Target: Republican House Representative Bob Goodlatte
Goal: Applaud House Representative Bob Goodlatte for endorsing earned citizenship for undocumented immigrant youths and legal status for adults
Representative Bob Goodlatte, a top House Republican leader, recently announced that he would support an earned pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrant youths despite the fact that he has vacillated over the issue of immigrant reform in the past. Furthermore, Goodlatte announced at a GOP Conference Hispanic Heritage Month event that he supported giving adult immigrants legal status. Immigrants would then be able to subsequently try to gain citizenship under existing law. Goodlatte’s endorsement for a pathway to citizenship gives hope to proponents of immigration reform that Republicans in the House are not staunchly against closing the door to citizenship for undocumented immigrants; they are merely against a special path to citizenship.
Goodlatte is the chair of the House Judiciary Committee and has the job of vetting immigration bills that come through the House. He vowed to take action on immigration reform, which refutes the prevalent belief that House Republicans may stall action on reform until 2014. However, he objected to the recent Senate bill that allows a pathway to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants. Rather, Goodlatte endorses an earned pathway to citizenship for immigrant youths who were brought here by their parents. This plan would mean that immigrant youths could gain legal status and be eligible for citizenship through the military, education, and other structures.
Moreover, adults would be given legal status as a stepping stool to pursuing citizenship. However, Goodlatte admitted that many of the 11 million undocumented immigrants would not be able to gain citizenship. He considers his proposal a major and viable solution to the immigration problem. Under current law, there are only three ways for immigrants to gain citizenship: they must have a spouse that is a U.S. citizen, they must be sponsored by a family member, or they must be sponsored by an employer. Presently, only 88,000 annual visas are available for permanent residents who want to apply for green cards for their children and spouses. This quota always fills up quickly, which means undocumented individuals are left with very few options.
Goodlatte previously supported a much narrower pathway to citizenship for undocumented youths. His recent proposal opens the door for undocumented youths known as DREAMers to succeed in the United States and strive for the American Dream. Please sign this petition to applaud Republican representative Bob Goodlatte for endorsing immigration reform.
Dear Representative Bob Goodlatte,
We commend your decision to endorse earned citizenship for youths, as well as legal status for adults. Although you have vacillated on immigration reform, your recent decision as a Republican of high-standing is commendable for giving undocumented youths brought to the United States by their parents a chance to succeed, despite their undocumented status.
Many Republicans want to completely shut down the pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently residing in the United States. Although you object to the Senate’s recent bill that would grant the pathway to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants, your recent decision still gives undocumented youths, as well as adults, a chance to gain citizenship and succeed. We applaud your support for immigration reform, and we hope that in the future you will do even more to protect the rights of immigrants in the United States.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Anuska Sampedro via Flickr