Date: January 29, 2007
The Honorable Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
Dear Speaker Pelosi
The National Immigration Solidarity Network is a national
coalition of multi-ethnic groups that include grassroots community-based
organizations, labor, student and youth groups, human rights
groups, and peace and global justice organizations all of
whom are united in the defense of undocumented immigrants.
We oppose immigrant bashing, we support immigrant workers
rights, we say no to sweatshop exploitation and we resist
the perpetuation of racism in our communities.
It is our hope that in the coming 2007 legislative year that
through your leadership true comprehensive immigration reform
legislation can be passed by the House of Representatives.
Our areas of concern are the following:
1) No to anti-immigrant legislation, and the criminalization
of the immigrant communities.
We oppose any immigrant legislation that will include criminalization
of the immigrant community, "enforcement-only" bill,
and the government surveillance program, such as: H.R. 4844
- Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006 ("Voter ID bill"),
H.R. 6089 - Illegal Immigrant Deterrence Act, H.R. 6090 -
Immigration Enforcement Act, and H.R. 5825 - Electronic Surveillance
Modernization Act ("Wire Tap bill"); we also oppose
any government languages and legal terms that demonize immigrant
communities, such as: "aliens" or "illegal
2) No to militarization of the border.
We oppose H.R. 6061 - Border Fence Bill that will fund a border
wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and H.R. 6091 - Border
Security Enhancement Act. It is believed that these pieces
of legislation will terrorize the border immigrant communities.
We believe this is a waste of tax payer money, forces migrants
to cross borders at more dangerous and deadly locations, and
fattens the profit margin of migrant smugglers.
3) No to the immigrant detention and deportation.
We oppose any legislation that will empower state and local
law enforcement agencies to act as Federal government to enforce
Federal immigration law, such as the CLEAR Act or legislation
that authorize indefinite immigrant detention, speedy deportation
and immigrant raids. We want the Congress to repeal these
laws. We demand an improvement of the conditions of current
immigrant detention facilities, we oppose future funding to
build immigrant detention centers.
4) No to the guest worker program.
We are against an immigrant worker visa program that creates
a two-tiered labor system, allowing corporations to pay lower
wages to the visa workers, without offering strong labor protections
to them including the right to change jobs, and no chance
to gain U.S. citizenship.
5) No to employer sanction and "no match" letters.
We oppose any legislation to punish hard working undocumented
workers because of their immigration status, and we want the
Congress to repeal the employer sanction law. Historically
it is not the employers that are punished by the law, but
rather immigrant workers themselves. We also oppose 'No-Match'
letter that could become de facto immigration enforcement
tools since employers could use 'No-Match' Social Security
letters to fire immigrants.
6) Yes to a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
We support one tiered legislation that would allow undocumented
immigrants in the United States to gain legal status within
a reasonable amount of time with an opportunity for citizenship.
7) Yes to speedy family reunification.
We support legislation that provides additional visa numbers
and eliminates long and inhumane family backlogs. We support
the elimination of the 3 and 10 year bars for family members
of citizens and permanent residents. We support the reinstatement
of 245(i) adjustment inside the United States.
8) Yes to civil rights and humane immigration law.
Undocumented immigrants DO pay taxes, but are not eligible
to receive any government benefits and assistance, we support
legislation that would allow undocumented immigrants in the
United States to receive government assistance and medical
benefits, and guarantee of civil rights and legal assistance
when immigrants are detained at immigration detention facility.
9) Yes to labor rights and living wages for all workers.
We support legislation which strengthens the enforcement of
existing labor laws to protect immigrant workers rights. We
support the right of workers to establish and join a union
REGARDLESS of immigration status. It is important that undocumented
immigrants do not face harassment or threats from the workplace
because they are fighting for their labor rights and right
to join the union.
10) Yes to the DREAM Act and LGBT immigrant legislation.
We support reintroduction of the DREAM Act and the extension
of benefits to lesbian-gay-bi-sexual-transgender (LGBT) families
within the family reunification laws, We support the passage
of the Uniting American Families Act, and the lifting of the
HIV ban on immigration.
Immigration became a divisive, wedge issue under the Republican
leadership. With this new Democratic Congress and with you
at the helm we believe that a balanced civil dialog can be
opened. It is our hope that the suggestions we have offered
can be incorporated to draft a truly compassionate piece of
immigration legislation that will benefit millions of hard
working immigrants in this country.
National Immigrant Solidarity Network