Immigration policies that reflect American values

IIIC’s ESOL students on a recent trip to the MFA. Our classes of immigrant and refugee learners are committed to improving their abilities and learning about their communities.

This week we heard our president’s proposed immigration plan, which focuses on “merit-based immigration” and puts limitations on family-based and humanitarian immigration. The IIIC supports immigration reform that is comprehensive and reflects our country’s best values. America’s immigration system should mirror our collective hope for a brighter and better future for all, and should embrace our values of justice, equality, inclusion, and compassion. The administration’s proposition falls far short of this in all regards.

Here at our welcome center, we are proud to witness, on a daily basis, the contributions and skills that all immigrants and refugees bring to their communities. Our organization empowers immigrants as they endeavor to build a better life, to give back, and to find safety and stability. The diverse families that we serve, from 126 countries and from all walks of life, contribute towards a brighter tomorrow for our country. It is important that we ask ourselves what really defines “merit” and consider what sort of society we want to leave for future generations.

In 1965, our immigration laws were rewritten to focus on family reunification and to remove laws that promoted a racially-engineered and inequitable society. While our system today has many flaws, this “merit-based” system disguises a broader classist, racist and xenophobic agenda. We are glad that this distraction has not yet received wide support.

We will continue to do our utmost to speak out on behalf of the communities we serve and to work towards a society where all are welcomed, valued, and enjoy equal opportunities and protections. Thank you for standing with us.

In solidarity,