Protect Non-Citizen Rights in Immigration Reform

Target: John Boehner, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives

Goal: Focus Congressional leaders on creating a path to citizenship and protecting the human rights of non-citizens in immigration reform measures

John Boehner has said that immigration reform will be a top priority for Congress in 2014. He has formed a committee to begin drafting immigration reform ‘principles’ that will serve as an outline for future legislation. It is imperative that these principles include key human rights concerns such as a path to citizenship and the right to family unity.

Currently, there are over 25 million non-citizens living in the United States and approximately 12 million of those are unauthorized to do so. Many of those criminally charged for immigrating without authorization are torn from their families who are American citizens or legal residents. Unauthorized non-citizens are then held in immigration detention centers until they are deported.

Many non-citizens live in fear of being deported because they will lose the life they have worked for and will have little to no support if they are sent back to what was once their home. Deported immigrants have few resources because they have lost their connections to the community, which is often vital to securing a job and livelihood. In some cases, deporting an unauthorized non-citizen is tantamount to sentencing them to poverty and illness. However, creating a path to citizenship will give non-citizens a chance to become American citizens.

A bill passed in the Senate in 2013 included some major improvements respecting family unity and creating a path to citizenship, but the House has yet to agree to those measures. To ensure that the immigration reform respects the human rights of non-citizens, the House must see protection of those rights as a primary goal in legislation. Sign this petition to tell the Speaker to prioritize human rights.


Dear House Speaker John Boehner,

Under current immigration law, non-citizens are perpetually in danger of human rights violations. Many who are deported have little community support upon returning to their former homes. Deportation is tantamount to unemployment and poverty in many cases. However, creating a path to citizenship would respect those who have worked to make a life here.

In addition, immigration reform should respect the right to family unity. It is terrible that families are ripped apart merely because some have authorization to live in the United States and others do not. This stands as another reason to create a path to citizenship.

Immigration reform is desperately needed in this country. However, as you draft principles for legislation, it is crucial that you prioritize the protection of human rights of non-citizens. Respect the right to family unity and create a path to citizenship.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Chzz via Wikimedia Commons

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68 Signatures

  • Alice Rim
  • sheila childs
  • Hermann Kastner
  • Terrie Phenicie
  • James Thrailkill
  • Mal Gaff
  • Holly Hall
  • Nancy Petersen
  • Melanie waleski
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