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Center for Rural Affairs calls for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

John Crabtree, Center for Rural Affairs | 6/13/2013, 9:05 p.m.

The Center for Rural Affairs Board of Directors over the weekend of June 8, 2013, unanimously called for comprehensive federal legislation to fix America’s broken immigration system. With the United States Senate poised to take up immigration, board members felt it was important to emphasize that reforming our broken immigration system is especially important to rural America.

The Center’s Board called for:

  • An opportunity for undocumented immigrants who fulfill the requirements for obtaining citizenship to remain in the US as citizens.
  • A more robust process for legal immigration that shortens the timeline and waiting list for legal immigration and creates clear avenues for future immigrants.
  • Practical and appropriate limits as determined by an independent commission on the number of manually skilled workers allowed to immigrate legally each year.
  • More effective enforcement of existing wage and labor laws and of the prohibition on hiring undocumented immigrants and falsely classifying them as independent contractors.
  • The United States admits only 10,000 manually skilled workers on work visas each year, about one for every 100 immigrants who enter without a visa and find work. The door to legal, documented immigration used by earlier generations is today largely closed for all but the wealthy and well educated.

The Center for Rural Affairs recognizes the need to fully engage immigrants in rural communities and American democracy through support for minority business development, voter registration, leadership development and other means. These are the

approaches that bring people together and build community.

The Center’s full statement on immigration can be found here: http://www.cfra.org/node/4634

The Center for Rural Affairs was formed by rural Nebraskans concerned about family farms and rural communities, and we work to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities. John Crabtree can be reached by email at: johnc@cfra.org.