Comprehensive immigration reform

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Our Principles for Immigration Reform
  • Bring millions of hard working undocumented immigrants and their children out of the shadows and provide them a path to citizenship.
  • Keep families together by preserving the family immigration system, eliminating the immigration backlogs, stopping mandatory and indefinite detentions and cruel deportations for minor infractions.
  • Protect all workers regardless of their immigration status.
  • Allow students to reach their full potential through access to college.
  • Protect and restore basic rights and liberties, including allowing every person to have their day in court.
  • Promote the social, economic, and political integration of immigrants.

Why Comprehensive Immigration Reform Works

  • Path to Citizenship - The Korean American community numbers 1.34 million; 200,000 Korean Americans are undocumented. AAPIs (Asian American & Pacific Islanders) make up approximately 10% of the total undocumented population.
  • Keep Families Together - Family and employment immigration are the two primary means of entry to the U.S. for Korean Americans. Close to 77,000 are caught in the backlogs, many waiting decades to bring family members into the country.
  • Protect Workers’ Rights - As a predominantly immigrant work force with a significant population that are limited English proficient, the protection of rights for workers and employers is fundamental. It is estimated that 18.8 million (14%) of the U.S. workforce are immigrants, and 4.9 million (26%) of them are from Asia. One-third of all Korean American families are work in or operate a small business.
  • Equal Opportunity for All Youth - Every year, 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school unable to realize their potential and fully participate in American society. Accurate counts of the Korean American undocumented youth population are not available. What is known is that 20% of Korean Americans are under the age of 18, 60% of Korean American youth are U.S. born citizens, and 15% of Korean Americans are undocumented.
  • Due Process - Basic due process rights and civil liberties to individuals are important for Korean Americans. AAPIs (Asian American & Pacific Islanders) account for about 2% of total deportations and detention and, as a racial minority they face additional and different challenges, such as language barriers, social isolation and lack of access to cultural competent treatment or services. AAPIs (Asian American & Pacific Islanders) detainees and their families have reported that they make choices without understanding their rights or have difficulty requesting medical attention because of the lack of language access.
  • Promote Integration – 469,991(36%) of Korean American are registered voters. Statistics show that when registered, Korean Americans demonstrate high rates of continued political participation. The Korean American citizen voting age population, according to the 2000 Census, is 529,692. That number is expected to increase tremendously, therefore representing the political potential of Korean Americans.

2013 Senate Immigration Reform Bill

Bill Includes DREAM Act leagalization. Dreamers have the same provisional status as other “undocumented” immigrants. They must apply for RPI status. The requirements for DREAMers to get RPI status are the same as for the others.

To adjust from RPI to LPR status under the DREAM provisions, s/he must: Have been in RPI status for at least 5 years. Have come to the U.S. at age 15 or younger. Have a U.S. high school diploma or GED certificate. Meet educational or military requirements: Have college degree, or Have finished two years of higher education, or Have served in military for four or more years. Have a compelling circumstances exception. Demonstrate understanding of English and basic knowledge of U.S history and civics Exception for individuals with learning disability.

DREAM Advantages Fast Track and Lower Penalty Fees DREAMers must be in RPI status for 5 years, but that time counts toward naturalization. At the end of 5 years in RPI status, DREAMers can apply for LPR card AND immediately apply for citizenship.

DREAMers do NOT have to pay the $1, 000 penalty for getting RPI status or the $1,000 penalty for LPR status.

Other DREAM provisions: Waiver for certain Dreamers who have been deported. They would be able to come back and access the road to legalization. Makes it easier for states to give in-state tuition for everyone regardless of immigration status. Possible Advantages for DACAmented youth' DACAmented youth may be granted RPI status immediately after passing a background check UNLESS person has engaged in conduct that would make him/her ineligible.

DHS may EXEMPT DACAmented youth from having to pay the RPI application fee.

Amendments' Blumenthal 1: “Little DREAMers Amendment:” -Would allow children who are under age 18 at the time they apply for legal permanent resident status and were brought to the U.S. when they were under age 16 to access the five year road to citizenship available to DREAMers.

- Must meet all the requirements of the DREAM Act except the high school graduation/GED requirement and the college/military requirement.

Hirono 21: Makes pre-16 entrant RPI’s eligible for federal student aid.

Blumenthal 12: Allows pre-16 entrants who join the U.S military to naturalize via the expedited naturalization provisions for those serving in the armed forces.

Grassley 7: Creates additional barriers along the road to citizenship by: -Removing the penalty exemptions for people who are DREAM Act eligible.

-Removing language stating that individuals with RPI status are “admitted” and “lawfully present.”

-Restricting the fulfillment of the consistent employment requirement through educational enrollment to RPI applicants age 28 and under.

2005 Text

With an undocumented population of more than 10 million people, growing public awareness that the immigration system is broken and introduction of the bipartisan McCain-Kennedy bill (Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act of 2005), immigrant communities have an unprecedented opportunity to make a difference in the enactment of comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) legislation in the coming year.

We can lead the debate and ensure that any immigration reform bill that passes include:

  • A path to legal permanent residency for hard-working immigrants who are now forced to live and work in the shadows;
  • Reform that reunite families by reducing the immigration backlogs;
  • A plan to manage the future flow of migrant workers that is designed to prevent abuse and exploitation, and that allows those who grow roots here to eventually apply for permanent residency;
  • Features that strengthen and protect worker rights so that our immigration laws can no longer be used as a tool to reduce wages and working standards;
  • Provisions to defend and protect immigrants civil liberties and civil rights; and
  • Immigration relief for undocumented students who have grown up in this country and farmworkers whose work feed our nation.
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