2016 Platform: Immigration

California is the most diverse state in the nation; and reflects the foundation of America's strength, emphasizing the fundamental principles of inclusion, and national unity that respect the rules of law and human dignity.  California Democrats believe that the American immigration system should be inclusive, fair, and just.  Immigration must be consistent with American values of freedom, opportunity, compassion, and respect for human rights.

As citizens of a state built upon the successes of immigrants, California Democrats will:

  • Affirm that we can strengthen America's borders while upholding our values by honoring the tradition of providing a safe place for immigrants seeking a life of freedom and opportunity;
  • Ensure that the fundamental rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution are applied to every person within U.S. borders;
  • Support efforts to safeguard America's security while respecting the principles of the American Dream;
  • Support comprehensive, bipartisan immigration reform that addresses fairness; country of origin; family reunification; family unity, including giving full faith and credit to families of same sex marriages and same sex couples; and, a path to earned legal residency for undocumented immigrants in our communities;
  • Encourage increased and expedited processing of applications for family reunification and naturalization while supporting reasonable and fair application fees;
  • Support our elected officials in seeking timely information with regard to status of immigration paperwork for constituents, particularly for those constituents who have suffered hardship from backlogs and undue delays;
  • Support efforts to improve the naturalization process and make citizenship more accessible and affordable by increasing transparency on application fees, providing uniform administration of the naturalization exam, and assisting immigrants prepare for citizenship;
  • Support efforts providing undocumented immigrants with a transitional path to earned legalized residency and citizenship, including methods to pay back taxes; learn English; register with the federal government for work permits; contribute to the U.S. through education, work, military service, or other community service; complete criminal and security background checks; and acquire driver licenses and insurance coverage;
  • Support efforts to provide assistance in English learning and educational opportunities for cultural immersion;
  • Support efforts that maximize educational opportunities for all immigrant students, including access to public education and financial assistance as an investment for our common future;
  • Affirm efforts to provide equal access to housing to all immigrants and condemn any xenophobic or racist conduct that denies equal housing to all, including a landlord's inquiry into the citizenship or immigration status of a tenant or a prospective tenant;
  • Support efforts to provide health care and access to insurance for all immigrants to ensure the well-being of our communities;
  • Support efforts to promote available government services to immigrant communities;
  • Support outreach efforts that promote civic engagement and participation in the political process among naturalized citizens that reflect the diversity of our communities, such as voter registration and voter education, and support effective legal safeguards and protections for access to voting and voting materials in letters, spirit, and practice;
  • Oppose scapegoating, racial profiling, religious profiling, bigotry, vigilantism, exploitation, and any xenophobic conduct that polarize communities and denounce actions, by government or otherwise, that keep undocumented immigrants in the shadows of our society;
  • Affirm immigration rights based on human rights and support the goals of the Violence Against Women Act, petitioners for U Visas for victims of crimes, and petitioners for T Visas for victims of human trafficking;
  • Ensure intervention for abuse, discrimination, and crime among or against immigrants and removing the fear of arrest and deportation for reporting such abuse;
  • Encourage the cooperation of state and local law enforcement with immigrant communities in the interest of public safety for all;
  • Oppose efforts by law enforcement agencies in abusing discretion by unfairly targeting, threatening, intimidating, or otherwise harassing immigrants because of their immigration statuses; and,
  • Oppose local law enforcement agencies acting as federal immigration law enforcement.
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