July 22, 2013 – Washington – AJC, the global Jewish advocacy organization, praised the Latino-Jewish Congressional Caucus initiative, announced today, of declaring a set of principles on immigration reform.
“Latino and Jewish communities in the U.S. share interests and values that have been defined by their unique immigrant experiences which often navigate diverse identities, nationalities and cultures,” states the principles. “As longtime partners on these issues, we call for pragmatic common-sense solutions to fix our immigration system.” The principles detail contours of what both communities view as critical elements of immigration reform legislation.
The caucus co-chairs issued the principles document in an effort to build support for passage by the House of Representatives of the pending immigration reform bill. The Senate, with a strong bipartisan vote, adopted a similar immigration reform measure in June.
“The Latino-Jewish Congressional Caucus initiative is critically important, emphasizing that both communities in the U.S. have been actively advocating for long overdue immigration reform,” said Dina Siegel Vann, director of AJC’s Latino and Latin American Institute.
The establishment of the Latino-Jewish Congressional Caucus two years ago was strongly supported by AJC’s Latino and Latin America Institute. Twenty-five members of the U.S. House of Representatives have joined the caucus, including its co-chairs, Reps Xavier Becerra (D.CA), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ileana Ros Lehtinen (R.FL) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fl).
The full text of the principles follows:
Latino – Jewish Congressional Caucus Principles on Immigration Reform
Latino and Jewish communities in the U.S. share interests and values that have been defined by their unique immigrant experiences which often navigate diverse identities, nationalities and cultures.
In both communities, immigrants resettled in the United States with the hope of securing a better future for their families. Both Jewish and Latino immigrants have struggled to overcome discrimination and find a balance between integrating into the American culture and preserving their rich heritage. Our communities have built strong coalitions across a number of issues, based on this common historical experience; nowhere is that more evident than in our mutual work on immigration issues and reforming our nation’s broken immigration system.
As longtime partners on these issues, we call for pragmatic common-sense solutions to fix our immigration system in a way that meets our nation’s economic needs, protects those who flee persecution, reflects our shared commitment to security, justice, equal opportunity, family unification, immigrant integration and human dignity.
We rely on our mutual traditions to support reform that ensures that America’s opportunities and freedoms are accessible to all. Thus, we commit to bipartisan immigration reform legislation that includes:
· A viable and efficient pathway to earned citizenship for undocumented immigrants;
· Reforms to address both future flows and the backlogs in our current immigration system, acknowledging the economic, social and cultural contributions of immigrant workers and their families;
· Reforms that are consistent with civil, constitutional and basic human rights;
· An increased commitment to support the civic and economic integration of all immigrants; and
· Smart, effective and humane enforcement measures that bolster national and border security.
Comprehensive immigration reform is not just about immigrants, it’s about us: Latinos, Jews and all Americans. Comprehensive immigration reform that reflects our values and interests as Americans will strengthen our nation’s global competitiveness in the 21st century and allow today’s immigrants, as well as future generations, an opportunity to succeed in the United States.