• House Leaders Cannot "Put Their Heads in the Sand"

    Washington, D.C.  – The League of Women Voters today hailed Senate passage of the comprehensive immigration reform bill.  "There are some troublesome items in the bill," said Elisabeth MacNamara, President of the League of Women Voters of the U.S., "but overall it is a positive step forward."

    "The bill provides a path for immigrants to earn citizenship, and that is the single most important element of the bill," MacNamara said.  "We believe it is essential that all in the U.S. have a clear path to the duties and responsibilities of citizenship in order to strengthen our nation and society.  A dangerous precedent would be created if Congress were to create a large new subclass of people in the U.S. -- those who live here permanently but who are not required to carry the full duties and responsibilities of citizenship," according to MacNamara.

    "Citizenship is the fundamental sign of allegiance to the U.S., our Constitution, and our way of life," MacNamara stated. "In order to become citizens, immigrants must learn about our system of government, understand the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and swear allegiance to the United States of America.  These are fundamental steps to integration in American society, and it is in the interests of current citizens, immigrants and future generations that we build one nation.  Allowing or even requiring currently undocumented persons to gain permanent residency without becoming citizens will create a large group within the U.S. who stand apart and are neither allowed nor required to fully commit or contribute to our society." 

    "The League believes that comprehensive immigration reform must include an efficient, expeditious system for legal entry into the United States, improved safeguards against illegal immigration, and reforms that meet the economic, business and employment needs of the U.S.," said MacNamara.

    "The Senate bill aims to achieve these fundamental goals," MacNamara said. "Speaker Boehner and the House Leadership should not just put their heads in the sand and hope comprehensive immigration reform will go away."

    "The League calls on Speaker John Boehner and the full House of Representatives to move ahead with comprehensive immigration reform legislation," MacNamara concluded.   

    Contact:        

    Kelly Ceballos
    kceballos@lwv.org
    202-263-1331

    Abstract for Members Only: 
    The League of Women Voters today hailed Senate passage of the comprehensive immigration reform bill. "There are some troublesome items in the bill," said Elisabeth MacNamara, President of the League of Women Voters of the U.S., "but overall it is a positive step forward."
  • The League of Women Voters of California State Convention

    This moment of time in our nation’s history is ripe with opportunity to advance the promise of America or turn away from it. As a nation rooted in the immigrant experience, shall we embrace a path to citizenship?

  • This post is a part of the YWCA USA’s What Women Want blog carnival about immigration reform.

  • The League sent a letter to the U.S. House on May 16, 2013 regarding immigration reform and citizenship in a Democracy.

  • The Senate Judiciary Committee is taking the first steps to move legislation on immigration reform to the Senate floor. The committee is considering hundreds of amendments to S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013.

  • The League sent a letter to the U.S. Senate on April 18, 2013 regarding immigration reform and citizenship in a Democracy.

  • This background paper was produced as part of the League's two-year (2006-2008) study of Immigration aimed at helping communities understand the implications of immigration at the local, state, and federal level. At the bottom of each paper is a link to a downloadable PDF version. "...“Family reunification has long been a cornerstone of both American law and INS practice,” notes Doris Meissner, former Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Many early immigrants to America, particularly those fleeing religious or political persecution in their homelands, migrated here as families. In subsequent centuries, a head of household often came first to “test the waters” of the new land. Prior to 1965, the timeliness of family reunification in the U.S. depended almost entirely on how long it took for this first family member to secure a job and shelter, and save funds for passage to the United States for spouse and children. ..."
  • In last night’s State of the Union (SOTU) address, President Obama addressed many crucial issues affecting our country. His remarks touched on some of the League’s priority issues including voting rights, climate change, immigration and gun violence.

  • Immigration Policy in the 21st Century was the topic of a three-person panel discussion at the LWVUS Council 2007. The panel featured: Donald Kerwin, Executive Director, Catholic Legal Immigration Network; Doris Meissner, Senior Fellow, Migration Policy Institute; and Frank Sharry, Executive Director of National Immigration Forum.

  • Leagues File Amicus Brief in lawsuit challening AZ immigration law

    The League of Women Voters of Arizona and the League of Women Voters of the U.S. joined this lawsuit challenging the recently-enacted SB 1070 in Arizona, purported to be an attempt to curb illegal immigration, that “will subject United States citizens and legal residents who are members of racial and ethnic minority groups, and particularly those who may be perceived to be somehow ‘foreign,’ to the disruption, stress, and humiliation of detention and interrogation.”

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