Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition

Pennsylvania United for Immigration Reform

Immigrants Strengthen Pennsylvania. Keep Our Families Together.

In November, 2012, PICC helped bring together a diverse, statewide coalition of community groups, advocacy organizations, service providers, faith-based organizations, unions, immigrant advocates, and local immigrant individuals and families to support federal comprehensive immigration reform. Below is the platform of principles that guided this coalition.

PUIR aims to achieve just and humane immigration reform that:

  • Provides a clear pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
    • There are an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United State. These immigrants have been hard-working and contributing members of our society and economy for years. It is time for these immigrants to come out of the shadows and have a real chance at the American Dream.
    • A pathway to citizenship must not contain insurmountable barriers that make it impossible for immigrants who have lived, worked and paid taxes in our communities to become citizens.
    • The pathway to citizenship should not be dependent on increased deportations and excessive, expensive militarization of the border. The border is more secure now than it ever has been, yet border enforcement programs spent $18 billion in 2012.
  • Protects and promotes family unification.
    • We need immigration reform that will create a more just and humane system for all immigrant families, including LGBT communities.
    • We must put an end to unjust deportation programs that undermine our family values. 1.5 million people have been deported in the past four years, tearing families apart.
    • Comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) must address visa backlogs and quotas in order to eliminate years of separation between family members.
  • Prevents the exploitation of immigrant workers and includes comprehensive protections for all immigrant workers through better enforcement of labor laws.
    • It is critical both to immigrant workers and the general workforce, that immigration reform prevent the exploitation of immigrants and provide the protections afforded by labor laws.
    • CIR should not involve the expansion of a nation E-Verify system until it has proven to be an effective and reliable system for determining work authorization. The current E-Verify system has been shown to be unreliable and errors mean that employment authorized immigration as well as US-born citizens could be denied work.
  • Restores fundamental due process and civil rights of immigrants.
    • CIR must reject laws and policies that discriminate against immigrants, including detention for long periods with charges and ethnic profiling.
  • Promotes the full integration of immigrants into U.S. society.
    • CIR should promote immigrant’s full integration into U.S. society including equitable access to services, benefits and resources, and opportunity to learn English, naturalize and engage in the civic process.

PUIR was coordinated by Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition (PICC) and members included:
Anti-Defamation League, Arab American Community Development Corporation, Boat People SOS- Delaware Valley, Casa de la Cultura, Ceiba, Center for Popular Democracy, Church World Services, Community Legal Services, Equality Pennsylvania, Fight for Philly, Greater Philadelphia Jewish Immigration Coalition, Grupo de Apoyo e Integración Hispanoamericano, HIAS Pennsylvania, Indochinese American Council, Keystone Votes, National Federation of Filipino American Associations, Nationalities Service Center, New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia, Organizing for Action, Philadelphia Storytelling Project, Project Shine- Temple University Center for Intergenerational Learning, SEIU 32BJ, SEIU Health Care Pennsylvania, Unitarian Universalist Pennsylvania Legislative Action Network, and Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians.