San Antonio Region Justice For Our Neighbors advocates for immigration policies that treat everyone with the compassion they deserve as human beings. We support a commonsense, practical approach to immigration reform. We believe all ideas should be carefully considered and our elected officials should act on the ideas that have the best chance of improving our country. We believe America’s prosperity can only grow if we channel everyone’s stills and energy
Migrant Protection Protocols (Remain in Mexico Policy)
This policy places already vulnerable immigrants often fleeing violence into extremely dangerous situations in Mexico. Seeking asylum is not illegal and no one asking for asylum in the United States should be forced to wait in another country for a hearing in the U.S. This program makes it all but impossible for immigrants to find legal representation and be properly prepared for their immigration hearings – which for many determine their fate.
The United States Supreme Court upheld an Executive Order requiring asylum seekers to apply for asylum in the first “safe country” they pass through. If someone has passed through “safe countries” and not requested and been denied asylum, they are currently prohibited from seeking asylum in the United States. This policy is dangerous and fails to take into account the political climate in Central America. It also fails to recognize the power of Central American gangs and their reach throughout Central America. It is our opinion that this policy will increase human trafficking and kidnapping while inflicting more terror into the lives of our Central American neighbors. This policy will increase illegal immigration.
Keep Families Together
We do not support separating immigrant parents from their children. According to a June 21, 2019 report by Syracuse University, six out of every seven families released from immigration detention this year have shown up for their court hearings. And, for those who had a lawyer more than 99 percent have appeared at every hearing.
We support family reunification. Honoring family is a core American value. Welcoming newcomers but spearing and splitting their families is contrary to who we are as a nation.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
We support a pathway to citizenship for all immigrants brought to the United States as children. For most of these young people, the United States is the only homeland they have ever known. 126,000 Texans have been granted DACA status since 2012 and ending DACA would cost the Texas economy $6.1 billion in GDP annually. We do not support the decision to continue or do away with DACA being left up to the Supreme Court and strongly encourage Congress to pass legislation providing a permanent pathway to citizenship for all “Dreamers”.
No Barriers to Higher Education for Immigrant Students
We believe all students have equal opportunity to attend school and technical and advanced degrees. Plyer v. Doe, a 1982 Supreme Court decision, decided that all students, regardless of their immigration status, were guaranteed a K-12 education in the United States. We believe the ruling should extend to technical and higher education.
We are proud Texas became the first state in the United States, in 2001, to provide in-state tuition rates and state-funded financial aid for qualifying undocumented students wanting to pursue higher education. (Texas SB 1403, SB 1528).
A Realistic Pathway to Citizenship for the Undocumented
We need a realistic pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who work, pay taxes and learn English. Immigrants want to come to the United States legally, but our current immigration system makes that virtually impossible. A workable pathway to citizenship and human rights for current and future immigrants is crucial to the interests of our country, and especially, to the interests of working Americans. If our government keeps people in the shadows, without rights or a shot at the American Dream, it will depress wages and job prospects of all workers in this country. If we move everyone into the economic mainstream, we can rise together!
Due Process for All
Immigrants are allowed to have a lawyer, but they are not provided one under federal law. We believe that all people in immigration proceedings should have someone helping them navigate the most complicated area of law. This also ensures that we uphold our respect for due process, a fair hearing and the rule of law-core American principals! When the government denies due process to anyone, it threatens everyone.