Representative Goodlatte’s immigration bill harms legal immigrants and does not resolve DACA

Members of Congress who stand for real solutions should not fall for this trap.

Goodlatte immigration bill

While the American public is having a conversation about providing relief to DREAMers, Representative Bob Goodlatte is trying to radically change America’s immigration system, and not just continue the persecution of undocumented immigrants—regardless of merit or contribution to society—but put it on steroids.

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Goodlatte is trying to take advantage of the widespread support for a solution for DREAMers, and dupe those who want to see it done, to advance a collection of cruel policies. These policies would, for example, make it more difficult for U.S. citizens to unite with their families, would target cities who have worked hard to create safer communities by refusing to ask residents their immigration status, and would criminalize immigrants for civil violations.

This is a cruel bait-and-switch.

Goodlatte immigration bill

Last month, we saw a similar attempt in the Senate. It failed. Goodlatte’s proposal is even more extreme than the one that failed in the Senate:

  1. It cuts legal immigration.
  2. It criminalizes immigrants for civil violations.
  3. It would provide temporary, three-year renewable status, with no guaranteed provision for eventual citizenship for current DACA recipients—but no actual, long-term relief.

It is rare when a piece of legislation is publicly opposed by a cross-section of voices, including Church World Service, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Cato Institute, tech leaders, and civil rights organizations like MALDEF, as well as us here at UnidosUS. Representative Goodlatte has achieved that.

Goodlatte immigration bill

Members of Congress who stand for real solutions should not fall for this trap. It’s a sick game; it needs to stop, and the only way to do that is for congressional Republican leadership to bring true common-ground proposals to the floor for a vote.

To those who say there is a need to negotiate, we could not agree more. There have been at least five bipartisan proposals to build a platform for real solutions. Instead, Goodlatte’s proposal intends to take us far away from a solution that is within reach. It is shameful, and it should be rejected.

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