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ADL Resolution on Immigration Reform

As adopted at ADL's National Executive Committee Meeting, February 11, 2006 in Palm Beach, Florida:

WHEREAS, the Anti-Defamation League (“ADL”) has a traditional interest in immigration policy and the humanitarian and national security issues that are a part of any immigration policy reform; and 

WHEREAS, ADL has strongly supported the actions of the President and Congress to bar access to terrorists and their supporters who have sought to exploit our nation’s immigration system; and 

WHEREAS, immigration policy must take into consideration and strive to protect civil and human rights; and

WHEREAS, immigration reform should not be influenced by misinformation, rumors, stereotypes and bigotry; and

WHEREAS, the growing population of undocumented migrants with no legal status present in the U.S. poses both security and civil rights problems; and

WHEREAS, effective comprehensive immigration reform must include border security screening enhancements, the use of improved data bases, more extensive international and federal-state-local coordination, and more effective visa tracking of aliens permitted to enter the country; and

WHEREAS, efforts to address the problem in the past – which have focused on “enforcement only” solutions without creating legal channels for workers needed by the U.S. economy – have proven ineffective; and

WHEREAS, the current chaotic system where roughly one and a half million persons a year embark on a dangerous, illegal journey to attempt to cross the border fosters an environment in which smugglers and traffickers flourish, and in which extremist groups foment anti-foreigner bigotry and private vigilante groups engage in confrontation and violence; and

WHEREAS, mass deportations of the 9 to 11 million undocumented immigrants living, working, and going to school in our midst would be unrealistic, unworkable and contrary to our values; and

WHEREAS, an orderly system of authorized entry for temporary foreign workers could replace the current illegal flow with a system which can regulate, track, and monitor legal workers; and

WHEREAS, we are concerned about the future of the students brought here as children and educated here who face barriers to higher education and the accompanying opportunity to be an integrated, contributing part of their community; and

WHEREAS, U.S. policy has made it a priority for immigrant families to remain together, but current backlogs in the system have kept families separated for many years, and in some cases have split families apart.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that ADL supports efforts to reduce the number of undocumented migrants in the U.S. in a comprehensive manner that will serve America’s security, humanitarian, and economic interests and help promote family reunification. ADL will support immigration reform legislation that adheres to ADL’s established principles in addressing the following:

  • Human Rights. Immigration reform legislation must recognize and protect the basic human rights of immigrants and must support the humane treatment of undocumented persons as part of our tradition of fighting bias, prejudice, bigotry and hate.
  • Border Control. Immigration reform should involve a broad border security strategy which includes fair and humane treatment of those who enter or attempt to enter the United States.
  • Earned Legalization. ADL supports the crafting of a path to legalization to immigrants who are already contributing to this country to regularize their immigration status upon satisfaction of reasonable criteria and, over time, pursue an option to become lawful permanent residents and eventually United States citizens.
  • Temporary Worker Program. Because our economy will continue to attract and to depend on foreign workers, a temporary worker program should be developed that takes into consideration fairness and humane treatment of the participants.
  • Education and Human Services. ADL supports equal access to available human services, including healthcare and public education, without discrimination based on immigration status. For example, ADL supports legislation which would allow undocumented minor students raised and educated here the opportunity to gain access to post-secondary education assistance and to move towards legal status based on certain criteria. 
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