We have a rare opportunity to create a roadmap to citizenship for 11 million people who have lived and worked in the U.S. for years. Some of these aspiring citizens and their families struggling with our broken immigration system are depicted in the mural #IamHere, created by the Dominican artist Ruben Ubiera, in Wynwood, Miami, at 2337 NW 5th Avenue. The ACLU of Florida and other groups in the Say Yes campaign have been collecting the stories of individuals who support inclusive immigration reform.
The moment is here. The time is now.
Click on the links below to listen to the stories of people depicted here, in their own words.
The ACLU has long fought to protect the civil rights and liberties of immigrants and all Americans. While the immigration reform bill recently released by the Senate Gang of Eight has the potential to be an historic advance for the civil rights and liberties by creating a roadmap to citizenship, there are numerous severe obstacles for many immigrants who aspire to be citizens.
The roadmap to citizenship should not exclude people automatically based on old or minor crimes. It should not require us to spend even more money to degrade civil liberties at the border with surveillance and checkpoints, given that prior security benchmarks have been met, resources invested in enforcement are at an all-time high, and net migration to the U.S. is at or below zero. Further, it should not mandate an error-prone identification system that will create a de facto national ID card and intrude on all Americans’ privacy rights. And it must ensure that LGBT immigrant families are treated the same as other families.
The ACLU will fight every step of the way to ensure that immigration reform achieves what the American people want—a roadmap to citizenship for immigrant and an immigration system that is fair and respects of civil rights and liberties.
More information about the ACLU of Florida’s work on immigrants’ rights is available here.
More information about the ACLU’s work in immigrants’ rights is available here.
The ACLU’s priorities for federal immigration reform are available here.
August 2013 Updates:
Jesus Guevara Roque received a stay of removal from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He applied for a work permit and driver's license after receiving the notification. The fear of being separated from his family has finally been lifted.
"Maria"'s deportation order has been postponed until 2014. Her child is due in September of 2013.