In accordance with its mission, the Center for Rural Affairs supports comprehensive federal legislation to address immigration. Such comprehensive legislation should include:
- An opportunity for undocumented immigrants who fulfill the requirements for obtaining citizenship to remain in the US as citizens.
- A more robust process for legal immigration that shortens the timeline and waiting list for legal immigration and creates clear avenues for future immigrants.
- Practical and appropriate limits as determined by an independent commission on the number of manually skilled workers allowed to immigrate legally each year that are higher than the current limit of 10,000 per year, but sufficient to prevent downward pressure on wages of workers in manually skilled sectors.
- More effective enforcement of existing wage and labor laws and of the prohibition on hiring undocumented immigrants and falsely classifying them as independent contractors.
The Center opposes state and local legislation to impose responsibility of immigration law on state and local law enforcement agencies.
In addition, we strongly support and encourage efforts to fully engage immigrants in rural communities and American democracy through support for minority business development, voter registration, leadership development and other means. Such approaches bring people together and build community whereas the aforementioned state and local immigration proposals are dividing people and weakening communities.
Adopted June 2013
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