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SEIU Principles for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

SEIU believes in a society that values the contributions of aspiring citizens and recognizes the integral role that new Americans play in our past, present and future. With voters demanding that our broken immigration system be fixed, the time has arrived for President Obama and Congress to enact Common-Sense Immigration Reform.

SEIU calls on Congress to pass in 2013 practical comprehensive immigration reform that comports with our national values; provides a clear roadmap to citizenship for hard-working, taxpaying immigrants; builds the strength and unity of working people; keeps families together; and guarantees the same rights, obligations, and basic fairness for all workers, no matter where they come from. Common-sense immigration reform must include:

Earned Legalization with a Roadmap to Citizenship

A realistic and expeditious mechanism whereby aspiring citizens in America can get right with the law and earn a clear and direct path to citizenship. With 11 million aspiring Americans willing to fully contribute to our nation and economy, it is in our country's best interest to secure a roadmap to citizenship without unreasonable barriers.

Protecting All Working Families

A new immigration system must allow for future workers to come to the U.S. in a safe, legal and orderly manner. Any new worker visa programs must provide for strict compliance with U.S. labor standards; portability of visas; and the ability for workers to petition for permanent status. Our economy and our country as a whole are stronger when all American and future workers are protected from discrimination and exploitation.

America's Future Immigration

A 21st century immigration system must address the backlog of the current visa system while safeguarding fair and reasonable measures to strengthen respect for our laws as we secure family unity and seek to invite new immigrants from diverse sectors of the world. It is our moral imperative to construct a workable and humane immigration system that will cultivate contributions from future immigrants and support family unity.

Safe Borders

The most realistic way to secure our borders and restore respect for law is to provide an opportunity for aspiring citizens to legalize their status and to have safe and orderly channels for future immigrants to enter our nation legally. Internal and border law enforcement should be smart and balanced, focusing on preventing criminals, drug cartels and other bad actors from entering the U.S. or engaging in criminal activities.

SEIU looks forward to the president's leadership on comprehensive immigration reform and on Congress to act in 2013. This is the right thing to do for America, our economy, our communities, and for workers and our families.