The New ‘Migrant Justice Platform’ Calls for Significant Change of US Immigration Debate

Nov 20, 2019
9:08 AM

A new Migrant Justice Platform released on Tuesday by a nationwide alliance of immigrant rights groups is calling for a departure from a “failed“ comprehensive immigration reform debate and a complete overhaul of policy strategy, a media release about the platform said.

“This is about re-envisioning how we think about immigration. It’s an exercise to expand our political imagination,” Erika Andiola, advocacy director at RAICES and chair of the Blue Ribbon Commission that created the platform, said in the release. “This platform is a roadmap for a conversation that needs to happen, a conversation that must include grassroots groups, center the rights of working people, and see the global issue for what it is. It’s the beginning of a much-needed policy conversation.”

The work to create this new migrant policy blueprint started in June, when a Blue Ribbon Commission of 20 individuals representing a cross-section of the immigrant rights community convened. The goal was to develop “a policy blueprint for use by the next administration to immediately repair harms and reverse failures caused by previous administrations,“ the release explained. RAICES and the National Day Laborers Organizing Network (NDLON) were the initial conveners of the commission. According to organizers, the platform wants to move away from a the “single-bill” strategy that has dominated the immigration debate since the late 1990s.

“As we confront the harshness of this moment, we must also shine a light on what is possible and what is necessary to move us forward,” Opal Tometi, Blue Ribbon Commission member, former executive director of Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) and co-founder of Black Lives Matter, said in the release. “There is no single bill that will resolve this country’s racism against immigrants and refugees, but we can start by making clear how much our political representatives have not done, and how much they can still do.”

Some of the concrete policy recommendations from the blueprint include the following:

  • Ensure that undocumented people, TPS, DED, and DACA recipients are granted immediate relief and work authorization without fear of persecution.
  • Center workers rights within immigration policy.
  • Promote a new border policy that includes demilitarization and restructuring of border agencies.
The platform is also promoting “an open-source effort that centers grassroots voices on various aspects of immigration reform,“ the release noted.