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Letter: What Advocates Want in Immigration Reform (The Journal News)

To the Editor:

Re “Immigration reform advocates gather in Carmel,” Oct. 14 article:

U.S. Rep. John Hall, D-Dover Plains, says he supports comprehensive reform to fix our nation’s broken immigration system, emphasizing that any reform bill must secure our borders. Workable reform must go beyond securing the borders. It must uphold our nation’s values by treating all immigrants with dignity and fairness. It must reject the misguided idea that we can fix the immigration system with fences and raids.

Effective reform must:

  • Provide a realistic path to legalization. It’s impractical and immoral to tear apart families by deporting millions of people. Allowing immigrants to fully participate in our economy and society makes our communities stronger.
  • Reject backdoor attempts to establish a national ID card; it would endanger our privacy and result in lost job opportunities for citizens and immigrants alike.
  • End local enforcement of federal immigration law. Local police should focus on keeping our roads and neighborhoods safe.
  • Restore basic fairness to the immigration system. When we deprive the vulnerable of due process and equal protection, we erode these constitutional protections for everyone.

These sensible solutions would ease tensions that are dividing our communities. The congressman should support them.

Linda Berns
Director, Lower Hudson Valley Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union

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