Immigration News Today: Undocumented American Immigrants' Bill of Rights Calls for Legal Status, Healthcare Access
A “Bill of Rights” for the undocumented community has been released, which calls for equal treatment to health, education and legal status.
According to Marcelino Jose Miyares, founder and editor-in-chief of United We Stay, an immigrant-rights advocacy group, the "Undocumented Americans' Bill of Rights" is an effort to acknowledge the immigrant community "should be afforded the same due process and equal protection guaranteed to all by the U.S. Constitution."
Within the Undocumented Americans' Bill of Rights is the call to acknowledge that the undocumented immigrant community is already living in U.S. soil and their existence cannot be viewed as "illegal" or "alien." It also calls for immigrants to be treated with dignity and respect, in the same manner previous generations of Americans were immigrants.
United We Stay's 3rd Amendment focused on policy, specifically that future immigration law first addresses a pathway to citizenship or residency -- the organization provided both options. In addition, immigration law should defer from detaining or deporting law-abiding undocumented immigrants.
The 4th Amendment addresses the topic of birthright citizenship, which some Republican presidential candidates have called for either its removal or clarification. United We Stay said all U.S.-born children of immigrants should have the constitutional right to U.S. citizenship.
The 5th Amendment relates to legal due process. The immigrant-rights advocates stated protections should be in place that would not split families apart and detention without charges, hearings or representation.
Education is the focus on United We Stay's 6th Amendment. The organization said the undocumented community should have the right to attend public education, without discrimination, with in-state tuition for their children.
On wages, the 7th Amendment addresses wage equality and the legal right to report wage theft or workplace mistreatment without fears of the individual's immigrant status.
Under current law, immigrants are not allowed to utilize the benefits of the Affordable Care Act. United We Stay, however, wants "assurance of humanitarian treatment, including medical care."
The penultimate amendment is protections from detention and deportation whenever an immigrant is a witness and reporting a crime.
Finally, the 10th Amendment is to guarantee "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" for the undocumented.
"We are here on American soil working for a stronger economy while reinvigorating the nation's commitment toward democracy, and we should be afforded the same due process and equal protection guaranteed to all by the U.S. Constitution," United We Stay wrote. "We are the living embodiment of the American Dream and how we are treated by this nation reflects its commitment to its own ideals. Going forward, we want to see the United States fulfill its historic democratic promise by making these rights a reality."
United We Stay's founder also called for every level of government to discuss and vote on the "Undocumented Americans' Bill of Rights."
To view the "Undocumented Americans' Bill of Rights," click here.