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State and Local Issues
While the Federal goverment is in charge of making laws that regulate immigration, state and local governments have control over laws and policies that affect residents, including immigrant members of our communities. Immigrants make many contributions to our communities. To ensure that PA remains a vibrant and strong state, it must welcome immigrants. PICC advocates for policies that make our state and our communities more welcoming, and works to oppose measures that scapegoat and isolate immigrants.
• “No Hate in Our Town” campaign combats anti-immigrant ordinances and rallies through pro-immigrant presence and promotion of pro-immigrant resolutions. Pro-immigrant resolutions have been passed in Adams County, Erie, Lancaster, Philadelphia, and York County. Inclusive communities resolutions have been passed in Carlisle, State College, West Chester, York and Harrisburg.
• PICC works with key allies to monitor and oppose anti-immigrant bills in the Pennsylvania Legislature, such as English-only legislation.
• We educate legislators and stakeholders about immigrant contributions at advocacy day. In 2009, over 80 individuals participated, representing communities from Pittsburgh to Hazleton, Gettysburg to Allentown.
PICC educates the public and works to develop support for fair policies that welcome and sustain immigrants. We urge our legislators and policy makers to promote a more welcoming Pennsylvania through the following steps
Support legislative efforts that integrate immigrants and that build our state and economy: Examples of such reform include strengthening labor protections for all workers, increasing funding for adult English language classes, and ensuring that all Pennsylvanians have access to affordable health coverage. We urge our legislators to support measures that advance immigrant integration and promote the shared prosperity of all Pennsylvanians. PICC is available to provide technical support on these issues.
Oppose measures that isolate or scapegoat immigrants: Sending the message that PA is unwelcoming to immigrants will weaken our state economically, socially, and culturally. We urge our local and state policy makers to reject any legislation targeting immigrants for new restrictions.
Work with immigrant communities in crafting policies that may impact immigrants: We encourage policy makers to utilize immigrant-led and immigrant-serving organizations like PICC and its member organizations as resources in the crafting of legislation that may impact immigrant communities. Together, we can work for a stronger, more inclusive Pennsylvania.
Encourage Congress to enact fair, comprehensive immigration reform now: Everyone agrees that reforms to our immigration laws are desperately needed. The PA legislature and local councils can pass resolutions in support of comprehensive immigration reform and bring pressure to bear on Congress to make necessary reforms.