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Urgency of Now Immigration

National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference:

Principles for a Just Integration Immigration Solution 

1)      Secure borders:
As a sovereign nation, our nation reserves the right to determine who may or may not cross our borders and enter our country. We must establish a certification process that would determine when we have satisfied our requirements to effectively secure our border. Only upon this certification, would we enable those that are here in an undocumented capacity to have the opportunity to get permanently right with the law, and to be able to begin the process of adjusting their status to either permanent resident or citizen of the United States.
2)      No Amnesty:
We should not simply allow the undocumented population to have a free pass, or amnesty, which would enable them to stay here in America ahead of people that are lawfully in line to immigrate to the United States. However, we understand that this large population will neither be deported, nor will they self-deport. Therefore, we must legislate a process by which these people can admit to their wrongdoing, submit to and pass rigorous state and federal background checks, pay a substantial fine to get right with the law, learn to read, write, and speak English, and prove their financial viability. If they meet all these and additional criteria, they would be able to stay legally as Guest Workers, but they will not be able to adjust their status to permanent resident or citizen unless and until all of the legal immigrant applications already in process have been adjudicated, (they would go to the end of the line for immigration purposes).
3)      Guest Worker Visas:
Currently undocumented individuals would initially be able to adjust their status to that of a Guest Worker. They could choose to remain in the United States as Guest Workers indefinitely, assuming that they passed the requirements as listed above, and remain current on their tax liabilities. However, should they choose some day to become permanent residents or citizens, they must pay additional fees, and would not be able to adjust their status unless and until all legal applications previously filed by aspiring immigrants are adjudicated.
4)      Deport Felons and Serious Misdemeanor Offenders:
If upon review of the criminal records of new undocumented applicants for residency, it is determined that the applicant has been convicted of a felony, or a serious misdemeanor that is a crime of violence, or a crime of moral turpitude, they would be deported from the United States.
5)      Integration process:
Newly legalized undocumented individuals should be encouraged to assimilate into the mainstream of American society. They must learn English, as well as American Civics. As a nation of immigrants, we know that immigrants arrive on our shores seeking opportunity and liberty. As long as these people obey the laws going forward, they must be treated fairly, and with the dignity that God has bestowed upon all men equally.
Message from Fermín García, pastor of the 7,000-member strong church Grupo Unidad Cristiana de México (Christian Unity Group of Mexico) in Tijuana, leads the NHCLC Mexico chapter