and one of only 14 naturalized citizens serving in Congress, I know that we must do far more than simply reverse the harmful, xenophobic policies of the Trump Administration that inflicted maximum cruelty on immigrants and families,” said the Indian American lawmaker said.
“Our immigration system has been broken for decades, and we must finally reform it in a humane way that focuses on respect, dignity, family unity and real opportunity for all immigrants”
Jayapal said she was “proud to work alongside FIRM Action and my colleagues in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus” in presenting the “Roadmap to Freedom.”
She described it “as a bold, progressive vision for immigration reform that is fair, equitable, centers family unity and humanitarian protections, combats systemic injustices and works for everyone.”
“Voters delivered a clear political and moral mandate this election season for the incoming administration to act boldly and quickly on immigration and racial justice,” the release said.
“Immigrants have endured four painful years of attacks on our communities, and the ongoing pandemic has further heightened the urgency to protect them,” it said.
The Roadmap to Freedom Resolution is the North Star for the FIRM Action Network following its recent launch of a campaign for executive and legislative action on immigration, the release said.
“FIRM Action worked for years to reimagine what immigration in our country should and shouldn’t be, especially after watching the callousness and disregard for human life of the Trump administration,” said Lawrence Benito, FIRM Action co-chair and executive director of ICIRR Action.
“Congresswoman Jayapal has been a champion of immigrant families and progressive values since before taking office and we are honored to have worked with her on the Roadmap to Freedom Resolution. Immigrant families can’t wait any longer and solutions need to be rooted in our lived experience.”
“The introduction of the Resolution takes us one step closer to our vision of an immigration system that respects immigrant families and embodies our best values as a country,” added Lorella Praeli, president of Community Change Action.
This comprehensive proposal was developed in close consultation with grassroots groups, immigration organizers, labor advocates, civil rights leaders and racial justice activists.
The Members of Congress who are co-leading the resolution represent the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus, and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, the release said.
The Roadmap works to address the diverse needs of every community while reflecting the diversity of America’s immigrant community.
Ultimately, it re-establishes the US as a beacon of hope and humanitarian protection for those seeking safety on our shores and achieves a vision of an immigration system that works for all, the release said.
It proposes to do so by:
- Ensuring a fair immigration process that establishes a roadmap to citizenship for 11 million people while centering family unity and promoting and preserves diversity
- Welcoming immigrants by supporting integration efforts and ensuring access to critical public services
- Creating a just, humane way to uphold immigration laws, including by investing in humane, community-based alternatives to detention and creating scalable consequences for enforcement. This is possible by modernizing the system, ensuring judges have the ability to exercise discretion, and having reasonable, more humane options on the table
- Investing in border policy that protects the rights of communities in the borderlands and ends the mass militarization of the region
- Understanding that we must uphold the rights of all workers and that increasing protections for immigrant workers will lift up all workers—immigrant and American-born alike.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Sen. Kamala Harris bills to place moratorium on ICE detention centers (May 16, 2018)