ACLU Lens: ACLU Responds to Gang of 8 Immigration Plan

The ACLU welcomed the bill summary released late last night by a bipartisan group of key senators – ‘the Gang of 8', and we eagerly await the introduction of complete bill text, expected later today.

For over 90 years the ACLU has defended the rights of all Americans, whether born in this country or somewhere else, because the Constitution protects the civil liberties and civil rights of all people. We will continue to serve in this critical role as the debate over the immigration reform bill begins. Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the ACLU, said:

The immigration reform bill has the potential to be a historic advance for the civil rights and liberties of immigrants and all Americans. The bill would allow millions of immigrants who contribute immeasurably to the vitality of this country to step forward on the road to citizenship.

While this legislation is certainly a breakthrough, it will have to be improved to address severe obstacles for many aspiring citizens. The roadmap to citizenship should not exclude people based on minor crimes or people who can't afford hefty fines. The bill needlessly expands wasteful border spending at a time when border communities are safe, enforcement resources are at record levels, and prior benchmarks have been met. Furthermore, the mandate to use job-killing, costly and privacy-invasive employment verification (E-verify) raises significant civil liberties concerns. The ACLU will fight every step of the way to ensure that immigration reform achieves citizenship and a fundamentally fair immigration system without harming anyone's civil rights and liberties.

The ACLU has been at the forefront of the immigrants' rights movement for 25 years. In addition to advocating for a common-sense federal immigration plan, the ACLU has helped block most parts of the Arizona-style anti-immigrant laws, advocates against inhumane and abusive detention and deportation practices and continues to highlight a range of problems such as E-Verify.

Earlier, the ACLU released a framework for immigration reform, which urges policymakers to include critical priorities in order to ensure people's civil rights and liberties are protected.

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Anonymous

"For over 90 years the ACLU has defended the rights of all Americans, whether born in this country or somewhere else, because the Constitution protects the civil liberties and civil rights of all people. We will continue to serve in this critical role as the debate over the immigration reform bill begins. "
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The 'Gang of Eight' plan DOES NOT DEAL with Americans. By definition is deals with NON-Americans. Stop trying to subvert the sovereignty of America with your disinformation campaign. These people have no right legal or moral, to be here. They must return to their own countries.

Anonymous

Hahaha. Do your research, plenty of Americans (especially American children) who have a parent, parents or spouses who were born in another country ARE being effected by this countries broken immigration system. WHERE are their rights? They have rights to have a provider, and not to be subjected to foster care and welfare and state health insurance, which by the way- you are paying for when the parent, spouse and provider is deported. Thousands of American citizens are being affected by this. Also- unless you are 100% Native American- you come from immigrants, and if you don't like it- maybe you should go back to their country!

Anonymous

Being a legal immigrant to the US and born as the son of a legal immigrant to Europe, I'm often surprised by the debate here. It's quite normal in Europe to have employment checks, national ID systems and such, nobody, even other immigrants, seem to protest when people without legal permits get deported (unless its refugees being sent back to unsafe countries), on the other hand legal immigrants in Europe are often treated with the same kind of disdain that is usually reserved for undocumented immigrants in the US. I do not wish the USA to become like Europe, and I do support the ACLU but I wonder what kind of policing of immigration laws the ACLU would actually recommend, is the some sort of policy paper available?

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